Statement on the Conclusion of the 2000
Local Government Elections
Pretoria 7 December 2000
Once more, eighteen months after our general elections,
the people have spoken!
The people have said the ANC lives!
The people have said the ANC leads!
The people have firmly expressed their confidence in
the ANC as an agent of change.
The people have renewed their mandate to the ANC to
accelerate the advance towards the achievement of a
better life for all. The people have given their organisation,
the ANC, the directive to bring about reconstruction
and development in the places where they live.
By the positions they have taken in free and fair elections,
the people have made the categorical statement that:
they are opposed to the continued racial divisions
and disparities in our country and stand for a non-racial
they are opposed to continued gender discrimination
in our country and stand for a non-sexist South Africa;
they are opposed to any neglect of the rural areas and
stand for the bridging of the gap between town and country;
they stand for an accelerated offensive against poverty,
unemployment, homelessness, for the elimination of the
suffering of the most vulnerable in our society, including
children, the youth, women, the disabled and the elderly;
they want to see all our people living in conditions
of safety and security, regardless of race, colour,
gender, occupation, social status and residential location;
they seek the realisation of the objective of health
for all, including a sustained victory over diseases
of poverty and malnutrition, tuberculosis, sexually
transmitted diseases, malaria, cholera and AIDS;
they support the transformation of local government
we have brought about and endorse the democratic process
as the means by which the will of the people shall be
they seek an acceleration of the process leading to
the complete eradication of the legacy of apartheid.
By their straight forward, categorical and unequivocal
statements, the masses of our people have said no! to
all those who are opposed to change.
They have said no! to the perpetuation of a racist
order that would for ever condemn the majority of the
citizens of our country to the position of subservience
to which the apartheid system consigned them.
They have rebuffed the decades-old offensive against
their organisation, the ANC, which offensive has continued
to pursue the hopeless objective of seeking to discredit
the ANC in the eyes of the masses of our people.
They have chosen to believe the truth rather than be
seduced by untruths and propaganda.
They have chosen to respect principle rather than fall
victim to opportunism.
They decided to vote in favour of the difficult struggle
to create a new society rather than succumb to the temptation
of the false stability offered by the architects and
beneficiaries of the past.
Despite everything I have just said, our opponents,
accustomed to the shameless presentation of falsehood
as the truth, are trying to communicate a false and
That false and strange message is that the results
of the local government elections indicate that they
have won, whereas the ANC has lost.
But let the truth speak for itself!
The truth is that the ANC has won the votes of 60 per
cent of our people, a decisive majority achieved despite
the complacency of many of our supporters.
The truth is that the ANC has won 5 out of our 6 metropolitan
The truth is that the ANC has won the majority of the
district and local councils.
The truth is that more people voted in these local
government elections than did in the 1995/6 elections.
The truth is that the ANC won and our opponents lost.
The truth is that no amount of words will transform
the defeat of our opponents into a victory for them,
whatever support they get from domestic and foreign
commentators to suppress the truth; to disguise and
deny the failure of those opposed to progressive change;
and to concoct negatives that they can lay at the feet
of the ANC.
The truth is that the ANC has achieved a popular victory
in the face of a co-ordinated attack carried out by
an unholy alliance of many parties, united by hatred
for the ANC, rather than any commitment to serve the
interests of the people.
That popular victory constitutes the peoples
instructions to their organisation, the ANC, to accelerate
the forward march towards a better life for all.
The people have spoken and the ANC has heard.
The ANC will therefore act without delay to ensure
that all its mayors and councillors work with everybody
in their communities to elaborate integrated development
plans for their areas.
The ANC will act to ensure that these plans include
programmes for the eradication of poverty, for job creation,
for sustained local economic development, for an accelerated
The ANC will act to ensure that these plans include
the development of the required social and economic
infrastructure in each area, simultaneously addressing
the issue of the imbalances caused by the system of
The ANC will act to ensure the implementation of our
undertaking to provide free basic services such as water
and electricity. The ANC will work to ensure that we
continue to improve the safety and security of all our
The ANC will also work hard to ensure that all our
local government representatives, the mayors and the
councillors, have the necessary skills to run municipal
governments that actually work to improve the lives
of the people.
We will ensure that all our representatives account
regularly to those who elected them to enable the masses
of our people to participate in their own governance.
We will keep to the commitment we made that all those
of our mayors and councillors who fail to serve the
people or engage in corrupt practice will be exposed
and removed from their positions.
We will work without relaxing to ensure that the new,
transformed, democratised and strengthened system of
local government lives up to the expectations of the
people as a force that will help all of us to realise
our common dream of a better life for all.
On behalf of the ANC, I thank all our people, all parties
and our security forces for ensuring that we hold free
and fair elections.
I also congratulate all those who have been elected,
regardless of the parties they represent, and wish them
well in the discharge of their responsibilities to the
ordinary people of our country.
I would also like to thank the IEC and the thousands
of patriotic South Africans who helped to ensure that
we conduct our elections in an effective and satisfactory
I also thank the thousands of ANC, SACP, COSATU, SANCO
and other activists who worked hard to ensure that we
obtain the victory we have scored.
The campaigning is now over. We have now done with
the beauty contest.
Now is the time to get down to the hard work of ensuring
that we secure a better life for the people where they
The people have spoken. The ANC has heard.