ANC must prioritise renewal, avoid focus on individuals – Mabuyane

ANC must prioritise renewal, avoid focus on individuals – Mabuyane

Eastern Cape ANC chairperson Oscar Mabuyane, who is in the race to become the party’s next deputy president, would not be drawn into discussing the organisational report which was presented on the second day of conference.

Oscar Mabuyane
Masechaba Sefularo

Instead, Mabuyane stressed that the party needs to prioritise its renewal, which includes moving away from building structures around individuals.  

"We are not an ANC in 1912, we are an ANC in 2022 so it's going to be important that we change how we do things. What is key is that we must stop building systems around individuals because when [they] are not there then the systems collapse."

READ: No bad blood between Ramaphosa and Zuma, claims ANC

Day two of the party’s 55th national conference is characterised by more registration delays and closed plenary sessions, which included the delivery of the organisational and financial reports by deputy president David Mabuza and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile.

“Those reports will be in the commissions because we will be taking stock, basically doing a SWOT analysis on how we move forward as the ANC.”

But he says the outgoing NEC has done relatively well under the circumstances – which include the collapsing of slates under the 'unity' banner at the 2017 conference, the global economic meltdown, and Covid-19.

On Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery of the political report was marred by heckling – particularly from a rowdy KwaZulu-Natal group.

 ALSO READ: ANC urges provincial leaders to enforce discipline at conference

Mabuyane has described the disruption by delegates who banged on tables while calling on Ramaphosa to step aside as “the lowest point” in the party.

“We’ve had situations like that before with presidents, and we never disrespected presidents of the ANC. That has escalated to a level of disrespecting the ANC itself. That was the lowest point in the ANC, and I hope that it’s something that will not perpetuate.”

 Mabuyane received 397 branch nominations, against 427 for Ronald Lamola and 1791 in favour of Mashatile.

The Eastern Cape premier says his fate in the ANC's top structures now lies in the hands of the voting delegates gathered at the conference.

"Everyone there has got 100% chance, we are starting from zero we are not starting from nominations. Nominations were just a preliminary stage that allows you to get into the ballot so every vote will count. Many people who will be voting never nominated us, but they will be voting.”

Mabuyane also lamented the indignity that was a result of the achingly slow pace of registration which was only completed by 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. 

"My heart is really sore. Eastern Cape people travelled 12 hours in a bus. They arrived as early as 2 am and had to stay here for another 12 hours without relaxing, queueing for something that could have been done easily."

He says the ANC needs to be professionalised. 

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