Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The ANC is postponing all its upcoming conferences, including its midterm conference, the national general council (NGC), as the country deals with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said the decision to postpone all conferences was taken at an extended national working committee (NWC) meeting on Monday.

“Provincial conference, regional conferences, the NGC of the ANC, conferences of the youth league, our provinces and the women’s league are all postponed until further notice,” he said.

“The extended NWC agreed to comply with the prohibition announced yesterday [Sunday] that we should not have meetings of more than 100 people.”

Ramaphosa addressed the media as ANC president less than 24 hours after he declared a national state of disaster. The president on Sunday announced sweeping measures to help contain the spread of the virus, which included travel restrictions on foreigners from hard-hit countries, a ban on mass gatherings of more than 100 people and the closure of schools.

The DA has also announced that it has postponed its policy conference, which was scheduled to take place on April 4 and 5.

DA federal council chair Helen Zille said a decision on the much-anticipated federal congress, which is due to be held on May 30-31 to elect the DA’s new leadership, will be taken at a later stage, “with the proviso that it must be held after the policy conference”.

Zille said the party’s federal executive resolved that the DA will abide strictly by the guidelines for meetings and other forms of social and professional interaction outlined by Ramaphosa on Sunday evening.

Ramaphosa said on Monday that just because conferences were cancelled it did not mean that the ANC was no longer working.

He said the party would conduct door-to-door visits in communities to educate people about the Covid-19 virus and would distribute pamphlets, which had to be done physically.

“The ANC does not go to sleep, the ANC does not die. If there is any time the ANC must get down to work, now is the time.

“As a leader of society, we are now called upon to lead society in a variety of ways, particularly when mobilising the public to understand the impact of the coronavirus.”

Ramaphosa, as ANC president, said he will be meeting with all political parties in Cape Town to discuss how all parties can approach the virus and the crisis the country is facing in a non-political way and work together.

“This is not the time to politicise this virus,” Ramaphosa said, adding that right now the government had things under control and would be upping its game. “We are better prepared now and as we move forward we will become more prepared for the effects of this virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, the IFP announced it would be cancelling its 45th anniversary celebration set for Saturday.

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