South Africa

ROAD TO ELECTIVE CONFERENCE

ANC Western Cape postpones provincial conference to next year

ANC Western Cape postpones provincial conference to next year
(Photo: Leila Dougan)

The ANC in the Western Cape has finally conceded that it will not be able to convene its provincial conference this year after countless postponements.

The ANC in the Western Cape was scheduled to hold its provincial conference this coming weekend. But the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) announced that after its extended Provincial Working Committee meeting on Sunday, 27 November, in Cape Town, a decision was taken to postpone the provincial conference to early next year as the 70% threshold to elect new leaders was not met.  

An interim leadership structure has been in place in the Western Cape since the party’s Provincial Executive Committee was disbanded in 2019. The Free State is the other province yet to convene its provincial conference.  

“The province currently sits at a total of 267 branches to date out of a threshold of 284 — 17 branches away from the 70% threshold required to hold a provincial conference,” said provincial spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni.  

“[The IPC resolved] that the provincial conference be held post the national conference in the first half of the coming year after a thoroughgoing process of ensuring that all work that needs to be done in the regions gets completed and that no one is left behind.”  

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Disgruntled ANC Boland members plan to nullify elective conference 

A new cut-off date for branches would be released after the national conference. Mtsweni also said they had been progressing in trying to revive the ANC in the province, managing to move the province from 20 to 267 branches. 

“Four out of six regions have reached their 70% threshold and three successful regional conferences [have been] held. The fourth region, which is the Central Karoo, will take place from the 2nd of December 2022.”  

However, Daily Maverick reported that disgruntled ANC Boland members plan to nullify their elective conferences after members complained of irregularities.  


Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations


Road to national elective conference 

Mtsweni said the province had recorded the highest growth in membership, and 88% of their branches had held successful branch general meetings to select delegates and make their nominations for the National Executive Committee.  

The Western Cape will send 263 branch delegates — the seventh-largest provincial delegation and the largest delegation it has sent to a national conference, up from 192 in the 2017 conference. 

“The IPC took an earlier stance not to unduly influence branches in exercising their solemn democratic right to nominate leaders of their own choosing. The IPC notes the consolidated outcomes of nominations both in our province and nationally. 

“We are encouraged that branches across our province continue to overwhelmingly affirm the renewal path of the ANC. We are further encouraged that our branches are moving away from slate politics and choose leaders purely based on track record and contributions towards a truly renewed ANC.”  

The province was recently visited by former president Jacob Zuma, deputy presidential hopeful Paul Mashatile and secretary-general hopefuls Mdumiseni Ntuli and Fikile Mbalula.  

Indications are that the province will support Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term, Mashatile as his deputy, but is divided on the position of secretary-general. Some of the party’s strongest branches have nominated Ntuli, while Mbalula received a handful of nominations. 

The party’s biggest region, the Dullah Omar Region (DOR), which in the metro is still leaderless, has cost the party dearly after it shed votes in the 2021 local government elections.  

The leadership of the DOR, together with that of the Southern Cape Region, which covers the Garden Route, was dissolved a few months ago due to the slow pace of work, and task teams were installed to strengthen the work of rebuilding the ANC in the two regions. 

“To date, the two regions have made substantial progress,” said Mtsweni.  

“The Southern Cape region has grown from eight to 48 branches with membership over 100, 13 branches away from their 70% threshold of 61. 

“The Dullah Omar Region has grown to 73 branches with membership of over 100, eight branches away from the 70% threshold of 81 from absolutely nothing when the task teams took over a few months back.” 

The Central Karoo regional conference is expected to take place from 2 December 2022 in Beaufort West.  

The party said it was working hard to ensure that both the Dullah Omar and Southern Cape regions hold their regional conferences before the provincial conference. DM

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