ANC releases rules of engagement for December conference

ANC leaders vying for the top six positions will have to produce their financial records to the electoral committee (EC) during campaign season, the party has mandated. 

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile has released a set of rules for the nomination and election of national executive committee (NEC) members for the much anticipated December elective conference.

In the guidelines about the rules of electing NEC members, which were sent to provincial secretaries, Mashatile states that all campaigns must submit detailed financial reports to the electoral committee, headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.  

“The EC has the right to demand further particulars and to inspect bank statements of candidates, campaigns and campaign workers and to interview members of campaign teams. The EC may order a full disclosure of all assets, properties, investments, donations and gifts of any member involved. This will require the full cooperation of the nominee. The EC may also open a criminal or civil case,” the document states. 

The new rule comes after ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa was accused of using close to R1 billion for his 2017 leadership campaign

It has been alleged that ANC leaders have also used state resources to bolster their campaigns for party president in the past, including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who ran against Ramaphosa at Nasrec. 

In an attempt to rid itself of slate politics, the ANC states that NEC candidates may not campaign as an organised slate or list that tries to get votes for a predetermined group of NEC members or officials. 

It adds that all campaigning should focus on the capacity and track record of each of the candidates. 

“Candidates may express support for each other and attend campaign events together. No-one may distribute prescriptive lists of officials and NEC members that delegates should vote for as a slate.” 

Mashatile writes that no individual candidate up for a leadership or group of candidates and members may use branded T-shirts, caps, vehicles, pamphlets, posters or other printed paraphernalia to promote a candidate or group of candidates. 

These restrictions apply to all paid media and advertising. 

“Media that is available at little or no cost, such as social media, emails, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, as well as press releases and free interviews for newspapers, radio and TV, are allowed. All official ANC T-shirts are allowed.”

In August through to early September, branch general meetings will be held to nominate the 80 members of the incoming NEC as well as the top six of the ANC. 

After nominating a candidate, the nominator must give a two-minute motivation to the branch meeting as to why that candidate should be a leader of the ANC. The issue will then be opened for discussion.

The ANC’s rules also state that 50% of the NEC membership nominated by each branch should be women.

Mashatile has urged branches to extend this rule to the branch nomination of the ANC’s top six to ensure that at least three nominees for officials are women.

“For officials, a secret vote must be held if there is more than one nomination for a position. If there is only one nominee, a show of hands can be used. Fifty percent plus one of members present must support a nomination for it to be the official branch nomination. If there are multiple candidates and the 50% plus one is not achieved in the first round, a second round of voting for the two candidates with the highest votes should be held,” the document states. 

On 12 October the branch nominations will be consolidated in the province under the supervision of the provincial list committee. Branch nominations in a province will be captured on an official electoral committee spreadsheet and ranked in order of the number of branch nominations received by each candidate.

“In each province, the name that received the most branch nominations for each official position, and the top 80 names for additional members become the provincial nomination. 

Branches are not bound by the consolidated provincial nomination and may still mandate their delegates to vote according to the original branch nomination. Conference is a conference of branches, not provinces, and no branch delegate is obliged to vote for those nominated by their province.” 

In November, the electoral committee will then publish a list of the top three nominees for each of the official positions, and the top 200 additional nominees, with the total number of branch and provincial nominations received. These nominees will be expected to submit a short CV, which will be emailed to branches.

Step-aside rule in force 

The step-aside rule will apply in the nomination of candidates, which means those affected cannot participate or run for election. 

During the December conference, expected to take place at Nasrec, elections will be held on three ballots with results for each ballot announced before reopening nominations for the next ballot. 

Mashatile adds that this is to end slate-based voting and to give voting delegates the opportunity to promote unity and move away from a winner-takes-all approach. 

“The first ballot will contain the top three nominees for president, secretary general, national chairperson and treasurer general, with each position on a separate page. 

“The second ballot will be for deputy president and deputy secretary general, with each position on a separate page. Nominations from the floor will be reopened before each vote and added to the ballot if they achieve the 25% threshold of support. 

“For additional members, the 200 nominees with the most branch nominations at national level will appear on the ballot paper in alphabetical order. Any successful nominations from the floor will be added to the ballot paper in the correct alphabetical position. Nominations from the floor must be counted by the election officers from the agency. The ballot will be printed on one large sheet of paper.” 

The 5 000 voters must be accommodated three times in the voting centre with 25 voter roll check points and 150 voting booths to accommodate 150 voters at any one time inside the voting centre. 

Each voter will be given five minutes to proceed through the process to vote for each of the officials’ ballots, and about 20 minutes for the additional members’ vote. 

“Counting for the first two ballots will take about three hours each. This means that the first two rounds of voting will each take about seven hours. Ideally the first two rounds of voting should take place during plenary reports or commissions with one province or one commission at a time going to vote. 

“In between the two votes for officials, a plenary will have to be held to announce results for president, secretary general, treasurer general and chair, and to make further nominations from the floor for the remaining two positions. At the end of the second ballot for officials, the results should be announced in plenary. Nominations should then be re-opened for additional members.” 

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

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