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The ANC’s 55th national conference to elect new party leaders will be most likely be held on December 16-20, and the party is also looking to drastically reduce the number of voting delegates compared with the previous conference.

This is revealed in documents presented to its national executive committee (NEC) meeting that started on Thursday‚ which has to endorse the conference dates where president Cyril Ramaphosa may have to defend his position as ANC leader.

A national working committee (NWC) report also to the meeting proposes that the party limits the number of participants to 5‚000.

“The NEC is asked to set the maximum number of participants at 5‚000. This includes all voting and non-voting delegates‚ guests‚ observers‚ staff‚ media‚ security personnel and service providers. Of these‚ at least 3‚600 should be voting delegates‚” reads the report.

It said branches would constitute 90% of the voting delegates and the remaining 10% will be from the NEC and provincial executive committees.

At the party’s past national conference in December 2017‚ the total number of voting delegates was 4‚776 out of the 5‚006 that were expected to attend.

A national conference preparatory committee and the NWC would finalise the exact dates on the basis of logistical and other considerations‚ including restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic‚ the meeting heard.

In its report‚ the NWC said it was proposing the December 16-20 dates given the amount of time required for adequate preparation‚ the availability of suitable venues or alternative means of holding a national conference in the context of Covid-19.

The arrival and registration of delegates would take place on December 16‚ subject to modalities imposed by Covid-19‚ it said.

Since its unbanning‚ the ANC has rotated the hosting of its national conferences among provinces‚ with the Eastern Cape‚ Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape the only provinces that have never hosted a national elective conference.

The Eastern Cape hosted the national general council in 2000‚ in Gqeberha.

According to the NWC‚ while Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape have hosted the party’s January 8 events‚ they do not have the physical infrastructure required to host the party’s national conference.

To assist in the identification of a suitable venue and to provide guidance to the credentials and registration task team‚ the NEC will have to agree on a maximum number of total participants for the national conference and provide guidance on the minimum number of voting delegates.

The NWC said the proposal was based on the numbers who attended the previous conference in 2017.



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