The DA and ANC parties have postponed conferences due to swiftly coronavirus spreading. On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national disaster as positive infections jumped over 60 just a week after verifying South Africa’s first case.
The DA said on Monday morning that it would delay its policy conference which was scheduled for April. It has been delayed in the wake of government disallowing gatherings of more than 100 people.
The federal executive (FedEx) had resolved to use this opportunity to trial technology-based conferencing, for identified aspects of the policy discussions, Helen Zille, the DA’s Federal Council chairperson said.
“The FedEx has also resolved that the party will abide strictly by the guidelines for meetings and other forms of social and professional interaction outlined by the president last night. A decision on the Federal Congress that was due to take place on 30 and 31 May will be taken at a later stage with the proviso that it must be held after the policy conference,” Zille said in a statement.
In KZN, the ANC was about to begin holding branch general meetings in five regions including eThekwini, the party has settled to follow suit and postpone the meetings.
Eventually, the five regional conferences in eThekwini, General Gizenga Mpanza (Ilembe), Moses Mabhida (upper KZN Midlands), Lower South Coast and Josiah Gumede (Okhahlamba), which were supposed to start at the beginning of March have been postponed indefinitely.
Whilst the full information of their decision would be announced by the secretary-general, Ace Magashule after a meeting of the party’s top brass on Monday in Johannesburg, they had no choice but to follow suit, the ANC KZN spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said.
“We will also follow suit and do likewise (postpone our gatherings like others),” Mthembu told Independent Media on Monday.
While it would be done later in July, the ANC’s much expected national general council (NGC) could also be delayed if the pandemic does not soften.
A decision was taken to call off the plenary sitting scheduled for Tuesday, as the country’s initiatives gain momentum, after consultations with the whips and representatives of political parties, Parliament said.
Parliament would sit on Wednesday to direct urgent business that would have been handled with on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. This will include the consideration of the division of revenue bill, parliamentary spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo said.
“Committee meetings will meet as scheduled until further notice. A special meeting between the presiding officers of Parliament and the whipper will take place on Tuesday, 17 March to consider the way forward in light of the president’s announcement,” Mothapo said.