Local Government Elections
Statement of the NWC on the organisation`s readiness for the upcoming election
11 May 2011
The National Working Committee of the African National Congress held its regular meeting on 9 May 2011 at the Chief Albert Luthuli House to, amongst other things, receive updates on the organisation’s state of readiness in relation to the forthcoming election and reflects on other important matters.
With only few days remaining before the crucial 2011 local government elections, the ANC is intensifying its elections campaign in a final push for an overwhelming electoral support on the 18th May. Since the beginning of the campaign work, the movement has sparred neither strength nor resources to ensure that the huge majority of South Africans turn out in large numbers and vote for the ANC on the Election Day. We have, amongst others, visited thousands of homes throughout the country, put elections posters in every city and village, talked to the communities through rallies and community meetings. These traditional forms of campaigning continue to run side by side with modern forms of campaigning, which include new media, advertising and telecommunications.
We are now in the final phase of our campaign. The next eight days towards the election will therefore be characterised by intensified campaigning by thousands of our volunteers, leaders of our structures throughout the country, supporters and the rank and file membership – led by the ANC’s top six officials. No part of South Africa will escape the wave of black, green and gold.
The ANC Women’s League’s 30-day Non-Stop Electioneering Campaign enters its final phase this week, with KwaZulu-Natal as the last targeted province for visit by the league’s top leadership. The campaign was launched at the University of Free State at the beginning of April with an objective to mobilise all voters, particularly women, to exercise their voting rights so as to protect democracy and promote freedom. The League’s leadership has thus far visited eight provinces, where they have enjoyed warm welcome amongst various communities. We commend the ANCWL and its leadership for their successful campaign programme.
The ANC also extends its gratitude to its alliance partners, Cosatu, SACP and Sanco, for their practical and visible involvement in the ANC campaign.
On 13 May, there will be an open discussion to endorse the ANC Elections Manifesto by business, professionals and minorities at 6pm at the Sandton Convention Centre. This event will be followed by a gala dinner to endorse the Manifeto by all sectors of our communities, which includes traditional leaders, healers, artists, and sporting personalities on the 16 May at 6pm at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
The ANC campaign will culminate with the mother of all parties, Siyanqoba rally, at the FNB Stadium on 15 May. The Siyanqoba rally is traditionally organised by the movement to afford its supporters an opportunity to celebrate victory in the elections. Mobilisation and arrangements around this event are at an advanced stage. About 100 000 people, including 1000 guests comprising of prominent business people, traditional leaders and diplomatic corps, are expected to converge at the rally. About 1500 buses will be used to ferry supporters from various parts of the Gauteng province. Some of the country’s top artists will entertain the crowd.
President Jacob Zuma will give a keynote address at the rally. The ANC’s election campaign will be officially wrapped up when the six officials – led by President Jacob Zuma – lead final campaign programmes in all nine provinces on 17 May, the day before the election.
The NWC also discussed media reports pertaining to the unenclosed toilets in the Moqhaka municipality in the Free State province. The NWC was unanimous in its view that such conditions, in which people are expected to utilise open toilets, are unacceptable and inexcusable. The ANC will immediately institute an investigation and those who are found guilty of this abuse of basic human rights will face strong action. No one has a right to subject our people to such dehumanising conditions in the name of the ANC.
Open toilets violates human rights of our people and unlike the DA, the ANC will not wait for the courts or the Human Right Commission to force it to do what is right. Unlike the DA, we will not protect and defend those responsible. Unlike the DA, we have no intention of abusing taxpayers’ purse to defend what is clearly wrong.
We have taken note of the fact that at the time the media reported on this situation, work had already began to enclose the toilets, with the number of those already enclosed standing at 300. The ANC will ensure that all the remaining open toilets are enclosed without delay.
The NWC has received a report from officials regarding the intention by the SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) to embark on the industrial action on Friday. We have raised our views regarding the timing of the strike and its implication on the forthcoming election with the union leadership, with the hope that they will revisit the decision. The union has undertaken to discuss our request at its executive committee meeting and take a decision.
We are encouraged by the union’s decision to deliberate on our request and trust that it will reconsider its decision to embark on strike at this stage.
It has come to our attention that the DA has been circulating pamphlets containing fabricated and malicious claims against ANC NEC member Trevor Manuel. The pamphlets read: “Trevor Manuel is telling South Africans not to vote ANC (because) the ANC is unaccountable, racist, corrupt and a party that has failed to deliver to the poor”.
Not only does this kind of dirty campaigning go against the letter and spirit of the electoral law, but it is also deliberately designed to defame the good character of comrade Manuel. Clearly the DA has lost any sense of wrong and right in this election. Such kinds of dirty electioneering reflect a desperate party that has its back against the wall and is prepared to resort to illegal and dirty means to boost its campaign.
This pamphlet is defamatory and libellous and has all the hallmarks of the apartheid’s CCB dirty tricks. Because this a flagrant breach of the Electoral Code and Act which governs the conduct of political parties; and an act constituting a crimen injuria against Comrade Trevor, at the end of this media briefing we are going to lay criminal charges with the police. This afternoon, the ANC will also file papers before the Johannesburg High Court to interdict the DA from further distribution of the pamphlet. We call on the DA to make an unreserved public apology to Comrade Trevor and the ANC for misleading the South African public.
We have reported this matter to the Independent Electoral Commission. The ANC will also support comrade Manuel in seeking any legal recourse against the DA.
African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House
Brian Sokutu: 071 671 6899
Moloto Mothapo: 082 370 6930