Cape Town - The number of ANC members in the Western Cape has risen to 50 147 in the past few months, the party said on Monday.
African National Congress membership in the province was recorded at around 38 000 before the Mangaung conference in December, provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile told reporters in Cape Town.
He said the increase was probably because of a “last-minute rush” to recruit new members and renew old memberships.
Provincial chairman Marius Fransman said it could have been the result of concerted campaigns in the past year, such as the drive to stop the closure of around 20 schools.
“There is increasing membership on the Cape Flats linked to the Save our Schools campaign.... These hardline Democratic Alliance supporters are not anymore sure they are strong party supporters,” he said.
Following a three-day lekgotla at the weekend, the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) noted that 217 branches were in good standing, but that 170 branches were not.
“The PEC instructed all regional executive committees to focus on the renewal of branches. It also instructed branches to set up voting district base structures to ensure we increase the reach of the ANC,” Mjongile said.
“We want to take the Western Cape street by street, township by township, village by village and town by town.”
The PEC resolved to launch its Volunteer Corps programme in April, which had set a target of hiring 5000 volunteers for community development.
At present, 500 “dedicated” volunteers had signed up to assist with early childhood development, community food gardens, anti-crime and drug abuse initiatives, sports development and other initiatives.
These volunteers would also help with the elections next year.
Fransman said the ANC would speak to the Independent Electoral Commission to make sure voting arrangements were streamlined in poorer areas.
“We are concerned, because in the metro we've got between 500 000 and 700 000 people who are not registered.”
He said he believed the commission could improve venues, lighting, electricity and queue arrangements for all election activities in poorer areas. - Sapa