Will SACP go it alone?

2012-07-11 10:24

Contentious issues, such as whether the SA Communist Party (SACP) should go it alone in elections, could be raised at the party’s elective conference which is due to start tomorrow.

Solly Mapaila, from the SACP’s secretariat office, told SABC radio this morning that the party would consider going it alone in future, but not any time soon.

Registration for the conference at the University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa outside Empangeni, started today.

Scores of the about 2 300 delegates in red fleece jackets and T-shirts have already arrived in buses at the Vulindlela community hall, where queues for registration started forming this morning.

Other contentious issues that could be discussed at the conference include whether SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who is also higher education minister, should be allowed to wear a party and a government hat.

Nzimande, who has been in the job for 14 years, is expected to be re-elected unchallenged for another five-year term, as is his deputy Jeremy Cronin.

Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, who could be nominated for a second term as ANC secretary-general, is set to step down with Senzeni Zokwana from the National Union of Mineworkers set to replace him.

SACP deputy chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa is set to replace Phumulo Masualle as treasurer.

Masualle, who is also ANC Eastern Cape chairperson and an MEC, said he would be stepping down.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, a former unionist who was coopted by the party’s central committee, is set to be elected deputy chairperson.

The conference comes at a time when the party is enjoying more power in government, and when it claims to have its highest membership figures of all time, a claimed 150 000.

Mapaila said even ministers who were not party members, like Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, had been giving reports to the party about their work.

The conference is expected to amend the party’s constitution so that Nzimande’s office could be strengthened with more deputy secretaries.

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