ANC NEC likely to discuss organisational issues, Eskom

2015-05-16 07:49
(File: ANC)

(File: ANC)

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Johannesburg - The ANC will be holding a two-day national executive committee meeting in Pretoria this weekend where a number of organisational issues as well as the state power utility, Eskom, are likely to be discussed.

Head of the African National Congress's Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana has reportedly said that the ruling party thinks Eskom should sell some equity to pension funds to improve its cash flow.

This has angered the ANC's alliance partners - the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions - who are against "privatising" the parastatal.

Cosatu said in the past privatisation had led to job losses.

"Cosatu reiterates its view that a cohesive economic growth in the country resides in industrialisation to ensure that the entire social surplus generated will be ploughed to ensure that poverty, unemployment and inequalities are totally eradicated," national spokesperson Norman Mampane said on Friday.

"The state must take direct responsibility towards strategic nationalisation of key sectors and productive resources, and the move to 'sell part' of Eskom is contrary to such an action."

R225bn funding shortfall

He said on May 25, the trade union federation's central executive committee would look at campaigns to reject the "privatisation" of Eskom and the increasing of electricity tariffs.

The SACP questioned the ANC's decision saying it had never been discussed at any meeting.

It threatened to take action if the plan was implemented.

"While respecting the independence of the ANC to take its own decisions, there was never an ANC Lekgotla that decided that Eskom must be privatised," national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

"In order to solve the challenges that Eskom is faced with we must go back to the root!"

According to Fin24 Eskom has to fill a R225bn funding shortfall in the five years through March 2018 as it builds more power plants to end months of electricity cuts.

The shortages are likely to persist for the next two to three years, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reportedly said on Thursday.

Organisational matters

In February, Godongwana told Business Day that there was an agreement that it was not desirable or viable to split up Eskom saying there was no sense in "weakening" the power utility.

However, Godongwana told the newspaper on Friday that the decision to sell off parts of Eskom was taken at an ANC lekgotla last year.

The ANC is also likely to talk about organisational matters especially in the run up to its mid-term conference the National General Council set to take place later this year.

Before the NGC can take place the party needs to sort out its leagues which are yet to hold elective conferences.

The embattled ANC Women's League has not been able to hold an elective conference since its last one in 2008.

The league was meant to hold an elective conference in 2013 but this has still not happened as it seems to be battling with factional infighting forcing the ANC to step in and try sort out the problems.

The ANCWL's conference, which has been postponed numerous times, was meant to be held this week but was again delayed.

National task team

Earlier this week, national spokesperson Edna Molewa denied that it was because of problems but out of respect for stalwart Ruth Mompati who died.

The ANC Youth League is set to hold its conference next month.

The ANCYL was disbanded by the ANC in 2013 and placed a national task team in place to try rebuild its structures.

A conference to elect new leadership was meant to take place last year but at the last minute the national task team announced that it would be a consultative conference upsetting some of its members.

In the run up to the local government elections next year the ANC is also focusing on fixing some of its regions where there have been problems.

These are also likely to be discussed at the NEC meeting.

The party's eThekwini region in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC's biggest region, has been marred with controversy with the party failing to convene a successful conference.

The conference, which was scheduled to convene for the fourth time, was adjourned indefinitely early this month after disgruntled members, believed to be in Councillor Zandile Gumede's faction, disrupted proceedings.

ANC structures in the region

The first two sittings were postponed and the third one, which was held in February, was declared null and void in March after aggrieved members disputed the outcome.

This has again forced the ANC's top brass to step in and try sort out the problems.

Another important metro to the ANC, Nelson Mandela Bay, has also needed the intervention of the party's top officials.

Last month, President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa were in Port Elizabeth with other officials.

At the time speculation was rife that they were there to axe the municipality’s mayor, 83-year-old Benson Fihla.

However, at a press conference the ANC announced that there would be no reshuffling of Nelson Mandela Bay political deployments.

At the time, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said Zuma had travelled to Nelson Mandela Bay to review the work of a 31-person task team that had been established to rebuild ANC structures in the region following the disbanding of the Regional Executive Committee last year December.

Opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters are looking to take control of the region from the ANC in next year's local government elections.

On Freedom Day, EFF leader Julius Malema told residents the party was working to take control of the metro.

The DA is also serious about winning the metro. According to City Press it was prepared to form an alliance with ideological rivals to dislodge the ANC.

The ANC has reportedly tipped SA Football Association Danny Jordaan to be the party's mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay in a bid to keep the metro during next year's elections.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  politics

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