The ANC's election manifesto for LGE 2021

Party promises to deal decisively and immediately with corruption, mismanagement, waste, and under-performance



We face a moment in history when we must choose between the path of division, conflict, destruction, inequality and exclusion, and the path of unity, hard work, development, inclusivity and shared prosperity.

We choose the path of unity, hard work, development, inclusivity and shared prosperity.

The local government elections take place amid some of the most serious challenges we have faced since our first democratic elections in 1994.

Over the last 20 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost many lives and many livelihoods. It has worsened poverty and inequality and caused great hardship.

Government has worked together with communities and other social partners to save lives, protect livelihoods, and lead the process of recovery. To support the most vulnerable people, the ANC introduced an unprecedented package of measures, including social relief of distress

grants for the unemployed, wage support for workers and various forms of relief for businesses. We are striving to build a better economy with more opportunities for all.

Our key task is to create jobs and reduce poverty as a matter of urgency. Creating jobs and sustainable economic opportunities for the youth is especially urgent. Over the last year, we have undertaken the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to speed up social and economic change, including the eradication of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid!

As a nation, we are working together to defeat COVID-19. In partnership, let us continue on this path. Our vaccine programme is the most effective weapon we have to fight this pandemic and has gathered significant momentum. South Africa is fast becoming a vaccinated nation. As a country with vaccine production capacity, South Africa has called for the relaxation of intellectual property rights.

The fight against the pandemic has allowed us to strengthen our public health system in our effort to build the National Health Insurance system.

Over the last few years, we have taken steps to address the deep corruption that has taken root in government at all levels. The ANC has led this fight to defeat corruption, crime, and drug and alcohol abuse. We have strengthened institutions to deal with these serious social ills.

But we know there is still much more to do.

Tragically in July 2021 we faced mass looting and lawlessness, mainly in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. We stopped this lawlessness after a few days, but it created further hardships for people.

As the ANC, we admit that progress has not been sufficient. Many municipalities have not delivered as they should have. There is corruption, waste and under-spending. We are getting rid of corrupt and self-serving councillors. We have introduced the ‘step aside’ rule for those in the ANC that have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes.

In several communities, water is lost through leaks due to poor maintenance. Electricity supply is not stable. Refuse is not collected regularly in some communities. And in a few areas, raw sewage flows in the streets.

Public space management does not sufficiently recognise the workers in the informal economy who work in public spaces, such as informal traders and taxi drivers.

Solid waste management has not properly integrated waste pickers as part of the recycling economy value chain.

We are working hard to fix these problems.

Since the advent of democracy, the ANC has made great progress in meeting people’s basic needs and improving the provision of education, health care and other services like electricity and water. We have done much to transform local government and build better communities.

Let us work together to put municipalities on a better footing and develop better communities.

Let us rebuild and renew effective local government that puts people first. Together, we can build a sustainable, green and resilient future where we use our natural resources wisely to build the wealth of our nation. Let us bring the District Development Model to life to ensure better planning, coordination and monitoring at local and district level. Let us put an end to working in silos.

Together, let us choose the best leaders to improve our cities, towns and communities. We have introduced new measures and oversight so that the best candidates from communities can be selected. Communities have participated in an independent and open process, which has been overseen by respected stalwarts of our movement.

We are mindful of the mistakes we have made. In the last elections, in 2019, we promised that we would spare no effort to renew the ANC, to end state capture, crime and corruption, create jobs and work to meet the needs of our people. Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made substantial progress in rebuilding the ANC as a capable representative of the people, where resources are mobilised to support the vulnerable during a time of great hardship.

Now is the time to make these changes at a local level. Let us, together in partnership, continue to work together to improve conditions and provide opportunities in our communities.

We pledge to do more and better as we move forward.

A Pledge to do and be better.

A Pledge to deploy honest and competent local leaders.

A Pledge to deploy taction-orientated men and women who are committed to service delivery.

A Pledge to deliver services promptly and consistently. A Pledge to rebuild safer and healthier communities. A Pledge to stimulate local economies.

A Pledge to be available to our people.

A Pledge to listen to and have open channels of communication. A Pledge to remain accountable.

A Pledge to form and sustain working partnerships with communities; civic, religious and all community organisations; NGOs, and the private sector to benefit local communities.

A Pledge to spare no effort in rooting out corruption and all forms of nepotism and malfeasance in our organisation and all levels of government.

This election is a chance to turn local government around so that it can be a more effective instrument in our goal of building a better life for all South Africans.

Let’s build better communities together. Let’s build a better life for all.

Vote ANC.

Cyril Ramaphosa ANC President




We have come a long way since the dawn of democracy The ANC has:

- Made free basic services, including water and electricity, available to poor households.

- Increased access to the social wage in the form of social grants, free electricity, water, sanitation, refuse removal, housing and community infrastructure and services.

- Increased the total values of goods and services produced in South Africa (GDP) 10-fold, over the 25-year period, from 1994 to 2019.

- Broadened access to basic education for 10 million learners in 20 000 no-fee schools.

- Provided meals through the National School Nutrition Programme for close to 10 million out of 12 million learners.

- Introduced the National Student Finance Scheme to provide financial aid to higher education students.

- Widened access to healthcare with the headcount increasing from 68 million in 1998 to 120 million in 2020.

- Expanded access to housing to four million households.

- Rolled out infrastructure programmes in highways, public bus services upgrading of airports, sports stadia and the construction of more power stations and bulk water projects, etc.

- Redistributed 8.3 million hectares of land over the last 25 years to beneficiaries and provided agricultural support, and assisted small businesses and cooperatives.

- Reduced poverty by, among other things, providing over 18 million social grants every month, providing meals to school children and subsidising houses for the poor.

Responded to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the value and reach of social grants like the R350 TERS grant, providing income support for workers and assisting businesses in need through loans, grants, and tax relief.

We still have many challenges.

Our local government system is too complex and slow-moving.

While we have good policies and laws, we recognise that we must improve our performance; leadership is often weak and there is insufficient engagement with local communities.

- Many municipalities are not functioning well, and many councillors are not focused on serving the communities that elected them.

- The quality of services like water, electricity and sanitation in many municipalities does not meet the standard that residents need and expect.

- There is a shortage of skilled leadership and capable management.

- Electricity supply is unstable, and many communities do not have access to clean drinkable water.

- Many municipalities are not financially viable, and their revenue base is declining.

- There is inadequate maintenance and replacement of infrastructure.

- Oversight is weak, accountability is poor and there are no consequences for people who fail to perform.

- Our local government system has not taken responsibility to ensure working conditions for workers in the informal economy, such as informal traders, waste pickers, taxi drivers.

- Corruption, tender-rigging, nepotism and malfeasance continue to haunt many municipalities.

Our promise to you is that we will do to better to serve our people in every municipality, deliver better services and build thriving communities:

Water, Sanitation, Sewerage and Roads

Working with national and provincial governments, ANC-led municipalities, working with communities, will:

- Maintain and develop water and sewerage infrastructure and drastically reduce water leaks.

- Increase the number of boreholes and water tanks in communities.

- Rehabilitate water pump stations and waste water equipment and improve reticulation.

- Increase local production of components used in tackling the water and sanitation backlog to expand employment.

- Fix roads, potholes, sewage spillages and broken water pipes.

- Increase the number of skilled personnel like engineers, process controllers and shift workers to maintain water, sanitation, and road infrastructure.

- Ensure all poor households receive the free water allocations they are entitled to.


Working through municipalities and national and provincial governments, the ANC, working together with communities, will:

- Secure the operational and financial stabilisation of Eskom.

- Significantly increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country’s energy mix through a diversification of energy sources, and a just energy transition that creates new economic opportunities for workers and communities.

- Ensure safe and reliable electricity supply in this process.

Oversee the retirement of aging coal-powered power stations to improve air quality for communities and reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Ensure all poor households receive the amount of free electricity allocations that they are entitled to.

Invest in public renewable and cleaner power-generating capacity, and electricity transmission infrastructure to expand and strengthen the grid to accommodate new generation capacity and entrants, enabling municipalities to supply electricity to homes and businesses.

- New energy generation will provide opportunities for public employment programmes in solar energy space, etc.

- At present, people especially in rural areas wait for six months to one year or more after applying for household electricity connection. We will reduce this waiting period to not more than 90 days.

- Implement the Framework Agreement of the Social Compact on supporting Eskom for inclusive economic growth.

- Reduce the current timeframes for mining licences by 50% and support efforts to invest in green jobs.

Land and Housing

To provide land to those who work it and houses to those who need them, we will:

- Fast track land reform and rural development

- Continue to upgrade informal settlements and counter urban sprawl as it increases the amount of time and cost of travelling.

- Ensure communities are located on well-situated land.

- Change current land-use approaches, including municipal land-use zoning, so that they can accommodate the better integration of housing, recreation facilities, and economic activities.

- Link rural areas to urban markets and non-farm sectors, including making land available for co-operative communal food gardens, with municipal support where possible.

- Amend and repeal restrictive municipal by-laws on trading, land-use, urban production of crops, etc.

Choose the best people to run municipalities

To improve the quality of leadership in local government, the ANC has done things differently and better this time, by:

- Improving consultation and oversight by involving communities in the selection of ANC ward candidates.

- Ensuring that the municipal staff that are appointed have the necessary competence, experience, and support.

- Thoroughly interviewing all Mayoral candidates and checking their backgrounds to determine their strengths and weaknesses and ensure the best candidates are selected.

- Subjecting mayors and senior managers to lifestyle audits to limit the scope for corruption.

- Requiring mayors and councillors to sign performance agreements with agreed targets against which they will be measured.

- Strengthening monitoring capacity in provincial and national governments to intervene early in municipalities when problems occur.

- Changing the composition and mandates of ward committees to overcome the problems they have experienced and enable residents to play their part as active citizens to build communities and hold councillors and staff accountable.

- Improving the quality of induction of councillors and officials of municipalities to respect legislated boundaries.

- Reaffirming the ANC’s commitment to engage with social partners at Nedlac on how the ban on politically exposed persons doing business with the state can be further strengthened.

- Finalising the Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill to deal effectively and promptly with ailing municipalities.

- Reducing the excessive regulatory and legislative compliance and duplication of reports to provincial and national government.

- Create jobs and drive economic development.

- Working with all levels of government to grow the economy, increase jobs, and reduce poverty, especially for young women and men, we will:

- Accelerate implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which was launched in October 2020 to rebuild our economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Continue to provide special COVID-19 grants and various support measures for workers and tax relief for businesses.

- Continue to strengthen social security measures to vulnerable groups in society, linking these to mass employment programmes.

- Implementing the second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which has already provided opportunities to about one million people.

- Remodel the Community Works Programme.

- Revitalise cooperatives.

- Revitalise infrastructure and industrial parks to attract investment and create employment in communities.

- Reduce red tape, especially for SMMEs and informal businesses, speed up approvals and reduce licensing costs.

- Use the District Development Model to drive local economic development, including townships and villages, based on comparative and strategic advantages and in consultation with district-based stakeholders.

- Expand the number of Wi-Fi hotspots in communities at libraries, hospitals, clinics, schools and elsewhere through the increasing rollout of network infrastructure.

- Develop the night-time economy, leisure, and sporting activities. This will include initiatives to encourage retailers to stay open later, more Wi-Fi hotspots, linked to better security and good lighting.

- Place traders’ stalls on busy streets and at nodes with lots of pedestrians, in consultation with representative membership-based organisations of informal traders.

- Establish business activities, particularly manufacturing, in and close to townships so that people can live closer to their places of work.

- Develop fresh produce markets and promote the sale of foodstuffs in townships in community owned stores.

- Building the waste recycling economy and waste picker integration and revitalisation of buy-back centres and improved management of landfill sites.

- Diversion of waste from landfills to industries (batteries, lighting, electronic waste, tyres, paper, and packaging).

- Bring integrated government closer to the people.

- To ensure alignment and coordination between national, provincial, and local government, we will accelerate the implementation of the District Development Model. Through this model, we will:

- Establish the 44 district councils and eight metros as the central points for economic development, job creation, investment and the reduction of poverty and inequality.

- Ensure a whole-of-government approach to planning, budgeting, monitoring and implementation at district level.

- Coordinate the roll-out of network infrastructure like roads, bridges, water, electricity, and digital platforms.

- Develop ‘one plan’ and ‘one budget’ for each district and metro, which are integrated with municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and the medium-term priorities to achieve the long-term NDP 2030 goals.

- Develop accessible participatory budgeting systems which communities and workers’ organisations in the informal economy can actively participate in.

- Encourage and build capacity for gender sensitive and responsive budgeting and prioritise disability as a cross-cutting issue.

- Maintain a dedicated link with provincial and national government through the ministers and deputy ministers the President has deployed as district champions.

Food Security

Above-inflation rises in food prices have been experienced since the COVID-19 period, and impact more heavily on the poorer sections of our communities. Let us fight hunger together:

- The ANC government will continue to ensure school feeding schemes and soup kitchens deliver as they should.

- Food prices will be closely monitored and food’s affordability tracked for the majority of people.

- Ensure the unrestricted development of urban and pavement gardens where crops can be planted to increase food security.

- Ensure support for community and co-operative food gardens, making municipal land available for such projects, to support schools and support programmes for the impoverished.

- Link food production to support small-scale farmers and local procurement.

- Integrate community food garden projects into the Community Work Programme.

Fight corruption and end wastage

To make sure public money is spent on the services needed, we will:

Deal decisively and immediately with corruption, mismanagement, waste, and under-performance.

Ensure ANC-led municipalities are run by ethical leaders, managers, and workers.

Remove from office those who fail to do what they are paid to do.

- Implementing the ‘step aside’ rule for those in the ANC that have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes.

- Institute determined and resolute implementation of the Anti-corruption Strategy under the Justice and Crime Prevention Cluster, SARS Anti- Corruption Unit.

- Focus on ethics and corruption risk management and stronger protection of whistle-blowers.

- Insource functions that can be better performed by municipalities.

- End the practice of labour broking in municipalities and support the creation of sustainable jobs.

- Overhaul government procurement to make it transparent and free of corruption and use it more effectively to promote the development of black- and women-owned businesses and cooperatives.

- Act speedily against officials conducting business with municipalities and against those implicated in maladministration.

Reaffirm the ANC’s respect and support for collective bargaining, and engage with Organised Labour at the Public Service Central Bargaining Council and the South African Local Government Association’s Bargaining Council on matters of collective bargaining.

Make municipalities financially viable

We will work with all spheres of government to:

- Strengthen measures to generate revenue and improve revenue collection.

- Increase and ring-fence money for the maintenance of infrastructure.

- Reaffirm the progressivity of equitable share spending, so that poorer communities receive higher allocations in terms of free basic services and prioritisation in capital spending.

- Reduce unfunded mandates in municipalities as a matter of urgency, and link provincial and national transfers to the adoption of funded budgets by municipalities.

- Strengthen the municipal finance recovery service function and simplify financial recovery plans in municipalities.

- Maintain a dedicated focus on the interdependence between asset management, revenue management and service delivery.

- Find a long-term solution to the restructuring of historical uncollectable debts and write-offs that have been on municipal debt books for a long time.

- Amend all relevant legislation and rules so that no public representative or state employee may be in municipal arrears for more than three months.

- Undertake effective campaigns to deal with the culture of non-payment for services, but ensure we are delivering the necessary free

basic services.

Together, building safer communities and fighting crime, drugs, and alcohol abuse

Taking care of the most vulnerable and making communities safer: making sure that we unite our communities, grow, and develop together and leave no-one behind

- Levels of violence remain too high in our society and people do not feel safe.

- Deal urgently with the unacceptable levels of drug and alcohol abuse in many communities, especially among the youth.

- Put in more lighting to make townships and inner-city areas safer.

- Rebuild sports facilities that have fallen into disrepair.

- Revitalise arts and culture facilities and create opportunities in these sectors, especially for women and the youth.

- Revitalise safety committees that can accompany women and children when walking from one area to another, in safety.

- The police must patrol and work in partnership with community structures to make communities and public spaces safer.

Jobs, education, training, and opportunities for young people

The challenges facing young people in our country are formidable. We must be single-minded in dealing with their issues:

- Youth not in employment, education, or Training (NEET) are much higher than the general unemployment rate and they make up a higher percentage of those committing crime or abusing drugs and alcohol.

Youth also have lower participation rates in elections and the affairs of communities.

We must create more jobs for them as first-time entrants into the job market.

We have introduced internships, learnerships, bursaries for the youth, but they must be upscaled.

- Skills must be unceasingly upgraded, including skills aligned to job opportunities and sustainable economic development.

- Sports and cultural centres must be maintained and upgraded for leisure activities.

- The ANC must have a high number of youth candidates among its municipal candidates.

Working Together We Must Intensify the Fight against Gender based violence and for Safer Communities

Violence against women is unacceptably high in our society and is another pandemic that must be rooted out, root and branch. Together we must:

Defeat the toxic culture of patriarchy.

Make sure our homes, public spaces, and places of work are safer for women and children.

Work with the multi-sectoral co-ordinating structure inclusive of all key stakeholders that has been created to deal with the plague of GBV in our society.

- Remain committed to dealing with the root causes of disempowerment of women and gender-based violence in all areas of society.

- Discourage and act to tackle hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community.

Ensure that programmes of infrastructure development, basic services, housing, and local economic development address the specific needs of women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.

- Move with speed to implement the three pieces of Gender Based Violence Legislation and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 190 on Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

Together, we must strive for a non-sexist society and must build communities committed to Gender Equality:

We have made strides, but there is still a long road ahead before we achieve our goal of a truly non-sexist South African society

We must do more to achieve parity in gender representation, and appreciation of the role women play in society and communities.

Programmes of infrastructure development, basic services, housing, and local economic development must address the specific needs of women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.

Working together to overcome our challenges and build accountable, capable, and effective local government.

We have faced many challenges in achieving our hard-won democracy.

The hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic present a huge challenge to our resources, resilience, and collective will.

We recognise that we have made mistakes and things are not functioning as they should. We are a strong nation, committed to dealing decisively with our issues and improve matters in our beloved country.

As the ANC, we have embarked upon a path of renewal, rebuilding and revitalisation of our party and society. This includes the turnaround of local government. We have resolved to face our problems, together, honestly, openly, and boldly. We will be more courageous, more innovative, and more ambitious in our actions and programmes to renew and rebuild our country.

Together, in partnership, we shall rededicate our energy to forge social cohesion, build strong institutions of participatory democracy, revitalise our economy and build a strong, united, non-sexist, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa. In the democratic era, the ANC has been unwavering in its commitment to improve the lives of the people of our country, especially the poor.

We must urgently finalise the social compact between the social partners to achieve our country’s fundamental social transformation to reduce and eradicate the plague of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. We remain committed to making local government and society a better place to work, play and live in and continue to create a better life for all in our beloved South Africa.

Let’s build better communities. Together.

Vote ANC.


A Pledge to do and be better.

A Pledge to deploy honourable and competent local leaders.

A Pledge to deploy the action-orientated and honourable men and women who are committed to service delivery.

A Pledge to deliver services promptly and consistently. A Pledge to rebuild safer and healthier communities

A Pledge to stimulate local economies.

A Pledge to be available to our people 24/7.

A Pledge to listen to and have open channels of communication.

A Pledge to remain accountable.

A Pledge to form and sustain working partnerships with communities, NGOs and private companies that benefit local communities.

A Pledge to spare no effort in rooting out corruption and all forms of nepotism and malfeasance in our organisation and all levels of government.

Issued by African National Congress, 29 September 2021