ANC membership numbers drop from 1.4 million to 600,000

Daily Maverick

The organisational report of the ANC which will be delivered by party deputy president David Mabuza this weekend will show the sharp decline in membership the party has experienced since its last national conference.

n 2017, the ANC had 989,000 members. Three years later, when now suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule was responsible for the administrative tasks of the party, the membership numbers climbed to 1.4 million.

However, the latest tally shows the party has just over 600,000 members in good standing — those who have paid the required membership fees.

Gwen Ramokgopa, the coordinator in the secretary-general’s office, told Daily Maverick this was not necessarily negative for the ANC. She said it was not only about the numbers but also about the quality of the membership.  

“It is a chicken and egg situation; you need a broad base of support because you want to represent the aspirations of South Africans. However, every organisation wants to make sure that they have systems in place to ensure that the values, the principles, the mission are well and truly understood.  

“I think when we expanded to millionaire-level members we did not have the capacity to orient everyone, especially the younger members,” she said.