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ANC moots amendments to rules to stamp out gatekeeping and to recruit ‘quality’ members

ANC members at the Eastern Cape provincial conference. Picture: Bheki Radebe

ANC members at the Eastern Cape provincial conference. Picture: Bheki Radebe

Published May 20, 2022

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Cape Town - The ANC is considering a raft of constitutional amendments to allow for the recruitment of quality members and get rid of gatekeeping.

This would require members to reapply for membership to determine if those members were fit to be members of the party.

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The ruling party also wants to ban the use of money at its conferences.

The party has also proposed constitutional changes to not only allow members in good standing to be selected as its public representatives, but also people with skills outside.

The changes are contained in the section on organisational renewal by the ANC.

Head of ANC policy Jeff Radebe released the discussion documents in Johannesburg.

The document stated it was time to look for quality membership.

“A recalibration of our approach to membership recruitment and development is required, to ensure our members are steeped in progressive thought, driven by integrity, dignity, morality, intellectual endeavour, and a strong work ethic, underpinned by an approach of ‘fewer but better.’

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“This may require a constitutional amendment to introduce a process for reapplication of membership. The introduction of an induction course for aspirant members and introduction of criteria to be applied in the assessment process to decide if a member is fit to be a member of the ANC.

“The membership system must be further and continuously strengthened to limit and combat manipulation of the system,” reads the document.

This will require constitutional changes to allow for people to reapply for membership.

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“This may require a constitutional amendment to introduce a process for reapplication of membership. The introduction of an induction course for aspirant members and introduction of criteria to be applied in the assessment process to decide if a member is fit to be a member of the ANC,” said the party.

The ANC is also concerned about the use of money at conferences.

Allegations have been swirling for years that monies are used at regional, provincial and national conferences to buy votes.

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At the Eastern Cape provincial conference a few weeks ago, Babalo Madikizela alleged that money was flowing to buy votes.

But this was denied by current chairperson Oscar Mabuyane.

The ANC also said it was rethinking the election of leaders. Instead of choosing delegates from branches to elect leaders at conferences, the party could allow general members to elect leaders directly.

This proposal was first mooted in Nasrec in 2017 when the party said this would ensure members of the ANC directly elect leaders.

This would also stop delegates from being caught up in the issue of money at elections and it would stop gatekeeping.

The ANC said its pool of selecting leaders only in good standing was limiting for the party and this becomes more problematic during factional wars.

The process of selecting public representatives must be broadened.

“It needs to be substantially broadened, so we can use the best available human resources to serve our people.

‘To this end, a new process must be devised to elect such public representatives, at all levels of government, to achieve the optimal outcomes to enable the ANC to access the best human resources to make it a successful governing party which delivers to our people.

“Consideration should also be given to introducing a more objective fact-based performance management system of all ANC public representatives. So, we retain those performing well and not lose skills because of subjective processes and factional activity in the ANC,” said the ANC.

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Political Bureau

Related Topics:

ANCConstitution

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