- The ANC has all but concluded its candidate list for the local government elections.
- The ruling party says 25% of its candidates are young people.
- Three of the candidates are 20-year-olds vying for positions in the Kouga and Buffalo City municipalities in the Eastern Cape, and the Johannesburg Metro.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte says 25% of the party's candidates for the local government elections are young people, many of whom are postgraduates expected to bring a new "lease of life into local government".
On Wednesday, Duarte briefed the media on the party's preparations for the 1 November elections and its controversial list process.
Given all the challenges, Duarte said 46% of ANC's ward and proportional representation (PR) candidates were women.
"Although women candidates are mainly found on our PR lists, the ANC is proud of the women who gained the confidence of their communities to be selected as ward candidates. Nonetheless, a lot of work lies ahead of us for the spectre of patriarchy to be eradicated in our society.
Regarding youth representation, Duarte said the ANC's youngest candidates, all of 20 years old, were vying for positions in the Buffalo City and Kouga municipalities in the Eastern Cape and the City of Johannesburg.
"When we look at the median age of our candidates, we find that 25% of our candidates are young people. This demonstrates our confidence in the future and the capacity of young people. We made sure that communities were able to participate in electing their candidates that they could work with and that they knew. This was a new process and it was quite tumultuous, but local candidates were the best," she said.
Duarte also said there were many lessons learnt from this process.
"There were a few people who were determined to subvert and undermine the ANC's guidelines. The NEC and the [party's] elections committee took a dim view of the alleged attempts by some within our ranks to manipulate the process, and in this regard, the ANC will implement the recommendations of the electoral committee to ensure that these un-ANC tendencies do not occur," she said.
The ANC elections committee worked independently from the main party structure.
On the matter of mayoral candidates, Duarte said provincial executive committees would discuss the names of three possible candidates for metro municipalities.
"It is quite stringent. The candidates would have had to have experience in government somewhere. It does not mean that you should have been a councillor all your life, but you could have been a minister, and now you stand as a ward councillor. We don't have any of that, I must tell you," said Duarte.
"We prefer people who have a solid understanding of financial management. We would prefer people who have a deep-rooted understanding of the ANC itself. A long-standing member would be a preferred candidate. We also want someone who understands the city they are going to represent.
"It can't be someone who lived all their life in eThekwini and would like to be the mayor of Johannesburg. That is not going to work. We need someone rooted, who has been in the city, who understands it and knows the rhythm of the city," she said.
In local municipalities, generally outside metro city councils, the party's regional structure would be allowed to give input, but not conduct interviews.
Duarte also said it was too early speculate about a replacement for Johannesburg Mayor Jodilee Matongo who died in a car crash at the weekend.
"There are processes; we will wait a bit," she said, adding that culturally she felt uncomfortable speaking about Matongo's replacement, given that he died a few days ago.
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