The ANC will retain control of Limpopo after the country’s general elections in May.
This is according to ANC’s provincial chairperson Stanley Mathabatha. In an exclusive interview with Inside Politics, he spoke about the prospects of his party winning in the province, given the growing support of the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance in some parts of Limpopo.
The ANC won the 2014 elections with 1 149 350 votes, which represents 78.60% of the provincial vote – a decline from the 2009 elections in which the ANC garnered 1 265 631 votes, which was 84.88%.
He said the decline in electoral support for the ANC during the 2014 elections was a trend throughout the country and not only in Limpopo.
“We are no longer worried about the decline this time around. I am sure this year we are going to improve from [the] 2014 elections on the percentage we got. The decline in support was throughout the country. But we have seen the resurgence of support in the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa since his election in 2017. The populace is now positive in the ANC and they have seen that the ANC is serious in dealing with corruption and service delivery,” said Mathabatha.
He said Ramaphosa’s election as president had a positive effect on the party and South Africans are now generally positive about the future, despite ‘stubborn’ challenges that remain – such as poor basic services, lack of housing, poverty and inequality.
“The president has a pulling effect currently. It is helpful in many instances. Research has also shown that where the political leader is more popular this is going to boost the party during the elections,” said Mathabatha.
Opposition not a threat
Mathabatha said the EFF and the DA were not a factor in Limpopo’s electoral politics because they have failed dismally to garner sufficient support in the province due to their unappealing policies.
“I have never been worried about the EFF because their policies will never be appealing to mature people in Limpopo. Most people in Limpopo are adults and they can separate fact from fiction,” he said.
“The ANC has also won more wards in the province than the EFF – in all the regions of Limpopo. The DA, on the other hand, remains a white party. Policies of the DA are not appealing to the people of Limpopo. You cannot go to our [people] and say to them Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment should be scrapped and expect they will vote for you.”