While the ANC’s national executive thrashed out the legitimacy of the ANC Eastern Cape conference at Irene, near Pretoria, yesterday, the provincial working committee was in the Bay discussing ways of regaining the metro in 2021.
This was according to at least seven Bay councillors who attended a closed meeting at Bayworld yesterday.
The working committee included legislature speaker Noxolo Kiviet, Nomakhosazana Meth, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Xolile Nqata, deputy secretary Helen Sauls-August and deputy chairman Mlungisi Mvoko.
Newly elected chairman Oscar Mabuyane and provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi could not attend the meeting as they were attending the critical national executive meeting in Gauteng.
The legitimacy of the conference outcomes came into question after the conference in East London last month turned violent, with at least eight delegates treated in hospital.
A complaint was later filed by former provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle, signed by other senior ANC members.
However, the councillors said the national executive meeting was only discussed briefly.
Other issues mentioned included the poor attendance of standing committee meetings by Bay councillors.
The councillors said the provincial working committee was in the city to evaluate the performance of councillors following a meeting with the regional executive at Bayworld last week.
The meeting also sought to prepare the councillors for the 2019 general election and the 2021 local government elections.
One councillor said the committee was in the Bay hoping to unify councillors in the city.
But according to six insiders – councillors who asked not to be named – alleged rifts were laid bare as councillors believed to be aligned with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s #NDZ presidential campaign failed to arrive.
“They were evaluating our performance in council and caucus and other issues were raised, including Andile Lungisa’s failure to attend a human settlements standing committee meeting.
“We also discussed our situation [of lacking] a chief whip in council.
“We reported our [problems to the] caucus. Eighteen councillors did not attend today, [nor did] our regional chairman and secretary,” he said.
The councillors said the party was due to hold a strategic session this month to deal with matters arising from the ANC’s local government election losses.
ANC leader in council Bicks Ndoni said the meeting was meant to strengthen communication between provincial and regional structures.
“This was the first contact meeting after the [local government] elections. We prioritised taking back the metro,” he said.
Ngcukayitobi said the meeting was to check on the state of the municipality.
Councillors were happy to meet the working committee and pledge cooperation.
“They raised a fundamental issue: the DA-led municipality [deprives] our people of services and [provides] services to affluent areas at [our people’s] expense.”
Ngcukayitobi claimed that the municipality aimed to deprive people of basic services received gratis from the ANC.