The ruling African National Congress is currently locked in a two day National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Pretoria, where a number of issues are being discussed. Issues like the power utility, Eskom and next year’s local government and council elections are expected to be top on the agenda.
Head of the African National Congress’s Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana raised the ire of some partners within the ruling party when he suggested that Eskom should sell some equity to pension funds to improve its cash flow. This has been opposed by the tripartite alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), who have maintained that they are against privatising the power utility. “Cosatu reiterates its view that a cohesive economic growth in the country resides in industrialisation to ensure that the entire social surplus generated will be ploughed to ensure that poverty, unemployment and inequalities are totally eradicated,” national spokesperson Norman Mampane said on Friday. On the other hand, SACP’s national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said, “While respecting the independence of the ANC to take its own decisions, there was never an ANC lekgotla that decided that Eskom must be privatised.” However, Godongwana had mentioned in the newspaper on Friday that the decision to sell off parts of Eskom had been taken at an ANC lekgotla last year.
Another issue that is most likely to be top on the agenda is that of the structures of the ruling party ahead of the council and local government elections that will be held next year. The most critical appears to be the ANC Women’s League, which seems to be struggling to hold an elective conference since 2008. Due to factionalism, this arm of the ruling party was not successful in holding a conference last year while the one that had been chalked in for this year was also postponed, with members citing the death of party stalwart Ruth Mompati as the reason for the delay. The other arm of the ANC, the Youth League, is also expected to come into the discussions. Most likely because of the fact that it was disbanded in 2013 and is due to hold its own conference next month.