Durban – ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says one of the immediate tasks the party’s highest decision making body will have to tackle after May 8 is gatekeeping, which is still rife at branch level.
Dlamini-Zuma hit the campaign trail in the ANC’s eThekwini region, the party’s biggest region in the country, yesterday and met with the crime and poverty-riddled community of ward 107 in Inanda township in the north of Durban.
Among the concerns community members raised were escalating crime, unemployment, poverty, orphaned children and child headed-homes, the lack of basic services and gatekeeping within ANC branches.
“The issue of membership and gatekeeping is an issue that’s been with us but we have taken a firm decision that after the elections we must attend to this because it’s not new, it’s been going on for some time.
“We need to now take the bull by its horns and really deal with it, so the NEC, after the elections, will pay special attention to this issue,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
Gatekeeping was one of the issues at the centre of the bruising contest for the party’s presidency between Dlamini-Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa in the lead-up to the ANC’s 54th national conference in Nasrec in December 2017.
The lead-up to the conference was fraught with squabbles over irregularities, manipulation of membership and gatekeeping in the running of branch general meetings.
“Comrades, there shouldn’t be anything we need to fight over as comrades because even when there is an election, that election is there because the ANC fought for democracy and people lost their lives fighting for this democracy,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
“Therefore, when there’s an election, be it in the branches, region, province or at national level, an election is a right that the ANC fought for.
“If you are contesting each other do so, it is right to do so, there’s nothing wrong with contesting, but when the election is over you must work together alongside those that have been elected.”
She told the party’s members that in ANC culture those who were elected at conferences should work in tandem with those who had not been elected and they should not shun those who had contested them.
“If I’ve been beaten, I must work with those that beat me because tomorrow I might just beat them myself.
“So stop fighting over something that should not be fought over, work together and support whoever has been elected and they should also work with you. If you do that we will stand united and strong, but if we’re divided the opposition will infiltrate us and we will see the ANC vanish,” said Dlamini-Zuma.