KZN prepares for major ANC event
A total of 1,789 delegates will gather in Newcastle
ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR ANC KZN EVENT It was all systems go on Thursday for the KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress’s elective conference in Newcastle this weekend.
A total of 1,789 delegates — 1,311 of them voting delegates — are expected to converge on the northern KwaZulu-Natal town on Friday.
President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to give the main address on Friday, followed by the provincial political report.
The streets were lined with posters reading: “Newcastle municipality welcomes ANC delegates”.
Registration began at the Arbour Park community hall on Thursday, when delegates received an ANC-branded back pack.
Several police officers were outside the venue. Vendors were selling ANC paraphernalia and books.
Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said in a statement: “We are pleased that the ANC goes to this important conference very united and ready to tackle political and policy issues.
“During our provincial conference this week, we will look at political and policy issues ahead of the national policy conference in June in Johannesburg, and the elective national conference in December in Mangaung.”
He said the province, Zuma’s biggest support base and home province, was happy it would go to both national conferences united.
The provincial leadership is unlikely to change at the weekend conference, with chairman Zweli Mkhize expected to retain his position.
The position of deputy chairman, held by Willies Mchunu, is reportedly expected to be contested by Senzo Mchunu, former ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary.
Zikalala said the province was happy with the way its leadership had performed.
“The ANC is proud that the provincial government continues to excel in service delivery, something that has made it even exemplary to other provinces.”
He attributed the success to the good relationship between the ANC and its alliance partners in the province.
“Here in KwaZulu-Natal we arguably have the most solid, united and vibrant alliance. The success of the ANC-led provincial government can be attributed to a large degree to the support from our alliance partners.
“A united ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has made it possible for our movement to excel during elections, to implement ANC policies properly and to engage meaningfully on issues affecting our people such as the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.”
KwaZulu-Natal is the ruling party’s biggest province.
During centenary celebrations in January, Zuma said it had 244,900 members.
Zikalala said the latest figures showed there were 252,637 verified members.
“Although many people have been predicting the demise of the ANC, our organisation has confounded the prophets of doom by continuing to grow in leaps and bounds,” he said.