Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier and acting ANC provincial chairperson David Makhura has warned the party’s Joburg region against complacency, which he said was the reason the governing party was dislodged from power in 2016. Makhura was addressing the party’s regional elective conference in Joburg at the weekend.
Three of the ANC’s five regions - including Ekurhuleni and Sedibeng - convened their conferences and elected new leaders. Former regional treasurer Geoff Makhubo was installed unopposed as the new chairperson, taking over from Parks Tau, who is tipped to be deputy provincial chairperson ahead of the ANC’s provincial conference.
Makhura said that when the country’s economic hub was under the ANC’s control, officials failed to serve the people, and the DA and mayor Herman Mashaba had exploited the ANC’s weaknesses. “We were too complacent. Officials in the city held back title deeds and did not give them to the people. But the day after Mashaba arrived as mayor, he issued them. He didn’t organise the title deeds, he found them here and issued them,” Makhura said.
Tau, who is also the leader of the ANC’s caucus in the metro, called on the new leadership under Makhubo not to be demoralised by the party’s loss of power but to make an effort to reclaim the city. “It is important that we are not deterred by the setbacks of 2016. We must see this in the context of invaluable lessons for the organisation,” Tau said.
Tau is set to go up against provincial executive committee (PEC) members Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile, who are the MECs for education and economic development respectively, for the position of deputy chairperson. Regional secretary Dada Morero was re-elected to the post, while Eunice Mcina was elected deputy chairperson. Loyiso Masuku is the deputy secretary and Mpho Moreane the new treasurer.
In Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina was re-elected regional chairperson, with music mogul Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza elected regional secretary. ANC chief whip in the Ekurhuleni metro Jongizizwe Dlabathi was re-elected as Masina’s deputy. The region has rallied behind the calls for a generational mix ahead of the ANC’s provincial conference and has now backed Maile’s ambitions to be Makhura’s deputy and for PEC member Jacob Khawe to become provincial secretary.
Ekurhuleni under Masina has been viewed as the most rebellious of the ANC’s regions in the province for taking stances that were opposed by their provincial leadership. Last year, Masina tried unsuccessfully to rally the party’s branches behind Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s presidential campaign ahead of the national elective conference.
This was despite the province’s support for President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ekurhuleni and Sedibeng are considered to be strongholds for those campaigning under the banner of “generational mix”, which is being pushed by the ANC Youth League. Sedibeng had not concluded its leadership nominations by late Sunday.