Johannesburg - Rampant and damaging allegations of widespread corruption in most of the ANC-controlled municipalities have prompted the party’s top brass to act against errant councillors and officials.
The ANC leadership has also vowed to centralise the issuing of tenders in local, provincial and national government in its desperate bid to save the party’s image.
The move was sparked by incidents where a number of people with close links to the ANC were accused of using tenders to enrich themselves.
This was the tacit admission on Tuesday by the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, when he told the media that his party would expel councillors and officials the same way as those in Madibeng local municipality.
Over the past weeks, the ANC fired Madibeng mayor Poppy Magongwa, Speaker Buti Makhongela and ANC chief whip Solly Malete for allegedly colluding with their senior officials to commit tender fraud in that municipality.
The ANC has also ordered high-powered officials from the North West government to play an instrumental role in the criminal prosecution of implicated officials at the Madibeng local municipality.
Mantashe said councillors and officials in 22 other ANC municipalities could face the same fate.
While he did not mention the municipalities by name, Mantashe said: “The NEC (national executive committee) welcomed the intervention in Madibeng and resolved that this approach by the ANC will be the hallmark of dealing with any allegations of negligence, corruption and incompetence at all levels of government, particularly in local government.”
Mantashe said his party was considering roping in its former ministers, deputies, MPs, premiers, MECs, and even former presidents and their deputies to strengthen local government.
“The ANC will then be engaging all its structures on this matter to secure an endorsement and agreement on this position in the next policy conference. Through this deployment of experienced cadres, we will be able to strengthen the sphere of local government,” he said.
Mantashe said some of the people who would be considered for deployment to various positions would also include some of those who had retired from formal politics.
While the ANC has already deployed some of its seasoned politicians at the Nelson Mandela metropolitan council, and a few days ago at Tlokwe municipality, where former MP Kgotso Khumalo was installed as mayor of the embattled municipality in North West, Mantashe indicated that a lot more would happen.
It was clear in his address that the ANC top six were increasingly worried about the reports of corruption and fraud implicating some of its members and the rising number of service delivery protests.
According to the ANC, one solution to the rampant corruption was to centralise tenders.