Voices: Will the ANC live or die? It’s all up to this Nasrec conference

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ANC members will elect the party’s new leaders this weekend. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
ANC members will elect the party’s new leaders this weekend. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Since the 1994 breakthrough, South Africans across gender and racial and of all age believed in the ANC. The ANC was about and for South Africa.

At any given conference, the ANC would elect its leaders and present to the public, South Africans in their majority would unreservedly vote the ANC to power. The people believed and had confidence in the ANC. They believed in the ANC’s sober internal processes and systems.

If conference elected a particular individual, be it Thabo Mbeki, Thabang Makwetla or Mathews Phosa to lead the ANC, the person was good enough to lead the country, province and municipality.

The ANC would present the person or collective to the public and that was a done deal. The ANC was a good brand. It had reputable and principled leaders.

The tide has changed. A lot has changed. The organisation of Oliver Tambo has lost so much. The character of the ANC has changed and has embraced questionable characters.

The ANC has not risen much to the challenges brought forth by being the governing party. The negative reports about it or its leaders and its failures to take decisive decisions about certain individuals and entities has worsened the situation.

The life of this once glorious organisation in government is at stake.

The ANC’s 2017 national conference to be held in Nasrec, Johannesburg, from Saturday will be a decider on the life of this once glorious organisation. If it wants to survive and remain in power. If it ought to survive or save the ANC, this conference must elect leaders who will do the following:

1. Restore public and investor confidence by deploying and appointing strong, qualified and visionary leaders for political and administratively positions in government entities;

2. Champion good governance;

3. Fight corruption, not just lip service;

4. Create jobs;

5. Grow the economy;

6. Invest in education;

7. Invest in the people, particular the youth;

8. Handle the land question properly;

9. Restore the culture of consequences;

10. Fight factionalism, patronage; and

11. Radically transform the country’s economy for the benefit of the people and not just for the few with connections in high places or for the purpose of mere sloganeering

The election of the wrong leaders will cost the ANC power in 2019 when the country goes to the general elections. I believe the ANC conference will be mindful of this fact. After all, the ANC understands that it needs more than just its members to survive in government. Failure to do this, and the ANC will kiss power goodbye.

Mbuso T. Thumbathi is an independent political analyst, media personality PR strategist and strategic documents developer.

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