- The ANC concluded its policy conference, held over three days at Nasrec in Johannesburg.
- Cyril Ramaphosa said there was hope for the possibility of party renewal and rebirth.
- Ramaphosa’s message on the withdrawal policy, however, showed that the ANC had not fully resolved the issue.
President Cyril Ramaphosa presented a mixed result on the ANC’s stance on its controversial withdrawal policy, signaling that the fight to abandon it may not be over.
Ramaphosa said ANC members backed the resolution during the discussion of the policy amendments at the National Policy Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg.
He added a caveat, however, saying concerns about the resolution should be considered and discussed.
ANALYSIS | ANC Policy Conference: Taking the temperature of the party
The resolution was first passed in 2017 and dictated that members in elected office, who face criminal charges, should step down.
It was amended this year by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The NEC said the same members could not compete for elective positions.
The ANC provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo had raised concerns about the selective application of the rule.
ANC General Secretary Ace Magashule has been suspended since 2021 due to the rule, along with other ANC figures.
Zandile Gumede, the regional leader of eThekwini, was unable to run for treasurer at the provincial conference earlier this month due to corruption charges.
Addressing the issue, Ramaphosa received a mixed reaction, with several cheers from delegates as he explained the party’s position on the rule and its future.
“The overwhelming view at the conference was that the Withdrawal Resolution should remain to strengthen the integrity of the movement and its leadership. The conference also noted the designed perception of the selective application and implementation of this These need to be given urgent attention, so that the application of the guidelines is fair, impartial and consistent,” Ramaphosa said.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC President Bheki Mtolo told News24 on Saturday that although the province was beaten on the issue of withdrawal at the policy conference, it was sure to win the case in December.
The KZN ANC wants the policy scrapped.
READ | ‘ANC policies are not the Bible’ – KZN determined to fight battles at December conference
The December conference, where the ANC adopts its final policies, will bring together all branches of the ANC.
The political conference brought together a handful of party members.
Ramaphosa’s closing speech was short.
He summarized some of the party’s policy recommendations.
He said the delegates decided to create a state bank. The ANC proposes to use the Post Bank for this purpose.
The ANC also reiterated its 2017 resolution on the Reserve Bank, encouraging government leaders to change its private status.
Ramaphosa said the party wants an overhaul of local government. It would be a question of funding it and ensuring that it is staffed with competent and qualified people.
During the renewal, Ramaphosa said the conference had given its members hope that it was “alive” and could be revived.
There was also a glimpse of what to expect in December, as well as Ramaphosa’s ambitions for a second term, with some delegates singing “Phakama Ramaphosa” as he finished his speech.
The policies proposed at the conference will be reviewed by branches ahead of the ANC national conference in December.