ANC Women's League postpones elective conference again

By Drum Digital
08 April 2015

The embattled ANC Women's League has once again postponed its elective conference, which was originally meant to be held in 2013.

The ANCWL met with African National Congress's leaders on Tuesday to discuss progress on preparations and it was decided to delay holding the conference.

"The meeting also provided an opportunity to members and structures of the league to raise any concerns they may have towards the conference," the league's president Angie Motshekga said in a statement.

"Having given due consideration to the report provided by the ANCWL NEC [national executive committee] and the issues raised, the meeting made a recommendation that the women’s league considers providing an additional two to three weeks before conference is convened to deal with the mainly administrative and technical matters raised by the meeting."

She did not explain what these matters were. ANCWL spokesperson Edna Molewa was not available for comment.

The conference was meant to be held from April 16 to April 19.

The ANCWL last held an elective conference in 2008. A term lasts for five years and the next conference was meant to be held in 2013.

The women's league is said to be plagued by factionalism and infighting, forcing the ANC to step in to sort things out.

There is fear that the ANCWL could succumb to the same fate as the ANC Youth League.

The ANC needs its leagues to be on track and running smoothly by the time the party goes to its national general council (NGC) later this year. The NGC is the governing party's mid-term review. The ANC has postponed its NGC, which was meant to be held in June to September.

Despite the ANC intervening, political analyst Susan Booysen says the ANCWL has been a non-entity for some time now and in her opinion has little chance of  "resurrecting" itself.

"They have been playing the role of yes women, yes women and yes women once again.

"There has really been no debate of significance or point of view of significance coming out of their conferences for quite a while," she said.

It was a serious concern for the ANC that its leagues, in an NGC year, were not falling into place and this was probably because of the power struggles within the party.

"It's probably not falling into place because the first point of reference is how to play the high power game and that means how to please the president or at least make sure you don't antagonise anybody around the president and, yes, that is really a huge indictment that they have really lost character, lost presence and it has lost any chance of resurrection, if you can call it that," Booysen said.

A change in leadership would not change the situation because the same internal political culture of "do not rock the boat, do not speak out" would continue, she added.

If the ANCWL could put confident people in positions of leadership, who were not scared to speak out, it could change, but the mother body needed to change how it did things.

"A license to speak and a license to criticise... is missing," Booysen said. "The ANCWL is a symbol, not a cause."

Source: News24

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