ANC to audit municipalities

2009-07-20 20:11

Johannesburg - The ANC's top decision-making body has decided to audit elected local councillors and municipalities in the aftermath of a wave of service delivery protests that hit the country, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

"An ANC audit, of elected local councillors would ensue immediately as well as an audit of the record of service delivery of all municipalities would be conducted by the branches of the ANC," Mantashe said.

He was addressing a press briefing following a two-day meeting of the party's top brass held over the weekend.

Service delivery protests

This followed service delivery protests in provinces such as Mpumalanga and Gauteng, with some turning violent.

The ANC condemned the violence and said it examined the nature of the protest and found that while in some cases they were genuine service delivery protests, others were as a result of discontent with leadership and corruption.

"The ANC is nevertheless determined to deal with each matter where the councillor is from the ANC," Mantashe said.

He said that the audit was necessary as there was not enough experience in local government. He highlighted that 67% of the local councillors were in their positions for the first time while 28% were second term councillors, adding only 5% were in their third term or more.

Mantashe said the party would pay attention to skills.

"The starting that competency and affirmative action are not mutually exclusive," he said.

Appointments based on skill

The secretary general added that black people should be appointed according to their skills and should have a basic knowledge of what they are appointed to do.

Mantashe also spoke about the nationalisation of the mines which sparked controversy when it was raised by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. He reiterated the ANC's position that the debate on the nationalisation of the mines should be opened.

He however, cautioned against what he termed the "nationalisation of debt".

This meant discussion on nationalisation within the context of the global financial crisis where companies may be seeking a government bailout.

He added that no mining company had however asked for a bailout.