There’s a reason there’s always tension between the ANC and its Youth League: the young guns are always getting themselves into trouble. And, guess what, they’ve done it again!
Much like their criticism of — and call for the government to be overthrown in — Botswana recently, a statement made by these young lions has been speedily shot down by the organisation’s head honchos. This time the fight is in KZN and, more specifically, in eThekwini.
The ANCYL in the province said in an article published in The Mercury today that they wanted Cyril Xaba appointed to replace eThekwini municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe. Xaba is widely tipped for the post, and he has now gotten the backing of the youth wing of the ruling party. He is a member of the party’s powerful Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and is employed as an advisor to KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize. He might very well be Sutcliffe’s successor. But the problem is this: the appointment of municipal managers is meant to be completely devoid of politics. The appointment of mayors, councillors, etc, is the ambit of politics — not administrators.
Given this, the ANC in KZN reacted against the Youth League. It wasn’t angry. It certianly was biting, but it was a criticism nonetheless. It’s an illustration of the ongonig animosity and in-fighting between the youth wing and the main body — it’s the student against the master, and it’s going to be a intense battle. It’s one that’s definitely worth watching.
Here’s the ANC response, short and to the point (as always, this is unchanged except for the removal of contact numbers):
ANC DOES NOT APPOINT MUNICIPAL MANAGER
The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal notes the recent statement by ANCYL in the eThekwini Region on the appointment of a new city manager.
In the statement, the ANCYL makes calls that the ANC should appoint Cde Cyril Xaba who is a member of the PEC, serves in the Office the Premier as an Advisor and chairs the KZN Planning Commission.
As the ANC, we would like to place it on record that we have nothing to do with the appointment of city manager. The appointment of a municipal manager is the competency of the municipality. The ANC has no intention of micro managing and interfering with any municipality.
Issued by ANC KZN Communications 24 August 2011