The African National Congress (ANC) in Limpopo is geared for war when the country goes to the polls in next year’s local government elections and is adamant about winning all wards and retaining all municipalities in the province.
Election battle talk was on the agenda during an interview with ANC Provincial Secretary Nocks Seabi this week when he was approached for a wrap-up of the organisation’s National General Council (NGC) held in Gauteng on the weekend. The NGC served as podium for discussion on matters that formed part of its agenda for a mid-term review of resolutions taken at the 53rd party conference in Mangaung in 2012.
Seabi indicated that the ruling party in the province was already geared for battle as ground work was being done in preparation for the local government elections, all election structures put in place, workshops conducted for their elections teams and list committees and door-to-door initiatives encouraging registration of members being steered. He reckoned the recent by-elections in Mopani and Sekhukhune also assisted to get their people into an election mood.
According to Seabi it was their intention to win all wards and still retain all municipalities. On the upcoming local government elections he said the ANC was indeed ready for war. “Remember ANC performs better when it is under threat. If you check the results especially in wards where we are being highly contested, that’s where we perform a lot.”
On the NGC suggesting consideration by the National Executive Committee (NEC) for promoting mayoral candidates especially in metros and big municipalities before elections, he indicated that it would truly boost the ANC cause and put a face to their campaign. With Limpopo being a rural province all municipalities were important to the ruling party, but they could not afford to lose the prominent municipalities of Polokwane, Mogalakwena, Makhado, Tzaneen and Makhuduthamaga or municipalities in growth points at Musina, Tubatse and Lephalale, Seabi emphasised.
On recent talk about the possible recall of three of Limpopo’s mayors, Seabi explained every now and then they invited deployees to account on what they were doing, especially with regards to service delivery. “So when we call people to account people think we are recalling them. For now there is no intention to recall any mayor, but I’m not necessarily saying we can’t recall when the need arises.”
Highlighting some of the most prominent issues discussed during the NGC, he referred to organisation building and said they looked at membership and the membership system, which needed to be reviewed. With gatekeeping occasionally posing a problem, he stressed that whoever was found to be engaged in such conduct had to be subjected to disciplinary processes. It happened in Limpopo from time to time and it was dealt with, he said.
He continued saying that between December and April the ANC in Limpopo had been able to grow their figures by approximately 12 000 members. Prior to the Mangaung Conference it shot up but afterwards plunged again, a factor he attributed to the conference mood contributing to recruitment and subsequent memberships lapsing. Generally growth would be witnessed again in the run-up towards elective conferences, he explained. Seabi said they were trying to manage membership in such a way that they didn’t only look at quantity but also quality, which was why there steady growth was fairly distributed with the exception of Mopani and Peter Mokaba Regions being the main contributors to a boost in figures. The ANC in Limpopo is happy with the growth rate after the initial drop from 160 000 to about 72 000 members at the time of the 2012 conference, according to Seabi.
He expressed the opinion that the emergence of the EFF claimed “a bit” of their members, especially those active in the African National Congress Youth League (Ancyl), but upon further investigation established that they had to clear about 20 000 to
30 000 ghost members unaccounted for on their records or members having migrated in some instances. He simultaneously raised the view that the Democratic Alliance (DA) was not a threat to the ruling party in Limpopo and on the contrary regarded them losing membership to the ANC amid talk of intended cross-over of members.
He further mentioned that suggestions for consideration of South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as a proposed generational mix of young and old for positions of employment, especially in government institutions, counted among the most prominent resolutions debated during the NGC.
Summarising participation in the NGC, he described the debate that characterised the gathering as good and said the Limpopo delegation had been able to put through almost all resolutions decided upon at its Special Provincial General Council (PGC) at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort last week. “The NGC was a meeting of the ANC we know,” Seabi concluded.
Story: YOLANDE NEL
Photo: African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Secretary Nocks Seabi addresses last week’s Special Provincial General Council (PGC) held at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort.