ANC should be honest with itself – Mantashe

2012-06-25 12:53

The ANC policy conference that kicks off tomorrow at Gallagher Estate in Midrand is an opportunity for the ANC to “be honest with itself”, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told reporters.

The conference, which is expected to draw 3 500 delegates, will be the last large-scale meeting of the ANC before its elective conference in Mangaung in December.

“We want to do serious analysis and ensure the ANC is honest with itself, we want to engage in self-criticism,” Mantashe said at a briefing at ANC headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

See the results of our poll on the ANC and honesty.

The conference will discuss issues like the second transition – a proposal for radical economic transformation – as well as nationalisation, land reform and governance.

Leadership will also be on the conference agenda: to assess the current leadership of the party and talk about what kind of leaders the ANC needs.

President Jacob Zuma has placed strict restrictions on any structures formally discussing leadership until October, which is when nominations for leadership positions will open.

Zuma is under pressure to convince delegates that he will be the right person to lead the ANC for a second term, while this view is contested by lobbyists and supporters for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Both are seen as Zuma’s contenders to take over the top job.

The conference will have 12 commissions where delegates will grapple with how the ANC has fared in its quest for a “better life for all” – the party slogan.

Numerically Zuma seems to already have the upper hand because the largest chunk of delegates will come from KwaZulu-Natal, where he commands broad support.

KZN is expected to bring 540 delegates, while the second biggest province is the Eastern Cape with 420 delegates.

Gauteng (240), Mpumalanga (226), Western Cape (106), North West (117), Northern Cape (106), Free State (162) and Limpopo (250) will also be represented at the conference.

These numbers exclude, among others, delegates from the Youth League and Women’s League.

Zuma’s nemesis, expelled Youth League president Julius Malema, will not be allowed to attend the conference and the campaign for his re-instatement has for the most part fizzled out.

Discussions about his brainchild, nationalisation, will however feature strongly.

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