The 2016 local government elections results show that the anti-Zuma faction of the ruling party is responsible for the main losses suffered by the ANC. The result of the three Gauteng metropolitan cities, that is, the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane are a serious indictment on those who have led the province.
The result of these metros show an interesting trend– the losses are promotional to the anti-Zuma sentiment within the ruling party. It is known that Ekurhuleni is not as virulent anti-Zuma as the Coj within the ANC. The results have come back kinder to Ekurhuleni compared to the Coj.
Tshwane and the Nelson Mandela Bat metros also suffered because of the anti-Zuma factor from within the ANC itself. The intervention of the ruling party was too little too late to turn the voter tide.
The narrative that Zuma costed the ANC votes and therefore he must be recalled is not supported by evidence. On the contrary, evidence shows that the pro-Zuma provinces have done well in the election. If the so called premier league was to be used as a yardstick, then a different truth emerges. Mpumalanga, Free State and the Northwest registered no losses. Zuma’s stronghold in kwaZuluNatal had posted not just a stunning victory, but also an increased majority.
If the narrative that Zuma caused the ANC votes is false, why is the media peddling it? This is a narrative invented by the forces of regime and white owned media which is pushing the same agenda. The opposition parties beholding to the regime change program have latched onto the narrative so much so to a point that now, some are making the removal of Zuma a condition of coalitions.
The imperialist forces which control the South African economy and their local allies, which are monopoly white capital, want Zuma gone because he is seen as a threat to their interests primarily because of his association with members of the BRICS.
The “Zuma Must Go” campaign is essentially about weakening the BRICS process. The democratically elected president of Brazil has been toppled illegally by the same forces which seek to illegally and manipulatively remove Zuma on invented lies.
The province that embarrassingly suffered the most losses for the ruling party is Gauteng. This means that the call for the removal of the provincial chairperson Mr. Paul Mashatile and his cohort of leadership is the most justifiable decision. The loss of the metros means about 85% of municipality budget has been surrendered to the opposition. This is not small matter.
President Zuma should now assume his negotiation skills and offer small parties like the EFF offers that they cannot refuse in order to avert these metros from falling into the hands of parties of racism such as the Democratic Alliance (DA). The president can use the electoral disaster in these metros by crafting a deal that answers the big policy questions the ANC has avoided to date; such as land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation, free education, compensations for Marikana, minimum wage and an income grant.
The loses induced by Gauteng could be turned into an opportunity to tower above neo-liberal policy arrangements and break the back of white racism in South Africa. The other option, which is too ghastly to contemplate, is to surrender such strategic metros as Coj and Tshwane to the racist DA.