ANC faces governance problem: Phosa

By Drum Digital
27 June 2012

The ANC needs to deal with the problem of good governance and effective service delivery, treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Wednesday.

"The ANC cannot go into denial on that matter, but it's a challenge," Phosa said on the sidelines of the party's national policy conference in Midrand.

"The big challenge for us [ANC] is service delivery."

Phosa said that once the ANC had passed the point of denial it could start to ask: "What should we do to ensure that we implement the good decisions which we have [made]?"

"I'm saying unless we build capacity at local government level to be able to process, manage, and run the finances properly, to administer properly, we'll still have no service delivery," he said.

Corruption also needed to be dealt with.

"Unless we remove the corruption in the system and by other officials, or whoever, we'll still be complaining about service delivery," he said.

The African National Congress's four-day national policy conference ends on Friday.

A policy discussion document entitled "legislature and governance" deals with local government as "crucial in accelerating service delivery".

In the document, the ANC says it recognises that local government is the most problematic sphere of government.

Some of the proposals it makes are on the delivery of basic services, demarcation, political governance and a differentiated model for local government.

Phosa said there needed to be effective administration in the local, provincial and national spheres of government.

"It doesn't matter how beautiful your policies are, how much money we have. If the cutting edge of service delivery is not there... we'll continue to see more protests," he said.

"The President [Jacob Zuma] talks strongly about these issues, in saying let us embrace the challenge and do what we have to do for our people."

Phosa said that if a certain level of government was not able to implement a function, it should be taken away from them.

"There must be a concurrency... so it's not about where the power lies, it's about how do we use the power."

Asked about how he felt about the ANC's discussion document on the "second transition", Phosa said the matter was still being debated.

"It's in the cooking pot of the commissions. Let's wait and see what comes out of that cooking pot," he said.

ANC delegates spent the first half of Wednesday morning in commissions on strategy and tactics, which included the "second transition", and organisational renewal.

Phosa praised this year's conference.

"This is a blessed conference... We are learning as an organisation how to continuously improve how we organise events," he said.

"This is one of our best."

He said the commissions were running smoothly and that their discussions were a "festival of ideas".

"We are listening to people who were silent. Now they talking. They are listening to each other, they are arguing, they are persuading each other towards positions," said Phosa.

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