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Overview   |   Profile of the Chief Whip   |   Role of Council Whip  

Role of the Council Whip - Chief Whip of the majority party in Council

Brief comperative analysis of caucuses in Germany, Britain and Sweden
  • Firstly, the organization of the party in parliaments and legislatures is of paramount importance and central to the implementation of the governing party’s programme. In this regard the role of Caucus is about the implementation of the party’s manifesto and this is the central task of the caucus collective.
  • Secondly, the work of portfolio and standing committee is guided by the work of Caucus Committee. The approach is that, issues are clustered and therefore there are cluster committee’s that are central in the coordination of the implementation of the programme of governance.
  • Thirdly, there is a dedicated capacity that coordinates this work. Included in this work, is the work of committees. These committees are central in the communication of the message of the party by distilling and crystallizing the work of committee’s for purpose of constituency work.
  • Fourthly, the organization of Caucuses in the three Countries has developed systems and capacity to ensure the successful implementation of the programme of the party in the legislature. The  coordination with the office of the leader in Government i.e. Premier, Prime Minister is crucial in ensuring that the program of parliament/legislature is driven by the party
  • Lastly, in realizing the above tasks, Caucus is able to deploy staff that has research, writing and communication skills. This means the requirement of staff across the board is informed by this central theme, of communication and campaign
  • Fourthly, the organization of Caucuses in the three Countries has developed systems and capacity to ensure the successful implementation of the programme of the party in the legislature. The  coordination with the office of the leader in Government i.e. Premier, Prime Minister is crucial in ensuring that the program of parliament/legislature is driven by the party
  • Lastly, in realizing the above tasks, Caucus is able to deploy staff that has research, writing and communication skills. This means the requirement of staff across the board is informed by this central theme, of communication and campaign
  • Fourthly, the organization of Caucuses in the three Countries has developed systems and capacity to ensure the successful implementation of the programme of the party in the legislature. The  coordination with the office of the leader in Government i.e. Premier, Prime Minister is crucial in ensuring that the program of parliament/legislature is driven by the party
  • Lastly, in realizing the above tasks, Caucus is able to deploy staff that has research, writing and communication skills. This means the requirement of staff across the board is informed by this central theme, of communication and campaign
  • Furthermore staff of Caucus is able to analyze and simplify Bills for the purpose of engagement with the constituency through the constituency forums, as led by a member deployed in a specific constituency. The centrality of this work is about responding to what the manifesto raises as key areas of focus of government. The Bill must therefore be simplified in this regard for purposes of engagement with the members of party with the view of capacitating them to be able to engage with Society. Furthermore, dedicated resources are established in supporting the work of Caucus.
A quick comperative review of other party caucuses

  • In a Westminster System, a party caucus can be quite powerful, as it has the ability to elect or dismiss the party parliamentary leader, in our case a Council leader
  • The Caucus also determines some matters of policy, parliamentary tactics and disciplinary measures against disobedient MP’s.
  • In some parties (such as the Australian Labour Party or the New Zealand Labour Party) caucus also has the ability to elect MP’s to cabinet when the party is in government.
  • In our system, this is done by the party executive committee outside the legislature i.e. The deployment Committee
Whips
  • The Commonwealth system has whips which form pivotal role in the working of parliament
    • They are important office bearers of the party in parliament.
    • They maintain party discipline within the legislature
    • They ensure the successful processing of government business in the Legislature working with the Government Chief Whip (What we call the leader of government business or leader of the house.
    • They keep party leaders informed of the currents of opinion with the party caucus.
Services offered by Party Caucuses
  • Ongoing training of members and secretariat – Parliamentary Labour Party
    • Legal Guidelines
    • Handling the media
    • Targeting members communication skills
    • Writing press releases and newspapers articles
    • Political overview of the coming Months
Caucus accountability
  • The British Labour Party’s parliamentary caucus members sign a pledge, “I pledge myself, on all occasions to do my utmost to ensure the carrying out of the principles embodied in the Labour Platform, and on all questions, and especially those affecting the fate of a Government, to vote as a majority of the Labour Party may decide at dully constituted Caucus meeting” Verre Gordon Childe – How Labour Party Governs
  • Even in a system where members do not sign pledges, members see cohesion as critical
    • They perceive it to be their personal advantage to act cohesively
    • It is mutually advantageous to their parties and themselves
    • The maintenance of their parties as viable, organized and effective means they have a higher chance of remaining in office and achieving the objectives for which they and their parties represent.
Overall role of Caucus in Sedibeng Disctrict Municipality
  • Firstly, it is a collective custodian of the implementation of the ANC Manifesto. It is accountable to the ANC structures.
  • Secondly, it is the collective custodian of the ANC policy in governance on behalf of the ANC constitutional structures.
  • Thirdly, it is responsible for ensuring cohesion and discipline among  ANC cadres in a Caucus.
  • Fourthly, its decisions are binding on all cadres and they can only be vetoed by the ANC constitutional structures.
  • Lastly, it is accountable to its relevant structures of the ANC i.e. NEC, PEC, REC and Zone
Caucuse structures in Sedibeng Disctrict Municipality
  • Sedibeng ANC Councilors Caucus
    • Chief Whip - Chairperson
    • ANC Councilors
  • Sedibeng Caucus Office Bearers
    • Chief Whip – Chairperson
    • 9 Whips (Chairperson / Conveners of Study Groups) & Gender Committee
  • Sedibeng Chief Whips Forum
    • Chief Whip – SDM – Chairperson
    • Chief Whip – ELM
    • Chief Whip – MLM
    • Chief Whip - LLM
  • Sedibeng Multi Party Forum
    • Chief Whip/Whip of Council – Chairperson
    • Chief Whip – Democratic Alliance
    • Chief Whip – Pan Africanist of Azania
Role of the Chief Whip
  • The Chief Whip is the nerve centre of the ANC’s political management system and the engine of cohesion, discipline and accountability of all the public representatives to the structures of the movement and their constituencies.
  • Together with the Offices of the Mayor, and the Speaker, the Chief Whip’s Office is the central pillar on which the governing party’s programme in the Municipality stands or fall.
  • The Chief Whip has a duty to ensure effective political management among all these three centres of power and to do this effectively the Chief Whip has to work very closely and dynamically with the office of Regional Secretary
  • Furthermore, the Chief Whip and the entire Caucus Leadership bear the leadership responsibility of motivating, advising and instilling discipline among all members deployed in a Caucus
Functions of the Chief Whip
  • Overall coordination and political responsibility of the ANC – Councillors and Caucus.
  • Link between the Speakers Office and the Mayoral Committee.
  • Accounting Officer – authorises budget and expenditure for Caucus.
  • Responsible for the political relationship between the Caucus and the constitutional structures of the ANC.
  • Responsible for maintaining positive relationships with other political parties in the Council.
  • Authorise study tours and leave of absence from Council.
  • Spokesperson for the Caucus on decisions made at Caucus.
  • Responsible for the management of the Caucus support staff.
  • Convenes the debates (Parliamentary) strategy committee meetings and sits on Governance Committee.
  • Deployment of Councillors in committees of Council.
  • Responsible for  the functioning of Study Groups
  • May recommend the promotion and demotion of Councillors.
  • Responsible for measuring and monitoring the performance of Councillors in all areas of deployment.
  • Responsible for allocating PR Councillors to constituencies and keep them accountable.
  • Responsible for the political accountability of the work of ward committees by ward councillors
  • The Chief may delegate the above functions and responsibilities to various Whips
  • The Chief Whip’s political and administrative authority comes from the organisation and the authority of Whips comes from the Chief Whip delegated authority.
  • It is the Chief Whip’s responsibility to ensure that the Mayoral Committee’s programme is delivered on a timetable set by the Mayoral and agreed by Caucus.
  • The Chief Whip has considerable authority and powers over Councilors to ensure their proper political conduct. For those who step out of line, the Chief Whip has an array of disciplinary measures e.g. The Chief Whip may choose to reprimand a Councilor privately, or sharply rebuke the Councilor in Caucus in front of all Councilors and the Secretary of the organization.
  • The Chief Whip may exercise powers such as the refusal of leave of absence and the refusal of permission to participate in international (oversees) study tours
  • Suspending a Councilor from Caucus or ultimately recommending the redeployment of the ill-disciplined Councilor(s) from Council.
Role of Whips
  • Coordinates and oversees the implementation of the programme of action of the Caucus,
  • Prepares strategically and politically an agenda for Caucus meetings.
  • Oversees and monitors constituency work of all the ANC Councillors, working with the provincial Caucus
  • Oversees the implementation of a systematic cadre-ship development programme of Caucus
  • Develops and oversees the implementation of the Caucus research agenda.
  • Ensures that the governing party’s agenda shapes the programme and detailed issues in preparation for Council meetings, and section 80 committee meetings.
  • Reports regularly to Caucus on the work of Sub-Committees.
  • Reports to the Chief Whip on all policy and strategic issues that require political intervention. In this regard, propose a political referral system on substantive political and policy issues, such as identifying the issues that should be referred to the ANC Officials, RWC, before they are finalised by Caucus and ensure that the Chief Whip and the Regional Secretary have regular meetings that facilitates political management.
Role of Caucus
  • Caucus should operate in accordance with the ANC traditions of collective leadership.
  • ANC Caucus should meet regularly in Council and function under the discipline and overall direction of the ANC Constitutional Structures.
  • Caucus should ensure that all legislation that enacted conforms to ANC policy and our transformation objectives.
  • Caucus should participate in the formulation and development of ANC policies through such policy making structures as are established.
  • Caucus should be consulted on decisions which affect it.
  • All ANC Councilors, MMC’s, Speaker and Executive Mayor are required to participate in the Caucus, contribute to the development of the ANC policies through involvement in the Study Groups and shall be accountable to the ANC structures and their constituencies.
  • The above emphasised the ANC Caucus as centre in providing broad strategic leadership to state and indeed society.  In this regard the ANC has to use different structures of the state, this includes the Executive and the Judiciary.  This therefore confirms the importance and critical role of Caucus. It also requires that Caucus and in particular the office of the Chief Whip to be politically strong.
  • Is the collective custodian of ANC policy in governance, on behalf of the ANC constitutional structures.
  • It is responsible for ensuring cohesion and discipline among ANC cadres in a Municipality.
  • Its decisions are binding on all cadres and they can only be vetoed by the ANC constitutional structures.
 

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