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ANC’s new NW leadership – Same same, but different

The election of former African National Congress (ANC) MP Nono Maloyi as the new provincial chairperson won’t positively change the lives of impoverished residents across the North West, but was simply an opportunity to weaken the party’s opposing factions.

University of Free State politics professor Sethulego Matebesi said Maloyi and his “N12” faction’s priority will be to consolidate power as the province enters the post-Supra Mahumapelo era.

Near-collapsed municipalities, poor service delivery, and corruption grip the North West, one of the most mismanaged and worst-run provinces in the country.

The province has been under interim ANC structures for the past four years. In 2018, Mahumapelo was forced to resign as premier over a string of corruption allegations. Rolling protests against lack of service delivery, corruption and unemployment rocked his premiership.

A staunch ally of former president Jacob Zuma and one of the RET faction’s most prominent figures, Mahumapelo failed to make it into nominations and in turn channelled his support to Maloyi, his former ally.

ALSO READ: Nono Maloyi elected new ANC North West chair

Maloyi, also a former MEC for human settlements, beat current Premier Bushy Maape at the chaotic conference held in Rustenburg over the weekend.

Matebesi said despite Maloyi condemning factionalism and insisting on uniting the party and ensuring service delivery following his election, a cabinet reshuffle could be imminent, as recently happened in KwaZulu-Natal.

“It’s a known fact that the ANC is highly divided, we know other elements will come into play to say ‘hey you need to do this for the sake of the survival’… Sometimes it won’t be as blunt as that but they will be tremendous pressure.

“So, I won’t be surprised if a cabinet reshuffle happens in North West. We are talking about a political organisation whose primary purpose is to advance development and ensure a good quality of life for citizens. It is claiming it’s the leader of society, but they don’t even come close to 10% on that, because 90% of the time, the ANC is all about advancing the interests of its political leaders.”

Professor Sethulego Matebesi

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North West ANC youth ‘trapped in vicious cycle’

Turning to the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the province, Matebesi said he had hoped that they would come out and fight the party’s old guard.

The national youth structure has been promising to ensure young people were elected into positions across all structures in the mother body, so that they can be appointed to local government and as parliamentarians.

Matebesi said the ANC youth were trapped in their factional elders’ “vicious cycle” instead of strengthening the organisation for youth leadership.

“The youth leaders are carving a future that is to their own disadvantage. I thought that young leaders would come out and say ‘we won’t allow this to continue under our watch’ but are not fighting enough, they are also looking for opportunities and tenders.

“They are trapped in a vicious cycle, that is why we don’t see the emergence of young leaders because they themselves are perpetuating the interests of the elders who have been around for a long time and continue advancing their own agenda.”

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