South Africa


Win back the Western Cape, Ramaphosa tells newly elected ANC provincial leaders

Win back the Western Cape, Ramaphosa tells newly elected ANC provincial leaders
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC's Western Cape Provincial Conference on 25 June 2023 in Cape Town, Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

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. 

From left: New ANC Western Cape chairperson Vuyiso JJ Tyhalisisu, deputy chairperson Sharon Davids, secretary Neville Delport, deputy secretary Ayanda Bans and treasurer Derek Appel nominated during the ANC’s Western Cape provincial conference on 25 June 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Surprise nomination

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.

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.

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.

New ANC Western Cape chairperson Vuyiso JJ Tyhalisusu, nominated during the ANC’s Western Cape provincial conference on 25 June 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Deputy secretary Ayanda Bans nominated during the ANC’s Western Cape Provincial Conference on 25 June 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

New ANC Western Cape deputy chairperson Sharon Davids and secretary Neville Delport nominated during the ANC’s Western Cape provincial conference on 25 June 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Sponsored factionalism

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.

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


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    The ANC is being relegated to being a rural party. Once they lose power in the metros, it’s an inevitable path. Problem is their voters are pouring into the cities so strategically they are stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. The days of 50% or more are clearly gone.

  • Paul Savage says:

    The only chance the ANC has of winning the Western Cape is if it can prove in the rest of the country that it can govern properly and not steal all the money. But the ANC is so corrupt, and there are so many cadres feeding off the system, that such a turnaround is impossible. I would be surprised if the ANC got a 20% share of the vote in the Western Cape at the next election.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Cyril – we don’t need you or your obnoxious party here in the WC! Wherever you govern, there is nothing left but a wasteland of poverty, misery and bankruptcy. You are like a swarm of locusts who devour everything in your rapacious greed for power and money. The anc is nothing but a corrupt, criminal, predatory, self-serving and treasonous rabble, who only look after themselves, their elite and cadres at the expense of the rest of the citizens. Why would anyone, in their right mind, ever vote for your vile party that it has become over the last decade and a half. Go away and get lost – do SA a huge favour!

  • Robert Morgan says:

    How many more times must the ANC renew itself? How much more leadership overhauling will transform this rotten disorganisation. The die has been cast. There’s no way back for a party so steeped in corruption, incompetence and stupidity. The world has seen the staggering inability for the ANC to read a room during it’s recent dalliance with Russia. The time has come for heads to roll. Zondo, start earning your money.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    They are never going to recover,the DA has their number!!!In the WC people think before they vote

  • Rae Earl says:

    Ramaphosa’s addresses to supporters over the past few months have consisted of far more negative issues that positive ones. In Cape Town he talked about the “issues” and “disunity” and to cap it all, tells them that they are winners because at last, they have been able to hold a conference. That is an admission of failure surely? Could one even begin to imagine the DA ever being unable to hold a conference? The ANC does that with great regularity, and even then, if they get it right, there is a distinct likelihood of fist fights and throwing of chairs. The ANC is desperate to win Cape Town in 2024. It has a positive cash flow and they desperately need access to those bank accounts. Dream on ANC looters.

    • John Smythe says:

      It’s as if he’s talking to a bunch of kindergarten children.
      And they actually pat themselves on tbe back for a job well done. Not! Amazing!

  • Peter Holmes says:

    I posted a similar comment yesterday, but by the time the DM censors had “allowed” it to go public, the relevant article was off the front page, so here goes: Don’t underestimate the ignorance and gullibility of the typical ANC voter. With the changing demographics of the Western Cape, the DA cannot afford to become smug or complacent; never say “never”.

    • Milner Erlank Erlank says:

      The DA cannot afford to become smug or complacent; never say “never”. These words should be in the forefront of every DA leader. The voter of every stripe has a muddied political landscape from which to choose in 2024. First and foremost, every DA supporter must register now AND vote next year to ensure the Western Cape continues to show the rest of South Africa how the country should be governed.

  • Thomas Cleghorn says:

    The ANC had their day in the WC, they blew it and never again (in its current broken guise). I was one of many (I suspect) voters who threw my hope at the feet of the ANC in the WC and gave them my support for many elections. That hope died after repeated failure and debacle and I was forced into the clutches of the DA. The ANC really have nothing to offer currently, anywhere. There is rarely mention of policy or societal direction in their politicking, it is always a fight for personal position & prestige.

    • John Smythe says:

      I don’t think it’s about clutches. Just do the job right. Fair and honest. And listen to your voters. The ANC has never done that in 30 years. They thought they could do it. But the gold and glitter blinded them to the realities of running a country.

  • Mark K says:

    I saw the headline and my response was:

    Pffffh! Whahaha!
    *gasps for breath*
    *gasps for breath again*

    “Uncle Cyril, do you think Kaapenaars can’t see the rest of the country?”

  • John Smythe says:

    Lol! Really? They have what it takes, do they. They couldn’t even organise a basic conference without stealing the accommodation from each other to bring their friends along for the ride. And this bunch wants the Western Cape? Do me a favour…..

  • mikejreddell says:

    You must be out of your mind Cyril, it’s the one and only province in the county that is still functional. All the provinces where you govern are “stuffed” We need to rebuild where your party has allowed “DECAY” at the highest level. No to the CANCer in the Western Cape….. In other words, hands off. Even your past followers have no more faith in your cANCerous party….. We need growth of previous infrastructure in this country and not in your pockets, there’s nothing that us everyday citizens can see that has been a success under anc governance. So, you have failed this beautiful nation. KFC, caps and T-shirts will not work anymore… Maybe try to focus on the provinces you have ruined, because you’re going to loose them too. 😉

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