The Eastern Cape ANC provincial conference began at a snail’s pace on Thursday with a marathon PEC meeting that lasted over six hours.
The conference which is held at the East London ICC is the 8th Eastern Cape provincial conference which is set to elect new leaders ahead of the national conference in December.
Thursday was set for registration but the provincial leaders convened a special meeting at the East London City Hall. The meeting was initially planned to end at midday with a media conference scheduled for 2pm. But the media ended up waiting until 6.30pm.
Addressing the media briefing‚ outgoing provincial chairperson Phumulo Masualle said that it was all systems go for the conference even though there were some disputes.
“Most of those disputes that had risen‚ had been dealt with. There are 568 branches accredited to participate at the conference‚” Masualle said.
His sentiments were echoed by outgoing provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane who said that the meeting was to iron out and finalise some logistical issues.
“The meeting was about going into detail on everything and clear everything that might still be unclear‚ because we are already hearing some allegations that are unfounded‚” Mabuyane said.
However TimesLIVE understands that the meeting stalled as a result of disputes arising from the Dr Rubusane region (formerly known as Buffalo City Region) and Amathole region. Amathole region is the second biggest region in the province after OR Tambo region.
Masualle is said to be going head to head with Mabuyane for the chairmanship position. When asked about their ambitions for the position‚ the two were mum saying that in the ANC it is democratic for anyone to be nominated for any position.
“If that [contestation between Mabuyane and Masualle] arises then that would be a democratic process‚” Masualle said.
NEC member Zizi Kodwa said that the national office was satisfied with the progress of the conference and processes leading up to the conference.
“Our view is that this is not an elective conference that is why in the ANC constitution you do not have something called an elective conference but a provincial conference. The conference is not just about elections but elections are just one item in the entire programme‚” Kodwa said.