Still reeling from its shocking defeat at the watershed 2017 Nasrec elective conference, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants the province to be a united bloc leading up to the December conference.
The province failed to get even one seat in the governing party’s top six at Nasrec. Over the years, the province, which is the biggest in terms of membership, had occupied the status of kingmaker, wielding massive power over who emerged in the party’s top six.
Its fortunes have, however, waned due to factional battles, feuds over tenders and jostling for positions.
In 2017, the province had thrown its weight behind Nkosazana -Dlamini Zuma to occupy the helm of the organisation. The entire slate crumbled when deputy president David Mabuza took the Mpumalanga voting bloc with him as he swayed the conference in favour of Cyril Ramaphosa.
Now, the KZN ANC says it has learnt from its mistakes and its factions have buried the hatchet.
According to provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, the province is in a stronger position than it was in the lead-up to Nasrec. “A lot of work has been done on the ground and we continue to make substantial progress in uniting comrades along the renewal agenda. One of our rallying points is that KZN must be represented in the party’s top six,” he said.
Ntuli conceded that one of the discussions that had caused ructions and divided the party in the province was how the Luthuli House national office had handled the implementation of the step-aside resolution, saying the national leadership was caught napping.
“Our view as the province is that the step-aside resolution was not properly managed by the national officials. The problem started when comrade Mandla Msibi in Mpumalanga and comrade Zandile Gumede in eThekwini were elected. The resolution was amended and no longer allowed comrades who are criminally charged to be nominated or elected. For most comrades, the stepping aside is not an issue. It is the selective application of the resolution [that is the problem],” said Ntuli.
He said the matter will be one of the key deliberations in the upcoming provincial elective conference scheduled for later this month.
According to Ntuli, since the national general council is unlikely to convene, which would have given the branches a platform to discuss the matter, a decision should have been taken by the national leadership that the step-aside resolution should remain as is and be reviewed at the party’s December conference.
While the province has not yet pronounced on who it supports for the ANC’s top posts, KZN premier Sihle Zikalala and Zweli Mkhize are some of the names that have emerged as potential candidates for Luthuli House.
Sunday World understands that KZN could decide to merge with other provinces to strengthen their campaign and negotiate a win-win deal by wooing either the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga or Gauteng.
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