More than two years after President Jacob Zuma disbanded the African National Congress (ANC) Regional Executive Committee (REC) in Nelson Mandela Bay, branches will go to the polls to elect a new one at the party’s fifth Elective Regional Conference set to take place at the weekend.
The conference will take start on Friday at the East Cape Training Centre in Zwide and will run until Sunday.
The last regional conference in the Bay took place during April 2012 and three years later the REC was disbanded after a long bumpy road of factional battles and dwindling party membership numbers. A Regional Task Team (RTT) was appointed with a vision to bring stability to structures.
Subsequently, ANC Regional Conference’s for the Bay were meant to be held during December 2015 and January 2016 but both times were postponed due to the party not having met the requisite 70 percent threshold of branch general meetings (BGM’s) for the conference.
Come the weekend 46 branches will be in attendance to elect new leadership who are expected to regain lost ground following the ANC being booted out at the polls during the 2016 Local Government Elections.
The party is hoping to make a come back and oust the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition that is currently leading the Bay under Executive Mayor Athol Trollip. The next Local Government Elections will take place in 2019.
“We are 100 percent ready, the branches of the ANC are ready to be lead by an authentic REC, a democratically elected REC,” said RTT convener Vuyani Limba.
Limba said the work of the RTT in Nelson Mandela Bay had been concluded and it was time to hand over the reigns, adding that after the election the RTT would officially dissolve.
Limba added that the ANC’s days of infighting were long gone.
“The fact that we are going to a regional elective conference indicates all is well. In a family you have differences, we are not friends in the ANC we are comrades, the differences we have are exaggerated especially by the media,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s amended constitution states that the ruling party would prevent people in upper structures from contesting in lower structures.
“A member elected to a PEC shall resign from any position held in a lower structure,” it reads.
In a letter sent to all provincial structures across the country on Wednesday, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe wrote that any attempt to resign from the PEC to be able to stand for a position at a regional conference should not be allowed.
Andile Lungisa told ANA that he was in the running for the Bay’s top position of Regional Chairperson.
However, Lungisa is still a member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee and according to the party’s constitution, it bars him from serving on a lower structure.
Lungisa declined to comment and said that it would be better placed for that matter to be discussed at the regional conference.
– African News Agency