Anticipation and excitement were in all probability the furthest thoughts from voters’ minds when 9,000-plus ANC municipal candidates converged this week to pledge to serve local citizens better and end  corruption, fraud, patronage, inducements and nepotism in the event of them being elected on 1 November.

This was no definitive ANC campaign moment. The pledges drowned in a sea of counterevidence, along with histories and track records that belied the pledges that were supposed to exceed campaign promises. The pledges failed to give substance to the ANC’s refrain that the next set of councillors will “be better and do better”. The pledge itself may have been a gallant attempt at ANC image correction, but in the absence of a tangible watershed, Damascene occurrence, the undertakings went adrift.

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