ANC supporters. Picture: REUTERS
ANC supporters. Picture: REUTERS

The 2019  elections were the toughest contested by the ANC since the dawn of democracy. It is the first time the ANC received below 60% support, reducing its seats in the National Assembly to 230 seats from 249 previously. It is a clear message that the masses no longer have the same confidence they had in the governing party in the past.

The message is that the ANC has been given a last chance. It is up to the party to decide where it goes from here. If it doesn't change it can expect to be punished harshly in the local government elections. It will have to work hard to improve service delivery to the people in the next couple of years.

It must do away with all deployees who are corrupt and have become a burden to the ANC. Returning the same people who were implicated in testimony before the Zondo commission will be a big mistake, because it sends the message that some individuals are above the party. 

The road ahead will be tough for President Cyril Ramaphosa. He must be as tough as nails and not bow down to factions in the ANC national executive committee. He must focus on implementing the ANC’s manifesto if he wants to rescue the organisation. Students are waiting for free education, people are waiting for houses and jobs — decent jobs.

If the ANC can achieve these goals it will have a shot at coming back to government in the lost municipalities. It is all in the hands of the new administration.

Tom Mhlanga