Gauteng ANC Head of Elections Lebogang Maile is buoyant of his party’s chances in the province come the May 8 elections.
Speaking to supporters and the media who graced the ANC pavilion at the Rand Easter Show, Maile said regardless of the fact that the party lost its majority in the metros of Johannesburg and Tshwane — to a DA and EFF coalition led by DA — the ANC was confident of an outright victory in the upcoming elections.
Maile said that if the ANC was, by some “miracle”, to lose in Gauteng it would rather opt to sit as an opposition to whoever wins than resort to forming a coalition government.
“We don’t believe in coalitions,” said Maile who added that the ANC in the province would seek to “influence the national” body against coalitions.
Maile, who is also the Gauteng MEC for economic development and cut his political teeth in the Congress of South African Students, took the opportunity at the launch of the ANC pavilion to respond to Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s “shifting of the blame” regarding the Alexandra protests. Mashaba said the protests were a result of the ANC’s leadership in the area over the past twenty years.
Gauteng ANC Head of Elections Lebogang Maile addressing the party’s supporters and the media alike at the ruling party’s pavilion, Rand Show. Picture: Juniour Khumalo
Maile said: “If there is any money that was stolen from the Alex renewal project, I wouldn’t know of it as no money was ever shared with me. If they did steal they did it alone, I was not a part of it.”
He, however, explained that contrary to popular belief, “there was never R1.3 billion that was set aside for the project. It was money which had to be found by the Gauteng government.”
He insisted that as far as he was aware, there were developments made under the Alex renewal projects.
“I am a product of Alexandra and bore witness to some of the developments that took place in the area after former president Thabo Mbeki announced the renewal project,” Maile said.
He said that the “better question to ask was whether or not the Alex renewal project did everything that it could do, and perhaps the answer is no. More could have been done.”
Maile added that if anyone has any information on alleged looting in the process of the project then this is the perfect time to bring it to the attention of Judge Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the state capture commission.
However, Maile did say that “housing will always be an issue in Gauteng. The province sees around 200 000 new [migrant] arrivals every year,” meaning housing backlogs would always be a thing that the province would battle with.
The ANC pavilion will be on show for the next ten days for the public to come and engage with leaders and view the history of the party.