DURBAN - THE ANC in eThekwini said it had a shortfall of 15 branches to meet the required 70% threshold for their conference to sit.
The long-awaited conference is expected to be held at the end of January or in early February according to the new deadlines that were adopted by the party’s national executive committee in 2021.
The regional task team co-ordinator, Bheki Ntuli, told the Daily News in an interview on Monday that the party had managed to sit 64 branches of the 110 in the region of eThekwini.
To reach 78 branches – which is 70% – the party needed to ensure that at least 15 branches met successfully before month-end.
Last week the party had hoped to sit at least 20 branches, but Ntuli said none of the branches managed this. Ntuli said they were scheduling branch meetings as soon as possible.
“We believe we are still on track to meet our deadline of the first week of February. Sixty-four branches have already met successfully. There were no disputes, so we are certain by the end of this coming weekend we would have met the 70% threshold. If we exceed this number it would be a bonus,” said Ntuli.
He added that the region has completed the ward nomination process for by-elections in ward 101, where party candidate Siyabonga Mkhize was shot and killed days before the November local government election.
Mkhize won the ward, which meant the by-election must be held to replace him as per the Independent Electoral Commission Act. If the ANC still wins the ward, it will increase its number of councillors to 96.
Former mayor Zandile Gumede is expected to square up against Thabani Nyawose for the position of chairperson. Both factions expressed optimism that they would win the conference.
Although there are regions still to hold their conferences in the province, eThekwini is the biggest region for the ANC in the country.
Nyawose is a known President Cyril Ramaphosa backer who was a convener of CR17 supporters in the province towards the party’s 2017 54th elective conference, while Gumede is a known member of the radical economic transformation group which supports former president Jacob Zuma.
The eThekwini region wields a lot of influence, so its conference outcome is expected to play a major role in determining who will win the provincial and national conference.