The ANC is in congress all weekend in Johannesburg to discuss its program for the coming years. This had not happened since 2017. 2,000 delegates from all over the country are expected to reflect on the party’s doctrine. But this meeting is above all an opportunity for the rival factions of the ANC to flex their muscles. The head of state and president of the party, Cyril Ramaphosa, hopes to emerge unscathed and even victorious from these battles for influence.
The ANC does its dirty laundry in the family, not in public. The debates take place behind closed doors, journalists are kept at a distance. Only Cyril Ramaphosa’s opening speech was open to the media. The President set the tone.
“We are a divided movement. These are not ideological divisions, they are divisions driven by the appetite for power and the race to access public resources.
In the fight against corruption in his party, Cyril Ramaphosa finds himself weakened by this white knight attitude. Some opponents don’t like his clean hands. Others blame him for his record: exploding unemployment, electricity crisis, rampant crime. The conference promises to be eventful, believes Gwen Ramokpopa, leader of the ANC.
“I expect a very lively conference. ANC meetings at the local or national level are always very lively because the activists and participants come from different backgrounds and because the country is in trouble.
It is on Sunday, at the end of the conference, that Cyril Ramaphosa will know if his party is taking the direction he wants and if his supporters outnumber his opponents.