ANC structures to deliberate on election losses, early conference
JOHANNESBURG — Several ANC branches will deliberate on the August election results this weekend as well as a call put forward by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) for an early elective conference.
The league made the suggestion following the party’s dismal showing at the 2016 local government polls, which resulted in the ruling party losing control of three major metros in the country. The league said in order for the ANC to regenerate, it needed to elect new and young leaders. A call Mpumalanga has said it would support if it meant uniting the ANC.
“What’s of interest to this province is the unity of the ANC, that is paramount and if an early conference restores this, then so be it,” said Mpumalanga provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu.
Though no official pronouncement has been made by the province, Ndlovu said it would get behind any plan that helps both the ANC and country.
“If it further divides the ANC then there is no need for a conference.”
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng will sit down to deliberate on several matters this weekend, with the latter meeting national ANC leaders in the quest for answers to what went wrong. The ANC in Gauteng is still reeling from losing two of its big metros in the polls.
When the matter of the conference is brought up, it will be discussed and the ANC will communicate its position, said spokesperson Nkenke Kekana.
“Gauteng has other issues to focus on, but if it’s placed on the table we’ll discuss it,” he said.
The Northern Cape’s Zamani Saul said the ANC would assess the probability of a special conference when it meets in two weeks’ time.
Free State and Limpopo hold similar views on the matter, both more concerned about the logistics around such a venture.
Limpopo’s Nocks Seabe highlighted what an agreement on the decision would mean.
“Early means bringing forward a policy conference to December so the special conference can take place in January. It’s logistically impossible to prepare for all this in two months,” he told News24.
The Free State’s William Balwane questioned the league’s motive, claiming that he didn’t understand what informed the call by the party’s young lions.
“Impossibility, rushing the process could also collapse it because people are fighting for positions. What about provinces, BGMs (branch general meetings) and the auditing of branches?” he asked.
The Western Cape has already held its provincial executive committee meeting and doesn’t support the call for an early conference, especially because of the impact on preparations and logistics for the national policy conference that usually precedes the national elective conference.
The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA), which has sided with the league on a number of issues in the ANC in the past, said 2017 was around the corner and that it would be pointless attempting to rush the process.
“The time is now, we’d rather wait for the conference and get all the necessary things in place,” said Masechaba Motloung, an NEC member of the association.
According to rumours circulating on social media, the ANC Women’s League is behind the young lions’ call. However, both organisations have denied this accusation.
Speaking to News24, Matuba Meokgo, the secretary general of the women’s league, said now was not the time to focus on issues of leadership but reviewing the ANC. “The majority of our policies need to be reviewed, especially around issues impacting women and children,” she said.
Meokgo said those making calls for an early conference were promoting factionalism within the ANC.
“A wedge is being created by some people who don’t view the league as a leader in society. Now is the time for us to focus on the ANC.” — Sapa