Top six expansion and NEC reduction supported at ANC policy conference

The ANC policy conference has adopted a proposal to expand its top six structure to eight people and reduce the size of its national executive committee from over 100 to between forty to sixty members.

“The options that we will take to branches and leagues are that the top six be expanded to have two deputy presidents: one at international relations and the other for monitoring government implementation of ANC policy,” ANC NEC member Febe Potgieter-Gqubule told journalists at the briefing on the outcome of commissions at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto.

“There is also a proposal to have two deputy secretary generals: one for monitoring and implementation of party resolutions and another to do organisational work,” Potgieter-Gqubule added.

The ANC Youth League had lobbied the conference to also consider reducing the size of the party’s NEC to sixty members.

Potgieter-Gqubule said this proposal had gained traction in commissions.

“There seems to be a general view that we need to reduce the size of the NEC. We need a much smaller workable NEC to be able to discuss and work through issues.”

The proposed changes will now be sent back to branches and form part of a range of changes that will be discussed at the ANC’s national conference in December, where branch delegates will vote on whether to adopt them into the ANC constitution.

Other proposals relate to widespread measures to combat corruption, which include giving the ANC’s integrity commission the power to subpoena anyone in the party and making its recommendations binding.

“This means if I do something wrong I will be subpoenaed and if there is sufficient gravity, there is a prima facie case, I will be referred to the disciplinary committee. But the integrity commission will have the right to say to me, that given that there are these accusations of such gravity, can you step aside?” Potgieter-Gqubule said, adding that if the branches adopt the proposal, the integrity commission can not be ignored.

Along with this, she said, the power to conduct lifestyle audits could be vested with the electoral commission.

“We looking at strengthened the electoral commission, that has more powers to look at screening candidates, including, if there is a need for a lifestyle audit, for it to be conducted.”

Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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