Polokwane resolution #7: Institute the monitoring and evaluation of representatives

How much progress has the ANC made on their last set of goals before they look to setting new resolutions at the Mangaung conference? Look out for our series of reports on how the party's wishes have been achieved under president Jacob Zuma's leadership.

Resolution: A monitoring and evaluation mechanism should be developed by the incoming national executive council and should include an annual assessment of public representatives by branches and regions and mid-term performance evaluations by provinces and (ANC) headquarters.

Progress: Among the recommendations adopted by the Polokwane conference based on the ANC's organisational review discussion document was the need to improve the capacity of ANC structures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of policy by cadres deployed in government.

Implementation has begun. The party appointed stalwart Jessie Duarte to head the new monitoring and evaluation unit based at the party's headquarters Luthuli House in July 2011.

According to an internal ANC document titled "ANC monitoring and evaluation unit visits to ANC municipalities" dated May 2012, the unit crisscrossed the country visiting ANC municipalities to assess the implementation of the ANC's resolutions and elections' manifesto at the level of local government.

It found that there was political will to deliver services to the people at the required pace, but lack of resources and technical capacity as well as the failure to be innovative in some cases constitute the main albatross. "Given the findings of political instability in some councils, the ANC should ensure that intra-party conflicts do not spill on to governance," reads the document.

Among its recommendations, the unit suggested that the national treasury should simplify the policy context for financial management as this may be over sophisticated for many municipalities.

It also wanted the formula used to allocate the municipal infrastructure grant should be reviewed with a view to make it project based rather than per capita numbers. The team proposed that "everything possible" should be done to avoid "extreme political micro-management of governance, over-involvement and excessive intervention to the extent that these encourage corrupt practices".

The party has, however, not established a mechanism where branches and regions can hold deployed members accountable, as envisaged in the 2007 resolution.

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