ANC officials Joel Netshitenzhe and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule addressing media at the 5th national policy conference in Johannesburg regarding the outcomes of commissions of strategy and tactics and on organisational renewal. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ ANA

Johannesburg - The ANC is proposing radical changes to its leadership structures and its elective rules following debates at its six day policy conference.

The proposals were announced on Tuesday night following hours of debates on various commissions dealing with organisational renewal, strategy and tactics and international relations.

If branches agree on the various changes it may see the party’s highest structure the National Executive Committee (NEC) being brought to between 40 and 60 members. 

There are currently over a hundred members of the NEC, and this has often sparked concerns from various structures that the number hampers the committee’s ability to deal quickly with issues brought before it.

Another bold move, which is bound to result in debates, is the issue of increasing the size of the officials, known as the top six.

The issue was first pushed by the ANC Youth League and some structures of the party in KwaZulu Natal.

“The second proposal is that we should look at the size of the officials (top six). The proposal is that there are two options that we will take to branches; one is that there be two deputy presidents with specific responsibilities (one looking at international relations and one looking at business and governance),” said Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who was giving feedback on the committee dealing organisational renewal.

She said some of the reason given was that it would give the centre a better ability to perform its duties.
Another proposed change is to the party’s elective processes for national officials, provincial leadership and regional leadership where all members, in good standing, should take part in electing leaders – therefore eliminating the need for elective colleges of branch delegates.

Potgieter Gqubule conceded that this would be a radical change, if agreed to, as the party’s membership currently sits at over a million members.

“At the moment what we have is an elective college of branch delegates. A change would be a radical departure from the system that we have at the moment. That is why the matter will have to be debated within the structures of the ANC,” said Potgieter-Gqubule.

The discussion on the proposals will now have to be debated at branch level and adopted at the elective conference in December.

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