ANC says 'unscrupulous elements' fuel protests

The African National Congress in Johannesburg has pinned the blame for most of the service-delivery protests in the city on “unscrupulous elements” within the party.

“While some of the service delivery protests are genuine, most of them are fuelled by unscrupulous elements who want leadership positions because of vested and narrow self interests,” ANC council chief whip Nonceba Molwele said on Saturday.

Speaking at the end of a two-day ANC caucus lekgotla in Johannesburg, she said the party’s leadership in the city strongly condemned this behaviour.

“Those who are behind this unbecoming behaviour will be named and shamed very soon,” Molwele said.

Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo said many of the instigators were leading protests in an attempt to better their chances in the 2011 local elections.

‘Causes of protests are complex’
“We are not opposed to protest, we oppose illegal action and activity. The reality is there are many challenges faced by municipalities in the country and some citizens concerns are valid. Government is addressing issues of roads, healthcare and education, amongst others.

“The causes of protests are complex, but there are some ANC members leading protests at local level.
The destruction of property can not be allowed and we will nip this kind of behaviour in the bud,” he said.

Molwele said the caucus had also vowed that lazy, incompetent and corrupt public servants would no longer be tolerated.

“The ANC councillors are fully aware of the service delivery challenges and recommitted themselves towards fulfilling their electoral mandate by ensuring better and faster services are rendered to all communities in the various wards and regions.

“[They] resolved they will no longer tolerate public servants and government officials who are lazy, incompetent and corrupt,” she said.

Molwele said there would be a “vigorous assessment” of public representatives and senior government officials with respect to meeting service-delivery targets in their areas of operation.

She added that the council had resolved that corruption by public representatives and government officials with regards to tenders and procurement, as well as the over-pricing of goods and services, would be dealt with harshly. - Sapa

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