ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, has highlighted the divide between the national and Gauteng provincial party over e-tolls.
This is according to a report by the City Press, in which Mantashe is quoted comparing the Gauteng ANC to the ANC Youth League.
Earlier in October, the Gauteng ANC took the decision to oppose e-tolling in the province, and said it would lobby the National General Council (NGC) in June 2015 to scrap the system.
Mantashe, however, warned the party against using the NGC as a “scarecrow”, saying that the event should not be used to threaten the national party publicly.
“The ANC Youth League tried that during the last NGC, where they threatened that they would not back anyone who did not support their nationalisation position,” he was quoted as saying.
Mantashe called the e-toll issue a “narrow debate” and the Gauteng ANC’s position a “resolution” not a recommendation.
Conversely, Mantashe previously said that the e-toll project is a Gauteng initiative and not a national initiative.
“This is a Gauteng-specific problem and my starting point is that leadership in Gauteng must own up. Then if they think that this thing backfired, then they must come back and say this thing is backfiring and we will continue to engage them.”
When questioned whether the subject of e-tolls had created divisions within the ruling party, Mantashe said: “There are no divisions in the ANC. Actually, I can’t speak for government. I speak for the ANC.”
However, his latest comments allude to a different story.
Gauteng premier David Makhura, who set up the 15-person panel, has insisted that he will act on its findings, contrary to claims by transport minister Dipuo Peters that nothing can be done.
The outcomes of the panel’s hearings will be presented in a report to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in November.
You can read the full report in today’s edition of the City Press (19 October 2014)