Zuma’s cadre bill will open a can of worms

2010-09-19 14:46

President Jacob Zuma will have to convince ANC members at the five-day national ­general council (NGC) in Durban to back his plan to ban politicians from getting ­municipal management jobs.

ANC branches in most provinces have ­rejected the controversial cadre bill, known as the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, saying that it undermines the powers of the ­party’s constitutional structures.

The Eastern Cape has questioned why the restriction should apply only to the local government sphere, while the ANC in the Free State has resolved to oppose the bill.

Zuma first made the proposal when he ­delivered the ANC national executive ­committee’s annual statement in Kimberley on January 8.

An Eastern Cape provincial leader said: “We rejected the bill, but we believe we can improve on regulations.

You don’t create systems around individuals. If you are ­concerned about cadres’ conduct, you should improve regulations.”

At least three ANC national executive committee (NEC) members said the move could have disastrous consequences for the ruling party as it would affect a lot of people, many of whom were councillors who would be attending the Durban indaba.

Local government elections are scheduled to take place in May next year.

The NEC members said the cadre bill was likely to cause problems in light of next year’s local government elections.

“That is going to be your major issue at the NGC. It has got implications for the ANC because immediately after the NGC, we start the list process to identify councillors for the organisation,” the NEC members said.

Zuma will also have to convince party members who are keen to open up the ­succession debate to defer it.

ANC sources close to Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal claimed that the president had used the party’s Imvuselelo campaign over the past two months to convince party leaders across the country that the succession ­debate could take place only after next year’s local government elections.

The ANC Youth League’s bid to quash the ANC sentence against Julius Malema could be another poser for Zuma and the ANC leadership at the keenly anticipated indaba.

The ANC national disciplinary committee fined Malema R10 000 and ordered him to undergo anger management and political education classes for comparing Zuma to former president Thabo Mbeki.

At least one province, Limpopo, has backed the youth league’s bid.

An ANC NEC member said the league’s move could depend on how the matter was brought onto the agenda at the NGC.

“If they do a straightforward call, they must explain why it must be put on the ­agenda of the NGC, but if it is brought on as an issue of autonomy, it is debatable,” the member said.

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