Long awaited Ethekwini ANC conference gets underway

The event was initially set to start at 9 this morning but experienced a series of delays with some delegates only arriving just after 2pm this afternoon.

An ANC supporter dances and sings in KwaMakhutha township, south of Durban, on 9 October 2021. Picture: AFP

DURBAN - Delegates have arrived and the long awaited Ethekwini ANC conference has finally kicked off.

The event was initially set to start at 9 this morning but experienced a series of delays with some delegates only arriving just after 2pm this afternoon.

The ANC's largest region in the country will later elect new leaders with delegates having to choose between Zandile Gumede and Thabani Nyawose.

While Thabani Nyawose arrived to loud cheers and songs Gumede is absent from the event since having stepped aside from party activities due to the corruption charges she's currently facing.

Nhlanhla Mabaso is at the Dubran ICC where the conference is currently underway, we cross to him now.

Nhlanhla delegates have already been addressed by provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala what did he have to say.

Sfiso Sihle Zikalala arrived hours ago but only took to the stage a short while ago

He delivered a hard-hitting speech emphasising the role of ANC branches in the communities they serve.

Zikalala reminded close to 400 delegates here of their responsibilities at this conference which he says is beyond just electing new leaders.

“I hear people signing about preferred comrades they think must be elected, but the fundamental task of the conference is to access the policies of the movement.”

Earlier Thabani Nyawose's supporters sang songs in his name while the conference awaited the arrival of delegates believed to be in support of Zandile Gumede.

ANC national executive committee members David Masondo and Lindiwe Sisulu are also present with Masondo having first arrived at this venue at 9 this morning delegates are currently in an open session after which journalists will be booted out in order for the delegates to receive internal reports.

Later nominations and voting will take place this conference wraps tomorrow.