Hard ride for 2nd transition
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's much vaunted thesis - the second transition - came under intense attack at the ANC policy conference being held in Midrand.
Sowetan understands that the dominant view among delegates was that the concept was "unclear", "inconsistent" and that its analysis would fail to achieve its purpose.
The voices of those who were in support of the document, which explains the thinking behind the thesis - including Zuma's - were drowned out during commission discussions over the past two days in Midrand.
The majority of ANC members, representing various provinces, charged that the authors of the document, titled "Strategy and Tactics: Second Transition", should come up with something different.
They said the document was flawed and would change the ANC's character. Some argued that transition meant moving from one ideology to another and that the document was unclear on what it wanted to achieve.
Delegates were also critical of its analysis, saying it would not resolve the problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which still exists 18 years into democracy.
Zuma has in the past weeks - ahead of the policy conference - been trying to garner support for the transition document, saying it was the only way. It maintains that the ANC has achieved political freedom and should therefore now move to economic transition.
Sowetan understands that the problem for many delegates was particularly the wording of the draft proposal, with delegates telling its defeated drafters that it "didn't make sense". Some said the concept "appeared out of nowhere".
There were also concerns over the way in which the paper was presented - with the view it was trying to impose a socialist agenda.
There was, however, consensus that radical changes, as stated by the president in his political report on Tuesday, were necessary to tackle problems to improve the lives of South Africans struggling to make a living.
There was a proposal that the party refer back to its 2007 paper on strategy and tactics, compiled in a vastly different global climate.
It appears that proponents of the paper miscalculated the delegates' response, believing that the draft policy would receive full support.