The ANC Eastern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) will hold a consultative conference at the East London City Hall this weekend.
ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said this was to do an introspection, following the drop of support during last year’s local government elections.
The party lost about 10% of its support at the polls in August.
It suffered a beating in the Eastern Cape, losing the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and Kouga local municipality to the DA. It also registered a major drop in support in the Buffalo City metro.
The consultative conference is the brainchild of 106 veterans, including respected anti-apartheid struggle figures like the late Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Gertrude Shope, Denis Goldberg, Mavuso Msimang, Sheila Sisulu and Ben Turok.
The veterans called for the conference late last year in response to infighting within the party, expressing concerns that the ANC’s deepening crisis required urgent attention.
“We [PEC] took the decision to have a consultative conference as, post-elections, we were of the view that the ground was shifting from the ANC in society.
“This conference will present an opportunity for the ANC to self-correct,” Mabuyane said.
Invited to the conference are civil society movements like the South African National Civic Organisation, ratepayers’ associations, and ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe veterans.
About 350 delegates are expected to attend the two-day event.
The conference will also serve as a build-up to next week’s provincial policy conference in Mthatha.