ANC membership hits 1.4 millio

ANC membership hits 1.4 million – Report

This is the ANC’s highest ever membership tally.

ANC membership hits 1.4 millio

The ANC has grown its membership base to 1.4 million, according to a Daily Maverick report.

This indicates significant growth since it held its 54th National Conference in NASREC in 2017, when it had a membership of 989,000.

Urban growth

Analysts said the 2016 local government elections – when the ANC lost Johannesburg (which it has since clawed back) and Tshwane – raised the spectre of the ANC becoming a predominantly rural party.

However, the new membership gains showed the party was growing in the cities and urban centres, an official told the Daily Maverick.

Provincial membership figures were reportedly not available yet, but an unnamed ANC official told the publication that growth in urban areas was notable.

The surge comes despite the party’s weak performance in the 2019 general elections and numerous corruption scandals.

Online membership system

At its 2017 national conference, the ANC resolved to implement an online membership system to curb manipulation of branch membership figures.

This may have partly contributed to membership growth.

“The new and modernised online membership system is reliable, robust, and not open to manipulation. [It] discourages gatekeeping and vote-buying. It promotes the unity, growth, and vibrancy of the African National Congress,” said ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule when officially launching the system in February 2020 in the Vaal.

The ANC has had many years of problems with its membership lists, including issues of ‘ghost’ members whose ID numbers are used by those seeking higher office to buy membership in order to create branches to buy votes and secure executive positions for themselves.