News South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
14 Dec 2017
12:30 pm

Details: How the #ANCConference2017 will be structured

Gosebo Mathope

In the conference pack delegates are reminded they are representing their branches and that supporters bemoan 'sins of incumbency', which include corruption and abuse of state power.

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The ‘Preparing for National Conference’ document made available to delegates sets out the procedure and substantive issues delegates at the African National Congress (ANC)’s 54th elective conference, to be held at Nasrec Expo outside Soweto, will wrestle with on December 16 – 20, 2017.

The only other new item added to the agenda is the discussion, or a breakaway commission, that the party’s chairperson of communications subcommittee Ayanda Dlodlo announced would deal with corruption and how it tainted the image of the country.

The document states: “The National Conference is the highest decision-making body of the ANC and plays four important roles: conference delegates elect ANC leaders, conference holds leaders to account through hearing and processing reports from the president, secretary-general and treasurer-general, delegates decide on any changes to the policies and programmes, conference is the only body that can amend the ANC constitution.”

Delegates are also reminded that the 90% of them are from branches, with the balance made up of leagues, provincial and national executives. “Branch representatives are meant to represent the interest of their branch, not a province or region or a league.”

The conference will also deal with resolutions passed at the National Policy Conference held in June 2017 by debating them in several sessions during the five-day programme beginning on the 16th and ending on the 20th of December.

READ MORE: #ANCConference2017: Economic resolutions from previous four conferences

Day One will deal with four main issues: adoption of the programmes; rules, credentials and the electoral commission; the ‘Political Report’ by President Jacob Zuma; the ‘Organisational Report’ by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe; and the ‘Financial Report’ by treasurer-general Dr Zweli Mkhize; “Constitutional amendments if they affect the position of the National Executive  Committee [NEC]”; and “Nominations tabled for Officials”.

Day Two will be made up of commissions that deal with ‘strategy and tactics’ and ‘organisations renewal’, where “all delegates will discuss the same questions”. Later on during the same day, voting for officials, nominations for NEC and additional members will take place.

Day Three and Four will proceed with commissions on “policies” and “programmes”. Voting for NEC additional members will also get under way, with the last time being constitutional amendments and resolutions. The last and fifth day will be announcements from the NEC and closing address by the incoming president.

A key debate emanating from the previous conference and also discussed at the policy conference is “radical economic transformation” (RET), which the document describes as “rapid transformation of the economy and society to overcome poverty, unemployment, inequalities and ownership patterns of the past”. It also cautioned RET “cannot aim to create a small black elite. It has to include the masses of our people and improve their lives”.

One of the weaknesses identified by commissions in previous conferences is meeting challenges: “The most important weaknesses listed were social distance, corruption, nepotism, arrogance, elitism, factionalism, manipulating, organisational process, abusing state power and putting self-interest about the people.”

Delegates are reminded ANC supporters agree “sins of incumbency” are deeply entrenched in the movement.


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