ANC gets in gear for 2016 elec­tion

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

The ANC plans to use its Jan­uary 8 birth­day rally in Rusten­burg to get a head start in the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, but it could also face em­bar­rass­ment, as lo­cal party dis­si­dents in­tend to stage a protest march in the area days be­fore the big gath­er­ing. The face of the ANC’s 2016 elec­tion cam­paign, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, ended 2015 on a low note for the party af­ter cit­i­zens staged marches coun­try­wide call­ing for his res­ig­na­tion.

Party lead­ers say they are not shaken by the pub­lic out­rage against Zuma. Spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa says that de­spite the protest marches, the ANC will win the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions by “an over­whelm­ing vic­tory”.

Dis­si­dent ANC mem­bers in North West told City Press this week they would stage a protest march against Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s ANC provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive on Tues­day, when the ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee ar­rives in the area.

Rusten­burg mayor Mpho Khu­nou said the ANC was aware of the plan. “We an­tic­i­pate an­ar­chy by peo­ple try­ing to dent the im­age of the prov­ince,” he said.

There are also wide­spread fears that the ma­jor­ity of the ANC’s re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee in Bo­janala, which in­cludes Rusten­burg, will re­sign be­fore the elec­tions next year to en­sure the re­gion is placed un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive – which is at odds with the re­gional sec­re­tary and head of elec­tions Tokyo Mataboge.

On De­cem­ber 11, a group of ANC coun­cil­lors, to­gether with the op­po­si­tion, boy­cotted a coun­cil meet­ing that had been called to dis­cuss the sus­pen­sion of mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Bheki Khenisa.

Those sym­pa­thetic to Khenisa say he was be­ing tar­geted be­cause he re­fused to give ten­ders to busi­ness­peo­ple linked with se­nior ANC provin­cial lead­ers.

North West ANC sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete said the provin­cial of­fi­cials were dis­ap­pointed with the con­duct of coun­cil­lors who walked out of the meet­ing. “Walk­ing out of a meet­ing is ill-dis­ci­plined,” said Le­goete. Khu­nou de­clared that, “notwith­stand­ing the chal­lenges in ad­min­is­tra­tion, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is stable”.

The re­moval of Khenisa was also seen as part of a wide­spread purge of peo­ple who did not agree with the ANC provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee un­der Mahumapelo.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the provin­cial leg­is­la­ture, in­clud­ing for­mer provin­cial sec­re­tary Gor­don Ke­gak­ilwe – as well as MPLs Hlo­mane Chauke, Nono Maloyi and Jeanette Di­betso-Ny­athi – have re­signed or have been re­quested to do so by the provin­cial ANC.

The move is viewed by many as Mahumapelo con­sol­i­dat­ing his power base, but Le­goete de­nied this, say­ing those af­fected were be­ing re­de­ployed – and al­most all of them to higher-pay­ing posts.

An­other mat­ter giv­ing the ANC and the al­liance sleep­less nights is the pos­si­bil­ity of re­newed stu­dent protests over tu­ition fees in 2016.

But the ANC does not be­lieve the #FeesMustFall protests were against the party and its lead­ers.

Labour fed­er­a­tion Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Bheki Nt­shal­intshali said the fund­ing of ed­u­ca­tion was among the big is­sues to be tabled for 2016: “The ANC will have to find a faster way in terms of im­ple­ment­ing free and com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion be­yond Grade 12.”

He said the party needed to im­ple­ment its poli­cies. “The is­sue is that we do not see vig­or­ous im­ple­men­ta­tion [by the ANC] of its own poli­cies. They speak of anti-cor­rup­tion and ser­vice de­liv­ery, but some­times it takes the peo­ple to be on the streets [in or­der] to be lis­tened to on some­thing that the ANC may have long agreed on.”

He went on to say that “2016 must be about the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rad­i­cal sec­ond trans­for­ma­tion”.

“The ANC has to be seen to be im­ple­ment­ing it. It is only when they do so that peo­ple will have more con­fi­dence in the party.”

Nt­shal­intshali added that Cosatu ex­pected Zuma to speak about the in­tro­duc­tion of a na­tional min­i­mum wage at the Jan­uary 8 gath­er­ing.

“We are hop­ing for a strong state­ment call­ing for the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of ne­go­ti­a­tions [so that the mat­ter will be con­cluded] by the time of the state of the na­tion ad­dress,” he said.

SA Com­mu­nist Party spokesper­son Alex Mashilo said the ANC needed to ad­dress the man­ner in which peo­ple in lo­cal gov­ern­ment were em­ployed. “Those who win con­fer­ences re­ward those who sup­ported them in terms of po­si­tions and ten­ders. Peo­ple who lose con­fer­ences are ex­cluded when op­por­tu­ni­ties come,” said Mashilo.

This week’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing to fi­nalise the Jan­uary 8 state­ment should also make it clearer whether any­one in the ANC has the ap­petite to take Zuma to task.

The is­sue is that we do not see vig­or­ous im­ple­men­ta­tion [by the ANC] of its own poli­cies. They speak of anti-cor­rup­tion and ser­vice de­liv­ery, but some­times it takes the peo­ple to be on the streets [in or­der] to be lis­tened to on some­thing that the ANC may have long agreed on

PHOTO: TE­BOGO LETSIE

HE’S WATCH­ING YOU A he­li­copter car­ry­ing an ANC flag with the face of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma flies past Dur­ban’s beaches bear­ing New Year’s greet­ings and an ex­hor­ta­tion for cit­i­zens to reg­is­ter to vote in the pend­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.