EDITORIAL | ANC is walking a political tightrope that may very ...

Ideas

EDITORIAL | ANC is walking a political tightrope that may very well snap

The party has been given a candidate registration reprieve by the IEC, but it could be too little too late

Editorial

The ruling ANC was thrown a lifeline by the IEC on Monday when it announced it would allow political parties and independents more time to register candidates for upcoming local government elections. The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that ANC insiders believed a Constitutional Court ruling against the postponement of the polls opened the door for the IEC to allow the party to complete the registration process. It was a life-or-death reprieve for the ANC that failed spectacularly in fielding candidates in more than 30% of municipalities. Those believing the ConCourt judgment signalled a second chance were correct in their assessment. The ANC won this round, but victory is a long way off. It can only blame itself for this mess.

The candidate’s list flop is just the latest episode in a series of events exposing the governing party’s inability to get the basics right. This is the same ANC that has not been able to regularly pay its staff salaries, even turning to crowdfunding in a bid to make payroll. It is the same ANC that is accused of not making UIF and provident fund payments, the latter shortfall believed to be more than R70m. In May TimesLIVE reported the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had garnisheed the ANC’s IEC allocation funds, some R17m, as part-payment for its ballooning tax bill. The only silver lining here is that Sars in this case operated without political interference. 

While the ANC tried to navigate its way around the sticky local government situation, its officials were running around like headless chickens. First it decided to turn to the Electoral Court, filing 150 pages of papers asking for an additional 36 hours on the IEC website to field its final list of candidates after missing the August 23 deadline. Just hours later, the same party withdrew the court application...

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