The Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) has endorsed the three candidates nominated to take over the Johannesburg mayoral position and sent them to the national executive committee (NEC) to make its final decision.
Sources say the PEC gave the nod to the three names submitted by the Johannesburg regional executive committee, which met during the weekend.
The three candidates are Jolidee Matongo, a member of the mayoral committee for finance, Mpho Moerane, MMC for environment, infrastructure and services, and Salphina Mulaudzi, chair of the chairpersons in the City of Johannesburg. The selected candidate takes over the reins until the local government elections.
Two sources with intimate knowledge of the talks said Matongo was the preferred candidate among the ANC’s coalition partners in council .
Last week, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Gauteng secretary, Alco Ngobese, said Matongo’s portfolio as MMC of finance would make all parties involved comfortable if he was the ANC’s pick.
He said the metro needed someone who understood the city’s financial crisis, which was exacerbated by the recent attempts at an insurrection in the name of former president Jacob Zuma, who was recently jailed for contempt of court.
Each of the three candidates will have to undergo a rigorous interviewing process before a name is announced on Friday, party insiders said.
Matongo, who served as the Johannesburg regional spokesperson for the ANC, is a regional working committee and regional executive committee member and a former ANC Youth League leader in the region. He is pursuing a master’s degree in public management at the private tertiary institute, Mancosa.
The ANC has met its coalition partners who have indicated that the matter needs to be finalised urgently to deal with the economic downturn resulting from the debilitating Covid-19 pandemic and the recent insurrection in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that cost the Johannesburg metro millions of rands in damages, regional secretary Dada Morero said in an earlier interview.
The M&G reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had proposed that the ANC arrest all talks of coalitions in the local government elections and called for an overhaul of how the party selects its mayoral candidates. The elections are likely to be postponed to next year.
Addressing the NEC during his political overview, Ramaphosa said the party’s experience since the emergence of coalitions in 2016 was that “coalition governments are incapable of effectively driving development, providing quality services and ensuring proper accountability”.
Ramaphosa suggested a more rigorous process of selecting mayors, saying the current approach had not produced the results the ANC needed.
He suggested that the NEC and the party’s national working committee introduce a process of interviewing mayoral candidates to identify strengths and weaknesses once a list of three candidates had been submitted.
He also suggested that the party focus on three key positions — mayor, municipal manager and chief financial officer — for each municipality the ANC governs.
Ramaphosa said another matter of concern was that two-thirds of councillors elected in 2016 were new to the job and there was a frequent turnover of senior management in councils. This had resulted in a loss of skills, experience and institutional memory, adding that it was also a concern that only a third of councillors had post-matric qualifications.
“We, therefore, need to prioritise the selection of skilled and knowledgeable political leaders and senior management that is suited to the task at hand,” Ramaphosa urged his party.