ANC flag. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH
ANC flag. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH

The ANC is using the Nasrec template of mixed slates to resolve leadership issues in its provinces, as it tries to wrap up list conferences in the run-up to the critical 2019 general elections.

Earlier in 2018, the ANC battled to get its provincial structures in order, following the Nasrec conference where Cyril Ramaphosa was elected on a unity slate, as infighting prevailed and groups of disgruntled members turned to the courts.

The party has had to postpone its national list conference where it will consolidate the lists from its provinces after one of its nine provinces — the North West — was unable to hold a successful conference.

The ANC’s other eight provinces have wrapped up their list conferences with provincial executive committees busy ratifying the results.

The national list conference, meant to be held at the weekend, will now take place on January 6 and 7 in Durban, just a few days before the ANC’s January 8 rally and manifesto launch, acting ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete confirmed.

He said provinces have until Friday to complete all list conferences and submit these to the national list committee.

Zuma faction

Though the party has made some progress, it is still being hamstrung by those in the former Zuma faction who are trying to claw back power.

A party insider told Business Day that “these forces” want to “steal” the list conferences so Ramaphosa has no choice but to select from their faction when appointing his new cabinet after the elections.

“They also want to control parliament and dictate to the cabinet,” the source said.

Registered political parties contesting the polls must submit lists of their candidates for the national and provincial governments to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

According to the IEC timetable for the 2019 election, parties have to submit their candidate lists between March and April, when it will also draw up the ballot paper.

The North West has been one of the more difficult provinces for the party.

Earlier in 2018, it had to force Supra Mahumapelo, a staunch supporter of Jacob Zuma, to step down as premier.

The ANC provincial leadership, also led by Mahumapelo, was disbanded and replaced with a task team. Mahumapelo tried to challenge the disbanding of the provincial leadership in court but lost.

Last week’s North West list conference descended into chaos and a delegate was stabbed.

Legoete, who is a former North West provincial secretary, decried the behaviour of some members at the conference, saying the party could not “allow anarchy to take over”.

There were also reports that a group of disgruntled members in the Free State want to challenge the provincial list conference in court.

Legoete, however, said members have been urged to rather use internal processes and that no court challenge will deter the ANC from submitting its lists to the IEC on time.

Acting national ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the organisation is turning a corner, but this will not happen overnight.  

“We are turning the corner but we must not undermine the fact that there are still one or two individuals who are held back to the past,” he said.

“In our approach to leadership issues around the country, we are using Nasrec as a template.”

Kodwa said the ANC has learnt from 2016 when it lost control of three of the country’s big metros. This was not because people gave their vote to another party, but because they stayed away from the polls.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za; marriann@businesslive.co.za