THE ANC’s target of having all regional and provincial conferences countrywide concluded by March is in doubt following a staff strike that affected its ability to audit branches and allocate delegates accordingly.
In January, Treasurer-General (TG) Paul Mashatile in his capacity as acting secretary-general in the absence of Ace Magashule (who is suspended) and Jessie Duarte (who is on sick leave), wrote to the ANC in Gauteng and told it not to host its conference in June.
That was after the provincial secretary, Jacob Khawe, wrote to Luthuli House asking to convene an elective conference in June this year.
Writing back, Mashatile told the province that the ANC had determined a deadline for all outstanding regional and provincial conferences to be finalised by the end of March.
“This matter has been considered for provinces that are due for conferences in less than a year. It is my view that this year is going to be a busy year, with a policy conference being scheduled for the period June/July this year. Provinces and regions have their role cut out for them to ensure that due processes are complied with.
“Your schedule for the provincial conference coincides with the period set aside for the policy conference. I therefore urge the province to consider convening the provincial conference in May this year. I hope you will consider this positively,” Mashatile wrote in his response to Khawe.
However, in a new twist, according to ANC insiders, the ongoing staff strike at Luthuli House made it impossible to meet this deadline, as auditing and verification of branch status before conferences has been on hold.
Provinces cannot hold elective conferences before this process and so far just one province, Northern Cape, has elected its provincial leadership. Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, North West and Limpopo are due for conferences.
In KwaZulu-Natal alone, out of the 11 regions, six, including eThekwini, have not held their elective conferences.
To show that the deadlines would not be met, on Sunday Khawe said their conference would be held in June this year.
“The Gauteng conference will be from June 3 to 5,” he said.
In North West, the date is not yet known. The province is facing a possible bruising leadership battle after former premier and provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo was nominated by his branch to contest again.
Lebogang Ditire, the chairperson of ANC’s ward 12 (Diphetogo) branch in the Mahikeng sub-region, Ngaka Modiri Molema region, confirmed that Mahumapelo had been nominated to contest.
“ANC Ward 12, Diphetogo branch, Mahikeng sub-region, Ngaka Modiri Molema Region, North West Province in its third attempt of BBGM held on February 26 resolved to nominate the name of Supra Obakeng Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo for the position of provincial chairperson in the coming overdue ANC provincial conference. Comrade SOR (Supra Obakeng Mahumapelo) accepted the nomination, which was supported by a majority of branch members in good standing,” Ditire said.
The spokesperson of the provincial task team, Kenny Morolong, did not respond when asked about the date of their elective conference.
Also not commenting was Pule Mabe, the national spokesperson of the ANC, when asked whether it would still meet its initial deadlines as communicated by Mashatile in January this year.