Soviet: I will sta­bilise the ANC and stem poor mu­nic­i­pal gov­er­nance

African Times - - Front Page - PIET RAMPEDI

NEWLY elected Lim­popo ANC sec­re­tary Soviet Lek­ganyane says good mu­nic­i­pal gov­er­nance, or­gan­i­sa­tional sta­bil­ity and deal­ing with the ma­nip­u­la­tion of party pro­cesses are among his list of pri­or­i­ties.

The for­mer Cogh­sta MEC has in­her­ited a party in its weak­est state in many years --af­ter it failed to or­gan­ise two re­gional con­fer­ences while the third one in Vhembe had to be re­con­vened late last year due to ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

In Mopani, the con­fer­ence was post­poned re­peat­edly due to al­leged gate-keep­ing, mem­ber­ship fraud and vote rig­ging. The Peter Mok­aba and Water­berg re­gions are cur­rently led by re­gional task teams af­ter the provincial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) failed to or­gan­ise cred­i­ble elec­tive con­fer­ences months af­ter the man­dates of the re­gional ex­ec­u­tives ex­pired.

In fact, the Water­berg REC re­mained in of­fice a year af­ter its three-year term of of­fice had lapsed. Un­der the pre­vi­ous PEC, the ANC lost three mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to an op­po­si­tion coali­tion af­ter the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions and had none of its mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties ob­tain­ing a clean au­dit this year.

Lek­ganyane says he is aware of the chal­lenges that lie ahead.

“To­day we are sit­ting with Water­berg where the term of the REC went be­yond four years when it was sup­posed to be three years. And even af­ter four years when we tried to con­vene the re­gional con­fer­ence it failed. So, those are some of the things that be­come very clear to both my­self and com­rade Basikop [Makamu] to make sure that you no longer have a sit­u­a­tion like that in the process,” Lek­ganyane said.

“If any re­gion of the ANC must be taken to a con­fer­ence, that con­fer­ence must take place within a rea­son­able time and prepa­ra­tions must be made on time - at least four or five months to­wards the ex­piry of a term.”

He says that time will al­low the ANC to deal with po­ten­tial dis­putes lodged by branches way be­fore the con­fer­ence.

Lek­ganyane says he won’t tol­er­ate gate-keep­ing in the or­gan­i­sa­tion – a phe­nom­e­non where some lead­ers pre­vent tar­geted mem­bers from par­tic­i­pat­ing in ANC ac­tiv­i­ties.

“One other prob­lem we have, which our com­rades at na­tional are also sized with, is prob­lem where a per­son goes to a branch of the ANC this Sun­day and he is al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate be­cause he is a mem­ber. Af­ter two months when he goes back, his mem­ber­ship form is no longer there and no­body ex­plains. They just tell you, you can’t par­tic­i­pate; we don’t have you here in our file. The prob­lem is mem­ber­ship fraud; gate-keep­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion where when you join the ANC peo­ple want to ask you ques­tions: where did you get this form? When they are sup­posed to ac­cept you. Mem­bers of the ANC must not be threat­ened by new mem­ber­ship be­cause they come there to strengthen them, make them vi­brant and ex­pose them to cer­tain per­spec­tives.”

Lek­ganyane says the party in the prov­ince will re­con­sti­tute its elec­tions struc­tures be­cause half of the mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous PEC have not been re-elected.

“It is al­ways good when your elec­tion cam­paign is led by elected lead­er­ship. Those com­rades who were there be­fore, we are not go­ing to dump them. They will play a role within those struc­tures were they were ap­pointed, but the elected lead­er­ship should lead the cam­paign.”

He says the ANC is rel­a­tively sta­ble and does not have in­ci­dences of chaos that are seen in other provinces.

Lek­ganyane points to the “calm, com­posed and smooth pro­cesses” that marred the prepa­ra­tions for the re­cent provincial con­fer­ence.

“But at the level of gov­er­nance of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, we are hav­ing se­ri­ous chal­lenges. You know, it’s an open se­cret [that] we lost Thabaz­imbi, Modi­molle and Mook­gophong. Polok­wane and Maru­leng are fron­tier mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and any­time they can go un­less we do things dif­fer­ently. We have to find a way in which a prac­tice of do­ing proper things is ha­bit­u­ated in the de­ploy­ees of the African Na­tional Congress. There are cer­tain things that when you hear about them in the me­dia [that] so, and so did these things, you get frus­trated. How has it been pos­si­ble that a de­ployee of the ANC can al­low such an un­de­sir­able act to hap­pen in his or her area of ju­ris­dic­tion? I think we just have to come out very strongly and con­front some of these ten­den­cies that give the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the ANC a bad name.”

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/ Vis­ual Buzz SA

Newly elected Lim­popo ANC provincial sec­re­tary Soviet Lek­ganyane.

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