ANC supportes. Picture: REUTERS
feeling the love? ANC supportes. Picture: REUTERS

The ANC is looking to bring in new blood and young women to occupy posts in both provincial and national legislatures after the 2019 election. 

Ahead of an election, registered political parties contesting the polls must submit lists of their candidates to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

According to the IEC timetable for the 2019 election, political parties have to submit their candidate lists between March and April 2019, when it will also draw up the ballot paper for the poll. But before the ANC does this, it has to hold provincial and national list conferences where the party makes a decision on who will represent it.

A national list committee is appointed by the national executive committee which, according to the ANC’s constitution, is responsible for drawing up regulations and procedures to be used in the selection of these candidates.

Criteria for candidate selection includes being an ANC member in “good standing”, having experience, education or skills to make a valid contribution in legislatures, no criminal record, no history of corruption or ill-discipline and no other breaches of the party’s code of conduct. 

According to the ANC’s 2019 list guidelines, the threshold for the retention of MPs and MPLs has dropped from 60% in 2014 to 40%  to 50% for posts after the 2019  poll. 

The selection of candidates ahead of the crucial election has already been a fraught process in the ANC, after its divisive elective conference in 2017.  

It is set to be the toughest election yet for the governing party, with opposition parties hoping to pull it below the 50% threshold in provinces such as Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the North West. 

The ANC’s three largest provinces — KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape — are heading towards their list conferences this weekend,  when they will decide who will be their representatives in the national parliament and  provincial legislatures.

There is also a new addition in the 2019 list guidelines for a heightened inclusion of women under the age of 40.

The ANC list traditionally is populated equally between men and women. According to the list guidelines for 2019, 20% of the women selected must be under 40 years of age. 

The party’s biggest and most influential province, KwaZulu-Natal, is expected to hold its list conference on Sunday. It is  yet to be seen if chairman Sihle Zikalala will make it the top of the list to become the ANC’s premier candidate.

Zikalala, who has always been a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, was elected provincial chairman, unopposed, at the province’s conference earlier this year, on a “unity” slate.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape is also expected to go to its list conference at the weekend, as  are the Free State and Limpopo. Mpumalanga will hold its list conference on Friday. The Gauteng ANC leadership is expected to hold a meeting this weekend  when it will decide on the date for its list conference.