Organisational Renewal and Elections Commission - Draft Report
Structure of Commission Report
2. Organisational Renewal
- General Issues
- Membership and Branches
- Relationship With Local Government
- Alliance, Youth, Women
3. Dealing With Negative Practices
- Role and Powers of the Integrity Committee
- Factionalism -Leadership and Candidate Selection and Slates
4. Cadre Development
Commissions recommended that the ANC takes the following steps to renew and entrench our commitment to the core values of the ANC:
- Induct all leaders at all levels on the core values of the ANC and the conduct expected from leadership
- Develop a basic introductory documents to explain our core values and position on backward tendencies such as tribalism, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, regionalism, etc.
- All ANC members and leaders should be able to promote social cohesions, nation building, and explain the ANC approach to the national question,
- Use political education to renew our basic values of solidarity and internationalism, especially among the youth
2. ORGANISATIONAL RENEWAL
The Commissions reiterated and re-emphasized the need to accelerate the implementation of key resolutions. Especilaly important are those related to cadre development, discipline, ward based POAs, the broader organizational renewal and the relationship between the ANC and the state.
We need a M and E system to track implementation at Luthuli House under the SGO. The ANC should have a concrete organisational strategic plan annually to ensure organisational renewal.
Among other issues that should be adressed are the following:
- External engagement - tools and development of cadres to do this work properly in each community
- Regional secretaries should not be public reps and the NEC should instruct them to resign with immediate effect.
- Deploy more resources to capture and preserve our records and history
- Be creative and decisive when dealing with problems - focus on solving problems.
- Unity should be preserved at all cost - no winners and losers should emerge from ANC conferences and cnadidates who have significant minority support should be accommodated so that our executives reflect the true character of the ANC
- Develop a more scientific deployment system that records expertise, qualifiations and training needs among our core cadres deployed to public service or as public reps.
- Deployment strategy weak and cadres who have failed in one deployment should not be awarded higher or other positions.
- Availability of sufficient NEC and PEC for organisational work should be a strong consideration when deploying cadres to government
- Improve conference preparation process - involve sectors consistently
BRANCHES AND MEMBERSHIP
The fluctuation of membership and disappearing members and BECs, are a major concern. Commissions felt that the practice of building and bulk-buying election branches before conferences should be dealt with firmly as acts of ill-discipline and corruption.
The commissions further emphasized that the ANC should:
- Develop branch profiles which should also have the branch POA as well as what has been implemented in that branch and place reports on the cloud system
- The branch should have at least one meeting per quarter where the list of members in the branch, activities, and participating members are published. This information will become part of the audit processes and the criterion of ‘a branch in good standing’
- Audit should also focus on life of the branch not just numbers, signatures and R20
- We need to support political programmes and campaigns at local level and use the branch manual for guidance and the tablets and cloud system for reporting adn communication with branches
- Approach to community work should include street committees, where necessary, and the NEC should develop clear guidelines on the structure, role and powers of the street committees and how they relate to other legislated and ANC structures
- Interact with people and break social distance, all cadres and especially leaders, should have real links with community - other than ANC branches.
- Strengthen SGO to provide visibility, campaigns, support to branches, and m and e of programmes.
- Allocation to branches of membership fee should be 100% from now.
- Inform members of when probation period expires. Track expiry and inform members electronically
- Speed up approval of membership and allow less less space for manipulation
- Make gatekeeping a disciplinary offence
- PEC and REC should monitor membership growth and watch out for gatekeeping in areas with high volumes of ANC supporters or different geographic constraints
- Dysfunctional BEC should be disbanded and BTTs put in place after due process with a clear time limit
- Some commissions felt that the 100 minimum number was too much, especially in minority areas.
- When new members join they should go to the BGM where they should be welcomed and make their oath.
- Even provisional members should get a card and be informed of when their probabtion expires
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOVERNMENT AT LOCAL LEVEL
Previous resolutions on ward councillor and branch relationship must be implemented: councillor serves on BEC ex offico, monthly reports must be made to BEC and three monthly report to branch.
Branches should support incumbent ward councillor without reservation on condition that they follow the ANC guidelines. Cooperate on back to basics issues and play strong role on supporting the ward councillor, especially with community participation and consultation around local community needs.
Ministers and MECs must involve and inform branches when delivering a service or a programme in their area to assist us with claiming delivery for the ANC
Continue to build a strong Alliance with a practical and functional programme and campaigns at national, provincial and regional level
Strengthen ANC YL and support PYA and their resolution to support SASCO campaigns for SRC elections on campusses. ANC must analyse youth issues, concerns, demographics to better understand them as a motive force and a core constituency for elections.
Institutionalise cadre development for youth and do not leave it to the YL
Concerns were also raised that generational mix does not penetrate all areas of deployment.
ANC must work with WL on struggles and programmes for emancipation and empowerment of women. It is not an act of charity or an issue for the WL alone.
We should strive to achieve 50/50 for officals at all levels, as well in spite of them not being a structure.
3. DEALING WITH NEGATIVE PRACTICES
Corruption was widely accepted by Commissions as a major threat to the NDR and the organisation.
The Commissions discussed corruption at length and welcomed the Integrity Commission's operationalization. The growing perception that the ANC is soft on its own members and that this has serious implications and reputational damage for the ANC. As the President said: these tendencies create a perception that the ANC is a self-serving organisation that deviates from its core-values. Mangaung decided to set up the IC made up of veterans beyond reproach to investigate and make a determination based on the best interests of the organisation. The following was agreed by commissions:
- The Commission should get powers to implement decisions and not just to recommend to the NEC. They already investigate but are currently recommending to the NEC and most recommendations have not been adopted. The "innocent until proven guilty doctrine" should not apply as this is not a court or DC process. The IC should pursue the interest of the ANC and ask members to step aside while dealing with their problems, for the sake of the organisation. The IC should also be adequately resourced. Their determination on cases are final. All previous decisions should be implemented.
- Added after debate in plenary: In taking its decisions the IC must ensure that its processes are not used to stifle debate or deny members their basic deomcratic rights or be used as a means of settling political scores (similar to what is set out in Rule 25.6 of the Constitution that guides DC processes.)
- The IC must inform the Officials of its decisions before their conclusions are announced.
- The IC should also be set up at provincial level, and members should be vetted and approved by the national IC.
- All IC members should be above reproach and should never have faced a serious allegation or charge within the ANC or government.
- All members of the ANC should subject themselves to the due processes of the Commission.
ILL- DISCIPLINE, ABUSE OF ORGANISATIONAL PROCESS, CONFLICT
The ANC is often confronted with incidents of ill-discipline by leaders in their relationships with structures they work with. This is especially apparant when it comes to internal conflicts and leadership elections.
Many conflicts that result end up in court because of an unwillingness by the provincial leadership to address branch complaints about leadership or conflict.
We have a clear complaint system that goes through the secretaries at provincial and national level. This should be the first approach for all who are aggrieved and the process should be fair and transparant. When these structures refuse to deal with a problem we need an alternative to desperate members approaching a court. The following proposals came from commissions:
- Appoint a respected veteran or small team, at provincial level who can deal with complaints and problems to try and avoid court cases. They should be mandated to mediate conflicts and assist branches and members with getting a hearing if they have a substantive complaint.
- Act on ill discipline when it occurs within structures. At each level the secretary should immediately call members to account and engage with member to find out reasons and problems, and to correct poor behaviour.
- The DC should prepare a simple manual on its process to assist those that are charged or wat to bring charges.
- The ANC needs a whistle blower line or complaint line that is seperate from the elected leadership who may be the target of a particular complaint. This could possibly be one of the functions for the veterans team mentioned above.
- Failure to complete work or report on tasks at all levels of leadership should be addressed by the secretary and the structure if needed
We need to be strategic to reinvolve and reintegrate defectors who return without speedy promotion that may be seen as disadvantaging loyal members.
FACTIONALISM IN ELECTIONS AND SLATES
Commisions were united that the practice of slates should be outlawed and that serious steps should be taken to prevent and deal with this practice. We have to abandon the new culture that winners take all that has set taken root in the ANC this century.
- Ban formalization of lobby groups and the promotion of slates - those who promote these must be disciplined by a DC
- Need to locate the power to elect leaders with branches as the basic and central unit of the ANC. This means that branches must vote according to their branch mandate at elective conferences and consolidation of preferences at regional or provincial level should be outlawed
- NEC to produce guidelines on how to deal with leadership selection - addendum to eye of a needle with practical guidelines on process.
- Buying votes or rewarding through other means is an act of corruption on both sides and must be dealt with by DC and IC if needed.
- Introduce minimum threshold of branch nominations for elected ANC positions (possibly 10%)
- Seperate elections for each offical position to do away with slates and allow for 'losers' to be accommodated at deputy level as an act of unifying the ANC.
4. CADRE DEVELOPMENT
There is no reason not to implement the political school with the resources we have available. Political school shoudl not be seen as a structure but as a curriculum with diverse and accessible methods to use in e-learning and debate.
Branches and any other group of cadres shoudl be encouraged to hold study groups at no cost. While we work towards building a structure we should bring politics into every branch, council and executive of the ANC. A curriculum exists and we need to work on producing videos, manuals and assignments that can be downloaded and used by any cadres. An e-school can also be developed for individuals who have internet acccess. We should raise funds to train facilitators for all branches of the ANC and Leagues.
Leaders of branches need capacity to lead communites and respond to local issues and conflicts.
A clear induction programme should be designed and made compulsory for leaders and public representaives at all lelels.
New cadres and those from other parties should be inducted within 6 months
The Commissions noted that elections may be only 8 months away. We have strong support in the country, much of it unregistered and many ANC voters (13%) who are alienated or have become passive. We need to undertake the following urgent tasks:
- Complete the selection of the best possible ward candidates and a balanced team of PR candidates by December. In strategic municipalites the NEC should consider a process for mayoral candidate selection and announcement before the election as this may aid the campaign.
- Ensure that all young potential ANC voters have ID documents now and register them as voters next year
- Register them and all others who have moved in February and March next year.
- Youth campiagn that registers, educates and mobilises young people for all structures and campaign volunteers
- Engage with all organised sectors, report on our delivery and discuss the challenges we face and their concerns
- Aim to win back the black middle class vote and mobilise the working class to support the ANC
- Seriously engage white, coloured and Indian voters, and organisations from those communites, with a view to increasing our support and winning over key opinion-makers.
- Target improving our support in the Western Cape by consolidating and registering the base vote, and invading the opposition strongholds.
- Enhance local community engagement with ANC and ward councillors now and make sure that delivery is welll publicised and key problems are adressed.
- Become more scientific about our mobilisation of and contact with voters. Use the new cloud system to capture ANC support and potential support as well as local issues
- Expand the 20 questions booklet for volunteers and leaders and candidates to capture new issues as they arise
- Develop a detailed social media policy and code of conduct to be adhered to by all members.
- Train all Ministers, Mayors, MECs and communications people to deal with ANC messaging before end 2015