KZN ANC warned to pull up its socks
The KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (ANC) will not hesitate to remove councillors who fail do to their jobs, provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.
“We will deal with maladministration and corruption irrespective of who is involved,” Mkhize said.
He was speaking at the opening of a three-day ANC local government summit in Durban.
The aim of the summit is to develop a service delivery plan for ANC-led municipalities and to craft a code of conduct for the ruling party’s councillors.
Mkhize said the ANC would “sort out” councillors who compromised service delivery.
“We will take action. We will intervene when we see problems because we don’t want to let down our people who voted for the ANC,” he said.
The ANC won the majority of KwaZulu-Natal’s 61 municipalities during the May 18 local government elections.
It controls nine of the province’s 10 district municipalities and the eThekwini Municipality.
Mkhize said the service delivery plan was crucial because the failure of councillors would have serious consequences to the party.
“People chose the ANC because they wanted to see change. They expect things to happen. If you disappoint them, there will be consequences. The ANC will suffer,” he said.
Mkhize told councillors to pick up on problems in their municipalities early and seek help when necessary.
“If you don’t, we will send in forensic investigators and you will be in trouble.”
The ANC recently intervened in the Msunduzi Municipality after it plunged into financial and administration problems. The ruling party forced the municipal mayor and her whole executive to resign.
ANC provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala said his party would begin assessing the performance of its councillors.
“We would like to assess all our councillors annually [and] not only when we [are] about to have elections,” he said.
ANC deputy chairperson, Willies Mchunu said the party faced a huge challenge of sustaining the “resounding victory” it received during the local government elections.
“We have to make sure that we excel because people trust us.”
Mchunu said the ANC had finally managed to dismantle the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) stronghold in the province.
“When were defeated during the 1994 elections, we tried to contest the results in court but former President Mandela persuaded us to drop it,” he said.
The ANC lost to the IFP in 1999 because it members were fighting, he said.
“When we went to the elections in 2004, we were united and we won the province. We made wonders during the May 18 elections. We defeated the IFP. It is unlikely it will rise again,” he said.
During the recent elections, the IFP only managed to get outright majority in two municipalities. It controlled 32 municipalities during the previous elections.
The formation of the National Freedom Party (NFP) also contributed to the IFP’s failure to garner support during the elections.
The NFP was formed by disgruntled IFP members who left the party during a battle for positions.
The NFP has since formed coalitions with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal’s 19 municipalities which were hung after the elections.—Sapa