The Free State ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has reaffirmed that municipalities that are led by young people will have quality leadership. This comes after they managed to close ranks and have young people as mayors in four municipalities in the province.
The youth represented in councils have committed to improving service delivery to stimulate economic growth.
Kopanong, Mohokare, Ngwathe, and Mafube local municipalities in the Free State have heeded the call for voting in young people in crucial positions.

Zingisa Mgawuli, a 30-year-old, from Mohokare Municipality is the youngest mayor out of the four Municipalities. Their common goal is to create economic participation for all and to tackle the issues of service delivery.

However, they admit that there’s a lot of work to do in restoring the collapsed municipalities. Mgawuli says it’s a very hostile environment.

“I enter into a very hostile environment. However, if you can look at the dynamics that were happening young people were the ones who were leading those marches. So this means that young people are not catered for. If people want to squabble inside politics they use the very same young people because they are hungry and are not employed.”

The youth league is confident that it has the best candidates who are committed to doing the work and turning around struggling municipalities.

Kopanong municipality is one of the five municipalities placed under administration in the province. The municipality has failed to pay its employee’s salaries for three months. Its bank account has been attached for defaulting on the R26 million owed to the Municipal Workers Retirement Fund.

Kopanong executive mayor Xolani Tseletsele urges the mayors to take their positions seriously.

“The only thing that we will want to raise with you is that those positions are not a status but they are stations of advancing the national democratic revolution as well as renewing the ANC in the province and the youth league.”

Stefani Lockman was voted in as the speaker of the embattled Mangaung Metro municipality.

“Today I was told that she is young that one, how is she going to manage us. So, there’s already nervousness and hostility like the mayor said that you come in there and they are already saying things like, are you able to do this? However, I think the interview process has shown us that as young people we are prepared for this process. We have learned enough, we have gained practical experience and knowledge.”

The ANCYL says the bar has been set very high. Free State ANCYL Convenor, Katleho Mangoejane, says:

“In our analysis, we wanted 25% in Troikers and we were able to get into 10 in the Free State. That is above the 25% that we have set. When we check there are 21 municipalities that are led by the ANC and we are having young people in 10 Troikers that makes it 47, 6%.”