CityPress - - News - SETUMO STONE setumo.stone@city­press.co.za

wor­ry­ing pat­tern of elec­toral losses in al­most all the coun­try’s ma­jor cities dur­ing the elec­tions last year will be the cen­tre of the dis­cus­sion at the ANC’s midterm con­fer­ence in Oc­to­ber.

ANC head of pol­icy Jeff Radebe says the party aims to re­verse its loss of votes in ma­jor cities in the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions by look­ing closely at the type of lead­ers it has de­ployed and whether they have the con­fi­dence of the com­mu­ni­ties in which they live.

Speak­ing to City Press ahead of the ANC’s up­com­ing na­tional gen­eral coun­cil (NGC) in Oc­to­ber, Radebe said “the qual­ity of ser­vice de­liv­ery af­fected the at­ti­tude of vot­ers”.

The ANC was hard-pressed to come up with def­i­nite pro­pos­als on lo­cal gov­ern­ment in light of next year’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

A dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment in prepa­ra­tion for the NGC noted that, ex­cept in Buf­falo City in Eastern Cape, the ANC’s sup­port had de­clined in met­ros by an ag­gre­gate of 10.3 per­cent­age points, with the EFF gain­ing 11.4% and the DA in­creas­ing its sup­port by 6.5 per­cent­age points.

The doc­u­ment, ti­tled “Bal­ance of Forces”, also noted that the EFF had se­cured its largest sup­port in in­for­mal set­tle­ments, though it had also per­formed well in some black for­mal set­tle­ments.

The doc­u­ment on leg­is­la­ture and gov­er­nance con­cluded that the over­all plan for the ANC would be to “con­sol­i­date the [its] elec­toral base, re­cover the lost elec­torate and ad­vance into new elec­toral sup­port”.

Radebe said there was there was “a gen­eral emerg­ing view that more fo­cus should be put at lo­cal gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing de­ploy­ing se­nior cadres at that level”.

He cited as an ex­am­ple the ap­point­ment of SA Football As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan as mayor of the Nel­son Man­dela Bay metro in Eastern Cape.

“We can make a prog­no­sis that the ANC is mov­ing grad­u­ally to­wards a sit­u­a­tion where we are go­ing to be see­ing many se­nior lead­ers at lo­cal gov­ern­ment level,” said Radebe.

The depart­ment of public ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion was dis­cussing ways to man­age “the cir­cu­la­tion of public ser­vants within gov­ern­ment ter­ri­tory” with a view to find a for­mula that could al­low peo­ple to move around the sys­tem with­out be­ing af­fected by salary dis­crep­an­cies.

ANC head of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions sub-com­mit­tee Lindiwe Zulu said there had been a trend in the past 20 years of the ANC gov­ern­ment in which peo­ple used their po­si­tion in the party to push their way into mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion posts.

Be­ing a party leader did not mean au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion for a se­nior man­ager post in a gov­ern­ment, said Zulu.

“You can­not be ap­pointed a di­rec­tor-gen­eral be­cause you make a noise. You need the rel­e­vant qual­i­fi­ca­tions,” she said.

Other key pol­icy de­bates at the NGC would look at push­ing for­ward with the cre­ation of a sin­gle po­lice ser­vice. Also on the cards is a for­mula to in­crease the bud­get of sports and recre­ation by look­ing at new means of rev­enue – in­clud­ing a 5% levy on all sports tick­ets sold – and the fu­ture of al­co­hol advertising in sports.

The NGC is a mid-term con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence that looks into weak­nesses in the party’s poli­cies and pro­grammes be­tween na­tional con­fer­ences – the last one be­ing the Man­gaung con­fer­ence in 2012.

Pro­pos­als em­a­nat­ing from the NGC would be rat­i­fied only by the next na­tional con­fer­ence in 2017.

On the SABC, Zulu said the public broad­caster should serve the in­ter­est of the peo­ple and not con­duct it­self as a purely com­mer­cial en­tity.

“The SABC can­not be like any other com­mer­cial en­tity that just wants money from ad­verts, and that is why the state puts so much money into it,” she said.

Zulu said the SABC’s cov­er­age of gov­ern­ment also needed to im­prove.

And she said is­sues with the fund­ing model of the broad­caster may also have to be looked into. How­ever, she said, “at the same time, the ANC can­not mi­cro man­age the SABC”, de­spite the sense that party de­ci­sions re­lat­ing to the broad­caster were not be­ing im­ple­mented.

Radebe said the re­port of the Pres­i­den­tial Re­view Com­mit­tee on State-Owned En­ter­prises (SOEs), ap­pointed in 2010 to look at, among other things, stan­dar­d­is­ing the ap­point­ment of board mem­bers to SOEs, was with the depart­ment of public en­ter­prises. It was look­ing at find­ing com­mon norms and stan­dards.



Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe

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