ANC centralises local government elections’ candidates after debacle
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Durban - Following last month’s technical debacle that saw the ANC failing to register candidates for the local government elections in about 93 municipalities, the ruling party is this time around, getting its house in order.
One of the measures employed by the ruling party is centralising access to the portal of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (formerly IEC), where the registration of candidates is done.
This follows widespread allegations that some regions in KwaZulu-Natal deliberately missed the registration deadline to spite their opponents, which came as a result of faction fights within the ruling party.
Internally, the ruling party has instructed all nine provincial secretaries and provincial list committees to submit all candidates by Sunday, September 12, 2021.
These strict directives are contained in a leaked letter sent out by acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte to provincial secretaries on Tuesday afternoon.
In the letter, Duarte stressed that all outstanding community meetings and community voting processes to nominate candidates to compete on the ruling party’s ticket should be finalised by Saturday, September 11, 2021.
Similarly, all outstanding disputes regarding the nomination of councillors should be concluded on the same day, and if not, they would only be attended to after the elections.
This implies that, just like in the 2011 local government elections that ushered in the likes of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, the ruling party may field disputed candidates.
“Provincial secretaries must take responsibility and exercise oversight and supervision over community meetings and votes that will be organised by regional and branch secretaries.”
Duarte then said, just two days before the window for voter registration re-opens, provincial secretaries must prepare their technical teams to get ready to register candidates.
“Access to the IEC registration statement will only be given centrally at national level. The SGO Secretary-General Office) will meet with provincial secretaries and one administrative support person per province to finalise preparations for inputting candidates,” concludes Duarte in the letter.
On Friday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the local government elections should be held between October 27 and November 1 this year.