Branches of the African National Congress (ANC) in Mpumalanga are meeting to finalise party lists ahead of next year’s national elections.

Over 280 branches have nominated their preferred candidates at the provincial list conference taking place in Mbombela.

Delegates from 288 branches gathered to decide on who will represent them in provincial and national legislatures. The ANC says it wants qualified people in Parliament after next year’s elections.

At least 50% should be women and 20% youth. The party says it’s addressing factionalism within its ranks.

“All the lobby groups must dissolve and they should not be meeting in hotels or anyway else along the lines of the pre-conference era, that is the message we are emphasising here in Mpumalanga. We know there are concerns about this and that, we have set up an organisational process to deal with that and we are asking all our members who have the interest of the party at heart to be disciplined and participate in that organisational process,” says NEC member Gwen Ramokgopa.

The ANC in Mpumalanga wants to maintain its support among voters.

“We are the only province in the country with above 80%, we got 75% in the last election. We have since increased our election support to 82, I am convinced if we can work together we can get 82%,” says acting Chairperson Mandla Ndlovu.

Disgruntled members in the province have taken the party to court. They want the ANC PEC to be disbanded and want the list process to be put on hold.