ANC says more cities to be run by women

South Africa could have more women than men serving as metropolitan mayors after the local government elections, the African National Congress said on Thursday.

Fifty percent of the ANC’s public representatives in local government have to be women, party secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe told reporters in Johannesburg.

“Fifty percent is the minimum, maybe we end up with five or six [mayors],” he said.

South Africa has six metros, all controlled by the ANC. At the moment, Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo is the only woman.

Motlanthe said the party’s mayoral candidates would be announced in about a week. They were decided on by the party’s national deployment committee.

He said the current male mayors replaced by females would not be losing their positions, as their terms were coming to an end.

The 50% quota also meant that some sitting male councillors would not return as candidates.

“Consequently a large number of ANC councillors [more than 50%] would be standing as candidates for the first time.
The ANC is also proud of the fact that a large number of candidates are young people,” Motlanthe said.

Asked what effect young people would have on service delivery due to a lack of experience, Motlanthe said at least 40% of candidates on the majority of lists were return councillors to ensure continuity.

Over the past months, the country has seen protests—some violent—against poor service delivery.

Candidates who could improve the lives of their communities had been selected. For this reason some serving councillors had not been chosen again as branches were not happy with their past performances, he said.

MPs and MPLs would not be shifted to municipalities to beef up service delivery.

“If we are going to shift anybody, we would have done so. So, those who are not on this current list would not be considered at all,” Motlanthe said.

On ANC members deciding to stand as independent ward candidates, he said these people would no longer be considered members of the party.

“If someone was perhaps prejudiced at any level of [deciding who should be on the lists], they still had an opportunity to submit an appeal or an objection,” Motlanthe said.

“Those who decide even before these processes are exhausted ... to contest the elections independently ... really deny themselves the opportunity of having their grievances attended to.

“And also in terms of the ANC constitution they are taken as having resigned from the ANC. If you stand against an ANC candidate, the ANC constitution says by doing so in effect you have resigned from the ANC and therefore you cease to be a member of the ANC.”

The party’s national list committee, which decides on all candidates besides the metro mayors, received over 300 objections to draft lists.

These included candidates standing in wards where they were not registered to vote, names disappearing from lists, or a candidate being investigated by the police for a crime.

The ANC will field candidates in all the wards and the 284 municipalities in the country.

Its national consolidated list of candidates is expected to be published next week.

Thursday is the deadline for political parties contesting the local government election on March 1 to submit their candidate lists to the Independent Electoral Commission. - Sapa

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