The national executive committee of the ANC starts its three-day bosberaad at Esselen Park on the East Rand today where President Jacob Zuma, who is also the leader of the ruling party, is expected to assert his grip on the levers of power .
Zuma is expected to chart a way out of various challenges besetting the party when he delivers an opening address to the 80-member national executive committee (NEC).
The ANC leaders meet as service delivery riots have broken out in ANC-controlled municipalities in various parts of the country, while power struggles are tearing the organisation apart in Eastern Cape, North West and Western Cape.
This week, ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu said on Monday the National Working Committee raised concerns about the service delivery protests in a meeting.
"The burning of buildings and stoning of vehicles have been among the violent tactics employed by the protesters.
"We call on our people to stop the violence and engage meaningfully with leaders at all levels to express their concerns," said Sokutu.
Party insiders have told Sowetan Zuma's abilities as a unifier would be put to the test in troubled provinces where Luthuli House has already sent members of the ANC NWC to heal the rifts.
Sokutu said the delegations that were sent to Western Cape and North West were expected to report their findings to the NEC.
Zuma is also expected to use his visits to eight provinces this month, conceived as part of the Siyabonga Campaign, to instil unity within the organisation.
In Eastern Cape, major regional executive committees such as the Chris Hani region (Port Elizabeth) have already pronounced their support for health MEC Phumulo Masualle to become the party's provincial chairperson and this poses a power struggle with Premier Noxolo Kiviet.