Zuma: ANC ready to revive itself

TORCHBEARERS: ANC stalwarts Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Thabo Mbeki in Bloemfontein. From our Files. Photo: Mohau Mofokeng
TORCHBEARERS: ANC stalwarts Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Thabo Mbeki in Bloemfontein. From our Files. Photo: Mohau Mofokeng

THE ANC will have to develop new capabilities that would give the country "moral" and "intellectual" leadership.

This was among the political messages delivered by President Jacob Zuma at the party's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein yesterday.

Zuma said the party would take urgent steps to modernise and make itself professional.

The new leadership, Zuma said, would assist the party to achieve several urgent goals.

This will include reviving its grassroots structures, placing the party at the forefront of progressive change, restoring its core values and stamping out factionalism, and placing education and skills development at the centre of development.

Zuma declared the 17 years of ANC rule successful.

He said the party had grown not to be just a national, regional or continental organisation, but an international one.

"It has a culture of working with progressive organisations of all types.

"It is an organisation that is prepared to learn and also it is conscious of its position as a leader in society," he said.

"The ANC always humbles itself. It is not arrogant. This is what has made the ANC to live and lead.

"As we move into the future, the ANC will renew its internal systems and processes in order to prepare and produce new generations of leadership for our country, whose integrity and passion to serve our country is unquestionable."

Zuma said there was a need to ask difficult questions about the future of South Africa.

This year the ANC would renew its commitment to the Freedom Charter and the Constitution.

"We must bring new energy and new ideas into the kind of society we want to build over the next few decades."

In the run-up to the party's policy conference in June and its 53rd elective conference, Zuma said the party would invite all citizens to join a dialogue about the country's future.

"As we move forward, the ANC will intensify its programme to recruit and train young people who show tremendous potential, skills and talents in all fields of human endeavour."

Zuma said the ANC had to fight factions and promote political discipline in the party.

"As we mark the centenary, we are determined to enhance the ANC moral standing and image among the masses of our people.

"In this regard, we shall combine political education with effective organisational measures and mechanisms to promote integrity, political discipline and ethical conduct to defeat the demon of factionalism in the ranks of the ANC," Zuma concluded.

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