By Neelam Rahim
There was fierce electioneering at the weekend as the ANC held its Gauteng conference. Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile accepted nominations for the chairperson position at the provincial conference. Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko and Mzi Khumalo stood for the position of deputy chairperson. The question on everyone’s mind is whether the conference means anything when the party is in deep trouble in Gauteng, with the real possibility that it will not manage to remain in power after the 2024 national elections.
Radio Islam discusses with political analyst Theo Venter.
Sharing the news results with Radio Islam, Theo says, “one o’clock this morning, we got the outcome, which was a very close race and Panyaza Lesufi won Mr Maile for a second time to become not the deputy chair like he used to be, but now the chairman of Gauteng taking the place of David Makura. Looking at the numbers, the victories weren’t far in for all the posts. It was a close race. But I think that Lesufi got most of the people in so far. And what is interesting is that there are three women in the top six of Gauteng, which is interesting because it was a fierce competition. And through this competition, they also succeeded in electing three women to the top.”
Was Lesufi expected to win by a more significant margin? Does this narrow victory mean that the ANC within the provinces is divided?
Theo says the province is divided. “Mr Messina is operating a powerful ANC Lowry. And each close because these different groups competed very strongly. We saw the conference starting late and being challenged in court, going through all the motions that all conferences have, but at least they pulled it through. In several other cases like the Northwest and in the increased state exam. They couldn’t even arrange the conferences to a point where they have elections where at least the whole thing, they pulled it through despite the divisions among the ANC members.”
Those sceptics say that it’s a lost cause for the ANC in the housing province. They are in a downward spiral. They’ve already lost three of the biggest metros in the province. They are not likely to retain the majority. It will be a coalition government, and it will also be a challenge for them to lead the coalition government.
“The time is too short of turning it around, but it is significant for further developments this year within the ANC significant forms that oppose us wish to become the President for the second time of the ANC. It is significant in terms of a rule determining the delegates to these major conferences. So that is significant, but whether they are going to change the agency’s day-to-day operational methods. I doubt that very much. I just think that the ANC is now in survival mode. It is not in a mode to recoup or renew, to follow the President’s call to the ANC at the national level,” says Theo.
For more on this, listen to Radio Islam’s podcast below.