ANC TO CHANGE LIST POLICY
ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte says the party will review its councillor candidates selection process. This follows the chaos that marked preparations for the August 3 municipal elections, which reached a climax this week in Tshwane. Duarte told City Press that hard lessons had been learnt ahead of the elections, which had led the ANC to do some introspection.
Major problems encountered this year included “popular” candidates who did not embrace ANC values, and losers in the process who were not prepared to accept defeat.
“The common sentiment right now is that our entire system of selection should be reviewed. The big but is that the ANC will never undermine its internal democracy because we are trying to teach ourselves how to respect the complexities of democracy,” Duarte said.
One of the issues that the party has had to contend with in its nomination process was the reality that its members chose people who were popular, but did not necessarily possess the values contained in the ANC guidelines.
“What we are trying to teach people is the values. And it’s slow; it’s not as fast as we would like it to be, and we are going to make many mistakes going forward, but our determination is that even if we review them, we won’t undermine democratic processes.”
Another lesson learnt by the ANC was that leaders did not accept defeat when the majority view went against them, as they cited their popularity.
Work was currently under way to prepare a paper for presentation at the national executive committee meeting in September, which deals with the performance assessment of ANC deployees at local and parliamentary level, which Duarte said was meant to improve how the ANC worked.
“We are now saying the voice of the community is important, but we are also very aware that this new thing of lobbying has crept in.”
This lobbying meant that even “the worst person would become mayor”.
A national executive committee member said the problem was not the process, but how it was being managed. “There are rules and it is important that people abide by them,” he said.
He said established democracies like Singapore did not chop and change the type of leaders they had in government every five years.
“With every new mayor, they come with their own municipal manager. What you then have is confusion and instability,” he said.
He said the DA process was not as democratic, but it was “less painful”. But in an earlier interview, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the ANC could not be like the DA and secretly decide behind closed doors who becomes a councillor.
Another national executive committee member said the rules were also not communicated properly, which resulted in perceptions that ordinary members would choose their mayoral candidates.
“There is nothing in the ANC’s processes that says branch members will choose mayoral candidates,” he said.
Was the ANC worried about losing the metro in light of divisions in Tshwane?
“We are not arrogant. We are talking to people who vote. We are not disregarding the poll and we are not relying on them.”
The ANC leadership has asked the Gauteng provincial executive committee to seek the help of local veterans in resolving the problems in Tshwane.
“Good people have been brought in. They have gone back to people [who were] in leadership in the 90s to work with the regional leadership.”
These include, among others, Peter Maluleka, Mpho Lekgoro, Bheki Nkosi, Tiego Moseneke and Ronnie Mamoepa.