Highs and lows at the ANC conference

The ANC 54th national conference like any other event, especially of the magnitude, had its highs and lows.

What are the things the ANC could have done better and those that they did fairly well?

New ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa hugged his opponent, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as she conceded the race on Monday evening. Picture: ALON SKUY

Highlights:

  1. The balanced top six that got elected which united what has been passionately confrontational camps coming into conference.
  2. Resolution on land was also another uniting factor, although arguments leading to the agreement were somewhat “rowdy” as Enoch Godongwana put it, but the final product satisfies all delegates.
  3. The venue was perfect for a gathering of more than 6000 people including guests and media. The Nasrec expo is spacious, there was no parking headaches and location was not far from Johannesburg city centre.
  4. Catering was on point. Whichever service provider was appointed to do this clearly knew what to do as delegates and guests had no negative things to say and all were catered for.

Lowlights:

  1. In true ANC style, the conference did not stick to time right from the onset with several delays without explanation.
  2. The security control over media mobility within the conference venue was a nightmare. Security personnel and measures to keep check of journalists was unnecessary paranoia.
  3. The 68 mysterious votes bungle that emerged after voting for top six officials probably takes the cake. These were delegates who had voted separately because they didn’t appear on voters roll despite passing credentials and their votes were not counted which held the conference to ransom for the whole day on Tuesday.
  4. The vote counting for both the officials and NEC additional members was an absolute flop. Plenary waited for almost two hours after the counting had already been concluded on the top six for the results to be announced and no one cared to explain to the almost 5000 delegates what caused the holdup. Same scenarios played itself out again for the NEC results.
  5. Plenary temperature levels. The hall wherein delegates deliberated on issues and where media was allowed in for open sessions did not have proper air-conditioning which is not good for a small space occupied by 5000 people.

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