ANC disbands committees in two provinces

The African National Congress (ANC) has disbanded the North West and Western Cape provincial executive committees (PEC), and has moved the Eastern Cape’s provincial conference to August due to widespread factionalism and patronage, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

Of North West, Mantashe said: “The province is deeply divided and factions are almost institutionalised in that they are known and openly talked about.

“In the same period of 10 years at least, strange tendencies and ill-discipline have developed to the point where individuals are more loyal to their factions than the organisation.”

Briefing the media after a meeting of the party’s top brass over the weekend, he said business interests, control of resources and patronage were at the centre of divisions in the North West, and have persisted for more than a decade.

On the Western Cape, Mantashe said the African and coloured divide was “serious” and needed “urgent organisational attention”.

Patronage and the control of resources were also central to the division in the province, which the ANC lost to the Democratic Alliance in the 2009 elections.

The public posturing of the alliance partners, particularly some in the South African Communist Party, caused more harm to the ANC and alliance relations than good.

The support for independent candidates in the 2006 local government elections was seen as having contributed to the divisions in the province, he said.

The disbanding of both the PECs was communicated to the provinces, and a provincial task team would be set up in the next 14 days.

It would include cadres from the provinces, as well as a maximum of three members from outside the province.

A provincial conference will be convened in the Western Cape and North West in the next nine months.

The Eastern Cape, plagued by similar problems, saw its elective provincial conference moved from December to the end of August.

“In terms of its outcome, it comes to the same results [as the North West and Western Cape],” Mantashe said.

Patronage and the controlling of resources was a problem and it was having a negative impact on the party post-1994.

Mantashe emphasised that every leadership team within the ANC was expected to tackle this problem head on.

“The question of patronage is the negative impact of a liberation movement that becomes a party in power.

“Our view is that unless we talk about it openly we are not going to defeat it,” he said.—Sapa


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