President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the ANC could risk losing next year’s general elections if divisions within the party persist.

Addressing hundreds of delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers national congress in Ekurhuleni yesterday, Ramaphosa was stern on infighting in the party.

“We must be united if we want to win the 2019 elections,” Ramaphosa said, adding that unity in the party must be based on principle and not convenience.

“We can’t have unity if wrong things continue to be done in the ANC.”

Ramaphosa’s plea came just a few hours after disgruntled ANC members in Limpopo filed an urgent application to interdict its provincial conference, scheduled for this weekend.

Three ANC members in the Peter Mokaba region - Molema Nong, Perkane Mamabolo and Mamotane Mangwale - want the provincial executive committee (PEC), chaired by Premier Stan Mathabatha, to be interdicted and prohibited from commencing. They want the court to nullify all decisions already taken.

Meanwhile, the SACP has blamed factionalism and infighting as the reasons for the ANC’s largest region in the Western Cape’s failure to meet the party’s audit requirements to participate in a forthcoming provincial general council.

The Dullah Omar (Cape Town metro) region was disbanded last year. Its regional executive was replaced by a regional task team, headed by ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane.

This week, the ANC in the province concluded its preliminary outcomes on the standing of regions to go to the regional conferences.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said: “We have received the preliminary outcomes and they are just preliminary. They are not yet complete.

“I am not at liberty to share (details of) the Dullah Omar region outcomes on this audit; all I can say is that they do not meet the threshold. The final results will be ready on Wednesday, and only by then would we be able to reveal the status of the regions.

Party insiders say Dullah Omar was the only region which failed to meet the mandatory threshold. For a region to go to a conference, it requires that 70% of ANC branches be in “good standing”, which means that each branch has to have a paid membership of no less than 100, and have regular meetings, including branch general meetings.

This comes as former provincial chair Ebrahim Rasool indicated to party insiders he would contest the position of chair when the party goes to a provincial general council next month.

The position has been vacant since Marius Fransman had his membership suspended by the party’s national disciplinary committee in November 2016 on sex complaints.

The SACP said it threw its weight behind Rasool, who has been pegged as the man to reunite ANC provincial structures.

“The ANC needs a leader who is distinct, credible and capable of raising above factionalism. Rasool has led the ANC before, and during his time we saw the ANC in the province rise; we saw ANC win elections in the province. We are not as the alliance against him leading. The Western Cape has majority of coloured people, and our leadership must reflect that,” said SACP Western Cape chairperson Benson Ngqentsu .

“It is not surprising that most of their (Dullah Omar Region) branches are weak and not in good standing. There are deep divisions in that region. In fact, this is a problem of the ANC in the province; not just that particular region.”

The region’s Khaya Yozi has slammed allegations, saying the region was in good standing.