Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)

ANC expanding voting reach in bid to clamp down on gatekeeping

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Aug 18, 2019

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The ANC is clamping down on gatekeeping and is sticking to its resolution that ordinary members must vote for leaders at elective conference instead of branch delegates.

The ANC’s head of organising, Dakota Legoete, on Saturday said it would be a while before ordinary members were allowed to vote and the Top Six was developing guidelines for this.

At its Nasrec conference in 2017, the ANC agreed its 1 million members be allowed to vote for leaders instead of 4500 branch delegates attending the conference.

This was one of the measures to deal with gatekeeping.

At the time, the ANC said it would develop technology to allow for its members to vote.

The ANC is currently caught up in a political storm on campaign financing after revelations around the funding of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election campaign.

Legoete said the issue of allowing ordinary members to vote for leaders at elective conferences was still being discussed within the party.

“We can’t implement immediately. First, the proposals are to be discussed at the National General Council (NGC) next year,” he said.

Once the NGC agrees to the proposals, they will be tabled at the next elective conference of the ANC in 2022.

There would then be constitutional amendments at the elective conference to allow for the modernisation of elections in the party.

“If we were to amend the Constitution it will be at the next conference,” said Legoete.

During the public hearings by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on party funding in Cape Town recently, the ANC told the commission it would get branch members to join the party online.

This was one of the mechanisms to stop gatekeeping.

The IEC said it would only be able to implement the Political Party Funding Act in three years.

This is despite calls from political parties and civil society that the act must be implemented immediately.

The law will force parties to disclose their funders.

The now-defunct Institute for Democracy in South Africa had been fighting for parties to disclose their funders for years, but the ANC had refused. It was only two years ago that the party agreed that a law on party funding be developed and implemented.

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