The ANC is set to crack the whip, and says elected councillors will have to sign performance contracts from now in a bid to convince sceptical citizens that the party Is serious about improving service delivery.
This was the emphasis of the party manifesto released on Saturday in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, where the ANC faces the biggest challenge, from the DA, to its hold on power.
The tough stance follows a decision taken by the party’s national general council to strip its branches of the power to select election candidates and to assign this task to the communities the councillors are to represent.
Although this change has been welcomed, it has led to violent clashes in some ANC branches.
President Jacob Zuma said the party had begun taking steps to improve the calibre of councillors.
“We believe councillors must sign performance agreements. They must report back to communities on their work. This will give power to the people (by allowing them to hold) their representatives accountable and making local government work better,” said Zuma.
The DA will launch its own manifesto in Joburg next weekend and the EFF are expected to launch theirs on April 30.
The ANC had expected about 100 000 supporters.
ANC national chairwoman Baleka Mbete claimed that at least 42 000 supporters had attended the launch.
EFF leader Julius Malema took a potshot at the “empty” stadium yesterday, telling supporters at a rally in Mamelodi: “The emperor is naked, he doesn’t have people. [Zuma] will even go and check in the rubbish bin, thinking they are inside.”