EFF delays conference over too few branches

The EFF in Nelson Mandela Bay has postponed its regional conference until further notice after the party failed to launch enough branches for a credible conference to convene. The EFF had hoped to launch branches in at least 90% of the wards in Nelson Mandela Bay.

But the interim regional leadership has so far launched 42 of the 51 targeted branches in the Bay.

The conference which was scheduled for Sunday would have seen the party elect a new regional structure after the EFF’s highest decision-making body, the central command team (CCT), disbanded its provincial and regional structures in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in September last year.

EFF provincial coordinator Yazini Tetyana said the delay in the regional conference would not affect the provincial conference set to take place in East London next month.

“The plan was to go to [conference] with 90% of branches, but due to the slow pace of launching branches this means we had to give more time to get to the 90%,” Tetyana said.

It was critical for the 90% figure to be reached as it affected the provincial conference.

“A region that does not meet 90% cannot go to conference [because] that affects the 90% needed for the provincial conference,” Tetyana said.

“In essence, this province will not hold a provincial [conference] until all regions get 90% [so] no one gets left behind.”

Tetyana said an accurate report on which other regional conferences in the province would be postponed was set to be completed today. “Any postponements will be a matter of one to three days or one week and we will communicate the postponements,” he said.

Bay EFF convener Simphiwe Daku said he was confident the party would finish launching branches by the end of the week.

“It is unlikely that we will not reach our target because over the weekend we are launching branches and even today we are launching branches.”

Daku said it had not been possible to launch some branches as they had failed to reach a quorum.

“Building branches is not a problem, but the problem is the availability of the people. We must remember that people are working and when meetings are called some don’t attend.

“Our biggest challenge with launching during the week is that people are at work and then during the weekend they want to rest.”

The party previously made headlines when some of its supporters staged protests at Shoprite retailers.

Last month, EFF supporters clashed with public order police when they tried to storm Shoprite at Greenacres.

The demonstration followed another one in June where EFF supporters filled trolleys with groceries which they later refused to pay for.

Tetyana said the protests were an attempt to get Shoprite to include Nelson Mandela University students in its corporate social responsibility programme.

“[The protests] are a call to Shoprite to consider students in their corporate responsibility who, on a daily basis, purchase from Shoprite.”

Despite the demonstrations not yielding any results so far, Tetyana said the protests would continue.

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