How factions crippled ANC Western Cape top structure to become the weakest

ANC Western Cape interim committee convenor Lerumo Kalako. Picture: ANA Archives

ANC Western Cape interim committee convenor Lerumo Kalako. Picture: ANA Archives

Published Jun 24, 2023


Outgoing ANC Western Cape interim committee convenor Lerumo Kalako painted a picture of a provincial leadership structure that was highly factionalised during its term over the past four years.

“As the convenor of the ANC in this province, probably known as the weakest province of the ANC, I can tell you that the root cause of the state of the ANC in this province is ... factionalism,” Kalako said.

He said factionalism affected the interim leadership dearly.

“The composition of this IPC (interim provincial committee) was along factional lines and those who were mandated by the former NWC (national working committee) to implement the decision of the former national executive committee were highly factionalised,” he said.

Kalako made the statement when he delivered his political report at the party’s provincial conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

He said they had lacked resources to run political programmes, and donors in the province refused to be associated with the ANC in Western Cape.

“The state of the organisation and the dire situation of our finances were not as devastating on the political programme as the high levels of factionalism in the province,” he said.

Kalako said factionalism was sponsored and funded by national leaders.

He did not spare the senior leaders in the province.

The situation was so serious that factionalism not only demolished and destroyed the leagues, but determined whether communities had functioning branches or not.

“Factionalism has split our branches in half that we now even depend on non-ANC members, nominated in community meetings and not meetings of the ANC, to serve as councillors and only afterwards become ANC members.

“Factionalism has made us so desperate that we can no longer identify a comrade of quality, a comrade with the necessary political experience and a cadre with political maturity.”

Kalako said the IPC members deployed to the six regions lacked political experience and political maturity.

“The majority of IPC members never honoured their deployments.

“Because they were simply results of the choices of their factions nationally, some IPC members showed very little, if any, commitment to rebuild branches, embark on sectoral engagements and participate in campaigns, especially by-election campaigns.”

He also said not a single group of deployees had submitted a regional report in the past four years.

“This is the same story in respect of the IPC subcommittees, the very heart of the political work of the ANC in a province or structure,” he said.

Kalako advised the ANC to only dissolve an elected structure after engaging a thorough analysis of the province and appoint people to the interim structure who were capable.

“The lack of political quality, the lack of political experience and the lack of political maturity in the leadership of the ANC in the last four years has led to the serious crippling of the ANC’s political programme in the last four years,” he said.

Cape Times