ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule said that although KwaZulu-Natal was ready for a provincial elective conference, a date had not yet been set. File picture: Timothy Bernard/ANA

Durban – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Ace Magashule, said on Monday that although KwaZulu-Natal was ready for a provincial elective conference, a date had not yet been set.

“Once the [National Executive Committee] gives the go-ahead, there will be conferences at regional and provincial level,” said Magashule. 

He said there was “unanimous agreement” that the provincial regions and KZN itself were ready for conferences.

Magashule was speaking at the Coastlands Hotel on the Durban beachfront following two days of meetings between members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and branch, regional and provincial leadership. 

The governing party’s top six were deployed around the province on Sunday along with NWC members to encourage unity and ascertain readiness for the conferences.

The NWC visit comes after months of disunity and a week of protests, with one faction within the provincial party structures saying on Monday last week that it wanted the conferences postponed because of gatekeeping and factionalism.

On Friday, a second group marched to provincial headquarters in Durban demanding that the conferences be held because all of the party’s constitutional necessities had been met.

Magashule said that gatekeeping “was no more a big issue” and it would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. NWC deployees were on hand to assist, he said.

The NEC suspended the provincial leadership in January after a high court finding last year that its 2015 elective conference, won by Sihle Zikalala, was null and void.

Disgruntled ANC members who supported axed premier and former KZN ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu brought the case against Zikalala and provincial leadership.

An interim committee was established to ready the province for a provincial conference by the end of April, but that did not materialise. The committee was co-led by Zikalala and former KZN MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

Magashule said that the interim committee would now become a provincial task team and have its term extended for another nine months, as per the ANC constitution.

He said the province had done well in working under the interim committee. “Given the reports from the weekend and engaging with structures, relatively, there is unity and cohesion in the province,” he said.

African News Agency/ANA