President Jacob Zuma Visits Nelson Mandela Bay To Solve ANC Infighting

JANUARY 16, 2015
President Jacob Zuma Visits Nelson Mandela Bay To Solve ANC Infighting

President, Jacob Zuma, as leader of the African National Congress (ANC), on Friday afternoon visited the Nelson Mandela Bay for a crucial party meeting at the Port Elizabeth City Hall.

The closed-door meeting was reportedly to be a follow up after he disbanded the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Executive Committee on 15 December last year.

Then, President Zuma, together with the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), met with the ANC’s Eastern Cape provincial, regional and branch leaders and decided to dissolve the regional committee following years of political infighting.

Some observers said the move to dissolve the regional executive committee indicated that the ANC was aware that it might lose control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality to the opposition in the upcoming 2016 local government elections.

The main opposition party in the Bay, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has not hidden its intentions of wanting to take over the Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016, while Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and National Union of Metal Workers Union of South Africa (Numsa) are yet to establish a United Front (UF), which would also pose a threat to the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay region.

The Nelson Mandela Bay region is believed by some to be heartbeat of Numsa as the union has thousands of members at Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage plant and at General Motors South Africa.

Although Numsa, which was expelled from Cosatu in part because it chose not to campaign for the ANC in last year’s national general elections, claims the UF is not a political organisation, commentators maintain that there are no guarantees it would not contest the 2016 local government elections.

In 2014, the ANC also suffered a lot of setbacks in the Bay.

Following the national general elections, the DA claimed that between 2006 and 2014, the ANC’s support in the Nelson Mandela Bay region dropped from 67% to 49%. During the same period, support for the DA climbed from 25% to 40%.

In November, the ANC was handed a humiliating loss by an independent candidate (formerly an ANC councillor) in a by-election in Uitenhage’s Ward 42. Andile Gqabi, a former Numsa leader who was expelled from the ANC in August, won more than 60% of the vote against the ANC’s 36%.

Photo caption: Fighting fires... President, Jacob Zuma, as leader of the African National Congress (ANC), on Friday afternoon visited the Nelson Mandela Bay for a crucial party meeting at the Port Elizabeth City Hall. Image ANC Free State.