‘ANC jobs for votes racket’

Party branch lead­ers ‘of­fered jobs for votes’

The Witness - - FRONT - • sabelo.nsele@wit­ness.co.za SABELO NSELE

THE ANC’s De­cem­ber con­fer­ence lob­by­ing in the re­gion took a new twist yes­ter­day when Msun­duzi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity was ac­cused of of­fer­ing jobs to pro-Nkosazana Dlamini­Zuma branch mem­bers to in­flu­ence the nom­i­na­tion process.

Branch nom­i­na­tions for the pre­ferred can­di­dates to be elected in the highly an­tic­i­pated con­fer­ence are set to be­gin soon.

ANC sources said the City has given jobs to over 80 ANC branch lead­ers in at­tempts to con­sol­i­date Dlamini­Zuma sup­port in the re­gion, which ap­pears to be run­ning out of steam with ru­ mours of high­rank­ing politi­cians jump­ing ship to join ei­ther the Cyril Ramaphosa or Zweli Mkhize cam­paigns.

The branch mem­bers, who in­clude ANC branch secretaries and ac­tivists, have been em­ployed as me­ter read­ers on a one­year con­tract.

An insider said each ANC coun­cil­lor was al­lowed to come for­ward with four branch mem­bers that were to be em­ployed.

“They are try­ing to keep con­trol of the branches by any means. This will cre­ate prob­lems after the con­fer­ence be­cause these peo­ple will de­mand per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment after the end of their con­tract.

“They are giv­ing false hope to these peo­ple and this city will burn if they do not get per­ma­nent jobs at the end of their con­tracts.

“This is not the first time this has hap­pened in this mu­nic­i­pal­ity. When they were hir­ing EPWP [Ex­tended Public Works Pro­gramme] work­ers, they only hired peo­ple who were in their camp.

“They did not fol­low the reg­u­la­tions of the grant. This cre­ates prob­lems at the end of the day be­cause de­serv­ing peo­ple are over­looked to ac­com­mo­date branch lead­ers.”

An­other source said he ex­pected the trend to con­tinue un­til the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence.

“They will just throw jobs to in­crease the sup­port base. The re­gional lead­er­ship is los­ing con­trol of branches so of­fer­ing jobs is an­other way of keep­ing those who are vo­cal quiet. Some ac­tivists will also abuse this op­por­tu­nity for their per­sonal gain.

“It is called the silly sea­son for a rea­son. Peo­ple will be de­mand­ing jobs and ten­ders, promis­ing to bring num­bers of sup­port­ers from the branches.”

A known Ramaphosa sup­porter, who asked not to be named, said the prac­tice was equiv­a­lent to buy­ing votes.

“Ob­vi­ously some of these branch mem­bers are un­em­ployed so they will do what­ever they can to earn a liv­ing. They will sell their votes to the high­est bid­der. Those in con­trol of the re­sources at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will try to ad­vance their agen­das us­ing tax­pay­ers’ money.

“At the end of the day this de­feats the whole pur­pose of say­ing the branches must choose the ANC leader. In re­al­ity the branches do not choose the leader, it is those who are in con­trol of the re­sources,” he said.

At­tempts to get com­ment from mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Thobeka Ma­fum­batha were un­suc­cess­ful.

She did not re­spond to queries and did not an­swer her phone.

ANC re­gional sec­re­tary Mzi Zuma also did not an­swer his phone.

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