Mantashe chairs ANC plenary session behind closed doors at policy conference

The session is expected to adopt credentials and the rules of conference ahead of discussions about organisational renewal.

FILE: Gwede Mantashe addresses the ANC's Eastern Cape conference on 7 May 2022. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

SOWETO - African National Congress (ANC) delegates are meeting behind closed doors for a plenary session on Friday afternoon chaired by party chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

The session is expected to adopt credentials and the rules of conference ahead of discussions about organisational renewal.

ANC leaders and delegates will spend the afternoon discussing how to restore the image of the former liberation movement to its glory days.

On one hand, the party must grapple with leaders and members who lack basic leadership skills to mobilise the party’s supporter base.

This is reflected in the ANC’s declining electoral support, including a loss of majority in five metros.

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On the other hand, the party must also decide on how to revive its credibility amid claims of corruption and poor service delivery.

The ANC Veterans League document on ANC renewal sounds the alarm on career politicians, rank and file leaders with little regard for party policies and values.

While many of these issues are not new, the party said they have now led to an existential crisis for the governing party.

The party’s policy interventions must address these issues by adopting an accountability and performance framework, reviewing its approach to membership recruitment and addressing factionalism.

DEBATE AROUND STEP-ASIDE POLICY

The ANC said it expects the contentious step-aside clause to be heavily debated at its ongoing policy conference in Nasrec.

The clause which came after the party's fifty fourth national conference in 2017 has already impacted the political careers of several leaders including suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and eThekwini ANC chairperson Zandile Gumede.

Delegates appear to be divided on the matter.

While the newly elected leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants the clause completely scrapped, other provincial leaders like Oscar Mabuyane in the Eastern Cape are in favour of it saying it forms part of efforts to deal with corruption.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said they will ensure a fair and democratic debate on the matter: “Our responsibility and duty as members and leaders of the ANC is to confront the situation and come up with proposals to how we can be able to improve our situation.”

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