ORLANDO – The Bohlabela and Nkangala regions received prestigious awards during the ANC’s 105th birthday celebrations at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
The Sol Plaatjie Award was bestowed upon the Bohlabela region for being the best performing branch in the country, while the Nkangala district councillors were also announced as the best in the country. The accolades are a clear indication that these branches are a force to reckoned with in the rebuilding of peace and unity within the ANC, which suffered a loss in support during the last local government elections held in August.
President Jacob Zuma, who delivered the January 8 statement to the packed stadium, admitted that the organisation had consulted with its constituencies, that they have made mistakes, and will rectify them going forward. Chief among their branches’ complaints was the need to grow the economy of the country so that they would be able to create jobs for the masses.
Land appropriation will also be accelerated, according to Zuma.
He appealed to party members to be decisive and stamp out factionalism. Zuma also called upon lobby groups to stop interfering with the functioning of branches when electing new leadership, as was the case during the build-up during the local government elections in 2016.
He pointed out that ANC branches were the core of the organisation. If they were tampered with, the organisation would suffer.
Patronage that developed through money-spinning individuals among its members has further affected the organisation, Zuma pointed out. He called for an immediate stop to such action.
There were, however, other developments on Saturday evening. The ANC Women’s League announced their preferred candidate for the presidency; Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The ANC Youth League also announced its preference of Dlamini-Zuma.
Secretary general, Mr Gwede Mantashe, dispelled the pronouncements and said it was premature to announce candidates at this stage as there are many processes that will unfold before nominations are opened up, “as those processes should emanate from branches of the ANC,” he said.