ANC to beef up CAPE task team

THE ANC's national working committee has extended the life of its Western Cape provincial task team because its work of ending power squabbles in the province is not yet over.

THE ANC's national working committee has extended the life of its Western Cape provincial task team because its work of ending power squabbles in the province is not yet over.

The party is expected to announce this at a press conference in Parliament this morning.

The provincial task team - headed by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana - will be beefed up.

Leadership wrangles between the African and coloured leaders in the province resulted in the ANC losing the province to the DA during last year's elections.

Shortly after the elections Luthuli House disbanded the provincial executive and put the task team in charge.

Speaking to Sowetan outside the NWC meeting yesterday, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said while the task team's life expires in two months' time, they had decided not to hold an elective conference in April.

"We will go for a provincial conference when it is appropriate. We would not like to get from one disaster to another," Mthembu said.

The ANC was taking next year's local government elections very seriously, because it wanted to win back Cape Town from the DA, he said.

"But more than that we need an ANC we can all be proud of. We can't always be playing with a limping team, bringing them into play knowing that they are limping," Mthembu said.

The ANC is using the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison to kick off its campaign to wrest control of the Western Cape from the DA.

The DA took 51,46percent of the Western Cape vote last year while the ANC sank to 31,55percent.

Before last year's elections the Western Cape ANC had split into two camps - the so-called "Africanist" and pro-Zuma camp headed by former provincial chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha, and the Thabo Mbeki "Home for All", or so-called coloured camp, headed by ousted premier Ebrahim Rasool.

To make matters worse for the ANC, large groups then split away from both camps to form Cope.

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