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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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ANC KZN leaders say they up to the challenge ahead

The former mayor of the Newcastle Municipality also dismissed rumours and suggestions of a purge of political opponents following the outcome of the ANC KZN elective conference this past weekend

KwaZulu-Natal ANC treasurer Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, left, says the newly elected leadership were confident in the ANC’s prospects in the general elections, which are less than two years away. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 29, 2022

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Durban - Newly elected KwaZulu-Natal ANC treasurer Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba has warned against the practice of describing changes at government level as a “purge of political opponents”, saying such utterances were divisive and untrue.

Speaking to The Mercury ahead of the ANC national policy conference, Mahlaba said the new leadership was aware of the challenges before them, but were equal to the task.

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The former mayor of the Newcastle Municipality also dismissed rumours and suggestions of a purge of political opponents following the outcome of the ANC KZN elective conference this past weekend, where Sihle Zikalala was defeated by Siboniso Duma as he sought a third term as provincial chairperson.

Zikalala’s failure to also make the additional members list in the provincial executive committee (PEC) has led to uncertainty about his future at the helm of provincial government.

“In any structure, every now and then there are changes which are made, but these are informed by an assessment and careful evaluation of the prevailing conditions. In the ANC it is never about individuals, but it is a team effort and any talk of running after individuals is void of truth,” he said.

Mahlaba expressed confidence in the ANC’s prospects in the general elections, which are less than two years away.

According to ANC KZN secretary Bheki Mtolo, while many people, including some of its members and political pundits, were writing off the governing party, this would not happen as the new leadership was mindful of the challenge it faced in trying to convince an increasingly despondent electorate to vote for them in 2024.

Mtolo said one of the priorities of the leadership was to engage with a range of role-players and key structures across communities, including the Nazareth Church and the Zulu royal family.

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He said it was equally important to engage community members in order to ensure constant communication, thereby eliminating some of the misunderstandings that led to protest actions.

“Our position is that if the leadership is in constant contact with communities, outlining our programme of action and the resources that we have and the time it will take to meet the targets, that will go a long way in ensuring that protests don’t occur,” said Mtolo.

He indicated that the PEC would hold its first meeting next week, which was expected to discuss the way forward following the elective conference.

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