ANC wants bud­get re­think af­ter vote losses

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — South Africa’s rul­ing African Na­tional Congress wants the na­tional bud­get “re-pri­or­i­tized” to fo­cus on tack­ling poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity fol­low­ing lo­cal elec­tion de­feats this month, the party said on Sun­day.

The ANC lost its ma­jor­ity in key ur­ban dis­tricts in­clud­ing Jo­han­nes­burg, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity en­com­pass­ing the cap­i­tal Pre­to­ria and the sym­bol­i­cally im­por­tant Nel­son Man­dela Bay mu­nic­i­pal­ity - its big­gest set­backs since com­ing to power in 1994 at the end of white-mi­nor­ity rule.

The ANC will take bold ac­tion to ad­dress the party’s short­com­ings, Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe told re­porters af­ter a four­day meet­ing of the party’s lead­er­ship in the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil (NEC).

Man­tashe said the ANC wanted the cabi­net to dis­cuss changes to the bud­get at its next meet­ing.

“The NEC viewed the out­come of the elec­tions as a clar­ion call of the peo­ple to the lib­er­a­tion move­ment to ur­gently take steps to speed up the pro­grams of change, and rec­tify the many sub­jec­tive weak­nesses af­fect­ing its ca­pac­ity,” Man­tashe said.

“It was noted that our poor per­for­mance in the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions is a se­ri­ous set­back to the cause of so­cial trans­forma­tion.”

Man­tashe also said the ANC took col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity for the elec­tion re­sults and would not lay the blame on Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties have said the elec­tion re­sults were a ref­er­en­dum on Zuma’s lead­er­ship and he should stand down.

“Should we blame one per­son for the per­for­mance for the ANC? All of us in the NEC must take re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Man­tashe said.

“There was no pro­posal from the floor for the pres­i­dent to step down,” Man­tashe said in re­sponse to a ques­tion about whether any­one in the ANC top coun­cil wanted Zuma to re­sign.

Zuma rat­tled in­vestors in De­cem­ber last year by chang­ing fi­nance min­is­ters twice in a week, send­ing the rand plum­met­ing.

The pres­i­dent then sur­vived an im­peach­ment vote in April af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court said he had bro­ken the law by ig­nor­ing an or­der to re­pay some of $16 mil­lion in state funds spent on ren­o­vat­ing his pri­vate home. Zuma has since said he will re­pay some of the money, as or­dered by the court.

Man­tashe also said on Sun­day there was a need to deal with per­cep­tions that the ANC was soft on cor­rup­tion, ar­ro­gant and self-serv­ing.

— Reuters

ANC big­wigs Jessie Duarte, Nomvula Mokonyane, Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Man­tashe mon­i­tor vot­ing fig­ures at the IEC re­sults cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.