North West ANC chairperson and premier Supra Mahumapelo is fast running out of time and his tenure in office could be short-lived if the instability gripping the ANC in the province is not brought under control.Within the next three months Mahumapelo has to take three regional structures to conferences and hold a provincial general council to elect the new provincial secretary after incumbent Dakota Legoete was elected to the ANC national executive committee (NEC) in December at the national conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.At its ordinary meeting last month, the ANC NEC urged structures that are dysfunctional to fix their problems so that the party’s election machinery would be up and running by June.Mahumapelo has fallen behind schedule in terms of the road map that he had drawn up earlier last month, in which all three regions would have concluded their conferences by last weekend. The provisional date for the general council is April 6.If the instability is prolonged, the ANC NEC will have no choice but to dissolve the provincial structures. North West was one of three provinces that did not back ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa at the national conference and since then both KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State’s provincial structures have been dissolved owing to unfavourable court rulings against the leaders.Mahumapelo’s opponents are smelling victory and they have been buoyed by Ramaphosa’s victory at Nasrec, which has seen a number of Mahumapelo’s prominent allies abandon him and join the “winners”.North West ANC deputy chairperson Sello Lehari has been touted as Mahumapelo’s potential challenger when the province goes to its next elective conference – which should be next year but could be brought forward to avoid a clash with the general elections.A Ramaphosa lobbyist told City Press that “Nasrec has brought in a new dynamic in the province”. A close ally of Mahumapelo agreed: “The conference has changed dynamics and some of our people are joining the [Ramaphosa] bandwagon.” In Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District in Vryburg, the planned conference on February 3 collapsed and a high court judge referred the dispute back to the ANC for a resolution after placing the conference in abeyance because of the ANC’s delayed submissions. “They had excluded us from the process but karma struck and they could not even agree among themselves,” said a local ANC leader.The following week the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region in Klerksdorp could not hold the scheduled conference after disgruntled members threatened a court interdict over claims of “underhanded tactics” and “bogus delegates”. The lawyers of both parties agreed to postpone.“They wanted to use the delegates that went to national conference to convene the region but you cannot do that because a regional conference is a separate process,” said a Ramaphosa lobbyist. In Rustenburg’s Bojanala region City Press heard that the conference – initially scheduled for last weekend but postponed to this weekend – still remained doubtful and by Thursday there had been no communication for Mphekwa House, the ANC headquarters in the provincial capital, Mahikeng.The province was struggling to rerun the 38 branches that were disqualified by court last year from attending the Nasrec conference because of irregularities. “In the subregion of Rustenburg all five of the disqualified branches are yet to rerun,” a local ANC leader said.The delays in Bojanala have been attributed to “resistance” against the interim leadership that Mahumapelo appointed in the region after the court nullified the election of his allies last September.Questions have been asked about the legitimacy of provincial ANC treasurer Boitumelo Mahlangu on the grounds that the nullified branches in Bojanala participated in her election to the post, which had became vacant after her predecessor, Kgakgamatso Nkewu, died in a car accident in 2016.The only North West region in good standing is Ngaka Modiri Molema in Mahikeng.