Western Cape ANC: Factions a thing of the past

Factionalism will be a thing of the past in the African National Congress in the Western Cape after their elective congress. Or so they hope.

The party has been faced with deep divisions, dwindling support and a lack of confidence in their leadership, but newly re-elected ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman said he would be having none of it.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, days after he was elected to serve as chairperson for another four years, Fransman said what the elective conference had done in electing the new provincial executive committee (PEC) was to force various factions to unite.

“I have always said the ANC must unite; it must defactionalisel; it must work against divisions. Conference has told the ANC in the Western Cape to stop factionalising because what we have now is an organic development of leadership.”

Fransman debunked reports the top five in the PEC was “too coloured”, saying they were a strong, diverse team. He said those elected — including deputy chairperson Khaya Magaxa — were not necessarily from the “Fransman camp”, which he said showed the level of unity which had now emerged.

New provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the composition of the new PEC, which includes Seskhona leader Andile Lili, had been a compromise of different divisions within the party.

“We’ve been able to unify the majority of ANC branches [and] structures in that committee and we look at how we accommodate everybody,” said Jacobs on Tuesday.

Fransman repeated the need for the party to make inroads into the coloured communities in the Western Cape in the build-up to the local government elections in 2016 and admitted that it would not be an overnight project.

Speaking about holding branch leaders and PEC members accountable – as well as holding them to the standards of their performance agreements — Fransman said each leader had a responsibility with regards to recruitment in the party’s bid to gain over 100 000 new members by end of the year.

The ANC in the Western Cape held its elective congress at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology over the weekend, where former secretary Songezo Mjongile was edged out by Jacobs.

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