Mixed reaction to idea of single election
Delegates at the ANC policy conference in Midrand have proposed a single election from 2019 during which South Africans would vote for local, provincial and national government leaders on one day.
The radical proposal was tabled despite leaders of several ANC provinces indicating they would reject it.
The proposal came amid concerns that the party was spending too much money on multiple election campaigns, and that voter turnout was decreasing with each poll.
It was made after delegates in the commission on legislature and governance were involved in a heated debate yesterday.
One of the delegates said: "Single elections are to be implemented in 2019. [This is still a proposal] from the legislature and governance commission. [It's] not yet a conference resolution."
Of the four provinces whose representatives could be reached yesterday, three dismissed the proposal, saying it needed to be further researched and considered at a later stage.
The proposal was previously raised during the party's national general council meeting in Durban two years ago and at its Polokwane elective conference in 2007.
Lucky Ndinisa, the ANC's secretary in Mpumalanga, said the province did not support the proposal.
"[We are saying] no to a single election for now, but are open to engagement."
At its special provincial general council meeting earlier this month, Mpumalanga expressed concern that the current system was costly. But the meetingcalled for the current system to be retained and for the proposal to be researched.
Poifo Ramotlatsi, spokesman for the ANC in North West, said the province would not support it, but would not provide reasons.
Western Cape ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile supported the idea.
"Elections must be effectively run and be less cumbersome," he said.
Dumisa Ntuli, a spokesman for the ANC in Gauteng, said: "Gauteng supports single elections. The current system has huge implications [for] . service delivery."
Gauteng leaders said a single election system would allow the ANC to campaign under one manifesto.
Delegates from Northern Cape, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State could not be reached for comment yesterday as they were still busy in commissions.