ANC Eastern Cape opposed to scrapping of step-aside rule

The ANC in the Eastern Cape will lobby against the scrapping of the step-aside resolution, the party said on Wednesday.

Following a two-day special provincial general council and policy conference, held in preparation of this week’s ANC national policy conference that starts on Thursday, the party in the province said the step-aside rule is crucial to its renewal process.

In a statement issued after conference, ANC secretary in the province Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the delegates will instead lobby for the strengthening of the step-aside resolution.

The debate about reviewing and scrapping the resolution was introduced in the ANC discourse by the new leadership in KwaZulu-Natal that was elected at the weekend.

The step-aside rule has affected several ANC leaders including its suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

The factions aligned to those who have been affected by the rule have consistently argued that it is abused to target certain individuals who belong to certain factions.

But Ngcukayitobi said everyone is subjected to the step-aside resolution regardless of positions or views in the organisation.

“Step-aside is the matter of principle and integrity for all members that are formally charged to voluntarily step aside from their positions of responsibilities or be compelled to do so when they refuse to voluntarily do so,” said Ngcukayitobi.

Other proposals adopted by the province include the review of the system of electing party leaders. Currently, the ANC branches elect delegates to the party’s provincial or national conferences with mandates to elect individuals nominated by the branches for leadership positions.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has often criticised this system, saying it is vulnerable to manipulation as voting delegates can change the mandate and opt to vote differently.

Ngcukayitobi said the ANC in the province proposes a system that will afford individual choices by giving membership a more direct role in electing leadership.

It also wants the national government to review the division of revenue and allocate provincial equity share according to developmental needs rather than the population size of the province.

Also proposed is the development of an institutionalised framework to manage coalition governments in the municipalities for the sake of stability and delivery of services.

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