Cape Town – The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Western Cape is concerned the party in the province has not kept its promise to ensure there was some young blood on its candidate list.
"We feel that that is unacceptable as the ANCYL in the province," provincial chairperson, Khalid Sayed, said at a press conference on Sunday.
"If the ANC fails to do this, we will take it to national," he said.
Last September, the league resolved at its national conference that 40% of candidate lists for elections should be reserved for the ANCYL. Sayed said this had the backing of President Jacob Zuma, but that it was whittled down to 20% at the mother body's national general council.
Sayed said the regional list conference of delegates to represent the ANC in the provinces at the August 3 elections had taken place and were concluded. They were stunned to find the promise to reserve 20% of the seats for the youth had not materialised.
Raised issues internally
"We have raised our issues internally and will continue to do so. And we are now taking our issues public," he said.
He argued that it was important to appeal to young voters at a time when the voting and activist population is getting younger, with the young taking up important social issues.
The elders in the ANC came from the league but they were no embroiled in squabbles and neglecting to groom successors.
The league not only wanted their quota of young leaders on the candidate lists, but also wanted them to contest winnable wards so that they could be in position to make real changes.
"For our democracy as a whole, for the state of local government as a whole, there are benefits in young leaders," he explained. "Service delivery would focus on the future, and not the past."
Not including the youth would be a travesty for the young in the Western Cape who were dealing with the realities of gangs, for example.
Their demands are:
- In the Dullah Omar region, which covers the City of Cape Town, two seats be reserved for ANCYL members in the top 25% of proportional representation seats, and five seats in the top 50% of the lists;
- In George, Drakenstein and Bredavallei there must be one in the top 25% and three in the top 50%;
- In municipalities where there are more than 10 proportional representation seats, they want one seat in the top 25% and two seats in the top 50%.
- In smaller municipalities such as in the Karoo where there are less than 10 proportional representation seats they want one seat in the top five.
Secretary Andile Mbali said the league was taken seriously in other provinces, where, for example, its president Collen Maine was groomed and became an MEC in Gauteng.
The lists are compiled in regions where candidates are nominated from branches are still being considered by the provincial executive councils. They are the only ones who can make the changes and the final lists are then given to the ANC's national office.