/ 9 May 2021

ANC NEC gives provinces July deadline for mayoral candidate selection

Anc In Gauteng Flexes Its Muscle Over Election Of A Jo’burg Mayor
Bosasa ran the ANC’s election war rooms and paid for volunteers. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The ANC’s provincial structures have until July to select two people — at least one of whom must be a woman — to send to the national executive committee (NEC) for mayoral candidate consideration. 

The party’s candidate selection guidelines, which were presented during the NEC meeting on Sunday, state that candidates must attend all ANC training for local government and complete online or USB modules of political school on history, values, structures, government and development. 

It states that ward candidates must be popular and recognised as local leaders by their community and that 25% of ward candidates must be youths to ensure all national groups are represented.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that 27 October would be the date for this year’s local government elections. The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has said this year’s polls will be among the most challenging elections ever faced by the commission.

The elections come as the ANC faces serious financial challenges which have led the party to consider retrenching 50% of its staff. The ANC has also been caught in factional infighting resulting in many of its regions and some of its provinces delaying party elective conferences. 

While provincial conferences have no influence in the selection of council and mayoral candidates, the ANC may face further challenges during its selection processes. In the past the selection of councillors has led to politically motivated violence and killings in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The guidelines also state that an electoral committee — headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe — will make rules and oversee the nomination and selection process, deal with appeals, set up administrators, teams and panels to assist them.

The guidelines include that the secretary general will provide administrative support for the electoral committee and will ensure that all organisational structures implement the processes and abide by the rules determined by the electoral committee. 

Provincial list committees (PLCs) must consist of three party elders with no direct personal interest in the outcome of the candidate selection process.

The PLCs must also consist of at least two women, provincial ANC league representatives and each of the party’s alliance partners may nominate one list committee member who meets the criteria. These committees will oversee the nomination process in the province, administer, hear appeals, vet candidates and present ward candidates to the extended provincial executive committee (PEC) for approval.

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Police officials may be brought in to assist with the checking of criminal records of party council candidates during the vetting process. Candidates may be removed if doubt has been cast on their suitability to represent the ANC and they have been found guilty of a crime in court, a civil judgment, a disciplinary process in government or their employment, or by the party’s disciplinary committee. 

Branches will nominate a maximum of six candidates for proportional representation candidate lists to add capacity to drive development and represent people of their areas.

“The first 10% of the required list should be kept as is in terms of the nominations received, unless a nominee is excluded for reasons of conduct or track record… Once the municipal draft lists are drawn up, the district list for directly elected councillors should be drawn up from good candidates who could not be accommodated in the local council list,” the document states.

The extended PEC may not remove and replace anyone but may insert someone higher up in the list if 80% support the move and the PEC should formally adopt the list without changes, it said.

“The final list must be ratified by the NEC and signed by the chair of the meeting, and  handed to the SG [secretary general] and list administrator for registration with the IEC. Any last-minute changes due to drop out or objections must be processed by the electoral committee who will insert the next candidate who meets the criteria, and it must then be approved by the officials of the ANC,” it said.