It has been a rocky road to the North West African National Congress (ANC)’s ninth provincial elective conference with internal challenges resulting in numerous postponements.
Factionalism, court battles, and municipalities besieged with service delivery challenges were some of the major hurdles faced by the party.
The conference – initially scheduled for June, was postponed to mid-August. A week before the set date, some disgruntled members of the ANC approached the North West High Court. The aim is to prevent the Interim Provincial Committee from voting at the conference. Judge Frances Snyman ruled in favour of the disgruntled members.
“I am making the following order. One, that the application is granted as urgent. Two, that the first respondent does not have the voting powers in the ANC provincial conference scheduled for 12-14 August 2022. The respondents are ordered to pay the costs of the application,” decided Judge Snyman.
The conference was eventually held in August with Nono Maloyi elected as the new chairperson of the ANC, defeating current North West Premier Bushy Maape.
VIDEO: ANC North West Conference, 15 Aug 2022:
Aggrieved ANC members again approached the North West high court, seeking to declare the outcome of the provincial conference null and void. But the matter was dismissed with costs. Much to the relief of the newly elected Provincial Executive Committee.
“This was just a distraction. It is now time to focus on other serious issues. There are areas that don’t have water, electricity and other service delivery issues. We will be focusing on that from here on,” said NC ANC Chairperson Nono Maloyi.
Meanwhile, ailing municipalities kept the ruling party’s hands full. Disagreements among different ANC factions in the Mamusa local municipality in Schweizer Reneke led to the municipal offices being closed a number of times.
“We decided to close the gate of the municipality because we have four councillors in this municipality that are defying the mandate of the municipality of the ANC. They have been defying the ANC since last year November. They voted for the EFF, of which we are the majority in council as the ANC,” explained disgruntled ANC members.
At the Kagisano Molopo local municipality in Ganyesa. There were violent physical confrontations that led to some municipal leaders being injured. The inability to turn things around led to the appointment of an administrator, Sello Mogora. He was tasked with managing the overall administration of the municipality for a period of six months ending in March 2023.
Some ANC councillors accused of contributing to the state of affairs at the municipality were later expelled.
“The committee found the members guilty as follows: the provincial disciplinary committee of the ANC took into consideration the seriousness of the charges, the interest of the charged members, interests of the ANC and the chief presenter in this regard is Mr Tebogo Mohlamme. Kagiso Gumile, Moses Mokgothu, Gloria Ogaseng, Thabang Thecwe, Ponatshego Mereabona have been found guilty of all the charges. They are therefore expelled from the ANC as individual members of the organization for a period of 2 years and are barred from participating in any activities of the ANC,” announced the provincial chairperson of the ANC disciplinary committee, Professor Vuyo Peach.
VIDEO: Ditsobotla Municipality holds two parallel council sittings, 15 June 2022:
During this period the Ditsobotla local municipality in Lichtenburg became a sinking ship. It had two mayors, two municipal managers, and two speakers running the municipality at the same time. While political battles took centre stage, service delivery was neglected.
Some disgruntled Ditsobotla residents had this to say about the ailing municipality.
“There is no service, there is no water, there is no electricity, there are no roads.”
“These people don’t care about providing services. They are focused on enriching themselves.”
“To be honest, our government is really failing us. Roads are full of potholes.”
The sad state of affairs led to intervention from the ANC’s national office in September.
“Section 139(1)(B), which is about governance, it’s only now Kagisano Molopo that is going to be getting one, and then the Ditsobotla, as you all know, it’s going to go under Section 139(1)(c), it means the situation is beyond repairs,” claimed ANC NEC Member Obed Bapela.
The Ditsobotla Local Council was dissolved in September with a by-election held early in December.
39 municipal council seats were up for grabs. The ANC lost four of their 20 seats, making way for opposition parties such as the EFF. However, no party could secure an outright majority and possible coalitions are on the cards.