Factionalism, infighting 'threatening the survival of the ANC' - Zuma

2017-12-16 21:15
President Jacob Zuma during his address at the ANC's elective conference on Saturday. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

President Jacob Zuma during his address at the ANC's elective conference on Saturday. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma says the party is facing serious threats against "organisational renewal", due to factionalism, gate-keeping, infighting, and other ills.

Zuma opened the party's national elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg, on Saturday with his political report.

Speaking on the party's challenges, he said the 54th conference was taking place at a time when "corporate greed" was posing a serious threat to the movement.

READ: 10 knockout quotes from Zuma's last speech as ANC president

"The negative tendencies in the ANC have intensified over the years, and have now come to a head and are threatening the survival of the ANC.

"We are called upon at this conference to solve our problems so that the ANC can focus on leading society."

The outcomes of the 2016 local government elections had indicated a serious decline, and were a stark reminder that the ANC's supporters were not happy with the state of the party.

"A substantial number of traditional ANC voters stayed away from the polls. We lost key metropolitan municipalities, while we ran others through coalitions such as Ekurheleni and Rustenburg."

Slate politics

Party research showed that supporters believed the ANC was soft on issues like corruption, crime and unemployment, Zuma said.

This was a clear failure by the party to confront problems head on and solve them, he added.

"In all its manifestations, factionalism has become the biggest threat to the organisation.

"It is because of factionalism that we have seen the emergence of splinter groups over the past ten years, which negatively affected our movement."

Slate politics had cost the ANC "many good and capable comrades in whom our movement has invested significantly".

"Factionalism, gatekeeping, ill-discipline, membership buying and infighting continue to affect our movement.

"Leadership spent a lot of time attending other provinces to deal with these problems."

'Petty squabbles must take back seat'

Zuma was still confident though that the party could once again represent the hopes and dreams of the majority of South Africans.

"The ANC will build, through our renewal programme, and must project a picture of a country that is cohesive, and of a ruling party that knows where it is going.

"This means that petty squabbles that take the movement nowhere need to take a back seat."

The party should look at ways of sanctioning members who were guilty of ill-discipline, and speaking out against the party's proposed positions.

Strong leadership was needed, and delegates were spoiled for choice with seven top candidates for president, he declared.

"You can pick anyone of the seven, and you will have a first class president. Oh, yes.

"If you can lead, you must be prepared to be led as well."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  anc votes  |  anc leadership race  |  politics

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