ANC’s jobs for axed comrades plan
Sizwe sama Yende, City Press
Mbombela - The ANC in Mpumalanga has defied President Jacob Zuma’s anti-cadre deployment moratorium.
The party in the province recommended that all available government jobs be reserved for ANC members who did not make it onto candidate lists for council positions.
The drastic decision comes after the party endured a bruising candidate nomination process countrywide, which was marred by violent protests.
News of the decision came in a week when Zuma again slammed cadre deployment in his Freedom Day speech on Wednesday.
The very next day, he announced that the party would take the unprecedented step of removing elected officials found to have been irregularly placed on lists - in a desperate bid to quell rising dissidence within the provinces.
In Mpumalanga, only 973 names made it onto the final list that was registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), leaving 2 919 candidates out in the cold.The resultant unhappiness prompted a special provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting on March 31 to recommend reserving jobs for its candidates.
Minutes of the PEC meeting state: “The officials thoroughly discussed this matter and resolved to recommend that as the caring organisation, the ANC should try to deploy all the cadres of the organisation who could not make it on the list.”
The item, as presented by provincial secretary Lucky Ndinisa, further states that "all MECs should, as a matter of urgency, inform the provincial secretary about funded vacant post (sic) for the purpose of possible deployment".
The appointment of party loyalists who do not have the qualifications and skills to key council positions has been identified as one of the main causes of poor service delivery, which in turn has sparked community protests in many parts of the country.
Mpumalanga government departments could not provide any details on the current number of vacancies.
But the provincial ANC spokesperson, Paul Mbenyane, said he was unaware of the resolution: "The problem is that the media has information more than us in the ANC. These people (PEC members) are traitors for giving out ANC information.
"Nobody was made to resign and we don’t owe anybody for not making it on the list. But, I really don’t know about that decision.
“Remember that 973 people made it on the list and three times that number did not make it. This is a huge number and where will we employ all those people?” he said.
Four individuals were shortlisted from each ward to undergo a selection process that included communities, but only one made it to the final list for positions in Mpumalanga’s 21 municipalities. That means 2 919 of the shortlisted individuals did not make it.
The ANC’s national spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu, declined to comment and referred questions back to the province.
"Are you a PEC member?" Mthembu asked when approached for comment.
"So, how did you get such information? I'm not sure if such a decision exists and you should have asked the province where you say the decision was made.
"How can I make an informed comment on a matter I’m not aware of?" he said.
The DA leader in Mpumalanga, Anthony Benadie, described the decision as "the worst form of corruption".