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.

 

 

ADVANCING PEOPLE’S POWER – ANC LAUNCHES 2016 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION MANIFESTO 

16A number of milestones are being marked on the South African national calendar during 2016.

Today the African National Congress (ANC) launches the 2016 Local Government Election Manifesto in Port Elizabeth, ahead of the August municipal elections.

Also in August we mark the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings in 1956, commemorating and celebrating the invaluable contribution made by these heroines to the struggle.

President Jacob Zuma has emphasised the role of women in the liberation struggle, noting that the women’s struggles cannot be separated.

The ANC continues to advance women in all sectors of society. In further observance of significant dates and events in the formation of the country’s liberation movement the President has saluted the brave men and women of Umkhonto we Sizwe formed 55 years ago accentuating the ANC’s continued role in ensuring their reintegration into society and to further improve their quality of life.

“We are also commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the 1976 Soweto student uprisings. We proudly remember those young, gallant and politically conscious fighters.

In their memory, we shall ensure that our municipalities focus on the youth,” states President Zuma in the preface to the 2016 Election Manifesto – adding that the ANC is dedicated towards reaching out other sectors such as the farm workers, the rural masses, urban and jobless workers and middle strata.

Significant to the Republic of South Africa is not only the formation, but also the perseveration of democracy through the Constitution. This year marks 22 years since the signing of the Constitution into law in May 1996.

The Constitution has its roots in the Freedom Charter, which continues to be the foundation of democratic South Africa. The Constitution enjoins all of us to build local government that has the capacity to:

  • Provide democratic and accountable government for local communities.
  • Ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner.
  • Promote social and economic development.
  • Promote a safe and healthy environment.
  • Encourage involvement of communities and community organisations on matters of local government.

Furthermore, it is the Constitution that ensures that our country holds regular elections. Regular free and fair elections give people the opportunity to choose those who represent their aspirations in parliament, provincial legislatures and municipal councils.

President Zuma reiterates that it is the votes of South Africans that have ensured that people have continued to elect and mandate the ANC and to ensure that local government works better for the people.

“We shall work with the people to continue giving effect to their constitutional rights and thereby advancing people’s power to determine their own destinies,” states the President.

“We have ensured that those deployed in municipalities are capacitated and have the requisite skills to do their work. In cases where some ANC councillors did not perform well, we encouraged communities to hold them accountable and report their concerns.”

The President continues to reaffirm that as the ANC, “we believe that councillors must sign performance agreements. They must also report regularly to communities on their work. This will give power to the people in holding their representatives accountable and making local government work better,” citing that the ANC has a concrete plan to address slow economic growth and create jobs where our people live.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to create a better life for all. We will continue to consolidate people’s democracy and increased transparency and accountability,” — President Jacob Zuma.

ANC PROUD OF SERVICE DELIVERY TRACK RECORD IN NELSON MANDELA BAY METRO

The ANC as the governing party has a long and successful track record of service delivery in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, particularly in the fields of basic education, and the provision of healthcare and housing.

Guided by the theme “Year of Advancing People’s Power: Local Government is in your Hands the ANC 2016 Local Government Election Manifesto engages the nation on consulted issues such as unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The endeavours of building stronger communities have been exhibited by the ANC’s fortitude through the National School Nutrition programme that has provided an average of 1.6-million learners in over 5 000 schools in the province with meals.

Furthermore, in ensuring uninterrupted education to learners, 330 non-teaching staff were appointed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to help in supporting and stabilising 209 schools across the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

The EPWP formed part of an initiative of the Department of Public Works, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, the Eastern Cape Department of Education and the Independent Development Trust.

Last April government invested R50-million in upgrading the bulk storm water infrastructure, sanitation and civil services in Missionvale. At the same time, 2 500 homes were connected with sanitation and water services.

From an area that was previously flat terrain surrounded salt pans and occupied by informal settlements — the ANC has provided electricity and water services through stand pipes that are located 200 meters from each household.

Healthier communities are the building blocks of a healthy nation, and in the Eastern Cape the ANC has been at the forefront of the delivery of healthcare services.

The revitalisation of the Cecilia Makiwane clinic in Mdantsane as well as the renovation and building of clinics throughout the province have stemmed from the ruling party’s commitment to better health for all South Africans.

More than 600 nurses were trained at the Ilitha College and R32-million was spent on a rehabilitation centre in the KwaDwesi township.

Perhaps what has been most significant and fitting ahead of the ANC 2016 Local Government Manifesto in relation to the ruling party’s theme of “Year of Advancing People’s Power: Local Government is in your Hands,” has the steps taken by the residents of Walmer who have taken the fight against poverty into their own hands through the Hydroponic Corporation.

Hydroponic is a method used to produce crop and does not require soil in order to plant.

Residents of Walmer have used this method address food shortages and create employment through creating agricultural skills. The produce such as baby marrow, tomatoes and peppers are sold to local retailers and the public.

Local government has built tunnels which serve as greenhouses protecting the crops from bad weather. In further empowering the programme local government has supplied farming tools to help improve the level and quality of farming.

The ANC is proud of its track record in service delivery in the Eastern Cape Province. Working hand in hand with our citizens we are delivering, day by day, on our mandate to realize a Better Life for All. The ANC’s Local Government Election Manifesto will outline our programme as we limber up for the municipal elections in August.

Later this month we mark Freedom Day, the day our democracy was born. With local government at the coalface of service delivery, we remain confident that ANC-run municipalities are the only vehicle through which the lives of all South Africans can be improved. The holding of the fourth municipal election since democracy: is a barometer of the health of our democracy, and an affirmation of the strong social compact that continues to exist between the government of South Africa, and its citizens.

EMPOWERING OUR MUNICIPALITIES

The upcoming local government elections play a key role in building South Africa’s communities and in the empowerment of all its citizens.

The ANC as the governing party has ensured that its key objective of creating a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society has put it at the coalface of service delivery in communities.

Since being formed in 1912 to unite the African people and spearhead the struggle for fundamental political, social and economic change, the ANC has always held close its heart the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.

The ANC endeavors to achieve this ideal through the liberation of African citizens from political and economic bondage as well as uplifting the quality of life of all especially the poor.

The achievements of the ANC at local government are in essence an affirmation of the importance of municipal elections.

Since 1994 the ANC has delivered on its mandate, ensuring service delivery of basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation – and in advancing the principles of democratic government. All the while supporting our people in times of need.

For example the ANC in KZN has allocated R200-million towards the province’s drought relief effort.

The provincial government has also implemented cost containment measures, thus improving financial management.

This was in light of the R109-billion provincial budget tabled in KZN where the provincial government was expected to cut at least R1-billion in order to curb expenditure in the first year of the Medium Term Expenditure framework (MTEF)

The ANC has further been fundamental in the development and delivery of services at Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal. There are 5000 RDP houses being built in all 19 wards.

Toilets have also been built and, in addition, the iLembe District is going to deliver one thousand new toilets to provide for the growing local population.

Meanwhile in the Eastern Cape through initiatives such as the Second Chance Matric Programme – young people who have failed to meet the requirements of the NSC a second chance to obtain a matric thereby improving their quality of life.

This exemplifies the ANC’s vision inspired by its principles of putting its citizens first Batho Pele – People First, in all the communities of South Africa.

Being at the coalface of service delivery can only be embodied by humility and a selfless dedication to the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society, and a commitment to implement the policies of the movement and the decisions of the collective — the core values of the ANC.

“Sishoda Ngawe!” Take local government in your hands in building a greater South Africa.

THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY

The ANC has made tremendous progress in local government and in creating better and more prosperous communities.

The past 15 years has been characterised by the pursuit of development and prosperity, synonymous with human aspirations for a better life.

The ruling party does indeed have A Good Story to Tell: these are stories of growth, progress and active citizenship.

“As the ANC, we set out to deliver on key objectives as set out in the Local Government Manifesto of 2011. Through the collective power of collaboration, we have achieved on key mandates such as putting people first; ensuring delivery of basic services; good governance; sound financial management; and building strong institutions,” says ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa.

He explains that progress has been made in establishing municipal systems and processes, and in strengthening their overall institutional capability.

Significant achievements have been made in the delivery of basic services such as water, refuse removal, electricity and sanitation. To date, the total share of households accessing basic services has increased from 77% to 86% in the case of electricity while water infrastructure has seen an upward growth of 6%, from 80% to 86% which exceeded RDP standards and the MDG target. The proportion of households accessing sanitation went up from 62% to 80%, also exceeding the MDG target. According to the General Household Survey 2014, the percentage of households with access to waste collection services is 74,6%.

“These figures represent only a fraction of our collective efforts towards social development. When examining the census results for 2001 and 2011, it is evident that significant progress has been made in addressing the backlogs in basic services.”

The numbers continue to also reinforce the party’s positive growth trajectory with the implementation of programmes set out in the 2011 and 2014 Manifestos. Of significance, strengthening the functionality of ward committees has seen a total of 4277 ward committees being established as at 31 March 2015. Municipalities have also received support towards the development of ward level service improvement plans with reports of over 4 264 (99.9%) ward operational plans developed out of 4 277 wards across the country to date.

Kodwa continues, “Our people remain the backbone of all our efforts, which is why we continue to ensure that the voice of communities is heard in local government. We have made great strides in implementing complaints systems such as the Batho Pele Standards Framework, to promote the quality of service delivery and improve turn-around time in resolving citizens’ complaints.”

Another key activity which the party has done well is the empowerment of metros and cities, enabling them to play a bigger role in the housing, built environment and transport network. Of significance is the substantial chunk of government’s 2015/2016 housing budget, R33,39 billion which has been allocated to upgrade informal settlements. Resources have also been made available to empower metros and cities, in areas such as setting up integrated road-based public transport networks. Over R4.2 billion of the Public Transport Network Grant was spent by 12 metros and secondary cities during 2014/15.

All these accomplishments have been achieved through collaboration and the collective participation of the South African people. “We recognise that moving forward, we will continue to face a tough and complex set of pressures in our efforts to put the people first, to deliver services across all provinces, drive good governance all the while building institutional capabilities.”

The role of local government in promoting economic growth, job creation and alleviation of poverty has poignantly been expressed in an array of policy frameworks formulated by the government. This has clearly positioned the sphere of local government to become developmental both in form and content.

“The ANC is determined to move forward, to mobilise and take greater steps towards building a progressive and prosperous South Africa for us all. All this will be achieved primarily through the intensification of the Back to Basic programme with an accelerated approach to the implementation and enforcement thereof,” concludes Kodwa.