- Oscar Mabuyane, the outgoing ANC Eastern Cape chairperson, has delivered his last speech to party members before standing for re-election.
- Mabuyane claims that during his tenure, he ensured that the party was more united and coherent.
- He also stressed that every effort should be made to prevent a repeat of the violent 2017 conference.
Outgoing ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane says, however uneven, he is handing over an organisation that is intact, united, more coherent, and much stronger.
According to Mabuyane, the ANC in the province was now in a position to lead transformation efforts and was also well equipped to advance the ANC’s agenda.
In the same breath, Mabuyane highlighted rampant corruption, repurposing of the state to serve corrupt means, the trust deficit between South Africans and the ANC government, and rising social unrest as major challenges for the party.
The ANC is facing an existential crisis. If the movement does not dramatically change course, then the revolution will soon be in fundamental crisis.
On Saturday night, he delivered the ANC’s Eastern Cape’s political overview at the party’s 9th elective conference, being held this weekend in East London.
“This has not been an easy journey, comrades, as we still need to engage and, where possible, explore the means to transform policy structures and institutions that benefit society, along with local communities and citizens,” he said.
There is a fierce battle for political control of the province between Mabuyane and Babalo Madikizela, the outgoing treasurer.
The result of this contest was expected on Sunday.
During his address, Mabuyane also spoke out strongly against the simmering division between factions in the party.
He believed a faction could not represent the party and that groupings undermined and arrogated the authority and functioning of the organisation.
“Post congresses and conferences, no leader should represent a particular lobby group or section of the organisation – no faction should see itself through the leadership of the organisation.
“There can be no faction that represents the best interest of the organisation or people as a whole all factions are self-serving and petty. More importantly, factions undermine and arrogate the authority and functioning of the organisation to serve their vindictive and narrow interests,” Mabuyane told delegates.
This was after last-ditch efforts to avoid a bruising contest were unsuccessful on Saturday.
He also stressed that every effort should be made to prevent a repeat of the violent 2017 conference.
The violence broke out during the conference when delegates were in the process of adopting credentials.
“Those scenes were an insult to the heritage of the ANC, and they were an insult to the many leaders that our province produced over time who led the organisation with distinction.
“And indeed, comrades, the behaviour the people of our country witnessed during our eighth provincial conference was an insult to the masses of our people who are members, supporters and loyal voters of the ANC,” he said.
Mabuyane also touched on the ANC’s declining membership.
“It is now apparent that as evidenced by the recent local government elections, apathy in voting, quality of membership and leadership of the ANC, poorly performing government, proven corporate capture of the state and the weakening of state institutions,” he said.