DURBAN – Being nominated into a leadership position within African National Congress (ANC) structures would no longer be a gateway to a government post, the party’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership said on Wednesday.

“The fact that you are elected into the African National Congress does not mean that you are automatically going to be elected into governance,” said the new provincial spokesperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, at the party’s provincial head office in Durban.

“The issue of governance is based purely on the capacity that the ANC thinks a particular comrade [is able to] implement when they are in that particular structure.”

Simelane-Zulu was responding to questions about a rumoured cabinet reshuffle since the election of new leadership. Both she and the new provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, refuted the allegations.

Ntuli said a cabinet reshuffle had not been discussed and would be of no benefit nine months before next year’s national election.

“A new [member of the executive council] MEC would simply be replacing one individual with another and would have no impetus in changing the direction of the department,” said Ntuli. 

Instead, the province would be focusing on the national election, he said.

The ANC is plagued with factionalism in KwaZulu-Natal. Following its 2015 provincial conference – which was declared invalid by the court and led to the re-run two weeks ago – several senior government posts were shuffled and the premier was fired.

The move was seen as a purge to strengthen factions aligned to the new leadership.

“We do not think a cabinet reshuffle will be in the interests of the ANC at this point. We do want to get everyone to understand that those two should never be linked,” said Simelane-Zulu.

“[In the past] they have been linked, we want to try and de-link them. It must be understood that you are deployed as a member of the ANC, not particularly because you have been elected into a particular structure.”

The ANC faced a number of challenges at regional and branch level, she said, not only at provincial level.

“Where an issue comes up [is when] a chairperson thinks that just because they have been elected as a chairperson of a branch, it means automatically they become a ward councillor. Or if a regional chairperson is elected [they think] it means automatically they become a mayor of a district or a local municipality,” she said.

This would not be the case, she said, and the party was trying to make it known to its structures.  

African News Agency (ANA)