ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
Win back the Western Cape, Ramaphosa tells newly elected ANC provincial leaders
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has shown faith in the ANC’s overhauled Western Cape leadership, saying they must win back the province they lost over a decade ago.
The newly elected ANC Western Cape leaders face the mammoth task of uniting the party while also improving the party’s fortunes in the 2024 national and provincial elections.
Delivering the closing remarks at the party’s provincial elective conference on Sunday, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa said the new leaders could surprise many by winning back the province they lost in 2009.
“We need to fix issues inside the ANC so that it can be the leader of the society,” he said.
“The renewal process is firmly under way. The fact that you were able to hold the conference, you are setting a good example. You are one of the last provinces to hold a conference, but you have shown that last can be the best.”
Ramaphosa said the province had for many years been defined by disunity, which was why it took so long to convene a conference.
“Let’s take what you have demonstrated here to our branches. We need to recover the ground we have lost in elections. We need to outline a clear path to achieve an outright majority in the Western Cape legislature and the Cape Metro. You have it within you, comrades. Surprise everyone, including the people within the party.”
The president said he did not lose sleep over the upcoming general elections as he believed that the ANC would win with an outright majority.
He said South Africans still “love the ANC”; they just need to rekindle that love.
In the 2009 general elections, the ANC lost the Western Cape to the DA and has never regained it. The ANC won only 31% of the vote in 2009 and fell to 28% in the 2019 elections.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Mbalula warns Western Cape ANC: ‘You are fighting for nothing and yet the power is gone’
Vuyiso JJ Tyhalisisu was elected as the party’s new provincial chairperson. It was a watershed moment for the party in the province, which has failed to convene a conference for the past eight years.
Tyhalisisu received 311 votes, beating Cameron Dugmore, who got 282 votes. Dugmore is the ANC leader in the provincial legislature and he ran a public campaign for the position while Tyhalisusu was nominated from the floor.
The voting was concluded in the early hours of Sunday morning and the results were announced immediately even though some delegates had already left the conference.
Tyhalisisu’s nomination took many by surprise, but it was clear that he enjoyed most support from the delegates because as soon as his name was mentioned there was resounding applause.
He is the former regional secretary of the Dullah Omar Region and was part of the Regional Executive Committee that was disbanded in February 2022, with the ANC’s Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) citing its failure to prove it would be ready to hold its conference.
Ahead of the conference, Tyhalisisu was scheduled to contest the position of provincial secretary, but he said last-minute discussions led him to contest the chairperson position.
He was nominated from the floor after the convenor of the previous IPC, Lerumo Kalako, declined his nomination.
JJ Tyhalisusu a former Dullah Omar secretary is nominated for the chairperson position from the floor. He is a close ally of Lerumo Kalako who just declined nomination for the same position. JJ has qualified and will go against Cameron Dugmore #ANCWC2023 pic.twitter.com/R9cVoa5ymQ
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) June 24, 2023
Richard Dyantyi, chairperson of Parliament’s Section 194 Inquiry on the Public Protector’s impeachment, who was also touted as the next chairperson, failed to even meet the threshold to make it on to the ballot. He again failed to garner the required threshold when his name was nominated from the floor.
Former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, who was expected to become the secretary, also did not make the cut.
For the first time in its history, the province’s top five leaders all come from different regions. Sharon Davids from Boland was elected the new deputy chair, and West Coast’s Neville Delport was elected provincial secretary.
Ayanda Bans from the Central Karoo won the deputy secretary position, beating JJ van Rooyen. Derick Appel from Theewaterskloof was elected unopposed as provincial treasurer to complete the top five leadership.
Here is the newly elected top 5 of the ANC Western Cape. From left to right Chair: JJ Tyhalisusu, Dep chair: Sharon Davids, secretary: Neville Delport, Dep secretary, Ayanda Bans and treasurer Derek Appel #ANCWC2023 pic.twitter.com/goRqYhypl0
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) June 25, 2023
Tyhalisisu said they were mindful of the ANC’s challenges in the province. “We do not underestimate what confronts us,” he told Daily Maverick.
“The rebuilding process has taken so long. It is not complete, some of the branches were established on the eve of this conference. Our task is to make sure that those branches are turned from conference branches to campaigning branches of the ANC.”
He said that they had a huge task in building unity in the province so they could take the fight to the DA. Tyhalisisu said the fact that he was part of a disbanded region had no bearing on the newly elected executive.
The Dullah Omar and Southern Cape regions are yet to hold their conferences. Ramaphosa promised to attend the outstanding conferences.
Delivering his political report, outgoing IPC convenor Kalako painted a picture of a provincial leadership structure that was highly factionalised during its term over the past four years. He said the factionalism was sponsored and funded by national leaders. He did not name those national leaders.
“The composition of this IPC was along factional lines and those who were mandated by the former NWC [national working committee] to implement the decision of the former national executive committee were highly factionalised,” he said.
Tyhalisisu is a known ally of former minister Lindiwe Sisulu. He helped convince the Boland region to rally behind Sisulu during the 55th ANC National Elective Conference in December 2022.
A video made rounds in November last year in which Sisulu was sweeping her yard and Tyhalisisu appears wearing a pink T-shirt and black trousers.
Lindiwe Sisulu sweeping off her competition 🤣😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/o4SH0bYrRW
— Vernon Naidoo (@VernonNaidoo242) November 13, 2022
Some delegates claimed that Tyhalisisu and his executive were supported by Sisulu, Deputy President Paul Mashatile and former ANC presidential hopeful Dr Zweli Mkhize. Tyhalisisu said the allegations were malicious and dangerous.
“That assertion is a divisive assertion. We are coming from the national conference last year in December and the leadership of the ANC was elected, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa. This leadership elected and this membership of this province supports the NEC led by Ramaphosa and we have confidence in his leadership and their entire collective,” said Tyhalisisu. DM