Tribalism on ANC's agenda
THE ANC will for the first time discuss ways to stop tribalism within its ranks and in government.
The party's leadership in the Limpopo region of Mopani has drafted a document which urges the ruling party to "win the war against tribalism".
The document, which regional leaders say they would table at the party's forthcoming provincial policy conference, analyses the causes and the consequences of tribalism.
Simply titled "Tribalism", the document says the problem with "tribesmen" - those who practice tribalism - is that they do not like democracy, freedom and women's rights.
It says while members have a right to belong to tribes, their tribal affiliations should not be brought into the ANC with the intention of advancing their personal interests.
The document highlights that tribalism is mostly practised during deployment of cadres in government, at social gatherings and in political discussion forums.
It observes that tribalism is so bad in some cases that if the head of a state agency or government department belongs to a particular tribe, chances are that most employees of that entity would be from the same tribe as the head.
"The criterion that is used by some government departments to dish out services can also constitute tribalism."
The document says leaders who are tribalists do not like democracy and freedom.
Mopani ANC regional secretary Bricks Mandzini yesterday said that the ANC was a national movement not a tribal movement.
He said tribalism was affecting innocent people in the province, especially in Mopani where there had been complaints in the workplace, businesses and in the allocation of services. The document states that some ANC leaders have ascended to power by making promises of jobs to members of their tribes.
It says tribal leaders put resources together to fight those seen as outsiders during elective conferences.
"It is difficult to channel their tribal energy into the national agenda because they are tightly preoccupied with tribal politics," the paper says.
It says that tenders are also awarded along tribal lines.
"The problem is so rooted that bidders coming from the same tribe with those who have powers to award [the tenders] are getting rich," the document says.
The ANC, the document suggests, has to discourage government officials from overlooking certain programmes that need to be implemented in favour of parachuting projects in certain tribal areas.
Mopani is divided into five sub-regions of Greater Tzaneen, Ba-Phalaborwa, Letaba, Maruleng and Giyani.
ANC provincial spokesman Makonde Mathiva said the document would form part of other discussion documents from four other regions at the provincial general council next month.
This will be in preparation for the ANC's national policy conference in June.
But Mathiva denied allegations that the deployment of ANC cadres in government jobs was based on tribalism.
"We do not campaign or lobby on the basis of language, colour, origin or culture."
The document states: "Branches of the ANC must heed a clarion call that tribalism is not afforded a space to exist within the party."
The document praises President Jacob Zuma for appointing people from Limpopo in key positions.
Political analyst Elvis Masoga said former president Nelson Mandela had warned the party in the mid-1990s that, if unchecked, the ghost of tribalism could haunt the ANC.
Mandela, a Xhosa, said his preference was for Cyril Ramaphosa, a Venda, to succeed him.