Western Cape ANC fights for its survival

2015-03-29 15:00

The clock is ticking for the Western Cape ANC leadership to convince the national leadership not to disband them.

The embattled provincial ANC has just two weeks to report back to the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) with a battle plan for the future.

On March 8, senior ANC leaders who sit on the NWC, met ANC regional structures and the provincial executive council (PEC) to take stock of the party in the province.

Several sources in the province have claimed that when the ANC NWC met provincial leaders and addressed meetings in all six ANC regions last month, the intention was to disband the provincial structure that was controversially elected in Cape Town in February 2011.

Provincial secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape, Songezo Mjongile, confirmed the meeting with the NWC, saying critical issues that were historical, as well as some that were contemporary, were discussed.

He said organisation renewal was also key, and the provincial ANC was looking at how to consolidate from successes, such as its organisation of the January 8 rally, and take these forward as it prepared for next year’s local government elections.

“It’s quite an important reflection period for us, on how we should self-correct and do things going forward,” he said.

But details of what exactly was said in the meetings vary, depending on which faction you speak to. The PEC was not disbanded, but instead it was given a month to draft a report to be presented to the NWC on April 13.

This is where the factions differ.

One group, which is opposed to the current leadership, claimed the PEC was instructed to give reasons why they should not be disbanded, while the pro-PEC faction said the report would detail a way forward for the ANC in the province.

“It was a long and heated meeting where some members of the top six pushed for the province to be disbanded, and all regions felt that this leadership must go. But President Jacob Zuma prevailed when he said that they would come back on April 13 for a final say on the matter,” said a source opposed to the provincial leadership.

“In the meantime, the PEC was instructed to draft a programme around racism and unity, and all the regional conferences would be put on hold until further notice,” the source said.

Another source said ANC members made it clear in the regional meetings that there was “no organisation in the province”.

A senior leader claimed the ANC, in an eight-hour meeting with the PEC, merely wanted them to take stock of what had happened under their leadership since their election.

“We were reporting to the ANC leadership about the state of the organisation in the province. We told them we were experiencing the same problems that had been there for the past 20 years – and which no one has resolved,” said the PEC member.

The provincial leader said problems they cited were: the “coloured question”, factions and the general lack of unity in the province.

“No one has ever addressed those problems. Even if our PEC is disbanded today, the next PEC will face the same problems – so disbanding structures is not a solution,” said the leader.

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