ANCWL HOLDS SUCCESSFUL INTERFAITH MARCH

The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has held a resoundingly successful interfaith march and prayer service at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. According to the ANCWL, an estimated 120 000 people attended the event, ferried to Pretoria by 905 buses, 24 817 taxis.

The event that was attend by civil society organisations, interfaith organisations, government leaders, business leaders, youth formations, LGBTIs, artists and ANC supporters, was convened by the ANCWL as an interfaith prayer session ahead of the 2016 Municipal Government Elections due to be held in August.

According to the ANCWL, the event was used “to endorse the ANC manifesto launched in Port Elizabeth.”

The leadership of the ANCWL, led by ANCWL President and Minister of Social Development Cde. Bathabile Dlamini were all present at the event.

Upon ascending the podium to deliver her keynote address Dlamini affirmed the importance of the interfaith community in the liberation struggle.

“The ANC was formed in a church by among others, church organizations and its leadership. The ANC and religion has always worked hand in hand,” she said.

Among the highlights in Dlamini’s speech to women was a strong message about a 50/50 gender representation during elections.

“We want 50/50 in wards. If we don’t get that in wards, then we go to proportional representation,” she said to loud applauses from thousands of supporters who had been bused in from around the country.

“In municipalities, in our metros, we want 50/50; strategic districts 50/50; we know what we want to do. We want leadership in the women of South Africa. No one will ask us, ‘Are you ready to lead?’ We are ready to lead. The fact that we were able to call an event of such magnitude shows we know what we want,” she added.

Addressing past criticism of the ANCWL on the matter of gender representation within party structures, Dlamini was firm.

“We aren’t about being millionaires, we’re about improving the quality of life of our people; we’re about being a caring organisation and society; we’re about being a developmental state, and about ensuring young women take control of the country. Let’s not be weaklings. Let no man think they’re going to control us.”

Just like it was in August 1956 when 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protests against the pass laws, last week when thousands descended at the seat of power, they made sure their message was not just loud but that it was clear.

 

 

 

 

ETHEKWINI MUNCIPALITY LEADS SA IN CREATION OF WORK OPPORTUNITIES

The ANC led eThekwini Municipality is a shining light in facilitating local socio-economic development initiatives to improve the lives of the historically disadvantaged.

This municipality is a  central cog in the economic development and capacity of South Africa with the highest number of work opportunities created, totalling to 134 883 — the highest of any other metro in South Africa.

eThekwini aims to be Africa’s most caring and liveable city by 2030 – this is according to the metropolitan municipality’s Mayor, Comrade James Nxumalo, who was speaking at an ANC Manifesto Media Briefing this morning.

In his address Comrade Nxumalo presented an update on the budget consultative meetings his administration are undergoing to approve the budget for the financial year 2016/2017.

“The budget to be tabled  on 25 May 2016 will be R41.6-billion. This is money that is going towards addressing apartheid era-induced inequalities and facilitating local socio-economic development initiatives to improve the lives of the historically disadvantaged” added Nxumalo, adding that eThekwini’s budget has continued to increase over the years.

Through government’s commitment to transparent and accountable local governance, the ANC led eThekwini Municipality since its formation in 2000, has constitently received unqualified audit; boasting a record 15 unqualified audits over past 15-years.

“We have never received a disclaimer or a qualified report. In the financial year 2014/2015, we received a clean audit report. This echoes our obligation to a clean administration, while ensuring service delivery to our communities. “

The 3.4-million residents of eThekwini have over the past  5-years benefited from improved access to public services such as electricity, water, sanitation, roads, solid waste, community and emergency services.

The focus of the municipality’s service delivery programme has been the informal settlements where electricity, water and sanitation services have been provided in pursuit of the governing party’s objective of uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor, and the preserving of human dignity.

In the past 5-years the number of houses supplied with electricity by government as steadily risen from 630 021 in 2010 to 685 250 in 2015.

In protecting the vulnerable members of our communities the ANC government in eThekwini provides 50 kilowatt hours of electricity for free to residents using less than 150kWh per month in Eskom reticulated areas.

65kWh of free electricity is provided to residents that use less than 150kWh per month in eThekwini reticulated areas.While the water services network has been expanded to reach approximately 98.65 percent of the citizens with a basic level of service.

Access to an integrated transportation infrastructure is critical requirement for economic development and sustainability for any city space. An extensive Integrated Public Transport Network (IRTPN), known as Go!Durban has been developed to strategically connect the city of Durban.

It is with these foundations that government continues to lay which will culminate in the formation and creation of a greater South Africa supported by a nation that takes local government in their own hands to shape a greater nation for all citizens.  “Our endeavours will be incomplete without committed residents who give practive input and support to municipal programmes”, concluded Nxumla echoing the ANC’s call to advance people’s power in every community.

JOHANNESBURG, A CITY ON THE MOVE

A new economic democracy is rising in the city of Johannesburg, the economic powerhouse of not just South Africa, but the entire African continent.

This is according to the city’s mayor Parks Tau, who recently delivered his annual State of the City address. The mayor also outlined the vision named Joburg 2040, aimed at revitalizing the city and its infrastructure to build on Johannesburg’s existing reputation as a world-class city.

The mayor outlined the significant achievements of his tenure, which include the city’s redesign through the Corridors of Freedom project, ambitious youth development programmes, small business development and growing the township economy, catalysing inner city investment, greater internet connectivity, growing the public transport system, and speeding up delivery of basic services.

The mayor noted in his address that Johannesburg is ranked the most economically powerful city in Africa by the Global Financial Centers Index, and that the city is the largest per capita infrastructure spender in government, after national government itself. The city of Johannesburg is also ” the city least dependent on national government grants, and the highest spender – proportionately – on social housing, community facilities and equipment to enable frontline services.”

The democratization of South Africa’s cities to undo the legacy of apartheid-era spatial planning, has been a cornerstone of ANC policy, and advancing a transformational and developmental agenda at local government level is also a key feature of the ANC’s 2016 Local Government Elections Manifesto, launched last month. The many milestones attained by the City of Johannesburg are a resounding affirmation that the ANC’s developmental agenda under implementation is resulting in radically improved standards of living for the city’s residents, and a wholly more conducive and enabling business environment.

 

Amongst the highlights of the State of the City address was the installation of high-capacity fibre networks across Johannesburg, as an asset “to develop and democratise the economy and bridge the digital divide.”

But it is the area of basic services delivery that the city’s track record stands out. According to the mayor, the city has pushed access to basic services including of electricity, “to unprecedented levels, including through micro-grids in informal settlements.”

The City of Johannesburg was also the first in the country to mitigate load- shedding through the use of smart meters.

Johannesburg is also home to the most inclusive and largest informal settlement upgrade programme in the country: having upgraded nearly 30 000 informal homes over the last five years, reduced food insecurity for over 66 000 people.

To respond to the dire needs of the poor of the poorest, the City has designed and deployed a scientifically targeted programme combining food gardens, large scale food empowerment zone farms and a range of initiatives designed to reduce the cost of food locally and make it more available to poor households.

The city’s Food Bank has reduced to 23%, the percentage of the poor who go to bed hungry. Over 66 000 households have benefitted and the programme has so far reached all 34 most food deprived wards.

The aforementioned Corridors of Freedom programme is bringing new life to Fleurhof and South Hills, to Kliptown and Jabulani, to Turffontein and Rosettenville, to the student halls and shopping squares of Empire Road; to Randburg, Jabulani, Orlando East and to Park Station.

Developments are also underway towards integrated housing in Fleurhof, South Hills, Lufhereng Riverside and Malibongwe Ridge adding to successes in areas such as Lehae, Cosmo City and the Golden Triangle. According to Mayor Tau, these new megaprojects have a yield of almost 70 000 units.

The city reports that the ‘backbone’ of the Corridors of Freedom Project is reliable, affordable and dignified public transport. The Rea Vaya Phase 1A and 1B has begun quality services between Soweto, Riverlea, Noordgesig, Westbury, Auckland Park and the CBD, with passenger numbers currently over 50 000 per day.

The third phase of the Rea Vaya system is currently being extended to Alexandra, Sandton, Midrand, Ivory Park and Randburg. “This will include three new iconic bridges over the M1, two dedicated for walking and cyclists and the third for Rea Vaya.”

It is clear that under the capable leadership of Mayor Tau, the City of Johannesburg retains its position as one of the engine rooms of the country: where developments are continuing amidst a rapid rise in the living standards of the city’s inhabitants. The pro-poor and pro-development policies and programmes of the ANC government are being translated into reality in the urban metropolis of Johannesburg, which continues to attract investment, business, as well as ordinary people in search of opportunity.

ANC TURNING THE TIDE ON 1913 NATIVES LAND ACT

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has handed over 32 title deeds and R50 million in compensation to successful land claimants at a ceremony in Pretoria recently.

The affected families lost their rights to land in the areas of Onverwacht, Rustfontein, Vlakfontein, Ellison, Steynberg, and Wallmansthal in Gauteng.

In addition, four claimants from Blaauwbank, Leeufontein, Kafferskraal and Vygeboschlaagte (in Gauteng) were given financial compensation of R50 million.

This successful resolution of land claims is in line with the The Restitution of Land Rights Act, passed by the ANC government in 1994.

Through the government’s land restitution process South Africans who were dispossessed of their land have been given an opportunity to claim back  land that was taken from them during apartheid.

In 2014 President Jacob Zuma reopened the process to make provision for land claimants who missed the 1998 deadline.

The current claimants are part of 11 437 land claims lodged in Gauteng during the first lodgement period between 1994 and 1998. Currently, only 424 claims remain to be settled.

“The process of restitution faces some challenges such as unregistered and unsurveyed land, competing rights to land, change of names at farms, internal family fights and lack of institutional capacity that delay progress.

As of 31 December 2015, 3 310 554 hectares of land were awarded to successful restitution claimants that opted for land and over R9 billion was awarded as financial compensation.

Since the reopening of the land claims process in 2014, 133 314 claims have been lodged.

NUMBER OF CITIZENS IN FORMAL DWELLINGS ON THE RISE

Since 1994 the ANC government has delivered 4.3 million houses and subsidies, providing shelter to over 20 million South Africans. This places South Africa amongst the top nations of the world in terms of the delivery of housing for its citizens.

In addition, the percentage of households living in formal dwellings increased from 76% to 80% between 2002 and 2014.

The rate of provisioning of state‐subsided dwellings surpassed the provisioning of formal dwellings in the private sector between 2009 and 2014, and the percentage of beneficiaries of state subsidised housing increased from 5, 6% in 2002 to 13, 6% in 2014.

Informal dwellings in settlements and backyards have decreased from 17% in 2002 to 11% in 2014.

This was the word from Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu, who delivered her department’s Annual Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly this week.

The department’s Budget Vote speech took place two weeks since Minister Sisulu visited the Cosmo City community north of Johannesburg to mark the success of the mixed human settlement project in the area. She was accompanied by Gauteng Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance MEC Cde. Paul Mashatile.

The Cosmo City community comprises fully subsidised houses, bonded houses and those linked to government’s Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP). According to the City of Johannesburg, Cosmo City has more than 12 million mixed income households: adding that since the first houses were occupied in 2005, the population now stands at 70 000.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Sisulu noted that the mixed-income housing project as seen at Cosmo City was a positive tool for social cohesion. “Today is the outcome of a dream we embarked on many years ago, a future that changes our past that divided our people according to colour and class,” said Minister Sisulu.

Cosmo City was launched in 2005 with 8 other projects in each province to test a 2004 approved new policy, the Comprehensive Plan for Development of Sustainable Human Settlements popularly known as Breaking New Ground, which this year is celebrating 12 years of houses, security and comfort.

Similar success stories include the N2 Gateway Project in Cape Town, Olievenhoutbosch in Pretoria, Zanemvula in Port Elizabeth, Cornubia in Durban. and many others whose dignity have been restored through human settlements.

The achievements of the ANC government in the delivery of housing include “2.8 million completed houses, 986 000 serviced sites, and 121 000 social housing units.

It also includes more than 360 000 households who took the opportunity to acquire ownership of their previously state owned rental properties, 69 000 upgraded community rental units, and 6000 finance linked subsidies. Government is estimated to have spent over R500 billion for top structures, bulk services, social and economic amenities to achieve this.”

As part of government’s drive to change apartheid-era spatial planning, new cities like Cosmo City stand out as an example of what has been done in the 21 years since democracy. The Department of Human Settlements is also working towards attaining its MTSF commitment of delivering 1.5 Million housing opportunities by 2019.

The Minister noted in her Budget Vote speech that government’s partnership with developers, banks and communities has resulted in the construction of 153 000 serviced houses, “a new record after years of delivery challenges.”

Furthermore, following a public request for submission of prospective mega projects (catalytic projects) the department has completed a detailed analyses and short listing of projects submitted by the private sector and by various spheres of Government to be rolled out in the coming three to five years.

These are projects that are guided by our Breaking New Ground policy which we hope will change the face of our cities whilst providing BNG houses, Gap housing, Rental and social housing and serviced sites for the poor and middle class close to places of economic activities.

They are called ‘Catalytic projects’, because they will trigger massive investments by the private sector. The department’s assessment is that its support, which is estimated at R90 Billion over five years, will trigger about R150 Billion from the private sector. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be sustained and thousands more created.

The total projects number 101, with 94 ready for implementation as soon we conclude the paper work. All the Catalytic projects in all nine Provinces have the combined value of over R300 Billion, creating and sustaining more than 20 000 jobs in the construction sector and down industries. On May 9, 2016 we will announce the names of the projects, the developers and all other details.

In the 2015 Budget Vote the department committed to urgently addressing the backlog of housing for military veterans and immediately declared the Military Veterans programme a Ministerial Priority Project managed by the National Department.

The Minister has announced that 5 600 houses for military veterans have been secured, exceeding and clearing the backlog immediately. The next step is on the allocation of the said houses, matching the database to the province and to the individual. Special arrangements have been made to ensure that the department is able to allocate the houses in the shortest time possible.

ANC GOVERNMENT CREATING JOBS IN THE GREEN SECTOR

The environmental sector continues to be a source of job creation, skills development and community upliftment. Through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) the ANC government is advancing management of South Africa’s vast natural resources.

The Department of Environmental Affairs this week presented its annual Budget Vote speech, outlining the department’s priorities and programmes for the year ahead. The speech contained impressive statistics indicative of the extent to which the department is facilitating creation of meaningful livelihood opportunities in the areas of water resource management, biological diversity and ecosystems management, primarily through the “Working For” programmes.

Participants in the department’s Environmental Programmes were invited as guests of the department to the Budget Vote speech: a testimony that the ANC government is delivering jobs that matter, restoring status and dignity to our people.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa lauded them, together with their approximately 93,000 colleagues in all nine Provinces, for the sterling work that they are doing for the country, its environment, and its people.

In the past financial year the Working for Water programme cleared 874,813 hectares of land of invasive alien plants, as well as waterweeds on 20 water bodies; introduced biological control agents on 673 sites; targeted 118 emerging species for early detection and rapid response; targeted 70 invasive plant species for eradication, and managed 13 non-plant invasives across the country.

The Eco-Furniture Programme that uses wood from invasive alien plants put some 285,440 Learners behind a quality school desk for the first time in their school careers, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.

The Value-Added Industries programme has also made exceptional progress in using invasive alien plant biomass for other building materials, and a lot will be heard about this in the coming years.

The Working for Ecosystems programme repaired 66,024 hectares of land in our catchment areas.

The world-famous Working on Fire programme suppressed 2,295 wild fires (and additionally used fire to manage 123,158 hectares of land), among other achievements.

An estimated 4,374,051 trees were planted and 51 community parks either created or rehabilitated with a total of 2,113 kilometres of accessible coastline was cleaned through our Working for the Coasts programme.

A hundred and twenty (120) wetlands were repaired across the country, through our Working for Wetlands programme.

The Working on Waste programme ensured that 13 buyback or recycling facilities were built.

In the past financial year, through the Youth Jobs in Waste programme we have created 7 745 work opportunities, of which 7 448 are youth, and 4 760 are women. This programme has played a role in lessening the backlog in solid waste service delivery, and creating capacity within municipalities.

Amongst the successful initiatives born out of this programme are the creation of a landfill site in Ga-Segonyana in the Northern Cape, that created 426 jobs for locals, and the building of a buyback center for the Govan Mbeki Municipality in Mpumalanga valued at R7 million.

The Youth Environmental Service Programme ensured that 1,040 young people received comprehensive and wide-ranging practical and theoretical training in environmental matters.

For EPIP programmes, together with NRM, they suggest a total of 41,069 FTEs – 118% of target.

The job creation figures in the Natural Resource Management Programmes (NRM’s) are impressive.

41,069 FTEs have been created, and 93,217 Work Opportunities, with 53% women, 66% youth and 3% people with disabilities.

With regards to Environmental Programmes, linked to the Expanded Public Works Programmes, the Department has had a very good year.

During the past financial year 23,994 full-time equivalents (FTEs) and 68,373 work opportunities (WO’s) were created. Of these, 52% were women, 66% were youth and 2.9% were People with Disabilities.

The Department’s Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programmes (EPIP) created a further 8,853 FTEs and 16,660 WO’s, with 60% of them women, 66.5% of them youth and 2.4% people with disabilities.

Also cited was the department’s Environmental Monitor programme that has received international recognition and accolades particularly in the wildlife sector, namely the all-female anti-poaching Environmental Monitors, the Black Mambas, who work in the Balule Game Reserve. In 2015/16 the Black Mambas received the United Nations top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award, for their contributions to fighting the scourge of poaching of rhino and other species.

During the past financial year a total of 1,442 Environmental Monitors were deployed in public and private parks and nature reserves across the country.

The Environmental Programmes spent its full budget of R2.947 billion during the 2015/16 financial years, and its budget for Environmental Programmes for 2016/17 is R3.296 billion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA INVESTING ‘R1 BILLION PER DAY’ IN INFRASTRUCTURE

South Africa is now investing more than R1 billion per working day in infrastructure, including schools, new houses, new power and water pipelines. This is according to Minister of Economic Development Comrade Ebrahim Patel, who presented his department’s annual Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly last week.

This massive infrastructure investment is a key priority of both the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Nine-Point Plan unveiled by Comrade President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation address in February 2015.

As noted in the ANC’s National General Council (NGC) discussion documents of 2015, state-led public investment ‘provides a strong stimulus to growth and employment’, particularly in a low-growth environment. At the same time, such public sector investment should serve as a ‘catalyst to facilitate and increase private sector investment.’

The country’s public sector investment is driven through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Committee, set up ‘to coordinate the country’s infrastructure build and upgrade programmes across all spheres of government and priority sectors of the economy.’

According to the Department of Economic Development, during 2015 the economy crossed the R4 trillion GDP mark for the first time. In addition, for the first time total employment levels reached 16 million jobs.

The heavy investment in upgrading existing infrastructure and in building new, is playing a role in improving the lives of ordinary South Africans. Over the past financial year this R1 billion per month has helped the ANC-government to:

 

  • Build 160 new schools
  • Build about 100 000 new houses
  • Connect 245 000 houses to electricity, equal to 1 000 houses connected every day to the grid, Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year
  • Bring 1 700 megawatts of new electricity onto the national grid, equal to the household needs of Nelson Mandela Bay, Emalahleni, Polokwane, Mangaung, Buffalo City and Rustenburg.

 

With regards to investment in infrastructure that facilitates service delivery, over the past year the ANC-government has also been able to lay 100 kms of large water pipelines , ‘conveying billions of litres of water a week to communities and businesses’, build 29 new clinics and one new hospital, and complete three buildings of Mpumalanga University and new student accommodation for 4 210 student country-wide.

‘New mega-projects that will be brought into construction include the Mzimvubu Dam, two massive bridges as part of the N2 Wildcoast road from East London to eThekwini, the Moloto Road, raising of the ClanWilliam Dam and the large water pipeline from the Mokolo and Crocodile rivers to Lephalale in the Waterberg area.’

 

According to the Department of Economic Development, ‘the direct employment created through infrastructure investment is estimated at 291 000 and with indirect and induced employment, there were 715 000 jobs supported by the state’s infrastructure programme.’

Investment in energy infrastucture is a major success story of the ANC-government. Earlier this year, the new BRICS Bank approved a loan in record time of R2,6 billion (US$180m) to South Africa to lay transmission lines for the renewable energy plants.

At times of sluggish economic growth, it is widely accepted that infrastructure-based development directed towards long-term assets can not only contribute to economic growth, but is key to improving the delivery of services. In a developing country such as South Africa, state-led investment in infrastructure is making a real, tangible difference in Moving South Africa Forward.

 

 

 

 

 

BUILDING ANC UNITY THE BEST TRIBUTE TO FALLEN COMRADES

The highly contested battles and internal divisions of the ANC being played out in public only serve to legitimise critics of the organisation, and feed into the lie that the ANC has done little to improve the lives of all South Africans since 1994.

This was the word of ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe who delivered a tribute to the victims of the Ekurhuleni bus disaster earlier this week.

The Secretary-General joined a memorial service to pay tribute to the ten fallen comrades who were killed in a bus accident after travelling home from the party’s Local Government Election Manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth last Saturday.

Mantashe said that the fallen comrades were heroes, adding that “dying on duty is the highest price comrades can pay for unity and solidarity.” He urged mourners present to use the occasion as a time for introspection to consider the numerous challenges facing the ANC, and to use it as a chance to unite the movement.

The fallen comrades, he said, were driven by hope. It was hope that accompanied them to the Manifesto Launch, as they were confident in the ANC’s position as the leader of society as they made their way to Port Elizabeth.

In his speech, the Secretary-General noted that despite the ANC ‘changing the lives of the majority of people in a concrete and meaningful way’ over the past 22 years – a negative narrative has taken hold in society that seeks to diminish the many achievements of the ANC-government, and this is in part due to the internal battles of the organization occupying prominence in the public space.

The reality, he noted, is that “for every informal structure there are ten formal houses.” The ANC is leading in the provision of basic services on the continent,” despite being only the second last country to gain independence in Africa.

The continued ‘obsession’ with matters around the President’s homestead in Nkandla, is ‘closing the space’ for the ANC to give an honest account of the real progress the country continues to make.

It is time, says the Secretary-General, for the ANC to ‘reconnect with the people in building a bright future full of hope,’ and that our focus must not be diverted.

He noted that whilst holding robust internal engagements was key,, what was paramount was to restore the confidence of the electorate in the ANC. The ANC, he said, must humble itself and explain itself to the people.

Because of the internal squabbles being publicized, a ‘trust deficit’ existed between the ANC and the electorate, and this needed to be restored.

The key drivers of transformation in South Africa needed to be the beneficiaries of change themselves, and in particular, young professionals, said Mantashe, alluding to the theme of the 2016 Local Government Election Manifesto: ‘Advancing People’s Power.’

 

 

 

 

 

ACCOUNTABILITY OF ANC COUNCILLORS TO BE ENFORCED

ANC councillors will sign performance and accountability agreements, and be held to the organisation’s Code of Conduct.

This is one of the commitments made by the party in the 2016 Local Government Election Manifesto launched by President Jacob Zuma in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The ANC as the governing party of South Africa retains an overwhelming public mandate to lead, and continues to build a society founded in the Constitutional value of Equality for All. Key to the realisation of this vision is democratic, accountable and transparent government.

The Election Manifesto has at its cornerstone the principle of participatory democracy: with its theme: “Together Advancing People’s Power in Every Community.” In its preface the Manifesto advances encouraging involvement of communities and community organisations in matters of local government.

Local government is at the coalface of service delivery, and working with communities the ANC will not only build on achievements and milestones already met in terms of service provisions and delivery, but will also enhance the capacity of local government to deliver on its mandate by improving both public participation and the accountability of councillors.

The ANC acknowledges that consolidating people’s democracy and providing better services goes hand in hand with transparency and accountability.

The ANC, notes the Manifesto, ‘remains the People’s Movement. It puts people at the center of its activities.’

During this municipal election, the ANC has taken the unprecedented step of directly involving communities in the process of nominating candidates. This ‘has helped in choosing the best candidates to be ANC public representatives.’

Our communities, affirms the ANC, must have a say not only in who leads them, but in how they are led. And where leaders are found wanting, action will be taken.

The Manifesto notes that the ANC government has intensified the fight against fraud and corruption in local government. Corruption investigations have been initiated into 203 cases involving 1065 persons. A total of 234 government officials have been convicted of corruption related offences since 2014, and freezing orders to the value of R601 million obtained by the end of the third quarter of the 2015/2016 financial year. ‘This means that government has recovered a total of R4,21 billion since 2009.’

Rooting out errant councillors is a key commitment in the Election Manifesto. In order to further improve accessibility and accountability of all ANC councillors, they will be required to hold regular report back and feedback meetings in communities. For the first time, they will be required to sign performance and accountability agreements.

The Manifesto also notes that rolling out the Batho Pele Standards Framework for local government will play a role in improving service delivery. Furthermore, all municipalities will have to conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys.

More visible, accountable officials at local government level is a key driver of the ANC’s vision of a better functioning local government. By involving communities the ANC is giving voice to ‘Advancing People’s Power.’

 

 

 

ANC ONLY SA PARTY WITH 50/50 GENDER REPRESENTATION POLICY FRAMEWORKS

The upcoming municipal elections should serve as an opportunity to advance greater representation of women on lists, according to the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC).

This call came after the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) briefed the Committee this week on issues pertaining to local government elections, ‘as well as on the functionality of the MPWC in municipalities.’ Structures for MPWC’s are reportedly in place in most metropolitan municipalities in provinces,’ however they are still not functioning in some areas of Gauteng, the Northern Cape and Western Cape.

Although the South African Constitution does not provide for quotas to ensure adequate representation of women in elected public bodies, ‘nor are there any legal quotas established for national or provincial elections,’ the ANC is the only political party in South Africa that has 50/50 representation in its policy frameworks.

The African Democracy Encyclopaedia Project notes that ‘the rising levels of women’s representation in local government is largely attributable to the ANC’s committment to a minimal 30% quote for representation of women at all levels since 1994.’

Since the dawning of democracy, the ANC has committed to attaining gender parity at local, provincial and national government level. This has resulted in the levels of female representation in local government steadily climbing from 19% after the 1994 elections to 40% by 2006 – a figure that is only increasing year on year. However, much more still needs to be done.

The MPWC notes that of the 4 810 proportional representation seats in the country, a total of 2 184 were filled by women, as opposed to 2 626 men. And of the total number of 4 277 ward councillors, 1 413 are women compared to 2 864 men.

The MPWC has encouraged all female politicians to actively lobby within their respective parties, especially considering that the lists have not been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yet. “We must make sure political parties take it seriously,” Committee Chairperson Masefele Morutoa said.