The African National Congress (ANC) wants voters to have a say in the selection of its candidates for the 2021 local government elections.
This is according to a statement issued by Secretary-General Ace Magashule on Wednesday following a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Monday.
Magashule said the NEC “welcomed” proposed rules for selecting candidates presented at the meeting. He said these rules are aimed at identifying the best councillors,” improving oversight and building a “strong and clean local government.”
He added, “ANC structures will identify ANC ward candidates who are popular and respected, who have a track record of service and are trusted to represent residents in a ward. The rules provide for voters to have a greater say in the selection of ANC candidates through open community meetings.
“The rules provide that candidates must be capable, experienced and collectively must possess various forms of expertise in areas such as finance, procurement, community and economic development, service delivery, and infrastructure.”
Prospective candidates will have to undergo thorough screening on criminal and disciplinary matters. They will also have to complete training modules at the OR Tambo School of Leadership.
These modules will focus on the “ANC’s history, values and ethics, governance, the rule of law and the Constitution, economic and sustainable development, women’s emancipation and the fundamental transformation of gender relations,” Magashule added.
The ANC has been criticised over the years for fielding questionable candidates for previous local government elections. Analysts have cited this as one of the causes of various challenges bedevilling municipalities, including corruption and poor service delivery.
Magashule said the ANC will also establish an internal electoral commission to make rules for internal party contestation and candidate selection.
The NEC urged its structures and alliance partners, who include labour federation COSATU and SA Communist Party, to start preparing for the 2021 local government elections.
“Next year’s elections will be the sixth democratic local government elections and will be held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NEC called on all parties and all citizens to cooperate in supporting the Independent Electoral Commission to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“The NEC called on all ANC structures to be prepared to campaign for those by-elections that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Magashule said in the latest ANC news.