African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe and party deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte Jesse Duarte. Picture: Jennifer Bruce.

Johannesburg - Deploying experienced ANC members to local government would strengthen this sphere of government, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

“The NEC (national executive committee) agreed with the principle of deployment of former ministers, deputies, members of Parliament, premiers, MECs, MPLs and even former presidents and their deputies to strengthen local government,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

“The NEC deliberated at length on the need to strengthen local government as a critical sphere that is experiencing challenges of service delivery.”

This was discussed at the NEC meeting held on Friday.

Mantashe said these experienced members would be deployed to local governments that were not performing well.

He said there should be no problem with a former minister being a mayor of a “small dorpie” and there was nothing wrong with President Jacob Zuma, when he retires, to be on the local council in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Mantashe was briefing the media after the African National Congress's two-day lekgotla and the party's list conference which were held in Pretoria at the weekend and on Monday.

He said the ANC would be engaging with its structures on the matter of deploying these members to local government to secure an endorsement and agreement on this position in the next policy conference.