Only 30,000 of 110,000 expected voters pitched up to the ANC’s manifesto launch this weekend at Nelson Mandela Bay – while party leaders were left to explain the party’s mistakes.
According to a report by the City Press, damage control around president Jacob Zuma and the recent string of events which have left the party red-faced, could cost it dearly in the coming Municipal Elections.
Nelson Mandela Bay is one of the hotly-contested regions in the elections, where the ANC has consistently lost support over the years – to the DA.
The party’s manifesto launch took place in the city in an attempt to undermine the DA’s heavy campaigning in the region, but went off as a “damp squib”, according to reports.
The party expected 110,000 voters to turn out for the manifesto launch, but only 30,000 pitched. The ANC blamed the low turn out on buses which didn’t arrive for the event, however City Press reporters took the the ground and heard a different story.
ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete told the crowd that the official record of people who had entered the stadium on Saturday was 42 000, but many had moved from their seats because of the scorching heat.
She also said buses were still arriving and taxis had been sent to the townships to pick up people.
According to the paper, the locals who they spoke to said they were disillusioned with the party and vowed not to attend the event. Voters said they would vote for the EFF or the UDM.
As part of the manifesto launch, President Jacob Zuma took to the stage and promised a harder line on performance and accountability of ANC councillors. He promised to crack the whip by making councillors sign agreements to that effect.
The 2016 Local Government Elections will be held on 3 August, 2016.