- ANC alliance partners in the North West have expressed serious concern over the number of slates vying for positions at the provincial conference.
- No less than seven slates have indicated an interest in the top five positions in the province.
- Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation believe the unprecedented number of slates is an indication of deep divisions in the party.
The ANC's alliance partners, Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), have warned that it's unstainable to have seven different slates within the party vie for power, adding that it's a clear indication of serious divisions.
Cosatu North West secretary Kopano Konopi told News24 it was within ANC members' rights to accept nominations, but added that it would be a shame if the province emerged more divided.
"As Cosatu, we would want this conference to emerge more united. We want to call on the leadership of the ANC who wants to contest for any positions, not to do so for their own sake but for the sake of building the organisation, renewing it and making it able to respond to the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and iniquity.
"We want to call on sanity to prevail among members of the ANC and urge them to talk to each other to foster unity. Instead of having so many slates, they must work together, and those who don't make it to the top five will effectively be assigned to other leadership positions," Konopi said.
Sanco provincial secretary Packet Seaketso also expressed dismay over the number of slates vying for leadership positions.
"We as Sanco do not have any preferences and don't support any factions. What we need is a united ANC and not these unsustainable divisions that see at least seven slates vying for power.
"We need a leadership that has the capacity to unite the province to emerge, and those who understand that the alliance partners are a strategic centre that need to be consulted for any major decision," Seaketso said.
He added that Sanco wished to see the new leadership make service delivery its key priority and added that the new leader should not get involved in corruption.
The hotly contested elections are expected to see seven candidates battle it out for the position of provincial chairperson, with their slates vying for the positions of deputy chairperson, secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and treasurer.
Among those contesting for the chairpersonship are current premier and ANC stalwart Bushy Maape, Economic Development MEC Kenetswe Mosenogi, former human settlements MEC Nono Maloyi and former provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo.
Interim provincial committee (IPC) coordinator Hlomani Chauke is also said to be interested in the chairperson position.
Candidates have to receive enough nominations to stand for election.
They either require a 20% branch nomination from branches that have been properly convened and will be taking part at the conference, or 25% support from voting delegates should they be nominated from the floor at the conference.
On Friday, the North West High Court in Mahikeng ruled in favour of a disgruntled party member who applied for an interdict to prevent the interim leadership from voting at the conference.
The applicant, Tshepo Bosman, argued that the IPC was unconstitutional because its term of office had ended.
As a result of the ruling, the interim leadership's participation at the conference is limited.
ANC deputy president David Mabuza is expected to go give the opening address at the conference on Saturday.