ANC KZN urged to ‘kick into election gear’

A report by former president Kgalema Motlanthe stated that 2 533 branches submitted lists leaving 1 000 outstanding.

A report by former president Kgalema Motlanthe stated that 2 533 branches submitted lists leaving 1 000 outstanding.

Published Nov 28, 2023


The leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has been urged to expedite the nomination of candidates for next year’s election, which is expected to be one of the closest since the first democratic vote in 1994.

A Sunday newspaper, citing a report by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, the party’s electoral committee chief, reported that more than a third of the party’s branches had not nominated candidates for next year’s general elections.

Motlanthe’s report stated that 2 533 branches submitted lists leaving 1 000 outstanding.

The report, discussed at a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting last week, said only 37% of KZN ANC branches participated in the nomination process of candidates to Parliament.

The meeting also was told that in some areas party volunteers had failed to show up to help canvass potential voters during the voter registration drive last weekend although multiple sources said this was not a problem in KZN with the election machinery from provincial to regional and voting district teams in place for registration.

The report said North West, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape fared better in its nomination process (although this was below 70%) with Free State, KZN and the Western Cape in the lowest third of the party’s provinces. A source in the party said while this was an issue for the provincial leadership, it was not a “crisis issue”.

“It is an indicator of the deficit in enthusiasm by some branches and local leadership who may not necessarily have a direct interest in the selection of candidates for Parliament or the provincial legislatures.”

The source said the slow process is also an indication of the tightening up of processes and new systems that have been put in place that are linked to the national system.

“The province will have to look at to what extent the candidates become a reflection of the ‘renewal ethos’ as the party wants to see new blood and new faces up for nomination.

“At the end of the day this percentage is not good enough, but look at the number of party members in KZN compared to other provinces and bear in mind that no other party has such a mass-based selection process that drills down as deep as the ANC.”

Another source said the lack of enthusiasm in the nomination process would be a problem for provincial leadership if that same lack of enthusiasm was exhibited by branch members who were expected to act as volunteers to canvass people to vote for the party.

“The Mercury” spoke to five ANC regions who said they had completed the process of nominations and had submitted the candidate lists to the party’s provincial office.

Bheki Khanyile, spokesperson for the Josiah Gumede region, said the vetting of candidates that had been nominated should not be rushed as “not everyone who is nominated should be in legislature or Parliament”.

Bheka Dlamini, the deputy chairperson of the General Gizenga Mpanza region, said the nomination process was in line with the party’s constitution and was designed to produce credible leaders.

“We are happy with the nomination process that was taken seriously by our branches who want to send credible leaders to Parliament.”

ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said the party was undergoing a thorough vetting process.

“We are not obsessed with rushing through the process and we are being thorough with the verification of those that have been nominated.

“We have many branches in this province and this process is being managed in line with party policy,” Mndebele said.

Political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu said the party’s NEC is concerned that delays will affect the election machinery, given the crucial nature of next year’s elections.

“Delays will affect the process and the provincial leadership has to establish where the problems are – at branch or regional level – and to intervene if necessary.

“The IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa) has its own deadline so these issues must be resolved soon.”

Mngomezulu said that the pre-election process should have been dealt with to focus on the campaign.

The Mercury