ANC's step-aside rule stays despite protestations by some KZN, Limpopo members

While the contentious rule was a main topic for the ANC in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, some members say it isn't a major issue.

2022 ANC Policy Conference. Picture Nokukhanya Mntambo/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress's step-aside resolution seems set to remain, with calls for it to be implemented fairly.

Positions by the party in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo calling for its removal dominated conversations at the sidelines of this weekend’s sixth national policy conference.

But Eyewitness News understands when provinces met and discussed organisational renewal more people were in favour of retaining the rule but calling for the ANC to be mindful of how exactly its implemented.

The 2017 resolution calls for those facing criminal charges to step aside or face immediate suspension. KwaZulu-Natal’s bold declaration on the step-aside rule and Limpopo’s provincial general council were seen as part of the psychological warfare expected to take place at this conference.

But attempts by the ANC’s two largest provinces failed to take off and other provinces refused to endorse the complete removal of the resolution.

The policy conference will make recommendations for consideration in December.

While some expected this to leave party president Cyril Ramaphosa rattled, he and his supporters have largely remained comfortable. Some expressed confidence with deliberations and the path towards December.

An official from KZN has since started to downplay the issue of stepping aside, telling Eyewitness News it’s a non-issue as South Africans were buckling under extreme pressure.

The conference ends on Sunday.