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ANC looks at allowing non-members to contest under its banner in bid to regain public trust

The ANC is to cast the net wider in a bid to attract top talent to serve its constituencies. File image.
The ANC is to cast the net wider in a bid to attract top talent to serve its constituencies. File image.
Image: Phillip Nothnagel

The ANC wants to allow non-members to contest municipal and national elections under its name, a move designed to help restore public confidence in a party battling a credibility crisis.

This proposal is contained in the governing party's discussion document on organisational renewal released for public and internal debate ahead of its policy conference scheduled for the end of July. 

The proposal could become a formal party policy should it receive majority support at the conference and be adopted as a resolution at the national congress set to take place in December.

The party admitted to continued failures to affect transformation and proposed changes in the system used to elect leaders.

“It needs to be substantially broadened, so we can use the best available human resources to serve our people.  To this end, a new process must be devised to elect such public representatives, at all levels of government, to achieve the optimal outcomes to enable the ANC to access the best human resources to make it a  successful governing party which  delivers to our people.  

“Consideration should also be given to introducing a more objective fact-based performance management system of all ANC public representatives. So, we retain those performing well and not lose skills because of subjective processes and factional activity in the ANC,” said the party. 

Historically, the party appointed leaders to top positions in the state, its organs or to SOEs through its controversial cadre deployment policy which is now subject to a court process.

Speaking at the commission for state capture last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa defended the ANC deployment committee after suggestions it was usurping powers of state and interfering with its independence by unduly advantaging ANC cadres for strategic positions.

Ramaphosa said this was far from the truth, since the committee did not have a final say on any appointment, but merely made recommendations.

Reflecting on the electoral losses in the 2021 local government elections, which saw the party get less than 50% of the national vote and relegated to opposition benches in all Gauteng metros, the party admitted that its constituency lost confidence in its capacity to deliver on the aspiration of a better life. 

“They are seriously dissatisfied with our track record on delivering basic services: water, electricity, roads, sewage and refuse removal, stimulating local economic development and maintenance of infrastructure.

“They think we are not serious about fighting and acting against corruption, against the abuse of public resources.”   

The party admitted every aspect of the movement had become deeply flawed and was producing deeply flawed results, including poor implementation of its policies.  

“These sentiments show that the movement has seriously lost its connection with the people and that its performance in government is not up to par. This situation must therefore be a serious wake-up call for the renewal of our movement.” 

The party says a plan to change the face of the organisation in respect of its renewal project, among other aspects, is under way.

“A measure of some prioritisation may also be required. Upon completion, it must then immediately and vigorously be implemented by all structures of the movement. Swift consequence management must follow non-performance or tardy implementation.”



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