ANC to set up internal electoral commission

2017-02-26 06:10
President Jacob Zuma, deputy Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile wave to ANC supporters as they enter the FNB stadium at the party's Gauteng manifesto launch. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

President Jacob Zuma, deputy Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile wave to ANC supporters as they enter the FNB stadium at the party's Gauteng manifesto launch. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

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The ANC is looking at setting up an internal electoral commission to ensure that the party transparently selects the best public officials.

This objective is outlined in the party’s “legislature and governance” policy discussion documents, coming ahead of its policy conference, which will take place in June.

The proposal to make the selection processes more transparent comes on the back of “list wars” that played out ahead of the local government polls last year.

The party was accused of manipulating the processes to put certain names ahead of others. Disgruntled candidates and their supporters then took their protest to Luthuli House, while others registered as independent candidates.

A series of alleged political killings also dogged the weeks that followed the announcement of successful candidates.

“The primary purpose of the commission will be to ensure the ANC-elected public representatives undergo a transparent selection and capacitation process to assume leadership and deployment,” the documents say.

“A policy paper must be developed, detailing the appointment and composition and the core mandate and task of the commission.

“The accountability of the commission must also be reflected in the policy paper. This task must be completed before the national conference of 2017.”

"No room for complacency" 

Gripes with the party’s selection processes are not the only headache of the governing party. The DA is now hot on its heels in Gauteng, where the party will aim to win the province – the economic powerhouse of the country.

The document alludes to the possibility of a fatal blow at the polls come 2019. National electoral support has dipped to just above 50% and municipalities that were long-standing ANC strongholds were lost to the opposition during the local government elections in August last year.

These include the major urban areas of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Mogale City.

“There is no room for complacency. If further erosion of urban support takes place, combined with continued declines in turnout, even by only a few percentage points, then the 2019 elections could pose a serious challenge for the ANC in terms of electoral support.

“The significance of Gauteng is that it generated more votes for the ANC than the Western Cape, Northern Cape and North West combined.”

In the race to regain lost ground ahead of 2019, electioneering is also flagged as being in need of serious improvement.

“The ANC must professionalise its capacity to fight and win elections and create a dedicated, full-time political and technical capacity that undertakes ongoing mass-media mobilisation, regular polling and techniques of modern multiparty electioneering, such as projection of key leadership personalities,” the policy discussion document says.

Meanwhile, the discussion document on strategy and tactics gives a frank assessment of factors weakening the party.

These include internal squabbles, corruption, poor performance and the loss of support from “progressive formations and individuals who historically have been part of the broad front of forces for change”.

Last year, veterans of the movement, including Reverend Frank Chikane, Frene Ginwala and Ahmed Kathrada, came out strongly against the current state of the ANC.

The veterans have been calling for a consultative conference ahead of the policy conference to iron out matters before the national conference takes place in December.

The policy conference is the battleground ahead of the elective conference.

Groupings that make gains there have the upper hand going into the December conference, where President Jacob Zuma’s successor will be given the nod.

Other policy proposals include:

Increasing black ownership and control in the economy

- Prioritise ownership in new emerging sectors of the economy, such as the development of gas as a large-scale energy source and opportunities linked to South Africa’s ocean economy.

- Enforce revised BEE codes.

- Pass legislation such as the Property Practitioners Bill to accelerate the participation of black people in the economy.

- Reduce investor uncertainty in the mining sector and correct weaknesses in the mining licensing process.

- Increase leverage to open the economy to new players by consolidating developmental finance institutions, such as merging the National Empowerment Fund and Industrial Development Corporation.

- Activate small businesses and cooperatives by targeting financial support, including tax breaks and improved market access.

Raising the level of investment

- Eliminate policy uncertainty and unwarranted regulatory hurdles.

- Conduct an audit of the policy and regulatory constraints to investment and set clear timeframes to address these; link these to ministers’ performance contracts.

- Bring the rising national debt under control.

- Maintain South Africa’s investment-grade credit rating.

- Achieve good governance of state-owned enterprises.

- Maintain international norms with regard to regulation of the financial sector and other sectors.

Read more on:    da  |  anc

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