The deadline for ANC branches to hold their Branch General Meetings to nominate NEC members and elect Branch Delegates to the 55th National Conference has been extended by three weeks.
Some of the delays include rolling blackouts resulting in the party’s systems crashing, industrial action by ANC staff and challenges with the scanner software.
Speaking to SABC News, ANC acting secretary-general and the Treasurer General Paul Mashatile says they’ve implemented measures to ensure that the problem does not occur again.
“This continues our biggest challenge as you all know and I think it affects you at local level because you distribute electricity and when it does this it gets your own customers to lose businesses. It disrupts the lives of our people and people lose confidence in us.”
The number one citizen has not been spared from power cuts, much to the amusement of delegates at the Local Government Summit, where President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to pause his address.
This hardship has also been felt by the governing party at its headquarters, Luthuli House in Johannesburg, where its systems crashed last week, delaying the process of nominations.
Mashatile says, “We are very happy with the processes, we started off with branch general meetings, as you know there will always be hiccups, and one of our challenges now is that when we started a week ago, we had load shedding and our systems at Luthuli House crashed. So we were not able to generate QR codes for BGMs, so we lost a weekend. We have now installed in our building uninterrupted power supplies, we have now also established more call centres so that we don’t rely on one call centre and one building so as we speak now, things are back to normal. We are generating QR codes, we’re making sure our scanners are working well because you know the ANC has moved away from manual processes, everything is digitised. It’s important to have power supply, so I’m going to watch what happens this week closely but I think we are doing well so far. ”
Mashatile says the party will still recover the lost time as nominations have been extended to the 25th of October.
“Well you know that processes is managed by what we call the electoral committee. Others call it an Electoral Commission headed by comrade Kgalema [Motlanthe] , they are managing that whole process. So we have urged our branches, go to your BGMs, nominate there, so there are many names that are coming up. I think all of us as the President has said should wait for the process of the branch to be completed.”
Gauteng, Limpopo and recently KwaZulu-Natal have endorsed Mashatile as their preferred candidate for the position of Deputy President.
Asked if he will heed the call this is what he had to say, “Well at the moment I have not been approached but as a disciplined cadre of the organisation, once you’re asked to perform certain responsibilities, I think it’s always a good thing to comply.”
The nominations are picking with the incumbent President Ramaphosa, set to square off with the former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize who has also got the nod from KwaZulu-Natal.