Unhappiness over nominations for ward committees in Eastern Cape

The appointment of ward committees got off to a shaky start in the Eastern Cape, with political parties reporting irregularities in how the nomination processes were handled.

Several wards have already complained and reported the “flawed” process to their local leaders.

In Buffalo City Metro’s Ward 20, opposition parties have written to council speaker Alfred Mtsi to alert him to the allegedly flawed selection process.

This was after residents noticed that all the nominees in the ward were ANC members.

Mtsi said he was unfortunately out of town, but if the contents of the letter were true, something had gone terribly wrong.

“It should be understood that ward committee nominations should be carried out by interest groups which should include businesses, elderly people and organisations that operate within the ward and not political parties.“

Councillors and other political parties can only assist in the process but they cannot take over. To then only nominate ANC members is incorrect.”

Mtsi said the BCM ward committee terms of reference had been drafted to make sure there was a diverse representation in the ward structures. “It even says that five members of the committee have to be females,” he said.

In Nelson Mandela Bay nominations will only start in February. ANC PR councillor Andile Lungisa said the councillors were only explaining the process to their communities.

“We haven’t started the nomination process, however we are busy now trying to educate the community on it.”

The DA’s Veliswa Mvenya said that in the municipalities under the OR Tambo district the complaints received had been from the Nyandeni Municipality.

She said the ANC was blocking a chance for communities to integrate beyond party lines.

“Ward committees are for cohesion in our communities. People should not be divided by the government along party lines. The government is for everyone, not just ANC members.”

BCM Ward 20 resident Sinethemba Sofe said the process in his ward was so flawed that some people had left the meeting.

“Not everyone belongs to the ANC,” he said. “There are so many people and other political parties that have genuine interest in the development of this ward and they should be included in the committee.”

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