KZN ANC ready to go to conference despite absence of some branches, says task team

2018-06-07 16:36
Sihle Zikalala. (City Press)

Sihle Zikalala. (City Press)

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Some branches of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will not take part in the party's 8th provincial elective conference at the weekend, the party's provincial task team said on Thursday.

Task team coordinator Sihle Zikalala said out of the more than 800 branches that convened branch general meetings, only 686 branches would participate in the conference.

"There are branches that didn't pass the audit and will not partake in the provincial conference at the weekend," he said.

The conference will take place at the Bhekuzulu Hall at the University of Zululand from June 8 to 10.

Zikalala said all the branches that had raised issues were listened to and given a fair chance to raise their concerns when the ANC's national working committee (NWC) visited all 11 regions in April this year.

"We are very happy that we have surpassed the 70% threshold to hold the conference," he said at a press conference in Durban.

Unity ahead of general elections

He said the convening of the elective conference was in accordance with the decision of the party's national executive committee (NEC) and the NWC, which gave the province the go-ahead.

"We have delayed the conference, while it was supposed to be convened the past week because we wanted to ensure that all the issues of the branches are listened to by both provincial and national committees in order to address anything that could have been a challenge," he said.

He said their priority now was to ensure unity in the province as the party moved towards the 2019 general elections.

READ: KZN ANC in bid to avoid bloody split

The ANC's NEC suspended the provincial executive committee in January this year following a bruising court battle between two factions of the party over the legitimacy of the outcomes of the 2015 provincial elective conference.

NEC member Nocawe Mafu said the conference was important because KwaZulu-Natal was one of the ANC's biggest provinces.

"This conference, knowing KZN is one of the biggest provinces of the ANC, is very important for us and [it's important that] they move with one voice, especially in preparing for the 2019 elections," she said, adding that NEC members would be at the conference in their numbers.

Rumours of protests, court action

On the issue of rumours of slates, Mafu said: "The branches will exercise their rights at the conference and the results of the conference will be their decision."

Zikalala said the slates issue was being discussed at branch level.

"But even there it's not correct to do so. What we are emphasising is unity of the ANC," he said.

Zikalala revealed that ANC chair Gwede Mantashe would address the conference in place of party president Cyril Ramaphosa as he would be attending the G7 summit in Canada.

Provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu said the disgruntled branches, which are rumoured to be planning a march to protest the results of the conference next week, must use the party's internal processes to table their grievances.

"Post this conference we must emerge much stronger. As ANC KZN, we're saying if there are members who are unhappy with ANC processes, they should follow internal mechanisms of the ANC. The ANC has well-tested mechanisms that work," he said.

There are also rumours that some disgruntled branches plan to go to court to challenge the results of this conference.

"At this point in time we have not been threatened by court processes after the conference," Mabuyakhulu said.

He, however, urged those who might be planning to do so to also follow the party's internal processes.

Read more on:    anc  |  sihle zikalala  |  politics

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