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ANC Stands Firm On Ramaphosa As Coalition Talks Begin

THE African National Congress (ANC) announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will remain its presidential candidate and dismissed demands for his resignation during coalition negotiations. This comes after the ruling party garnered slightly over 40 percent in the May 29 elections, failing to secure a parliamentary majority for the first time.

The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), received 21.8 percent of the vote, followed by former President Jacob Zuma’s party, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), at 14.6 percent. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) came in fourth with 9.4 percent.


‘Accepts’ outcome

Addressing journalists on Sunday, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula stated, ‘We accept the results and congratulate the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).’

‘We are talking to everybody in our bid to form a coalition government; there is no party we are not talking to,’ Mbalula said, adding that the ANC’s national executive committee will meet on Tuesday, June 4, to chart a way forward.

‘If you come to us with the demand that Ramaphosa must step down for ANC to enter a coalition agreement with your party, that is not going to happen,’ Mbalula emphasised ahead of the official results announcement on Sunday.

Coalition challenges

Mbalula also expressed reservations about Zuma’s MK party but indicated that discussions would still take place. ‘We have reservations about MK, but we will talk to them nonetheless,’ he said.

Zuma, a former long-serving member of the ANC, parted ways with the party ahead of his resignation as president following a corruption probe in 2018.

‘Clear message’

Mbalula acknowledged the significant message sent by the election results, vowing to strengthen the ANC, which has seen a decline in popularity, particularly in recent years. He expressed concerns about the party’s future if immediate actions are not taken to boost its approval rating.

‘The results send a clear message to the ANC. We wish to assure the people of South Africa that we have heard them. We have heard their complaints and dissatisfaction,’ Mbalula said.

The ANC has faced criticism for failing to address South Africans’ grievances, including unemployment, class inequality, power cuts, crime, and corruption. As coalition talks progress, the ANC’s ability to form a stable government and address these issues remains a critical focus.

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