ANC explains why Zuma’s face is not on election posters

President Jacob Zuma’s face is not on posters advertising the ANC’s provincial manifesto launch in Gauteng because he only confirmed a few days ago that he would be available to give a speech, the party said on Thursday.

The ANC’s Gauteng leaders would however ensure that voters in the province would see more of him from now onwards, it said.

Provincial deputy secretary Gwen Ramokgopa said the posters put up to encourage voters to register for the August 3 local government elections had encouraged people to come out “in their numbers”. These posters contained the faces of celebrities and local leaders, but not Zuma’s.

The next phase of manifesto launches would feature posters with the president’s face, Ramokgopa said.

“We are now focusing on the face of the manifesto message, and we ask the voters to look at our track record, and that face is the face of the president,” she said.

Posters up on street poles advertising Saturday’s manifesto launch had faces of leaders like provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile.

Posters advertising the national manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth in April, where less than half the expected 110 000 supporters turned up, bore Zuma’s face.

Gauteng’s manifesto launch on Saturday clashed with a similar rally in Mpumalanga, where Zuma was set to give a speech. Mpumalanga, however, moved its manifesto launch to Sunday to enable Zuma to attend both.

The ANC in Gauteng has been critical of Zuma’s leadership, and the party’s share of the vote has plummeted under his leadership.

Gauteng Premier and deputy provincial chairperson David Makhura, who was at Thursday’s briefing, was confident the party could fill up the 94 000-seater FNB Stadium in Soweto. He declined to say how many supporters the party expected there.

“The feeling that we get everywhere is the same. People are looking forward to come to the rally,” he said.

Makhura said the party would make a statement by showing it had strong, grassroots support. He said 1 800 buses would ferry supporters to the rally. Of those, 1 700 buses were already filled with volunteers and supporters who had said they would attend.

He urged supporters to use public transport to get to the venue, as traffic jams were expected around the stadium.

The party was confident of getting a clear majority in each of the three metros in the province, Ramokgopa said. They were not in talks with other parties about forming coalitions after the elections.

The ANC’s support has been declining in the province. Behind closed doors, the ANC was worried about its share of the vote dropping to below 50% in some metros.

News24

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ANC explains why Zuma’s face is not on election posters