Following a meeting with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule earlier this week, the national youth task team (NYTT) has confirmed that it would be forging ahead with preparations for the elective conference and give the organisation back to its rightful owners.
The party has just under two months to organise itself and elect leaders at branch, regional and provincial level in order for the top six to be elected.
At a media briefing held at the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg on Thursday, task team coordinator Sibongile Besani said that although they were on a tight deadline they were confident they would be able to forge ahead and have a successful conference between March 27 and March 30.
“The reality is the 30th of March is quite a tight date, but our approach is that it is practical. It is something that can be done, that is why we are unleashing the important process,” he said.
Besani added that “part of our approach is that let us take the branches of the youth league to the AGM”.
Once the ruling party’s youth wing is able to attract 70% of its membership to cooperate, the conference will go ahead as planned.
He indicated that most provinces had reported back stating that they would be able to meet the deadline.
Also present at the briefing was task team convener Thandi Mahambehlala, who said there were measures in place to ensure the programme goes ahead as planned.
“We have established conference committees which will be sitting every Monday at Luthuli House. The date [for the conference] is set. In terms of our road map we are still within our time frame,” she said.
Mahambehlala also confirmed that the party was in a better place financially and although they could not disclose how much would be spent on the conference, the organisation had sufficient funds for the event.
“By the look of our bank balance, there are many branches in South Africa and that balance then tells us the magnitude of the branches that we have. It signifies that indeed young people want their organisation; we do not want to overstay our welcome. We want to hand over the ANC Youth League to its rightful owners.” she said.
Besani also indicated that the youth league’s financial woes were coming to an end as the liquidation process which they have been tackling since 2018 would soon be concluded.
The NYTT was appointed by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), following calls by youth league members for the national structure under then-president Collen Maine to be disbanded.
Besani confirmed that the mother body had already addressed their calls for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to be removed and the matter had been solved “amicably”.
The calls came after ANC deputy president David Mabuza – during the party’s week-long birthday celebrations earlier this month – said Gordhan along with the Eskom board misled the president regarding load shedding.
“They have already engaged with the mother body, it was not to rebut them,” he said.
The task team said it would also be visiting institutions of higher learning in the hopes of ensuring that students belonging to the so-called “missing middle” can be assisted.
“It is a recurring problem which may lead to the exclusion of students at universities which may lead to unrest and havoc,” Besani said.