ANCYL funding woes delay national conference

Money matters have haunted the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) yet again, with a lack of funds standing in its way of going ahead with its already delayed national conference.

ANCYL national task team (NTT) spokesperson Bandile Masuku told the Mail & Guardian that the conference had been postponed at the request of the ANC.

The team set up to rebuild the organisation early last year confirmed that the conference has been postponed by two weeks.

It was originally scheduled to take place from September 24 to 28.

Masuku said the lack of funds made it difficult for the organisation to complete its work prior to the conference.

The NTT inherited at least R54-million of debt when it took over.

Ready to elect new leadership
In August, City Press reported that the ANCYL needed R21-million for the conference and would rely on its mother body to foot the bill.

In April this year it faced a court battle for debt accumulated at its last conference in 2011.

Gallagher Estate took the league to court demanding R4-million, but the case was resolved in an out-of-court settlement.

At a press conference on August 20, the NTT’s convenor Mzwandile Masina said that despite the financial instability, the league was ready to elect a new leadership.

“The situation has now stabilised and politically the organisation is coherent,” said Masina – who is also deputy minister of trade and industry.

“We have assessed the progress we have made as the ANCYL as we are building up to the 25th congress.”

However Masuku noted that the delay was also due to problems faced in some regions.

A total of 43 out of 53 regional congresses had been concluded and five provinces had held provincial congresses. These were Mpumalanga, Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng.

The postponement would now allow further lobbying for potential leaders.    

Money eroding core principles
At the forefront is former ANCYL treasurer Pule Mabe who appears to be the favourite to take over as the league’s president.

He is up against former ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola and NTT coordinator Magasela Mzobe.

On Thursday last week the ANCYL in Gauteng publicly issued support for Mabe. However, his popularity comes against the backdrop of allegations that he was using money to influence outcomes of regional conferences in his favour.

Mabe was unavailable for comment.

On Thursday last week, former ANCYL President Lulu Johnson warned of money eroding the core principles of the league.

“Some factions have money … that is how they are gaining popularity,” he said at a debate on the state of the ANCYL in Sandton.    

He further bemoaned the presence of factionalism which he said was “becoming acceptable”.

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