Western Cape ANC scrambling to hold provincial conference

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The Western Cape ANC aims to hold a provincial conference.
The Western Cape ANC aims to hold a provincial conference.
Dino Lloyd, Gallo Images
  • No date has been set for the ANC in the Western Cape to hold its provincial conference. 
  • The party said the Dullah Omar and Southern Cape regions must still hold their regional conferences. 
  • The ANC in the province announced last year it would hold its conference in early 2023.

The ANC in the Western Cape is still scrambling to hold its provincial conference after countless postponements; it's the only one in the country not to have held a provincial conference. 

Two Western Cape regions, the party’s biggest region, the Dullah Omar Region in Cape Town and the Southern Cape region along the Garden Route, in particular have been struggling to convene their regional conferences.

An interim leadership structure has been in place in the Western Cape since the ANC’s provincial executive committee was disbanded in 2019.

The ANC's provincial spokesperson, Sifiso Mtsweni, said the Dullah Omar region had eight branches that still had to hold their branch general meetings while in the Southern Cape 13 branches must still meet. 

Mtsweni explained that 71 branches had successfully held their meetings in the metro, and eight branches needed to still do so in order for the 70% threshold to be reached, while the Southern Cape needed 13 to meet its threshold. 

He said they did not schedule the provincial conference to be held this month.

"You would also remember that there is a continuation of the national conference starting on Thursday, then we proceed to hold the January 8 celebrations, and then the NEC will have its meeting to select new committees as well as new deployments to provinces," he said.

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Mtsweni added that the ANC would hold its national lekgotla to agree on its annual programme, which would inform the government and which would lead to the State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the opening of Parliament.

"All these activities will have to be observed before holding the provincial conference. Since it's a new one, the NEC will have to guide how we will proceed as it is national that convenes provincial conferences. Ours is to make the necessary preparations," he stressed.

The ANC in the province had announced last year that it would hold its conference in early 2023 following numerous postponements.

In July last year, the party said the conference would be held between 31 August and 2 September, and then in August, it set new dates for 30 September to 2 October. 

Senior ANC insiders claimed the province was never ready in the first place to hold its conference. 

One source said:

The national executive would first have to sort out its admin. But I cannot see the conference taking place because we are not ready.

Others were confident that if the outstanding branch meetings took place, the province would proceed with its conference.

In December, the ANC held its 55th national conference with Ramaphosa, securing another term as leader. 

At a press conference at Nasrec, the party’s newly elected secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, said the Western Cape must convene its conference by the end of March.

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