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The ANC is on course to revive the defunct ANC Youth League ahead of the 2021 local government elections, pinning its hopes on a court process which should see the league’s funds “defrosted” following a drawn-out liquidation battle.
This was according to the party’s national youth task team (NYTT), which was charged to handle the re-establishment of the nearly 75-year-old youth body, after its collapse was blamed for the party’s loss of youth support in the last general election.
The ANCYL was liquidated in July 2018 after failing to pay legal costs of a 2010 defamation case brought by former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille.
Now, the ruling party is pulling out all the stops to revive the ANCYL structures through a consultative process, in a race to meet a March 2020 deadline to hold a national congress.
The process includes launching an online membership system meant to address gatekeeping issues in the branches.
Former ministers Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi and Nomvula Mokonyane, as well as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, are among the bigwigs tasked as conveners of deployees in each province.
Asked whether the ANCYL was financially capable of meeting all these goals, NYTT convenor Thandi Mahambehlala said as soon as the courts rescind the league’s liquidation, which they hoped would be before the congress, the organisation’s funds would be released.
“Yes, we are financially capable. The minute the court says yes, those funds will defrost and then we will run smoothly again,” said Mahambehlala.
But not everyone is convinced a congress could be held in five months.
Kolobe Mamabolo, who represented a group of ANCYL members who canvassed for the disbandment of the league’s national executive, citing age and a lapse of term, said there was far too much to do by March 2020.
“It’s not convincing because looking at a region like Ekurhuleni, you don’t have a single branch in good standing,” said Mamabolo. “That applies to other provinces and other regions, as well.”
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