South Africa


ANC’s biggest region in Western Cape to plot its comeback at weekend conference

ANC’s biggest region in Western Cape to plot its comeback at weekend conference
New ANC Western Cape Deputy Chairperson Sharon Davids and Secretary Neville Delport during the provincial conference at the CTICC Cape Town in June 2023. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

It’s been over a year since the ANC’s Cape Town region was disbanded, and now the party says it’s ready to rebuild and become a force to be reckoned with in local politics.

Seventeen months after being disbanded, the ANC’s former flagship Dullah Omar region, covering the city of Cape Town, will convene its conference in Cape Town over the weekend. 

It is the only region in the province that has not yet held a conference after the Southern Cape region, which covers the Garden Route, Knysna and George, managed to convene this year.

The region – named after Abdullah Mohamed Omar, the late anti-apartheid activist, lawyer and the first justice minister of a democratic South Africa – is the ANC’s largest in the Western Cape in terms of membership and population, but it has been declining in recent years. 

ANC provincial secretary Neville Delport announced during a media briefing on Thursday at the party’s new offices that 300 voting delegates from the city will meet at the Southern Sun Hotel from Saturday morning. 

“Ten percent of the delegates are [from] the leagues,” said Delport.

“We want to make sure that more branches are involved in the conference. It’s not about electing leaders – it’s about taking part in all commissions and the conference itself.”

The region was plagued for years by infighting and has been disbanded twice in five years. 

The region’s misfortunes show in its waning support among voters – with the ANC dropping from almost 40% in 2000 to 18% in the 2021 local elections. 

The current chairperson of the province, JJ Tyhalisisu, who was elected in June 2023 during the party’s provincial conference, is a former regional secretary and was part of the regional executive committee that was disbanded in February last year.

In the 2000 local government elections, the ANC secured 77 seats on the Cape Town city council, but now has only 43 out of a total of 231, compared to the DA’s 136 seats.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Win back the Western Cape, Ramaphosa tells newly elected ANC provincial leaders

Two months after the 2021 local government elections, a group of angry ANC supporters, mostly from branches in Khayelitsha, stormed the party’s Cape Town offices and demanded that the region be disbanded to avoid further electoral decline before the 2024 national poll.

Following the complaints by disgruntled members, and the poor poll showing, the region was disbanded in February, with the ANC’s interim provincial committee citing its failure to prove that it would be ready to hold its conference.

It was first disbanded in 2017 after factionalism within the party and a poor showing in the polls. 

Delport said he would provide information on branch nominations on the first day of the conference. 

Daily Maverick has established that Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson, Ndithini Tyhido, will contest the chairperson position. He is the only potential candidate who has received enough branch nominations. 

Tyhido’s slate includes Sonwabile Ngxiza as his deputy and Mvusi Mdala as secretary, with Mareldia Chowglay as deputy secretary. Lynn Abrahams is vying for treasurer. The above are aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s faction in the ANC and they will be up against candidates aligned to the provincial leadership. 

Andile Lili, an ANC member of the provincial legislature, has joined forces with some ANC provincial leaders to back Tshepo Molotsane as their preferred candidate for the chairperson position. 

Molotsane used to work in the office of Xolani Sotashe when he was the leader of the opposition in the Cape Town council.

The grouping is also backing the party’s first female chief whip in the Western Cape provincial legislature, Pat Lekker, for deputy chairperson. 

Daliwonga Badela is vying for the secretary position, Thando Mpengesi for treasurer, and Judy-Ann Stevens for deputy secretary. 

Mark Classen has raised his hand for the deputy secretary position. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    What an awful waste of energy and resources. Do branch nominations amount to competence, integrity or capacity? Clearly history suggests not. The anc is a spent force. Not that DA is any better but at least it sees itself for what it is: one among many and only as good as the sum of the collective. But even that’s a fragility.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Really, DA not any better? So the track record of good governance in metros and municipalities where they govern counts for nothing or are you being deliberately obtuse and ignoring the facts?

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Really? you’re going to dilute the only hope ZA has by dissing the one party that actually is any good?

      Duh. The DA are not perfect, but they’re way better than anything else out there for our country.

      So try doing some good for yourself and everyone else in this country by supporting the DA and their amazing efforts to save you and all the other whingers from the endless purgatory that is the ANC.

      Thank you DA – I for one think you guys are brilliant and support you wholeheartedly.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      So, you’ve got some proof of your apparent hatred of the DA? Do you actually travel around the rest of this benighted country and compare the total mess the ANC have made with the incredible – and yes I think it’s absolutely INCREDIBLE (sorry to shout) – way the DA have managed to keep the Cape up to a very high standard, even compared with so-called First World countries like England (and I talk from recent personal experience on that) who are on the way to becoming Third World for many of their people, the way they’re carrying on.

  • frances hardie says:

    Andile Lili was one of the poo flingers

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    ANC = crime.
    If you don’t like living in the Cape under the DA, please do feel free to leave.

    Hell, contact me for your relocation costs. If I cant afford them at the very least I’ll cheer you on your way.

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