Next leader of ANC should be young person‚ says ANCYL president

ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine. Picture Credit: Gallo Images

The ANC Youth League has shown signs that it will not support the current deputy president of the ANC‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ to lead the party after President Jacob Zuma.

Speaking during a session to commemorate the June 16 1976 uprising in Kliptown‚ Soweto‚ ANCYL president Collen Maine said the next president of the party should be a young person.

The ANC will hold its elective conference in 2017‚ and traditionally the deputy president is next in line to lead the party.

With the ruling party focused firmly on the coming local government election‚ Maine turned the tables when he prematurely played the league’s card.

He spoke at length about a third revolution which young people must lead to correct “mistakes” committed by the old guard during the Codesa negotiations which resulted in compromises.

“We must not forget that the centre of all revolution is young people. They are the driver of revolutions. At some point we have to discuss the calibre of leaders who are capable of leading this change. Let us not forget that South Africa is getting younger‚ and it is therefore logical that leadership of the ANC must get younger.

“The ANC can only remain a movement of the people and rooted among the masses if it allows natural processes to take place. Those in their 70s must allow new blood which is in touch with the demands of our people to lead‚” he said.

He denied that he was opening the succession debate but said he was merely making a point that young people must take over.

“At the right time we must make sure that those that are given the responsibility to take our revolution forward are young people‚” he said.

He seemed to place the blame of slow pace of transformation squarely on the old guard.

“Our people cannot eat slogans or our history‚ our people don’t eat slogans.

“We must lead a revolution which will ensure that our people are sharing in the country’s wealth.

“The ANCYL must push to address the mistakes the old guard made during the Codesa negotiations. The compromises we made there are haunting us. We need to correct the abnormal situation which happened in South Africa that the oppressor did not lose anything. Revolutions are about fundamental change‚” he said.

He repeated previous calls that the ANC should extend free education to tertiary levels as means of getting employment.

“Jobs are linked to education levels. Those without matric are likely to remain unemployed. Unemployment dehumanise our people and take away their pride‚” he said.

Maine jokingly said it was even difficult to get a girlfriend when one was unemployed.

“It is extremely clear that free quality education is a necessity which our government of the ANC should have delivered as early as yesterday‚” he said.

TMG Digital/TMG Local Government Bureau

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