ANC opts for young candidates to win municipal elections
Share this article:
A quarter of ANC candidates for the municipal election are young people, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
“With our youngest candidates being just 20 years of age, they will bring greater energy and innovation to local government, and a far deeper understanding of the needs of young people,” said Ramaphosa at the party’s preview of its candidates in Parktown North, Johannesburg.
“These young candidates will be joining hands with an experienced cadre of older councillors, enabling us to build on the gains that have been made, learn from our mistakes and take local government into a new era.”
He said it was important that that more than 90% of people who registered as first-time voters last weekend were under the age of 30.
Young voters played a vital role in the August 12 general elections in neighbouring Zambia, where the youth vote ensured that the leader of the opposition United Party for National Development, Hakainde Hichilema, scored a landslide victory to unseat Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front, making Hichilema the second opposition leader in southern Africa to defeat the governing leader.
The opposition leader of the Malawi Congress Party, Lazarus Chakwera, defeated Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party in the re-run of the presidential election in Malawi in June last year.
Ramaphosa said 46 percent of ANC candidates were women, confirming the party’s commitment to gender equality and the achievement of a non-sexist society.
“While this is a great achievement, we will not rest until at least half of all ANC candidates and half of all ANC public representatives in all spheres of government are women.”
He said there were 41 local and district municipalities where women candidates make up between 55 percent and 73 percent of all ANC candidates.
“We commend the ANC structures in those municipalities where 50 percent or more of our candidates are women.”
The ANC said in choosing candidates for the next term of local government, it was determined that they deepen community participation in the process and assign oversight of the selection process to an electoral committee led by the elders of our movement.
He said candidates have been instructed to be the embodiment of ethical servant leadership, to fight against corruption and mismanagement and continually improve the functioning of local government – to be the best councillors never seen before.
“We want them to listen to the people and engage with their problems. We do not want them to make empty promises, but to work together with the people to find lasting solutions,” he said.
Earlier on his campaign trail in Ekurhuleni, Ramaphosa said people were happy with what the ANC had delivered.
“All I can read and sense here is quite a lot of satisfaction ...”
He said 15 000 housing units were build to house people from informal settlement and what was need was to build schools.