Massive drop in ANC membership

ANC membership has decreased from over one million to just above 789,000 over the last couple of years, according to party president, Jacob Zuma.

According to a party membership breakdown from 2007 to 2015, the ANC has lost 37% of its members between 2012 and 2015.

The party saw a drop in membership in six of the nine provinces, with a small increase in the remaining three (North West, Western Cape and Northern Cape).

This was due to a negative perception towards the party, and the ‘systemic sowing of divisions’ in the party, the president said.

“Negative tendencies”

Negative tendencies such as the bulk buying of membership and gate keeping were costing the party votes, Zuma said. on Friday (9 October)

Delivering his political report to the national general council (NGC), Zuma also warned against ill-discipline, hooliganism and violence taking place in the party.

“There is a lot of work that must still be done to rid the movement of certain tendencies which may undermine the gains we have made.”

He said this was “even more important” as the party needed “an effective African National Congress [ANC]” to prepare for the elections.

ANC membership 2007 – 2015

Province 52nd National Conference (2007) 3rd National General Council (2010) 53rd National Conference (2012) 4th National General Council (2015)
KwaZulu Natal 102 742 192 618 331 820 158 199
Eastern Cape 153 164 161 161 187 585 124 050
Mpumalanga 54 913 46 405 132 729 96 799
Gauteng 59 909 70 305 134 909 87 759
Limpopo 67 632 101 971 161 868 84 413
North West 47 535 57 911 75 145 78 922
Free State 61 310 41 627 121 074 51 088
Western Cape 36 497 40 427 38 499 49 960
Northern Cape 37 262 37 122 36 428 38 680
Total 620 964 749 547 1 220 057 769 870

Voters dissatisfied

“We have continuously received an overwhelming number of votes in the national general elections; thank the millions of people who voted for the ANC in the last elections and acknowledge the hard work of all the tiers and structures during that period.

“It was a difficult election. While celebrating the 2014 election victory, we realised some of our traditional voters have in recent year become dissatisfied and some have chosen to abstain from the elections, demonstrating their displeasures, but are still remaining loyal to the movement.”

Zuma said South Africa’s loyalty to the party should not be taken for granted.

“We must also not think [their loyalty] will be there forever. The NGC needs to assess the state of the organisation and identify those issues that make our traditional support base unhappy.

“These tendencies create a public perception the ANC has become a self-serving organisation or one that at times deviates from its core values.”


Zuma said this was the perception of most South Africans.

“If the ANC does this then where must our people go, because the ANC is the only party they can go to?

“The core values of our movement are unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collectiveness, honesty, discipline, hard work, constructive criticism and mutual respect.

“While we have identified negative tendencies in the past, new ones have also emerged and the existing ones are becoming entrenched.”

Zuma said some members were undermining the organisation.

“The recent explosion and suspension of members demonstrates the movement will not hesitate to act against ill-discipline.

“Some of the negative tendencies include systematic sowing of divisions. Most ANC branches are divided and others are facing difficulties and are faced with tendencies such as gate keeping, bulk buying of membership,” he said.

Zuma said these challenges were the reasons why ANC membership had decreased from one million to just above 789,000 over the last couple of years.

With News24

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Massive drop in ANC membership