ANC focuses on rejuvenation
Johannesburg - The ANC cannot be allowed to degenerate into a "narrow" party that focuses only on itself, Gauteng branch secretary David Makhura said on Tuesday.
"We cannot allow the ANC to degenerate into a force that is trapped in internal fights. We have a greater mission in society," he told reporters in Johannesburg.
Makhura was speaking at the launch of the African National Congress's policy discussion document on organisational renewal.
He said the document was the product of the experience the party gathered during its 18 years in power.
"The ANC has to resist any efforts to transform it into a narrow political party whose day to day preoccupations are internal struggles... or winning elections."
He said the party would interact with social organisations and non-governmental organisations to become more socially relevant.
It would also focus on an "eANC" initiative that would embrace more technological methods of communication.
Makhura said the party still needed to do more to stamp out internal factionalism.
"Factionalism runs against the unity of the organisation. If we don't educate [members] we can end up in a permanent disciplinary mode."
Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the document set out specific methods of "rejuvenation" for the party, including addressing factionalism and political education for cadres.
"[People who] wear T-shirts glorifying another leader in the ANC must be educated. People, because it is fashion, they think it is right. To sing in a rally about somebody and put on their T-shirt is not right. It undermines the cohesion of the party."
He said it was better for supporters to sing about party leaders who were "no more".
Mbalula said the document was initially meant for internal distribution only, but the ANC felt that it was necessary to make its contents public.
"The ANC is transparent and democratic... we felt that it was important that instead of having a Mzekezeke [a masked Kwaito artist], people with balaclavas speaking on our behalf, we will speak on behalf of the African National Congress."
He rejected the notion that the Polokwane elective conference in 2007 was the source of current organisational weaknesses.
"It is disingenuous to suggest that factionalism, ill-discipline and in-fighting started in the run-up to and after Polokwane," Mbalula said.
"We must also dismiss the subjective inclination to personalise organisation challenges and attribute them to specific individuals who hold leadership positions."
Mbalula said assassinated SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani would have been proud of the ANC.
"He would be proud that in 2012 we are still producing discussion documents and that we are still self-critical."
The document, among others released last month, will form the basis for discussion at the ANC policy conference in July.