Gauteng ANC wakes up to the 'issues' on voters' minds

Staff Writer | May 12, 2019
Almost losing the province has spurred the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng to action – or at least a promise of action.

After scraping home with its worst result since 1994, the ANC in Gauteng has promised to ‘immediately work on addressing’ housing concerns, unemployment and job creation, and ‘local government issues – fixing potholes, refuse removal etc’.

Support for the governing party in Gauteng has plummeted since 2004 from 68.4% to a perilous 50.1% in last week’s poll. It has governed Gauteng since the dawn of democracy a quarter of a century ago.

Looking on the bright side, the party said in a statement: ‘It is a clear message that the people still have confidence in the ability of the ANC to lead this province and to pursue the agenda of building a better life for all.’

In an implicit acknowledgement that perhaps the ANC in Gauteng had not thus far adequately repaid now waning popular confidence, it added: ‘We have taken note of the issues the people of Gauteng raised with us during the campaign trail (sic) such as resolving housing concerns, unemployment and job creation, and local government issues - fixing potholes, refuse removal etc. This we will immediately work on addressing.’

The statement conceded that the election had proved to be “a tough race”, adding: ‘Now we have to channel our energies towards making sure that citizens of Gauteng get nothing but the best of service.’

The party noted that it did not ‘take for granted being given yet another opportunity to work with the people of our province to grow Gauteng together. We view this opportunity as a privilege and not a right.’

IRR polling over several years has consistently shown that jobs, better schooling and safety from crime are the priorities most South Africans believe the government should concentrate on. While the same polling demonstrates low levels of support (just 2% of all respondents and 2% of black respondents) for ‘faster land reform’, the ANC has made its drive for expropriation without compensation (EWC) the dominant political issue of the past year.

Leading economists have identified the threat to property rights under EWC as a devastating deterrent to the investment on which economic growth and job creation depend.


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