ANC wants to unite organisation ahead of its 2017 elective conference

Some of the party’s leaders are embarking on a political education program in various regions this weekend.

FILE: Gwede Mantashe of the ANC's NEC addresses the media at Luthuli House on Fees Must Fall. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) says it wants to unite the organisation ahead of its 2017 elective conference to ensure the succession debate doesn’t sow further divisions in the party.

To ensure this, some of the party’s leaders are embarking on a political education programme in various regions this weekend.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has spent time in the North West, while his deputy, Jessie Duarte, has been in the Western Cape this weekend.

They want to unify the organisation as it advances towards its conference next year where new leaders will be elected.

Some structures of the party such as the ANCWL and ANCYL have already indicated they want a woman president to succeed President Jacob Zuma, with outgoing African Union Commissioner Chair Nkosazana Dlamini being the favourite.

But unions affiliated to the party have announced they are behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC says it wants to teach their structures about the principles of selecting leadership for the movement.

The party says the political education programme is done with the aim of unifying the organisation as it advances towards the elective conference.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said some of its members believe if Zuma would step down, the ANC could be rebuilt as a stronger organisation.

The National Health Education and Allied Workers Union became the first member of the tripartite alliance to call for Zuma’s axing.

The union is currently having discussions on who should be the next president of the ANC.

The CWU’s President Clyde Mervin said, “Already some of the members are of the view that he must step aside so that we can rebuild a strong ANC, rebuild a strong Cosatu, so that when the alliance is united the country will forward in a different direction.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)