KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele has contradicted dissident leader Mosiuoa "Terror" Lekota's accusation that the ANC is undemocratic.
Ndebele was speaking at his 60th birthday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban on Friday night.
At the function provincial ANC chairman and MEC for finance and economic development Zweli Mkhize showered him with praise.
Ndebele, who is the only premier in the ANC national executive committee, pledged his commitment to the party.
His pledge comes after the resignation of several disgruntled ANC members who support the proposed splinter party to be led by former party chairman Lekota.
Ndebele said he had been a member of the ANC for 37 years.
"I have a family in the ANC and that is not about to change," he said. "The ANC is a family that gives people aspirations."
Ndebele does not believe, as Lekota does, that the current ANC leadership has closed doors for discussion.
A beaming Ndebele said the ANC family has been adopted by many people in KwaZulu-Natal and the province was in good hands, and would continue to be.
Mkhize said in the face of the political controversy going on in the country, KwaZulu-Natal remained peaceful because of people like Ndebele.
"In the cabinet we enjoy working with him," he said.