President Cyril Ramaphosa has laid the foundation for the party’s 2021 local government campaign, saying that public representatives must serve the people with distinction.
In the January 8th statement, delivered in Kimberley on Saturday, Ramaphosa focused strongly on the ANC’s plan for local government.
In its plight to strengthen local government, Ramaphosa said the party would establish an electoral commission for selection of candidates.
He zeroed in on issues and challenges that currently face local government which included corruption, poor financial management, weak billing systems and non-payment for services.
He said these were undermining local government capacity.
The ANC took a huge beating at the 2016 local election, losing three of its key metros - Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannensburg - to the DA-led coalition.
The party, however, took back Johannesburg last year with the resignation of DA mayor Herman Mashaba following the dissolving of the DA’s informal partnership with the EFF.
Its losses were largely attributed to voter disillusionment as municipalities continued on a downward trajectory with its leaders implicated with allegations of corruption.
'Ethics, morality and service to the people'
To curb corruption and mismanagement by its members at local government, Ramaphosa said the party would become more vigilant in screening its candidates and ensuring those "comrades meet the highest standards of ethics, morality and service to the people".
"Once elected the movement must ensure that ANC public representatives serve the people with distinction. Where this does not happen there must be consequences and there will be consequences," he said.
He also called for the implementation of the district development model to integrate planning, coordination and budgeting across all three spheres of government to drive local development.
"This means that national, provincial and local government must develop one plan and one budget for each district. More importantly, citizens must be consulted about the development model and be integrally involved with community processes that will drive local development."
He added that local party representatives will give greater attention to their constituency work and report back regularly.
"A crucial area of focus is on the capabilities, commitment and integrity of councillors and local government officials. Already steps are being taken to disrupt networks of corruption in local government and we are determined that no public servants or elected officials should get away with stealing from the poor."
Ramaphosa added that the party will undertake a radical review of its approach to this sphere of governance, the selection of candidates and cadre deployment.