The Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan has endorsed Zuma’s requirement that the ANC’s candidates for the up coming local government elections must be competent individuals chosen by the communities and not political cronies. According to report, the Finance Minister is the first senior government minister and ANC NEC member to support the president on the decision.
Zuma was addressing the ANC members earlier this month in Rustenburg when he mentioned that the ANC will no longer impose candidates on communities. The president then, made it clear that gone are the days the ANC branches are empowered to choose the candidate that will represent the party in the local government election. According to Zuma, that power will henceforth reside with the communities.
In his words, “the ANC believes that our local government representatives must have the trust and confidence of the community where they live and serve,” we must “give power back to the people”. The ANC will “select three nominees at an ANC branch meeting and present our nominees at a community meeting. The community is then given an opportunity to interrogate these nominees and to give their views on who must be the candidate.”
Emphasizing that the nation cannot afford to elect incompetent individuals just because of their political connections, The Finance Minister was quoted thus;
It is not about money, it’s about political decisions, it’s about hiring competent people, having clever and clear plans, planning ahead of time… not giving it to cronies…In terms of social cohesion, restructuring the environment so it is more business friendly, getting plans passed quicker…I think we need to have a much more detailed focus on some of these things and the political parties must choose candidates for the next elections that will help us to do this work.
The decision is obviously an attempt to regain the dwindling trust the people have in the ANC ahead of the local government elections. If the new plan is to move on as intended, the ANC branches according to Zuma, “must confirm the nominee who holds the majority of community support…unless there are overwhelming and compelling reasons to the contrary.”
Already, it is being speculated that the up coming elections will be the toughest for the ruling party. It is evident that the party must come up with candidates who are favored by the people or give up some of the major metros.