ANC KZN secretary insists removal of step-aside rule is the right decision

Newly elected ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Bheki Mtolo hit out at party members criticising his province’s call for the resolution to be scrapped. 

The ANC's Bheki Mtolo. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress' controversial step-aside decision will be challenged at this weekend’s policy conference.

Newly elected ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Bheki Mtolo hit out at party members criticising the province’s call for the resolution to be scrapped.

A proxy battle around the 2017 policy decision is expected to play out, with KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo - the two largest in the ANC, likely to agree on the issue.

Mtolo insisted his province is making the right call for the removal of the contentious step-aside resolution.

He said it is being used in factional battles and is likely to have an adverse impact on the December national conference.

“You must take responsibility as leadership particularly from ourselves at the National Executive Committee to make sure that we guide the national conference and protect the national conference so that it must not be disruptive,” he said.

The focus on the step-aside rule by some of the ANC’s largest provinces has been criticised by some in the party, who claim this shows a lack of focus on real issues facing the country.

But Mtolo said they won't accept criticism from ANC deployees in government as they have not improved the lives of all South Africans.

“As if they’ve been focusing on greater issues, if they had been focusing on the greater issues then they should’ve understood that the price of fuel, for example, it hits at the poor.”

The battle to remove or keep the step aside resolution is likely to take shape in the commissions on Saturday.