Numbers to keep DA at bay

2012-12-17 00:00

THE ANC wants to increase its membership to over five percent of the population to keep opposition parties at bay.

This was revealed in the organisational report ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe delivered to the 4 500-plus delegates attending the ANC’s elective conference yesterday.

The ANC has over 1,2 million members and wants to double the number to about 2,5 million.

Mantashe’s report said that despite the party’s good performance in the elections, there were signs that its support had declined in some of its traditional areas, in favour of opposition parties, especially the Democratic Alliance.

“Those early signs of tight competition must be a reminder that there will be a need for a bigger machinery and visible presence in all wards.

“Growing membership is a necessary step in building the necessary capacity for taking on any competition in future.”

A two-million-member ANC, — four percent of the population — had a chance of knitting together a bigger and better machinery in the future. A good party must have a membership equal to five percent of the population, the report said.

Mantashe told delegates about 14% of branches did not qualify to attend the conference as they were not in good standing.

He lamented ill-discipline in the party, and suggested its constitution should be amended to bar lawyers from representing members when the party charges them with flouting its rules.

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