File Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
File Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA

ANC suspends all regional and provincial conferences to focus on elections

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Sep 14, 2021

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Durban - The ANC has suspended all branches, regional and provincial conferences to allow its members to solely focus on the crucial upcoming local government elections.

The order to suspend the usually divisive and highly contested internal elections came from the acting secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.

It was sent to the lower structures through a letter dated September 13.

In the letter, Duarte said all these internal elections would be convened after November 1, which is the date of this year’s local government elections.

The ruling party is facing its toughest local government elections since 1996, when the country first ushered in the local government elections system, and there are already tensions in its branches.

“As previously agreed, all BBGMs, regional and provincial conferences should be put on hold until after the local government elections on 1 November 2021.

“Now is the time to focus all our energy ensuring voter registration on 18-19 September, and massive voter turnout on 1 November, to achieve a decisive mandate for the ANC to continue working with the people to build a better life for all,” reads Duarte’s letter sent to provincial secretaries and interim provincial coordinators.

The order to suspend all provincial elective conferences means that Mpumalanga, Free State, North West and Western Cape, among other provinces, will remain with the current interim structures.

Coming to regional conferences, in KwaZulu-Natal alone, 9 out of 11 regions have pending elective conferences, and that includes the crucial eThekwini region where there is a tug of war between Zandile Gumede supporters and a faction led by Thabani Nyawose, a Ramaphosa backer.

The provincial conference is due mid-next year.

The financially troubled ruling party is yet to announce when and where it would launch its elections manifesto.

So far, indications show that the Tshwane region (Pretoria) will host the national launch before provinces and regions are allowed to stage their own separate launches.

Meanwhile, following last month’s technical debacle that saw the ruling party fail to register candidates for the local government elections in about 93 municipalities, it is this time around, getting its house in order.

One of the measures employed by the ruling party is centralising access to the portal of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), where the registration of candidates is done.

In a letter sent to provincial secretaries Tuesday last week, Duarte said from Wednesday this week, they must start preparations to electronically submit their candidates’ list.

Political Bureau

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