The elective conference for ANC in Gauteng that ended in Centurion on Sunday was concluded with resolutions that are tantamount to total disagreement with the national executive. Closing the conference with a declaration dubbed, “Informed by the outcomes of the recent general elections, we will continue to strengthen the machinery of the elections and ensure that we develop strategies and plans that will ensure that the ANC retains all the municipalities in the 2016 elections and reclaim the Midvaal.”, delegates at the conference made very bold resolutions particularly in the controversial area of e-tolls as well as corruption.
In a bold statement in the light of national leadership stance on e-tolls, the Gauteng provincial structure resolved at the conference to oppose them. Speaking at the close of the elective conference, the ANC Provincial secretary, Hope Papo, said the province had resolved to oppose their use, calling them an expensive system which has negatively affected traffic flows. He said his executive had opted instead for the use of fuel levies which would be administered by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) to obvious ovation from the conference delegates. His speech reflects the stance taken by the eventually re-elected Chairman of the party in Gauteng, former arts and culture minister, Paul Mashatile, who said agencies like Sanral did not run government but were implementors of what policies the government had come up with. The conference resolved that they would rather make submissions to the review panel established to probe the socio-economic impact of the e-tolls by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who was re-elected vice chairman.
Seen as a way of gearing itself for the upcoming 2016 municipal elections and distancing itself from the current furore surrounding the ANC leadership, Papo also informed delegates that his provincial party would strive to push for the urgent implementation standards of ethical conduct. He added, “This will include all our members and, in particular, leaders and cadres should actively promote the standing reputation of the ANC in the eyes of our people.” He further urged government leadership to focus on promoting values of integrity, ethical conduct and intolerance for fraud and corruption. This was in apparent response to the opening remarks of the party’s national deputy president, Cyril Ramaposa who said, the conference needed to acknowledge that the level of dissatisfaction with the performance of local government in Gauteng was alarmingly high.
Also speaking at the conference in the place of President Jacob Zuma, who was said to be engaged elsewhere, the ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte said there was a clear attempt to delegitimization of the ANC movement in the eyes of the public despite all that it had achieved, adding that the Gauteng provincial conference had been reduced in value by the fact that President Zuma was doing work elsewhere. This was in apparent reference to the fact that despite being on the programme that was issued at the beginning of the conference as the person to give the closing remarks, the president did not show up and according to the ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, he was attending an education trust function in KwaZulu-Natal.