The big rush to get ready
Conferences must be held before ANC’s provincial gathering
ANC REGIONS in the Western Cape are scrambling to get their house in order ahead of their regional conferences, but party insiders say it may be too late to meet the December 31 deadline set by Luthuli House for the party to hold its provincial conference.
Today two of the six ANC regions, Overberg and West Coast, are set to hold their elective conferences, and two others plan to hold them next weekend.
No dates have been set for the Southern Cape region and the Dullah Omar (Cape Town) region, where staff have been working overtime to set up their conference by the middle of this month.
In ter ms of party policy, 70 percent of branches must have had their regional conferences before a provincial conference can be held.
After disbanding the provincial executive and giving a replacement task team a May deadline to organise a provincial conference, the party’s national executive committee extended the province’s deadline to December 31.
But insiders doubt the province will be ready to hold its conference this month, and said it might have to be postponed until next year.
The ANC won 47 percent of the popular vote in the province in 2004.
The ANC’s Western Cape spokesman, Mandla Dlamini, said the Dullah Omar and Souther n Cape regions had been audited and, although no dates had been finalised, the regions should be able to hold their regional conferences by December 16.
“There is a lot of progress as the branch annual general meetings are happening every day,” he said.
But party loyalists have warned that deep divisions remain in the provincial party, and that the West Coast region meeting today could be particularly fraught.
Members, who asked not to be named, said racial rifts were evident in the names being punted for the position of provincial chairman.
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman has the support of most of the rural, mainly Afrikaans-speaking, regions outside the city, while Mcebisi Skwatsha, the controversial for mer provincial leader, is popular in both the Dullah Omar region and the Southern Cape.
Other names being bandied about include those of Lwandle councillor Xolani Sotashe for provincial deputy chairman.
For the post of secretary, the names of former Western Cape ANC treasurer Songezo Mjongile and Sihle Moon have been suggested, and Western Cape justice head, Hishaam Mohamed, for the deputy secretary position.
POPULAR: Mcebisi Skwatsha.
RURAL SUPPORT: Marius Fransman