The ruling ANC admits that ‘it faces declining fortunes’ amid internal squabbles, money politics, corruption and poor performance in government.
The above, “all conspire to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the broader public,” it said in a series of Discussion Documents released earlier this month to inform debate and discussion towards the 2017 National Policy Conference, to be held at the end of June.
In August last year, the party suffered its worst election result since it came to power in 1994. Following municipal elections in 2016, nationally, the ANC saw its support decline to 54%, from 64.8% in 2006, and 61.9% in 2011.
In Johannesburg, the ruling party surrendered the majority to a coalition government under DA mayor, Herman Mashaba. It also lost its majority in Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth.
“The weakening of the ANC, which still contains the main ingredients of the glue that holds South African society together (at least in its formal policy posture), can undermine the state and the democratic system as a whole.
“With optimism and hope among the people squandered, the social tinder of old and new contradictions can explode in a raging fire.
“Urgent organisational renewal and intensified action towards a National Democratic Society are required,” the discussion documents said.
The ANC said that, given the experiences of the past few years, the question has arisen as to whether the process of fundamental change in South Africa is irreversible.
The ruling party admitted that there is no simple answer to this question.
“The 2016 election results do suggest that, through non-participation or a
vote mainly for splinters from the ANC, electoral allegiances are shifting. This is a consequence mainly of subjective weaknesses within the ANC,” it said.