W Cape branches to elect candidates
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’