ANC members wishing to be elected in the party’s 55th national conference in December this year will be allowed to campaign openly, hold public debates and raise funds for their campaigns.
This is according to new rules approved by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and issued by Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile this week.
Fundraising and use of money towards conferences became contentious issues following the CR17 campaign controversy. The campaign, which propelled Cyril Ramaphosa to the ANC’s presidency in 2017, raised hundreds of millions of rands, according to its leaked bank statements.
Some leaders, such as suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule, accused Ramaphosa of violating a party resolution that prohibited the use of money to influence conference outcomes. Ramaphosa denied this.
ANC rules for 55th national conference
The new rules however allow the fundraising and use of money for campaigning, albeit under strict conditions. They prohibit printing of T-shirts bearing the faces, slogans or names of candidates.
However, candidates will be allowed to campaign on social media and via media interviews, public platforms and gatherings. The rules also outlaw the bussing of delegates and paying for their accommodation in hotels to “protect” them from other campaigns as was widely the case previously.
“All delegates must stay in conference accommodation with their province, league or region according to the plans drawn up by the Conference Preparatory Committee,” the rules say.
“No delegates may be given special treatment for food, accommodation, transport or flights unless they live with a disability that warrants it. Any such special treatment must be authorised and recorded by the provincial or league secretary who will be held accountable for such decisions.”
Money raised for campaigns must be used to pay for venues, sound systems, refreshments, and travel and accommodation for organisers and candidates. Candidates must also declare sources of funding and full financial records of their spending to the ANC’s Electoral Commission.
“The Commission has the right to demand further particulars and to inspect bank statements of candidates, campaigns and campaign workers and to interview members of campaign teams,” the rules further state.
“The Commission may order a full disclosure of all assets, properties, investments, donations and gifts of any member involved. This will require the full cooperation of the nominee. The Commission may also open a criminal or civil case.”
Former ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe leads the ANC’s Electoral Commission.