World

South Africa's ANC party to court disenchanted middle class

South Africa's ruling party says it is worried about a loss of support in the growing, urban middle class of one of Africa's biggest economies because of scandals surrounding President Jacob Zuma.

Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the African National Congress, told foreign media on Wednesday that the party must work to engage the middle class and "make them understand us."

Mantashe says South Africa's middle class benefited from freedoms at the end of white minority rule in 1994. But he says it does not give unconditional support to the ANC, the main anti-apartheid movement before taking power.

The ANC lost several major metropolitan areas to the political opposition in last year's elections, which capitalized on discontent with Zuma and perceptions that top levels of the government are corrupt.