EAST LONDON – Over 700 delegates from around the Eastern Cape have converged on the East London City Hall to craft the province’s position on ANC policies.
This comes as the party prepares for its national policy conference next weekend in Johannesburg.
The call from the podium was clear - ensure that by the end of the deliberations the content reflects the province’s unique characteristics.
The leadership warned delegates not to allow state capture to dominate discussions.
“As far as I can see these Guptas are also in power at the same level as the ANC. South Africa voted for the African National Congress not the Guptas. Anybody who embraces the Guptas within the ANC - we need to reprimand that person,” said NEC member Fikile Xasa.
While the battle over policy continues, the focus was also on organisational renewal.
In particular, delegates will consider the proposed reduction of the NEC, to ensure quality not quantity.
“ I can tell you it's one of those ideas that have been thrown and definitely the conference is going to consider that and look at the various options also with the understanding that what are the challenges facing the ANC.”
A topic on the table is the provincial secretary's radical proposal that the ANC must allow all its approximately 1 million members to vote at the conference in December, when it elects new leaders.
“The ANC is the leader of the society we must continue to be relevant it is a mass based organisation in its character we want to firmly root it amongst our people hence those kind of calls,” said ANC Eastern Cape secretary, Oscar Mabuyane.
Other policies to be discussed include making education up to tertiary level free, the expropriation of land without compensation and establishing a state-owned bank which will distribute social grants.
As the second largest ANC province, the Eastern Cape is hoping to make an impact at the national policy conference.