IN an interview with Leadership Online and talking about the upcoming Local Government Elections it is clear that Jeff Radebe is concerned, to say the least, that the ANC’s support is eroding.
“The first point to be made is that we believe in the democracy of our people and their freedom of choice. In fact, the constitutional democracy that we enjoy in South Africa today is because of the role that the ANC has played in the struggle for freedom and justice and, more particularly after 1994, in consolidating the institutions of political democracy. But as the ruling party I think we need to devote more effort towards being closer and closer to our people, so that the demands that they have are progressively implemented.”
Of all the metros the ANC might lose, Radebe is most worried about Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We are concerned, which is why the ANC last year deployed one of its top and most effective cadres, Danny Jordaan, as mayor, in order to ensure that we can maintain the support that the ANC has historically enjoyed here. Nelson Mandela Bay is no ordinary metro. It is named after our icon, Nelson Mandela, who was the leader of the ANC for many years and, over and above this, Port Elizabeth in particular is where many of the stalwarts of the liberation struggle, like the late Premier of the Eastern Cape, Raymond Mhlaba and the late Govan Mbeki, father of our former President Thabo Mbeki hail from. We can’t afford to lose such a strategic centre,” he says.
So concerned is the ANC about losing Nelson Mandela Bay that, 18 months ago, government put about R4.6-billion aside for human settlements in the area.
He says a recent survey indicated that, “by any stretch of the imagination”, Jordaan is the most popular personality in Nelson Mandela Bay. The ANC is pinning its hopes on the football supremo like never before.
Full interview here: A radical agenda for change
The following two tabs change content below.