Johannesburg – The ANC seems to be pinning its hopes to slow down electoral decline through a change of leadership when it hosts its electoral conference in 2017.
“Many of you don’t take into account in your analysis that there is an intervening activity, an event that is the national conference of the ANC in 2017 where there will be a new president who will be the face of the ANC in the 2019 campaign,” said the party’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday.
He was responding to questions from journalists following a three-day national executive committee meeting the party held in Pretoria.
A motion of no confidence was proposed at the gathering, with some leaders in the party calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down.
This has been seen as the most gruelling test to his leadership from within the party since becoming its president in 2007.
But Zuma, despite numerous controversies including the Nkandla saga and allegations of improper conduct relating to the Gupta family, was still affirmed by the party at its last NEC sitting for 2016.
The ANC SG said many had been critical of the party claiming it would struggle in the next general elections because it failed to get rid of its president sooner but said he did not base his conduct based on reports from the media.
“I conduct my surveys by going to areas, going to people, engage them, own up to our mistakes, explain our decisions that’s the only way I can engage people,” he said.
Mantashe also said for some the ANC would only seen to be listening to criticism if it took the action they had hoped for on its president.
Listening in your view is the expulsion of the president of the ANC, if it doesn’t do that then in 2019 people would walk away, he asked.
To further defend his position on the matter Mantashe said getting rid of the president would have gone against their own findings.
“If listening is taking a decision, even if our own analysis point to a direction that we take this decision, we will split this movement,” said Mantashe.
The ANC is not a tabula rasa that is just a blank state, said the SG.