Branch members make up two-thirds of ANC policy conference delegates
The ANC is hosting 3,733 people at its fifth national policy conference, 2,454 of whom come from its branches around the country.
Of the total number, 2,725 are made up of the 86-member national executive committee, the integrity committee (11 delegates), the leagues, ministers, their deputies and a number of guests.
KwaZulu-Natal, President Jacob Zuma’s home province, kept its top spot as the party’s biggest and most influential province, with 524 registered delegates.
According to the preliminary credentials list, 508 delegates were expected from the province but an extra 16 had registered.
In 2012, ahead of the ANC’s elective conference where Zuma was elected for a second term, ANC membership in KwaZulu-Natal soared by almost 100,000 new members.
At the time, provinces said to be supporters of the President, increased their numbers.
The second-biggest province at the 2017 policy conference being held in Nasrec, Soweto, is the Eastern Cape, with 398 delegates registered. A total of 432 delegates were expected.
Rumours at the conference were that Mpumalanga — led by David Mabuza, who is tipped to be nominated for the position of deputy president on the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma slate — had overtaken the Eastern Cape.
However, according to the list, Mpumalanga was the third-biggest province, with 304 of the 305 delegates expected, registered.
Eastern Cape chairperson Phumulo Masualle, when asked about this, said "factually", his province was still the second biggest delegation at conference.
"I don’t think it really is a matter, it just reflects the state of the organisation presently, and if at any other time there is a province which reflects a better membership base, that should be accepted; there shouldn’t be any qualms about that," he said.
The Free State had 186 registered delegates; Limpopo 280; North West 251; Northern Cape 103 and Western Cape 144.
The Free State, like KwaZulu-Natal, had extra delegates registered compared with the 180 expected.
The ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League had almost double their expected delegation. Both leagues had expected 35 delegates each, but registered 64 each.
The leagues are strong allies of Zuma’s, and have both pronounced that they have endorsed Dlamini-Zuma to take over as president in December.