The African National Congress in the Northern Cape is convening its last Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Lekgotla in Kimberley before the May 8 National General Elections.
The governing party’s chairperson, Dr. Zamani Saul did not mince his words in his political address to the event. Saul warned that all ANC deployees should share and implement the collective vision of the ANC, which is to “improve the quality of life of ordinary people.” He jokingly told the delegates who included PEC members, leaders from COSATU, SACP, SANCO and the broader Mass Democratic Movement that the State of the Province Address (SOPA) should be the last time they wear suits, because after that it will be hard work. The ANC plans to intensify its election campaign with a mass mobilisation phase as well as campaign to unseat the Democratic Alliance in Ward 28 by-election on 10 April 2019 in the Sol Plaatje Municipality. “The opposition in the province is in complete disarray and we will unleash our election campaign that is unmatched with 206 Branch Election Teams in place” Saul boasted.
He indicated that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held over the weekend has approved and finalised the party’s lists for the national assembly and provincial legislatures. He appealed to prospective candidates to accept the lists and support those who have been included in the lists. “We have no time to massage egos” said Saul referring to some sitting MPL’s, MEC’s and MP’s who may be disappointed with the exclusion of their names from the lists.
Saul, who is in poll position to become the Premier of the province if the ANC maintains its majority in the provincial elections, hinted that the provincial government may be reconfigured, which may result in the reduction of the provincial cabinet. A transitional committee, headed by the ANC’s Provincial Secretary Deshi Nxganga, will be established to ensure a smooth transition from Premier Lucas to the new ANC administration and to finalise the service delivery audit report. The committee will also consider the capacity of the ministries and how to deal with the contracts of senior government officials.
Saul did not spare the Provincial Education Department under the leadership of MEC Barbara Bartlett of severe criticism for the mediocre performance in the 2018 National Senior Certificate exams. He said that one of the main objectives of the ANC’s election manifesto is to ensure the achievement of quality education, which is a remedy for poverty, unemployment and inequality.
He furthermore warned the ANC leaders who might become MPL’s and MP’s to refrain from involving themselves in corruption by ensuring that they don’t plan to be legislators or MEC’s beyond their 5 year term of office. According to Saul the ANC has vowed in its election manifesto to prioritise and intensify the fight against corruption.