ANC Western Cape elective conference: Youth turns on old guard as it eyes top posts

30th August 2022 By: News24Wire

 ANC Western Cape elective conference: Youth turns on old guard as it eyes top posts

ANC's Alvin Botes

While the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape is forging ahead with regional conferences as it gears up to elect new provincial party bosses, youth leaders have released a controversial report pushing for fresh blood to be injected into the party's top structures.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni said branches were still holding its regional conferences.

"We have approved two additional regions – Boland and Overberg – which have met their threshold," he said.

"We are still having challenges in Dullah Omar Metro and Southern Cape, which we took a decision to intervene in," he said.

Mtsweni said Central Karoo would also convene soon, but the "the two regions lurking behind is the Dullah Omar Metro and Southern Cape whose branches are yet to reach the desired threshold", he told News24. 

However, Mtsweni was confident that the provincial conference would take place and would be credible.

Meanwhile, provincial ANC Youth League leaders fear the old guard have caused divisions in the Western Cape party ranks.

In a controversial document, the province's disbanded youth league detailed problems plaguing the party.

The 25-page report titled Jeruselema stated, "An older ANC leadership today in the Western Cape will not be patient enough to plan for a decade from now. Their only solution will be immediate, cheap, quick fixes."

The report said the ANC in the Western Cape remains "divided and therefore weak".

"The younger generation of the ANC in the Western Cape are called upon to unite and build the organisation in the province.

"We can maintain our national or historical preferences but let us come out of our corners, meet each other, debate, discuss, as is the tradition of the ANC, and assist in uniting not only the ANC but also the people of the Western Cape beyond race, class, gender and geographical boundaries," the document continued.

Despite a slight uptick in voter support from 31% in 2009 to 32% in 2014, the report also blamed the old guard for the declining support the ANC has been suffering in the province.

The document said, "The ANC cannot afford to get less than 30% in the upcoming national and provincial elections."

"It would not be untoward to suggest, therefore, that there is a direct correlation between the downward spiral of the ANC, whatever this may mean to whomever, over the last three decades and the move towards an older leadership in the organisation, especially in its top leadership."

"Therefore, the renewal of the ANC must include a reconfiguration of the ANC in terms of age and true generational mix," the document added.

Mtsweni said the report had not been formally submitted to the organisation. 

Alvin Botes, who was deployed by the ANC's NEC to the Western Cape, told News24 the document has no standing in the party.

"I can indicate that the renewal and rebuilding of the ANC in the Western Cape is firmly on track," he said.

Botes noted that the province already convened two regional conferences – West Coast and Overberg – while preparations are under way for Boland.

He said branch general meetings for the provincial conference will commence on 7 September, while nominations for the new provincial executive committee are expected to be conclude by the end of September.