Johannesburg - The appointment of individuals to top positions in municipalities must be based on competence and not on political connections, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.
"It should not be only political connections, cadres must be competent," he said at Luthuli House following the party's national executive committee meeting and lekgotla last week.
"We agreed that appointments to key positions in the municipalities must be based on competence and that the tendency to interfere in the appointment processes by political structures in some areas should be eliminated."
This was to improve the performance of local government.
"In this regard, we agreed that deployment into local councils especially in the metros shall take full account of their strategic importance in the economic and social life of South Africa."
Mantashe said the problem around the billing system in some municipalities must be resolved urgently.
Among the key priorities of the fifth administration was the implementation of an energy master plan to unlock the economic potential of the country.
"Public investment in this regard aims to crowd in private investment while simultaneously enhancing the role of the state and expanding black participation in the economy," he said.
Part of the plan would be to look into hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo and check for deep sea oil discoveries.
In 2012, Cabinet agreed to lift a moratorium on applications to explore for shale gas in the Karoo using fracking.
Fracking is the process of fracturing rock by pumping pressurised liquid deep into the ground to extract natural gas trapped in shale layers.
Last year, President Jacob Zuma said the discovery of shale gas created possibilities for growth and economic development in the Northern Cape.
At the time, Zuma said government was aware of concerns raised about hydraulic fracturing, including the issues of its affect on the province's water and environment.
On Sunday, Mantashe said the ANC would not disappoint South Africans.
"This is the moment clearly and practically to demonstrate to our people that we have heard them, that we are humbled by the mandate they have given us, and that we shall move South Africa forward, faster.
"We therefore expect government to concretise all the decisions we have adopted into practical plans...Most importantly, our people expect a sense of urgency in what we do as the ANC and as government. We should not disappoint them."