Trade union federation Cosatu affiliate the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is the latest structure to reject a call for an early ANC elective conference.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has called for the conference, in which new leadership will be elected, to be scheduled earlier than December 2017.
NUM president Piet Matosa yesterday told The Citizen that the conference would not help the ANC and the country.
“If the ANC conference were brought forward, that would terribly injure the ANC,” Matosa said. “It is politically incorrect.”
Meanwhile, the SA Communist Party (SACP) has called for a special national conference similar to the ANC’s Morogoro Conference in 1969, with a consultative purpose.
“This conference will have to be structured to avoid, among others, crippling divisions, spiralling ill discipline, despicable arrogance, inexplicable denialism and factional majoritarianism born out of conference by delegates hand-picked to advance agendas of particular dominant factions,” SACP deputy chairperson Thulas Nxesi told delegates at the party’s provincial congress in Mpumalanga at the weekend.
“The policy conference should discuss papers with policy content that would have been developed to shape and structure the organisation of the future and its exercise of state power.”
Nxesi, also the public works minister, said the ANC was at a crossroads.
“We will either fundamentally restructure the organisation, elect new leaders, emerge with new policies, abandon e-tolls, end factions and deal with corruption and tenders,” Nxesi said.
“Or we will risk losing our leadership role in the 2019 general election.”
Matosa suggested that the ANC concentrate on the reasons it performed badly in the local government elections and devise strategies on how to approach the 2019 general elections.
He said the union wanted Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace President Jacob Zuma as head of the state in 2019.
“Our resolution is informed by the traditions of the ANC,” Matosa said.
“We think we have a role to play in identifying the leadership of the ANC at all levels.”
Ramaphosa is a former NUM general secretary.
Cosatu and its affiliates have in the past played an important role in influencing the leadership direction in the ANC.
Matosa said those calling for a female president were within their rights to express their views.
Two ANC wings – ANCYL and the ANC Women’s League – have openly called for a woman to succeed Zuma.