How the last outpost was won! – Knocking on Doors

Those that study management books single out planning as very important in any organisation. Manne Dipico, a trade unionist, a prisoner and a former premier of Northen Cape was tasked with managing the implementation of the election programme. Kwazulu Natal had eluded the African National Congress for two terms. This had to change in 2004. The collective in KZN led by Senzo Mchunu, deputy secretary in the province, ensured the implementation of the ANC programme to the last detail.

“The president should not send Dipico to parliament,” commented Thulani Mashaba, ANC youth league chairperson of the north coast of KZN while we were door to door campaigning on the outskirts of Esikhawini, a township that voted overwhelmingly for the ANC in 1994 but less so in 1999. “Comrades, having been involved in previous campaigns of the ANC, this one stands out as the best planned and managed campaign I’ve ever participated in.” The comrades nodded their heads simultaneously.

The reception by people was great, people love the ANC, people love the ANC t-shirts and people want the ANC to account. If this is done regularly, branches of 101 members of the ANC can be a thing of the past. In only a few houses did we sense that we were not welcome – when one activist was invited into a house without a smile, he declined the invitation.

The door-to-door campaign proved what Manne Dipico had said prior to the elections. “Comrades, if you can just ensure that all people in areas where we won in 1999, go out and vote on the election day, then the ANC will win the elections in the province.” Campaigners did just that, they consolidated in our strong areas and made inroads in predominantly IFP areas.

The Numsa Regional Congress commended the teamwork of alliance partners prior to the elections and expressed a hope that this will continue even after the elections.