Fresh from electoral defeat in Nelson Mandela Bay, the ANC will train its members on how to be an effective political opposition party in the metro.
The party also wants to bring about much-needed stability to the Eastern Cape, which has operated without a proper leadership structure since the previous regional executive was disbanded in November2014.
The ANC has given the regional task team (RTT) 90 days to convene an elective conference.
The same deadline to hold a conference has been given to the Amathole region.
ANC provincial executive committee member Andile Lungisa, who is also an RTT deployee, said the first step would be to teach branch members on how to conduct themselves as the official opposition.
This follows an ANC executive decision at Calata House in King William’s Town last week.
The party has yet to regain a council it lost to opposition, since losing the City of Cape Town to the DA in 2011. Subsequently, the ANC lost control of the Western Cape in 2014.
The ANC is afraid that it may lose more control in the Eastern Cape, once its stronghold.
This task is considered a huge one for ANC members in the region as it would be at this long-overdue elective conference where delegates would have to craft a clear road map on how the party hopes to regain voter support.
Both the Nelson Mandela and Amathole regions were due to elect leaders last year, but the executive instructed them to shelve the programmes until after the August 3 elections.
Officials, including provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane, have said not having a regional executive contributed to the problems in the Bay metro.
Lungisa said the ANC was busy with the verification of membership.
“Once we’ve dealt with that, the RTT will have to craft a programme in preparation for an elective conference.
“The executive has given the Nelson Mandela and Amathole regions 90 days to hold elective conferences.”
Lungisa said preparation for the conference would include politicising the general membership on the ANC’s role as the official opposition in the Nelson Mandela Bay council.
“The major task is to shift the thinking of our members so that the tactics we adopt at the conference
give us guidance on how to win back Nelson Mandela in 2019 and 2021,” he said