TODAY scores of ANC delegates will converge on Gallagher Estate in Midrand for the party's policy conference.
The downside to the policy conference is that it comes at a time when the party's leadership is embroiled in another bitter leadership battle.
Unfortunately, judging from some of the debates around the ANC policy discussion document released in February, the conference could be marred by palace politics instead of the real engagement of the issues at hand.
The various responses to the proposed "second transition" is a case in point.
As several political commentators have already pointed out, instead of being engaged as a mechanism to chart the way forward for the ruling party, the notion of a "second transition" has been used by various factions as a weapon to clobber their political opponents, and also to position themselves in the party's leadership battle.
Of course, ANC diehards will argue that this is in the nature of democratic engagement. But the reality is that if anything is to come out of the policy conference, the delegates must become visionaries and look beyond Mangaung.
This is the only way the ANC can effectively deal with such challenges as "the dangers of incumbency''.
Unfortunately, failure to do so can only lead the party into the kind of political rut that opens up opportunities for self-serving opportunists.