Gwede Mantashe

Johannesburg - Over 90% of African National Congress (ANC) branch general meetings (BGMs) have been held successfully ahead of the party’s December elective conference, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.

Despite a deadline extension to accommodate possible disputes, the Northern Cape was the only province that had completed its BGMs.

“Up until yesterday [ Tuesday], the Eastern Cape was left with 69 BGMs, Free State was at 29, Gauteng at 41, KwaZulu-Natal 122, Mpumalanga 3, North West 40, and the Western Cape was at 48,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

The BGMs have been marred by disputes, worsened by court cases by disgruntled members calling for the outcome of at least three provincial conferences to be nullified. 

Mantashe added that provincial general councils (PGCs) would be held by the end of this week to consolidate the branch leadership nominations.

With completed BGMs having already achieved more than the 70% required threshold to hold the elective conference, it was clear that the ANC was ready, even if the remaining BGMs are never held, said Mantashe.

“We still want to get all branches to the conference...we want all 100% of them there. We are ready.”

KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC’s biggest province, has 806 branches. The province is split between the two main presidential hopefuls, former AUC chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC’s 54th national conference, where President Jacob Zuma’s successor will be elected, will be held at Nasrec, Johannesburg, between 16 and 20 December.