File photo: Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Pietermaritzburg - The African National Congress will take “quick disciplinary actions” against delegates using social media in a way that undermines and compromises the unity and integrity of the party, according to ANC deputy provincial secretary Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

In a written speech included in the “Programme and Credentials Report”, which was handed to delegates attending the 8th ANC provincial conference at the Pietermaritzburg Show Grounds on Friday, she cautioned against the “use of social media”, such as “Facebook, Whatsapp, and other type of social media platforms”.

“We urge comrades to respect the rules of the conference in line with the new era of renewal and long held traditions of the ANC. Disciplinary measures will be instituted irrespective of a standing of a member,” said Nube-Dube.

According to the rules contained in the report, regional leaders are also “charged with the responsibility” to ensure party members who are not part of the conference do not gather outside the venue, delegates are not allowed to “initiate and/or join in the singing of any song, chanting any slogan other than those songs and slogans known and familiar”, and no one is permitted to pass “derogatory remarks against anyone”.

Ncube-Dube said the public expected the conference to take decisions on quality healthcare provision, sustainable development, housing, and job creation.

The conference should see report backs by nine commissions, including social transformation, international relations, and legislature and governance.

She said the province needed to respond to the unemployment rate of 25.5 percent because it “is a breeding ground for counter-revolutionaries to abuse the genuine concerns of our people”. “One of the major concerns in our political discourse is the enthusiasm and the vigour with which our ideological opponents are plotting our downfall. We have indeed seen them trying to hijack the student struggle... [and]... we see them through underhand tactics which unfold regularly in the chambers of our Parliament.”

The report stated that 1469 voting delegates were expected at the conference - 1340 of these were from branches, 30 from ANC regional executive committees, 15 each from the veteran's league, the women's league, and the youth league, and 54 provincial executive committee members.

According to the report, the largest membership branches are the eThekwini region (44 308), followed by the Pietermaritzburg-based Moses Mabihida region (20 196), and Zululand's Musa Dladla region (14 524). President Jacob Zuma is expected to address the conference on Saturday morning.