The battle for control of ANC provinces hots up

The battle for control of ANC provinces hots up

- The ANC has given the go-ahead to provinces to prepare to hold elective conferences where regional and provincial leadership will be elected

- For regions and provinces needing to elect new leadership, Secretary general Ace Magashule has set a deadline of the end of July

- However the regional structures and provinces whose mandate only expires after September will have to wait until after the national elections to hold conferences

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It’s full steam ahead for ANC regional and provincial bodies to jostle for a position of power ahead of the next national elections as the NEC gives those who have a mandate expiring before September the green light to hold elective conferences. has gathered that following the divisions which were so apparent ahead of the ANC presidential race in December, the party's national executive committee (NEC) was divided over holding off internal conferences until after the 2019 elections.

It is expected that the regional and provincial conferences will again see the factions which were so evident at last year’s national elective conference pitted against each other.

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Secretary general Ace Magashule gave the provinces and regional structures a July deadline to elect new leaders, but the regional structures with mandates due to expire later than September will have to wait until after the National Elections to hold conferences.

Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Limpopo are due for elections with tense battles already underway in the provinces. Free State and KwaZulu-Natal have faced successful court challenges over the manipulation of processes at branches which, while not helping them during the national conference will have bearing on the forthcoming provincial meetings.

There have been branches expressing disquiet with Magashule's announcement.

Magashule did, however warn in a letter to provincial secretaries and coordinators this week that conferences can only go ahead if membership and branch audits are completed and signed off by his office. He also cautioned that all disputes had to be resolved, as well as the details of venues, programmes and credentials of these conferences communicated to structures within reasonable time.

Part of the problem for the ANC, according to political analysts commenting on the happenings, is the two vastly different needs competing for supremacy. On the one hand, the ANC is preparing for a national election where it desperately needs to hold onto power, and on the other the issue of forward planning and succession remains a cause of concern for many.

The KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga’s proven power base, shown and extended during the tenure of former president Jacob Zuma, defended him and blocked attempts to recall him.

These province’s support for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who Ramaphosa only managed to beat to the presidency of the party by a very small margin, remains. For this reason the elective conferences could prove crucial for Ramaphosa who needs to solidify his hold on the party.

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