'Gravely concerned': ANC NEC wants evaluation and monitoring of municipalities tightened

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ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)
Felix Dlangamandla
  • The ANC NEC has resolved to strengthen its monitoring and evaluating capacity across the different spheres of government.
  • It made this decision during a special NEC on local government on Monday.
  • The party has expressed "grave concern"over the state of municipalities in the country.

Politicians meddling in administrative affairs are one of the many issues the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) has been concerned about when it comes to the running of the country’s municipalities.

This as it urges its own members deployed to local government to respect the distinction between political and administrative responsibilities, while ensuring they hired qualified officials.

The NEC on Monday during a special sitting focusing on local government, promised to strengthen its monitoring and evaluating capacity across all three spheres of governance.

According to a post-NEC statement released on Wednesday, this was a bid to ensure discipline, accountability and political management of ANC deployees.

The country's municipalities have come into sharp focus, amid reports of corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 resources.

READ | Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu flagged poor government control as the gateway to Covid-19 graft.

Just this week, Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo, while speaking in the National Council of Provinces, called for action in dealing with political interference in the running of municipalities, which included having a say in the awarding of tenders and contracts.

The statement by the party's national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said the NEC had received a report from Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma which reflected on Makwetu's latest findings.

The report, which was "noted" with "grave concern", reflected on the state of governance, service delivery, financial management and administration in some municipalities. It also raised the alarm on the grim finances of others.

"The report also raised concerns regarding the financial viability of a number of municipalities and pointed out their inability to raise sufficient revenue to support their activities has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic," said Mabe.

He added this also translated to being unable to settle debts with Eskom and the different water boards.

The NEC, while commending the progress made towards the development of the district development model, which would allow for a collaborative approach to planning and implementation of projects, it called on the government to also activate a rapid response capacity linked to the model.

The NEC, which also received a report on the upcoming local government elections, urged its structures to prepare for the 2021 municipal elections and to help prepare communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic and its harsh consequences. 

New rules 

This included a set of rules for the selection of candidates for the polls.

"The rules are designed to strengthen local government by identifying the best councillors, improving the oversight capacity of councillors, building strong and clean local government and promoting more representative and inclusive municipalities," said Mabe.

Some of the rules adopted call for capable candidates who have experience and various forms of expertise in areas such as finance, procurement, community and economic development, service delivery and infrastructure.

Candidates are also expected to be popular in their wards and armed with a respected and proven track record. They will also be expected to complete a series of modules from the ANC's OR Tambo School of Leadership.

All candidates will be screened regarding criminal and disciplinary matters.

The ANC's subcommittee on legislature and governance also delivered a report in response to a recent Constitutional Court judgment ordering Parliament to make provision for independent candidates to contest in the national polls.

"The NEC discussed these matters in the context of proposals for broader electoral reform, including the synchronisation of national, provincial and local elections and for introducing constituency-based representation at national and provincial spheres," said Mabe.

He added the NEC had reaffirmed the party's support for the constitutional requirement that any electoral system must result, in general, in proportional representation in order to promote inclusivity and representativity.

"The NEC emphasised that any discussion on electoral reform must aim to strengthen the accountability and responsiveness of democratic institutions and public representatives and the building of a more effective and capable developmental state," Mabe said.

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