The ANC says its ambition in the upcoming local government elections is to win all the metros, including Democratic Alliance-controlled Cape Town.
If it does so, promised ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte yesterday, then it will deploy the right people to do the job at local government level and insist on implementation rather than talking or planning.
The party had identified the local government sphere as the “engine room” for the stimulation of the local productive economy.
“That’s why we have been obsessed a little bit… with finding the right people to go into local government,” said Duarte.
“You can put a lot of resources into local government but if you don’t have qualified people to manage local government at professional level, it will not work properly.”
She said the ANC would work hard to win in the upcoming election but rejected claims the governing party tried to influence the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) or the courts to act in its favour in the reopening of the candidates registration.
“We did not and we cannot,” Duarte said, adding that the ANC only met the IEC and other parties at the level of the party liaison committee and “that was enough for us”.
She added: “We understood the position they have taken that you can’t open voter registration without the concomitant reopening or enable people to run as candidates.”
Duarte said a person who registered as a voter was eligible to run as a candidate since already in local government you have prospects of independents who are eligible to run as candidates.
All ANC public representatives at national, provincial, regional and local levels were duty-bound to make sure that the ANC election manifesto was implemented.
“But what they should not and could never do is to interfere with the implementation of the work that must be done by professionals and people that are employed by the municipalities to do the job,” Duarte said.
She condemned what she called an epidemic in local government where individuals and groups invade construction sites, demanding a 30% share from companies hired to do projects.
She said the 30% referred to the fact that all procurement must have a 30% local suppliers.
This, she said, did not allow individuals or gangs to invade construction sites because “there is no ANC-driven policy of this nature”.