Africa-Press – South-Africa. The ANC’s declining support in Gauteng will become a dominating factor at the party’s provincial conference this weekend as it has moved for an earlier than usual start to its congress.
The ANC in Gauteng is holding its provincial conference from Thursday to Sunday.
ANC provincial deputy chairperson Panyaza Lesufi said the province was not fearful of losing Gauteng, a province it narrowly held onto in 2019.
Lesufi said it was not a “weakness” or fear that led the party to dedicate the bulk of its programme to political discussions on the state of the party in the province.
He said no political party could guarantee its place in the political arena, and the ANC had to look firmly at its position.
“I do not think there is a political party that can affirm that it will win everything and a political party that can affirm that it will not win everything. I think we can. We have the superior ideas, leadership and talent to resolve all problems. We are not starting early because we fear losing. We are affirming who we are,” Lesufi said.
The conference will be attended by 1 133 delegates, including provincial executive committee members and the ANC leagues.
There are several unresolved disputes, 14 of which had been filed with the national dispute resolution committee.
The most significant factor ahead of the conference was the issue of the 19 quarantined votes from the ANC Ekurhuleni region.
The votes were set aside at the region’s conference last month and constituted votes from five branches.
ANC national executive member Jeff Radebe is handling the resolution of the dispute. Lesufi said these branches could not impact the progress of the congress.
All Gauteng ANC branches that had qualified and held general branch meetings would be certified to vote at the conference, Lesufi said.
In the West Rand region, unresolved disputes saw the region not hold a regional conference after failing to meet the threshold of 70%.
Only a few qualifying branches from this region would be allowed to participate.
Corruption allegations ahead of conference
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is to mull a probe over corruption and vote-buying allegations that dominated factional fights in the lead up to the conference.
The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Gauteng led the charge in accusing Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi of diverting tenders to assist her contesting for the position of deputy provincial secretary.
ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe dismissed the claims outrightly, but said he had alerted Makhura.
Makhura would consider a probe.
“I took that memorandum to the province’s premier, and said we have to answer Sanco on these allegations. The matter is with the leader of the government. We would want him to sanction a process that will give confidence to the people of Tembisa in Gauteng as to whether we are running a hospital as a corruption-based front or to heal the ill,” Khawe said.
Mokgethi had denied the claims, urging Sanco to open a criminal case.
The provincial conference was expected to see Lesufi contest the chairperson position against Lebogang Maile, a PEC member and Cogta MEC in Gauteng.