Provinces split on party leadership election reform
THE push for all ANC members to elect their president and top five leaders, has pitted the party’s biggest provinces against each other.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, the party’s biggest and second-biggest provinces respectively, differed on the suggestion.
The move will see about a million members vote for leaders, including for the national executive committee (NEC), instead of branch delegates nominated to a conference.
The governing party is grappling with its leadership election methods, which have been plagued by vote-buying and manipulation, allowing space for “capture” of the organisation by business interests.
Yesterday, as the ANC NEC met in Pretoria, the party’s Northern Cape structure openly backed a proposal for one million party members to vote directly for its president and other top leaders.
The decision by the ANC in the Northern Cape yesterday came after the party in the Eastern Cape supported the proposal. It was adopted at the recent policy conference, where ANC structures were asked to discuss it and come up with their positions.
However, KZN rejected the proposal, with Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng among those not yet decided.
Mdumiseni Ntuli, ANC provincial spokesperson, said the proposal would not work. “This is not a decision of the policy conference. It’s one of the permutations the policy conference said we should consider,” he said.
“As a province we don’t support it. Our view is the existing mechanism is sufficient. What we need to do is strengthen the quality of the branches so they produce delegates of high quality at the conference,” he said.
Nkenke Kekana, ANC spokesperson in Gauteng, said this was a brilliant idea, but it would be difficult to implement.
“You need to modernise the party. We are in discussion to modernise the party,” he said.
This would then scrap the current system where delegates from branches vote for the ANC President, the rest of the top six and the NEC.