Paul Mashatile

(Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

ANC needs to reform or ‘die a slow death’, Gauteng party chairman

One of the ruling party’s most senior officials in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, has offered some stern words of advice to the ailing liberation movement.

Paul Mashatile

(Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Following a string of violent internal protests brought about by the ANC’s election candidate lists, culminating with the burning of Tshwane and death of five people; the party has had to take a long hard look at its trajectory and it’s not looking very promising.

“If the ANC does not change, it will see itself gradually out of power. Many of our leaders and members know we have to change,” Mashatile, the ANC’s Gauteng party chairman said.

The party has maintained an absolute majority of more than 60% ever since it won the elections back in 1994, but urbanisation, corruption scandals; rising unemployment and political infighting have all eaten away at the party’s support.

“We are already struggling as it is where everybody says, ‘Well, this is no longer the same, it’s no longer the ANC of Nelson Mandela.  When there’s a lot of noise it does affect the ANC and its support base. These things do take the energy of our members away from where we want that to be,” Mashatile said.

Recent polling data has revealed that the Democratic Alliance is in the lead in three of the country’s most contested metros: Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg. Should the DA take these from the ANC in the August 3 Local Government Election it would deal a massive blow to the ANC’s ability to influence voters in next year’s Provincial Government Elections.

Mashatile believes that the ANC should reform and incorporate a younger, more modern political

“My view is that the ANC must bring its electoral processes from the ‘underground’,” he said.

Now, while the ANC has in the past managed to hold on to swathes of voters, allegations of vote buying with food parcels often go side-by-side with the ruling party’s campaigns. Mashatile believes that the USA’s electoral process – consisting of party primaries and public debates – could work in SA.

“I like the American style; it’s very transparent. If you want Donald Trump, you know what you are looking for,” he said.

“We have to ensure there is a huge renewal of the ANC come 2017. Otherwise, we will not survive.”