Eastern Cape premier and ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle said he would be willing to undertake a third term as party head should branches nominate him.
Masualle was speaking on the sidelines at a pre-state of the province address engagement with the local business sector at the East London ICC yesterday.
His comments came after sister newspaper Daily Dispatch reported yesterday that the ANC Youth League in the province had endorsed him for another term, come the provincial elective conference in July.
However, Masualle said he wanted to ensure the announcement of preferred candidates for leadership positions was done in an “orderly” fashion.
“In the ANC from time to time you get assigned to assume responsibilities and where one has the ability you oblige.
“So if that call [of me running for another term] comes I will consider and my answer will be in the affirmative,” Masualle said.
“However, as leader of the ANC in the province I am entrusted to make sure we have orderly processes leading up to conferences.
“We have outlined our process to say that from February 15 branches go for their branch general meetings and only thereafter can one say that there is something serious on the table to consider.”
During his engagement with business, Masualle came face to face with business people from three districts – Buffalo City, Amathole and Chris Hani.
The overwhelming view from the floor was that provincial government needed to ensure that local conditions for emerging business people were conducive in order to grow and stimulate the local economy and create jobs.
Farming stole the spotlight, with calls for government to support emerging farmers and place them on the same category as commercial farmers.
An emerging farmer from Raymond Mhlaba local municipality, Nwabisa Gxothiwe, said a good starting point would be to make a concerted effort to make farming attractive to the youth.
“It cannot be that young people who are used to farming while at school in the rural areas do not see farming as a career path to pursue when they get to university,” she said.
The business sector also called on Masualle’s administration to stop giving business to competitors from outside the province.
They also called for the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading and registration process to be revisited, saying it was stifling black contractors in its current form.
Masualle welcomed the input and criticism, describing it as “helpful” and saying it would guide his administration in what they did and influence the tone of this year’s state of the province address.