ANC split over giv­ing mem­bers vote

Party’s big­gest prov­inces dif­fer

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

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 KwaZu­luNatal and East­ern Cape, the party’s big­gest prov­ince and sec­ond-big­gest re­spec­tively, dif­fer on the pro­posal.

The move will see about 1 mil­lion mem­bers vot­ing for lead­ers, in­clud­ing the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC), in­stead of branch del­e­gates nom­i­nated to a con­fer­ence.

The rul­ing party is grap­pling with its lead­er­ship elec­tion strat­egy, which has been plagued by vote-buy­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion, al­low­ing space for “cap­ture” of the or­gan­i­sa­tion by busi­ness in­ter­ests.

Yes­ter­day, at the ANC NEC meet­ing in Pre­to­ria, the party’s North­ern Cape struc­ture openly backed the pro­posal to vote di­rectly for its pres­i­dent and other top lead­ers. This fol­lowed a de­ci­sion in the East­ern Cape on the pro­posal – which was adopted at the ANC’s re­cent pol­icy con­fer­ence.

How­ever, KwaZulu-Natal has firmly re­jected the pro­posal with Lim­popo, Mpumalanga and Gaut­eng among those not yet to de­cide.

ANC North­ern Cape pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Za­mani Saul said they were the first ones to sup­port the pro­posal.

“Our res­o­lu­tion was that the NEC must in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity for all mem­bers of the ANC to vote for the lead­er­ship.”

Saul said the NEC would look at the modal­i­ties of this. “The first thing is to im­prove the in­tegrity of the mem­ber­ship,” he said.

He said the Labour Party in Bri­tain was al­ready al­low­ing its mem­bers to vote di­rectly for its lead­er­ship.

How­ever, the ANC spokesper­son in KZN, Mdu­miseni Ntuli, said it would not fly.

“This is not a de­ci­sion of the pol­icy con­fer­ence. It’s one of the per­mu­ta­tions that the pol­icy con­fer­ence said we must con­sider,” he said.

“As a prov­ince, we don’t sup­port it. Our view is that the ex­ist­ing mech­a­nism is suf­fi­cient. What we need to do is to strengthen the qual­ity of the branches so that they pro­duce del­e­gates of high qual­ity,” he said.

ANC sec­re­tary in Lim­popo, Knox Se­abi, said they had not started dis­cussing the mat­ter. “Dis­cus­sions are still go­ing on un­til the na­tional con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber,” he said.

ANC sec­re­tary in Mpumalanga, Mandla Ndlovu, said they had not started dis­cus­sions on the pro­posal yet.

ANC spokesper­son in Gaut­eng, Nkenke Kekana, said this was a bril­liant idea but would be dif­fi­cult to im­ple­ment. “(We) need to mod­ernise the party. We are in dis­cus­sion to mod­ernise it,” he said.

The ANC boasted a mil­lion mem­bers and the pro­posal was to al­low all of them to vote in the elec­tive con­fer­ence. This would re­place the cur­rent sys­tem, where del­e­gates from branches vote for the ANC pres­i­dent, the top six and the NEC.

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