Witness Reporter
3 minute read
14 Apr 2021
06:41

Our viewpoint | Party problems continue

Witness Reporter

The plethora of challenges encountered by ANC Moses Mabhida region branches that are currently holding branch general meetings (BGMs) are indicative of deep-seated problems within the party.

OUR VIEWPOINT:


The plethora of challenges encountered by ANC Moses Mabhida region branches that are currently holding branch general meetings (BGMs) are indicative of deep-seated problems within the party.

READ: Disorder at ANC branch general meetings in KZN’s Moses Mabhida Region

Despite the ANC national leadership introducing new BGM regulations as part of efforts to address problems such as gate-keeping which in the past has led to conflict within the party, BGMs now being held across the region are still far from peaceful and orderly. ANC members who attended some of the meetings at the party’s Mooi Mpofana branches recently complained that genuine branch members were being barred from participating in the meetings.

The effect of the sidelining of ANC branch members perceived to be aligned to a rival faction is that they get stripped of their right to vote for their preferred councillor candidates for the upcoming local government elections.

The effect of the sidelining of ANC branch members perceived to be aligned to a rival faction is that they get stripped of their right to vote for their preferred councillor candidates for the upcoming local government elections.

Effectively, the removal of rival branch members tilts the scale in favour of candidates who belong to the other faction.

To eliminate the problem of gate-keeping, which has also seen branch secretaries rejecting new members out of fear that they might back a rival faction during the election of councillor candidates, the ANC national leadership introduced an online membership application process. However, despite the national leadership’s efforts, happenings at the BGMs currently taking place in the region seem to suggest that the new guidelines are not enough to address gate-keeping.

While there were expectations that the new regulations would stop the gate-keeping practice, the nature of the problem is such that it cannot be eradicated without first addressing its root cause — factionalism.

Given that factionalism is largely driven by the need to access tenders and cushy jobs within municipalities, faction leaders will not hesitate to circumvent, by hook or by crook, any regulation which has the potential to be a stumbling block in their pursuit of lucrative municipal contracts.

Given that factionalism is largely driven by the need to access tenders and cushy jobs within municipalities, faction leaders will not hesitate to circumvent, by hook or by crook, any regulation which has the potential to be a stumbling block in their pursuit of lucrative municipal contracts.

As it stands, the only way factionalists can be guaranteed access to tenders is by ensuring that members of their faction dominate councils.

Without addressing factionalism, unity and order in ANC BGMs will remain an elusive goal.

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