ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli informed members of the General Sihle Mbongwa (Ward 32) Branch, which includes Durban CBD and surrounding suburbs, that they would also not be represented at the ANC national conference due to take place in Joburg between December 16 and 20.
The PGC is the final preparation for the national conference, and is only attended by people who have been selected as delegates to the national event to elect new party leadership. The council is expected to nominate a slate that has Dlamini Zuma as the preferred ANC president after she was nominated by majority branches in the province.
Ntuli said on Sunday that the branch at Ward 32, Durban, which holds Dlamini Zuma’s ANC membership, had repeatedly failed to hold its branch general meeting (BGM) to select delegates to the provincial and national events.
“They are not going to the conference, as they did not convene the BGM.”
Ntuli said the branch has been experiencing “lots of infighting” as they disagreed over the database, which is the list of eligible members of the ANC in the branch to attend the BGM.
“So the convening of the BGM will exclude others, and that would make life difficult for the members of the ANC. So they are not going to the national conference.”
Troubles at the branch dated back to preparations for last year’s local government elections, with some ANC branch members, who are now supporting ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, alleging that the current councillor Mpumelelo Zuma was imposed on the ward.
As disagreements continued beyond elections, the eThekwini Region disbanded the branch, which later appealed the decision.
Branch chairperson Mfundo Dobe said he was disappointed by the decision to exclude his branch from the PGC and national conference.
“We wanted to be part of policy discussions that will take our party and country forward. But we are not surprised because through disruption caused in our branch we were also excluded from the policy conference.
“This is done to us because we want Ramaphosa to be the next president,” he said.
By Sunday afternoon hundreds of delegates from the province’s 700 branches converged on the Durban City Hall to register for the PGC to take place at the Olive Convention Centre.
Ntuli said the delegates had also registered to attend the national conference.
Ntuli said provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala will open the PGC by delivering the party’s political overview, and an NEC member, who is yet to be known, would make an input.
“The election committee would then present consolidated votes ,” he said.
He said the delegates would then hold policy discussions including deliberating on the radical economic policy proposal.
“Land and free education would be discussed. We are also going to discuss the issue of two general secretaries, one dealing with monitoring and evaluation while the other one will deal with organisation building,” said Ntuli.