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ANC vows to speed up pace of service delivery from August

ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the weekend admitted that service delivery has been lagging behind.

President Jacob Zuma alongside his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC’s election manifesto on 16 April, 2016. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PORT ELIZABETH - The African National Congress (ANC) says it will speed up the pace of service delivery as it rolls out its plan to improve local government.

The ANC launched its election manifesto in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, and focused on the governing party's successes over the past 22 years.

It says it's confident of retaining control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality despite inroads being made by opposition parties.

The ANC has also committed to a new system of holding its ward councillors accountable.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted that service delivery has been lagging behind.

"Delivery may have been slow in other areas, this is what I said earlier today, those are some of the slowness of pace that we've demonstrated. But from 3 of August we're going to pick up pace. We're going to make sure that we deliver better."

ANC TO INVOLVE COMMUNITIES IN COUNCILLORS' SELECTION

The ANC says it hopes to address the dissatisfaction within communities about service delivery by strengthening relationships between residents and local ward councillors.

The ANC says it will enforce accountability by giving residents the power to choose their own councillors.

Zuma says the party's theme for this year's local government elections is advancing people's power.

"Local government is in your hands".

He says complaints about how ward councillors are chosen and dissatisfaction with candidates has led to the party changing its processes.

"We've heard their concerns about the manner in which councillors were chosen in the past. It is for this reason that we've involved communities in the process of nominating candidates."

Meanwhile Eastern Cape Premier and head of the party in this province Phumello Masualle says divisions in the party should not affect service delivery.

"You have to consider those that don't have access at all while [there are] those who have access. You've got to keep improving quality."

Current Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan is expected to contest to keep his position.

'CONCOURT RULING DIDN'T DO MUCH DAMAGE'

Following the ANC's election manifesto launch, analysts says they believe the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla has not severely damaged the party's support on the ground.

Professor Sipho Seepe says the Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla is not the only matter concerning ANC members on the ground

"People talk about harvest, people talk about water, people talk about all other things and rarely do they bring the Constitutional Court judgment because that is so far away from their material rating on the daily basis."

On the other hand, political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the party will have a tough time re-establishing its credibility.

"It can't just be the question of a simple of delivery of services, it's about the credibility of the leadership that has been provided."

Zuma said the ruling party remains guided by the Constitution and is committed to improve the work done by municipalities.

According to the ANC's Constitution, five of the nine province s would need to request a special conference from the National Executive Committee.

Seepe says there is a large number of the party's provincial structures that are in support of the president remaining at the helm.

"There are a few groups that will spin here and there but if we talk about the concrete numbers then they amount to a few hundred."

Mathekga says while there are people who would like him to resign, they remain in the minority.

"A lot of work still needs to be done on the ground. One cannot assess at this point as to how many braches will support it."

The Sunday Times at the weekend reported that the motion to have President Jacob Zuma removed are being set in motion after this year's local government elections, as ousting him now would cost the ANC votes in areas where the president remains popular.

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