W Cape branches to elect can­di­dates

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TSHEGO LEPULE

THE ANC in the Western Cape will hold branch gen­eral meet­ings this week to elect its can­di­dates in the lead-up to the party’s na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

It fol­lows a dec­la­ra­tion from ANC sec­re­tary gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe on Fri­day that au­dits of branch mem­ber­ships had been con­cluded in eight of the coun­try’s nine prov­inces, in­clud­ing the Western Cape.

This paves the way for the start of the nom­i­na­tion process to elect new lead­er­ship for the party.

Faiez Ja­cobs, the ANC’s pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary in the Western Cape, said: “With the au­dits com­pleted, branch gen­eral meet­ings (BGMs) will com­mence (this) week­end. The first step is to con­duct train­ing with all the elec­toral of­fi­cers who will of­fi­ci­ate the meet­ings.

“We are us­ing the whole of Oc­to­ber to get the BGMs sorted out, as well as any dis­putes that might emerge from that.”

But the ANC in the Western Cape, which will go to the con­fer­ence in three months’ time with a lit­tle over 300 del­e­gates, won’t have much say about who is elected as the party’s next pres­i­dent.

“The BGMs will not go with­out some dis­putes, peo­ple want­ing to buy votes and fac­tions shov­ing their pre­ferred can­di­date down ev­ery­one else’s throats,” an ANC in­sider said.

“It is a known fact how di­vided the Western Cape is and get­ting them to speak in one voice is go­ing to be nearly im­pos­si­ble We have Andile Lili, a PEC mem­ber who has shown in­ter­est in be­com­ing the chair­per­son of the prov­ince and he is a known sup­porter of Mathews Phosa.

“And then you have Faiez Ja­cobs, a known Cyril Ramaphosa sup­porter and his peo­ple, and then you have the Dul­lah Omar re­gion, the metro re­gion, who are big on Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.”

Fac­tions in the ANC’s struc­tures in the Western Cape have di­vided the party to the ex­tent that the Dul­lah Omar re­gion was dis­banded and then re­in­stated two months ago. This widened the di­vi­sion be­tween the prov­ince’s largest re­gion and its lead­er­ship.

The ANC Youth League’s pro­vin­cial mem­bers have also been feud­ing among them­selves over the en­dorse­ment of Dlamini Zuma.

Prob­lems within the league first arose when the new MP vis­ited the prov­ince two weeks ago and again this week when league and pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers clashed over the le­git­i­macy of the cur­rent lead­er­ship.

Daniel Silke, a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, said even with a small num­ber of ANC del­e­gates from the Western Cape, the re­gion’s mem­bers would still be wooed by those vy­ing for the top po­si­tions in the party.

“One of the down­sides of hav­ing a poor branch struc­ture is that the ANC in the prov­ince will play a less sig­nif­i­cant role in be­com­ing de­ci­sion-mak­ers; they play a very sec­ondary role,” Silke said.

“These elec­tions will po­ten­tially be a close call, which will see small prov­inces like the Western Cape be­ing courted.

“It will have lower num­bers when com­pared to KwaZu­luNatal, the East­ern Cape and Gauteng but be­cause of the close­ness of it all, ev­ery vote will count.

“But un­for­tu­nately for the ANC Western Cape, they lack the abil­ity to in­flu­ence, they are more by-standers.”

‘ANC Western Cape lacks the abil­ity to in­flu­ence’

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