Wed Apr 16 06:23:19 SAST 2014
Wed Apr 16 06:23:19 SAST 2014

Factionalism-hit ANC seeks to reposition itself

Apr 11, 2012 | Moipone Malefane |   50 comments

"The ANC has to be an effective governing party and has to deploy the best cadres to government. We are not about to retreat from the cadre policy but we have to deploy the best cadres."

WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED: Gauteng ANC provincial secretary David Makhura and party campaigns head Fikile Mbalula. PHOTO: MABUTI KALI

THE ANC is not prepared to abandon its mass-based character but seeks to reposition itself as a modern ruling political party.

Yesterday the ANC released its organisational renewal document, which seeks to deal with the party's weaknesses. The document looks at various problems that have affected it since it came to power in 1994.

The document identifies factionalism as one of the many problems that have weakened the party.

"We have not done enough to stamp out factionalism in the organisation. It runs against the unity of the organisation," ANC Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura said.

He said if the party degenerated into narrow internal fights just to win elections, that would prevent it from transforming the country.

"The ANC has to be an effective governing party and has to deploy the best cadres to government. We are not about to retreat from the cadre policy but we have to deploy the best cadres."

Head of organising and campaigns Fikile Mbalula added that ANC has to reposition itself to ensure that it existed even if it were to lose power.

Currently, Mbalula said, if the ANC should lose power, only the office of secretary-general Gwede Mantashe would remain operational. That is why it is import to renew and strengthen the ANC, Mbalula said.

The document, which is to be discussed at the ANC policy conference in June, also blames its top leaders of being party to tendencies that lead to factionalism, especially going towards the elective conference.

The document says the values of the ANC have been compromised because new tendencies have emerged to fight for positions. This includes:

- Bribing members push particular factional positions;

- Disgruntled ANC members disrupting party meetings;

- Approach to leadership contests at conference is based on two lobbying lists and outcome reflecting slates;

- Abuse of ANC symbols and methods of struggles that do not unite members;

- ANC leaders get paralysed and do not deal with ill-discipline because it fears being affected.

The document further says the new tendencies' "shadow culture" co-exists alongside the ANC's own organisational culture.

"Furthermore, both old and new members and leadership at all levels are involved, increasingly leaving no voice in our ranks able to provide guidance," the document says.

Makhura said the ANC cannot be in a permanent disciplinary mode, therefore it was important to educate members politically.

"If we do not educate them about discipline, inform them that they are in the ANC to uphold these values, then it means we have not done enough to educate," Makhura said.

The document proposes that new members should go through an intense political education for six months before being given their membership cards.

Makhura acknowledged that the identified problems were not new but added that the ANC wanted to come up with ways to immediately deal with them.

The resolutions from the policy conference will be taken to the elective conference in December for adoption.

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