The embarassing failure to register hundreds of candidates to partake in the next local government elections will form part of ket discussions when the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meets this weekend.
The ANC is holding a series of NEC meetings, first a Special NEC meeting and then the NEC Lekgotla until Monday.
While there may be other agenda items to discuss, it's the inability of the governing party to meet the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) 23 August deadline to register candidates that's expected to spark heated discussions. Even with the IEC's extension of the deadline from 5pm to 9pm on the day, the ANC still failed to meet it.
In addition, the party's non-payment of staff salaries for months on end will also make for an interesting discussion. This saw employees protesting outside Luthuli House and other provincial offices last week. Workers also claim that the ANC has not honoured its Unemployment Insurance Fund contributions since 2018. The financial woes have seen Africa's oldest liberation movement going hand in bowl to willing members of the public, raising money through crowdfunding.
"The Special NEC will be held virtually from this afternoon and expected to focus on amongst others Local Government Elections as well as Financial and Administrative matters affecting the organization.
"The three day virtual NEC Lekgotla which begins tomorrow, 4 September 2021, will in addition to reviewing progress with implementation of decisions of the January Lekgotla, also focus on the Covid-19 pandemic, economic reconstruction and recovery, local government, the capacity of the state, as well as climate change and a just transition," the ANC said in a statement.
All nine provinces have been affected by the non-registration of candidates and also failure to pay IEC deposits. The bloodbath was, however, registered in the Western Cape where the ANC did not register a single proportional representation (PR) candidate.
The North West was not spared, with the ANC registering only 361 out of the required 403 candidates.
The ANC failed to cover itself in glory even in big metropolitan municipalities: Johannesburg (only 129 out of 135 registered), Tshwane (95 out of 107 registered) and Ekurhuleni (98 out of 112 registered.