ANC 'deepening community participation' ahead of local government elections

2015-10-07 07:58
ANC head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane. (Netwerk24)

ANC head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The ANC is trying to deepen community participation in candidate selection processes ahead of next year's local government elections.

This is part of the party's new guidelines for the selection process.

"Amongst other things which informed this process were the grievances which came out from communities but also within the African National Congress in terms of ensuring accountability and community participation in identifying who is finally going to be their leader," the party's head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane told News24.

"A candidate of the ANC then becomes a candidate which represents that community so what the ANC is trying to do is to deepen public participation and strengthen accountability prior to and post the election of the candidate to [the position of] a ward councillor."

Fight for metros

Next year's local government elections will see a fight for the country's metros, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town.

Opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters are looking to unseat the ANC in these major areas.

Later this week the ANC goes to its National General Council, which is a mid-term review. In its discussion document on the balance of forces the party admits that it has lost support - especially in the metros.

The most dramatic shifts have been in the country's major cities, with the ANC's support dropping by an aggregate of 10.3 percentage points.

According to the ANC's new process, once a ward councillor is nominated by a branch, the person will be screened and then short-listed by the screening committee.

The short-listed candidates would then have to attend community meetings to answer questions.

From there the selection committee will make a decision which will then be ratified by the provincial executive committee (PEC).

According to the ANC, consideration had to be given to party members who were popular in communities and recognised as local leaders even if they did not hold any elected positions in the organisation.


Mokonyane said the party would ensure that community issues were heard and dealt with.

No one would be guaranteed a position as a ward councillor until all processes, outlined in the guidelines, had been satisfied.

"We are quite observant of the fact that you may have other people who may mobilise people to community meetings and hence we will have to observe those community meetings and ensure they are not ... mobilised to undermine what will be good for the community.

"It will be in the best interest of communities to take [a] keen interest in that public process because we [are] quite certain that the ANC will win many of our wards but what we need is to strengthen the partnership and accountability of our candidates."

One of the new requirements for local government elections was to make sure that 60% of the party's candidates had previous experience in the sphere of government.

Mokonyane said this was all about the retention of skills and investing in people.

She said there had been many councillors who had obtained professional experience and expertise in local government and public administration.

Asked whether these new election guidelines would be used in future national elections, Mokonyane said they had to be.

There needed to be a balance between continuity and change.

The ANC expected local government to have the capacity to deal with issues in the National Development Plan and implement them.

"We [are] not a minimalistic organisation. What we [are] trying to do, is deal with issues of sustainability, continuity and change."

Read more on:    anc  |  nomvula mokonyane  |  politics  |  local government elections

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