ANC to crack the whip on mayors to curb rampant municipal graft

Johannesburg- The ANC has decided to subject mayors and senior managers in municipalities to lifestyle audits as the ruling party moves to curb rampant corruption in the country’s municipalities.

The governing party – reeling from significant voter losses during the 2016 elections, which saw the organization losing some metros – has also conceded that many municipalities were not functioning to their full capacities, and that many councillors were not serving their communities that elected them.

These are some of the acknowledgements the ANC makes in its local government manifesto, which will be unveiled tomorrow as the party promises to fix and strengthen its hold on power.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will launch the party’s manifesto tomorrow in Tshwane, where he will outline the ruling party’s top priorities for the upcoming local polls.

The manifesto candidly lays bare the weaknesses in the local government sphere, which is the first layer of government that residents interact with.

“To improve the quality of leadership in local government, the ANC has done things differently and better this time by improving consultation and oversight by involving communities in the selection of ANC ward candidates. Thoroughly interviewing all mayoral candidates and checking their backgrounds to determine their strengths and weaknesses and ensure the best candidates are selected.”

The manifesto further states that many municipalities were not financially viable. There was inadequate maintenance and replacement of infrastructure  and there were no consequences for people who failed to perform in their duties.

“The ANC, working together with municipalities, will secure the operational and financial stabilization of Eskom, and oversee the retirement of old coal-powered power stations to improve air quality for communities and reduce the greenhouse gases,” according to the party’s manifesto.

This comes in the wake of the announcement on Tuesday that Turkish-based Karpowership, one of the world’s largest floating plant operators, won a tender to supply the country with gas-to-power projects at three ports.

The party also touches on its contentious step-aside rule, which it describes as getting rid of corrupt leaders, as it also laments how “many municipalities have not delivered as they should have”.

Government would, according to the manifesto, implement the second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus with the aim of providing 700 000 job opportunities and maintain the link with provincial and national government through ministers and deputy ministers deployed by Ramaphosa as district champions.

To read more political news and views from this week’s newspaper, click here. 

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