ANC summit: Mkhize speaks out against factionalism amongst councillors

2011-10-25 00:00

FACTIONALISM and perceptions that the ANC is a corrupt organisation are the two main challenges that stand between the party and service delivery in municipalities.

This was said by Zweli Mkhize, the ANC’s provincial chairperson and national executive committee (NEC) member while delivering a closing address at the ANC’s local government summit held at Durban’s Coastlands conference centre yesterday.

The closing address was supposed to be delivered by the ANC’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, who could not attend due to ill-health, so Mkhize as the NEC member was deployed in his place.

The first two days of the summit were attended by ANC mayors, deputy mayors, speakers and chief whips. The closing session, which made important resolutions on improving service delivery in municipalities, was open to all ANC councillors across the province.

Mkhize told the summit, “The fact that in the ANC we have different opinions does not mean we need to encourage factionalism.

“It’s normal to differ during discussions, but once a decision is taken it’s binding on all ANC councillors in that particular municipality …

“Don’t serve the factions, serve the people,” Mkhize urged the councillors.

He discouraged mayors and other officials from “factionalising” administrative staff, saying they must be given space to operate professionally.

Councillors were also warned that discipline will be meted out to all party members who get out of line and introduce a culture that is foreign in the organisation.

He said the ANC will deal, without exception, with factionalists and mayors and councillors who fail to deliver to the people.

On perceptions that the ANC was corrupt Mkhize said, “We cannot continue with an ANC that has the image of being corrupt … The era of corruption perceptions is over. There should be no interference with procurement processes from public officials. Remember that when people blame government they are blaming you as there is now the ANC government at local, provincial and national level.”

He announced that there is a programme to capacitate councillors to perform ably, which will be carried out in conjunction with the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department and the South African Local Governments Association.

• skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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