6 provinces, no mayoral candidates

2011-04-16 18:09

The ANC has not selected their mayoral hopefuls in six provinces because they have not been able to make a clear decision about the candidates.

This turmoil, rather than the ANC’s stated objective of protecting its brand, is behind the veil of secrecy drawn over the mayoral lists.

The provinces that have not yet decided are Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

The ANC leadership this week decided that the provinces should not announce the names of mayors until after the municipal elections on May 18, saying the party brand was more important than the faces of individuals.

Only the party’s candidate mayor for the Cape Town metro, Tony Ehrenreich, has been revealed.
No other candidates in the Western Cape have been announced.

Only Gauteng and Limpopo were ready to unveil their mayors. The rest were still grappling with the selection process.

Mayoral positions are coveted because their incumbents control big budgets and have the power to dispense patronage.

The disputes over the alleged manipulation of candidate lists have created tensions in many municipalities.

On Friday last week, the Gauteng ANC leadership decided on Parks Tau for Johannesburg, Sputla Ramokgopa for Tshwane and Mondli Gungubele for Ekurhuleni.

Said a source who attended the meeting: “The main reason given is that we must project the ANC brand. I think the reality is that not all the provinces are ready.”

Another provincial leader, who did not attend the meeting, but is privy to its discussions, said internal differences over preferred mayoral candidates in the other provinces was the main reason behind the chaos and lack of readiness to announce the names.

He said: “It is a question of preferences because issues of names are always emotional. You must give yourself time to convince each other and obviously they had problems (in other provinces).”
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party had assessed the “pros and cons” of announcing names before or after the elections, and felt announcements now could “lead to new contestations”.

KZN provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala confirmed that his province would only take a final decision on its mayors after the elections.

There are likely to be some serious surprises when the names are announced, according to a KZN ANC insider.

In eThekwini the ANC regional leadership’s choice is current speaker James Nxumalo, but there is a strong likelihood that either ANC provincial spokesperson Makhosi Khoza or provincial planning commission head Cyril Xaba may be the eventual choice.

Both are seen by the ANC leadership as being stronger than Nxumalo but are lower down on the party’s candidate list.

Eastern Cape
A source in the Eastern Cape Buffalo City region said the party had deliberately held back the “deeper problems” associated with the list process.

“If a candidate you announce has dented credibility, that will hurt the organisation,” he said.

Free State
A source in Free State’s Mangaung region said announcing mayoral candidates now might hurt the party’s election campaign.

“Morale is a bit down, so you wouldn’t want to announce (names).

Some might not campaign (if names are announced),” said a Free State source.

On Tuesday, ANC national elections manager Jessie Duarte sent out a memo to some of the party’s probelmatic regions informing them that members of the ANC’s national electoral team?– including Bathabile Dlamini, Ayanda Dlodlo, Nomvula Mokonyane and Andries Nel?– would visit them to get a “detailed report on the election campaign”.

They are to visit the regions tomorrow and on Tuesday, including Gauteng’s Tshwane and Sedibeng regions, Eastern Cape’s Amathole and Alfred Nzo regions, and North West’s Ngaka Modiri Molema and Bojanala regions.

Free State ANC secretary Sibongile Besani and ANC secretary in Mpumalanga, Lucky Ndinisa, agreed with the head office view that mayors should be named after the elections.

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