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Lebo Mashishi
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How the ANC lost key metros

06 October 2017, 09:35

The ANC unlike its opposition is a branch based organisation, it draws its strength from strong branches that are able to influence the communities they operate in. The opposition parties are operating from a guerrilla tactic basis, do not really care about branches, they rely on the media and capitalises on the own goals scored by the ANC.

Where the ANC has strong branches, it easily wins the elections. Today we see branches of the ANC replaced by the elite members of the movement; when this happens the community loses hope in the ANC. A branch of the ANC remains its life blood; this is because of the traditional nature of the functioning of the ANC.

It was in 2013 when the secretary general of the ANC nullified a provincial general council of the ANC in Gauteng, perhaps to date the only positive thing the SG has ever done in his ten year tenure, and reasons were very simple that a PGC must be preceded by branch general meetings. Why would a province wish to hold a PGC without first taking branches to hold BGMs? It is because there are no branches especially in Gauteng and this malady is catching up with the ANC in all other provinces.

A recent example in Gauteng is the cadres forum that just took place on the 3rd of October, the province convened branch chairpersons and secretaries and a list of names was given to branches by the provincial leadership, reality known by the leadership of the ANC in Gauteng is that 90 percent of GP delegates to the national conference in December will be composed of branch chairs and secretaries, again this is because these are the people who have pocketed the branches. There are neither BEC meetings nor branch general meetings as prescribed by the constitution therefore secretaries and chairpersons by default attend all RGCs and PGCs and take all the decisions on behalf of the branches.

A branch of the ANC led only by two people fails to rally the masses behind the banner of the ANC, this we have seen in the recent local government elections. What the elite of the ANC are missing or ignoring is that their Gucci lifestyle and cigar smoking leadership does not resonate with their voters, the only contact the voter has with the ANC is the branch of the ANC, and without its branches the ANC is dead. The weakness displayed by the NEC is nothing but a mirror reflection of the weak status of the ANC branches.

If the ANC is to retain its position as the leader of society, it must indeed go back to basics and follow its own constitution, have all the elite leaders report back to their branches. The ANC internal democracy must be left alone not tampered with by leaders with vain narrow personal ambitions disguised as unity, the only thing that can unite members of the ANC is when processes are carried out democratically so as enshrined in the constitution, not through talk shows held by leaders on behalf of branches without branches themselves.

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