How not to win votes: Listen to Mazibuko’s tantrum, a major ANC headache

JOHANNESBURG — The ANC in Gauteng faces the perfect storm during the upcoming election, which is now less than two months away. For starters, the Institute of Race Relations’ latest poll put the ANC at under 50% of the vote in this key province in every turnout scenario. Of course, polls can get things very wrong, but over time the fact is that the ANC has steadily been losing support in South Africa’s most economically important province. Because of the more middle-class nature of Gauteng and the fact that it has the country’s largest number of taxpayers, you can throw into the mix several other major risks for the ANC during this upcoming election. These range from E-tolls to anger over the rampant corruption of the Zuma years as well as intensified load shedding, which operates on longer 4-hour cycles in major hubs such as Johannesburg. But the recent outburst from MEC Faith Mazibuko highlights just how broken the ANC has actually become. Last week, she was caught out on tape instructing her staff to flout legal procedures in order to roll out sports facilities in certain areas in Gauteng to try encourage voters to cast their ballot for the ANC. What’s more shocking about Mazibuko’s behaviour is the way she spoke to her staff. – Gareth van Zyl