LIMPOPO ANC secretary Nocks Seabi has unveiled a roadmap for the provincial elective conference, urging party branches to adopt the spirit of renewal and unity when they nominate candidates.
This comes as supporters and opponents of Provincial Chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha prepare to battle for the soul of the ruling party after regional general councils (RGC) unanimously resolved to proceed with the conference next month.
According to sources, various RGC’s were held across the province over the weekend to deliberate on the state of readiness for the much awaited conference. This comes after the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) recently gave provinces such as Limpopo, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal the green light to hold outstanding conferences.
The conferences are expected to be a litmus test for the party’s unity call following unprecedented divisions that characterised the period leading up to the national conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
They are also likely to shed light on whether supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa are consolidating power in the provinces, or whether those who supported Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are regrouping and fighting back.
Seabi confirmed that all the five regions – Mopani, Peter Mokaba, Vhembe, Sekhukhune and Waterburg – have given the provincial conference the thumbs up.
“All of our regions confirmed that they will be ready for the provincial conference. Peter Mokaba and Waterburg also indicated that they will be ready for their regional conferences,” Seabi said.
“The PEC received that report and will make a report to the national working committee which will then look at our report and give us a good ahead.”
He says the conference will be held between June 12 and 17.
Waterburg and Peter Mokaba are expected to hold their outstanding regional conferences before the provincial gathering, he added, but regional conferences have no bearing on the provincial conference.
“They are supposed to develop a road map which will indicate when will they have their regional conferences, preferably before the provincial conference. A conference is a conference of branches. Even if they did not hold their regional conferences and the province is ready, we will continue with the provincial conference,” he added.
Seabi says branch general meetings and nominations will start immediately after ANC secretary general Ace Magashule signed membership audit reports.
According to Limpopo’s membership audit report, the province has 566 branches and need 396 branches – a threshold of 70% – to hold a conference.
“We are calling upon our branches, when we start nomination for either regional or provincial conference, to do so in the spirit of renewal and unity since this year we are honouring our icons, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama [Albertina] Sisulu,” Seabi says.
A delegate who attended the Mopani RGC at Bolivia Lodge in Polokwane, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, says they resolved to proceed with the conference after adopting regional secretary Basikopo Makamu’s report.
He says NEC member Tito Mboweni and provincial executive committee (PEC) members Soviet Lekganyane and Dan Sebabi oversaw the RGC.
“In this report, the regional secretary presented that indeed the region is ready to go to the provincial conference. Then he gave [a] chance for members of Mopani. Not less than eight branch members stood and they confirmed the report of the secretary Comrade Basikopo Makamu. There was no objection,” says the branch member.
“The regional secretary confirmed that there were no critical challenges in Mopani in terms of the readiness of the region. We unanimously agreed as branches in Mopani region that we were ready for the conference, and Comrade Tito Mboweni confirmed that he is happy.”
He says while he supports Mathabatha’s candidacy for chairperson, changes are needed in the rest of the top four positions.
A branch member from Peter Mokaba, who supports Polokwane Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng for the regional chairperson position, says they will push for changes in the top five and bring senior and experienced candidates. The only person they support in the current top five is Mathabatha, he insists.
“You have comrades who are working hard to liberate the region. The reality is that Thembi will take over the region and work with other comrades to make sure we clear the wrong things that have been happening in Peter Mokaba and mobilise the people of Peter Mokaba towards active involvement in provincial politics,” he says.
“Some of the people who behave as if it is hereditary to serve in the PEC we might not find ourselves agreeing with them.”Transport MEC Makoma Makhurupetje is said to be challenging Mathabatha for the party’s top job in the province.
MPL Soviet Lekganyane is challenging Seabi for the secretary position while several candidates are vying for the deputy secretary position. These include Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba and Sports MEC Onnica Moloi.