The South African Communist Party on Sunday urged the ANC not to bring forward its elective conference and to hold a consultative conference instead, saying an early elective conference would deepen disunity.
In a statement issued after the SACP central committee (CC) meeting in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, this weekend, the SACP said it had noted calls by the ANC Youth League for an early ANC national elective conference.
“We are also aware that the ANCYL is being used by others to test the waters in this regard… the SACP is firmly of the belief that the motivation for this call is entirely factional.
“If followed through it will result in deepening disunity within the ANC and across its alliance. The winners will inherit a shell organisation. Those making this call are not even bothering to disguise their factional intentions. They have learnt nothing from the local government elections.
“Nor have they learnt anything from the premature convening, against the advice of the ANC NEC [national executive committee] itself, of the KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial conference which has simply deepened divisions within a formerly united ANC province,” the SACP said.
The SACP believed there was great merit in considering the possibility of a national ANC consultative, or special conference prior to the ANC’s national conference. Such a conference should be a non-elective event, with ANC provinces being accorded an equal number of delegates to avoid endless accreditation disputes.
The aim of the conference should be to unify the ANC and the broader alliance on a principled programmatic basis. Agreement should be reached, if possible, on the transition to a new leadership and at the very least on mechanisms to ensure that the December 2017 conference would not be characterised by a shoot-out between winner-takes-all mutually exclusive slates.
“Regardless of the winning slate, such an outcome will simply accelerate the decline of the ANC. An effective consultative conference should also be a unifying space in which we can all reflect upon and take individual and collective responsibility for mistakes we have made.
“We believe that alliance partners should be allowed an active role in the conference. Consideration should also be given to inviting senior and respected veterans of our movement, and even other progressive forces like, for instance, the South African Council of Churches. Let us be prepared to listen to those whose criticism of us is motivated by a genuine concern about the future of our movement and our country and not by petty personality hatreds or an inveterate anti-ANC position,” the SACP said.
– African News Agency (ANA)