Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe let reporters know today that the president will get time off until next week, when he is having a cabinet at the ANC’s Lekgotla.
“The President is exhausted. The election was punishing. He is given time to relax. He is having a cabinet at Lekgotla next week,” Mantashe told reporters earlier today.
This comes after ANC Ministers urged President Zuma to take a short break. Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said earlier today, “The leadership of the African National Congress has asked President Zuma to take time off from work following an intense elections campaign.”
The president obliged and made public today that he would be taking time from politics to relax ahead of his upcoming conference.
The president was previously scheduled to meet with and address National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union special national congress in Benoni on Friday afternoon. However, post the new Ministers’ announcement, the African National Congress says it expects the newly appointed Ministers to be able to address concerns.
The 72 year-old president managed to secure a second five year term in office, albeit with a 3.7% decline in support at a national level. The African National Congress said today that they, “won against all odds. The Lekgotla will look into how there was a decline”. It was stated that they need the president to be at his sharpest for the meeting so that they can produce a viable strategy moving forward.
According to Mantashe, the African National Congress achieved majority of their votes from the more rural areas of the country. This was largely a concern because it indicates that opposition parties have secured areas of key economic development and potential.
The move is done as an attempt to have President Zuma functioning at optimum focus for the Lekgotla meeting. The party wishes to maintain their landslide support and the visible loss of votes in many provinces has alarmed the ruling party has created a certain pressure on the party and such the president must, with the help of his ministers, create a plan to turn the tides back towards the gain in support, versus a loss.