Politics: Local government – choose carefully

Elections for local government will be held sometime between December 2005 and March next year. Cosatu’s CC resolved to support the ANC-led campaign as long as there was a “common commitment to support local government”.

It also called for:* the list process to be democratised to reflect the decisions of ANC and Alliance structures* a mechanism to monitor implementation of the manifesto after the election* adequate funding, development of capacity and effective organisational systems for local government as a key site of delivery.

Tips on how to chooseBefore nominating your local government representatives, put them through this checklist developed by the ANC:

ANC public representatives should:* understand ANC policy and be able to apply it under all conditions, ie understand the country and the world we live in; the balance of forces; and of how to continually change the balance of forces in favour of the motive forces for change. * constantly seek to improve her/his capacity to serve the people, win the confidence of the people in his/her day-to-day work, * be accessible and flexible, and lead by example.* be above reproach in their political and social conduct – be honest, have integrity, not be corruptible and actively fight against corruption. * seek to influence and to be influenced by others in the collective and should be individuals that have the conviction to state their views boldly and openly within structures of the movement.* be able to relate to the main areas of ANC work, which include governance and mass work like working in the constituency and participating in the structures of the ANC at the appropriate level.

Numsa to change policy?Meanwhile, Numsa’s special Mini National Congress on September 26 to 28 has called for a review of the union’s current policy on staff being elected as local government councillors. The proposal from the Secretariat is that only if staff are elected as full-time councillors should they resign from the union; if they are voted in as part-time councillors, then they can retain their jobs as officials in Numsa. See the next Numsa News for details.