Lesufi's victory in ANC election positive move for party

Panyaza Lesufi.
Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Nico Gous

The elevation of education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to the position of deputy chairman of the ANC in Gauteng is an indication that the p members of the ANC who voted at the party's provincial conference at the weekend want exemplary leaders to lead the organisation.

I argue that Lesufi is the embodiment of servant leadership.

With the threat against the ANC in next year's elections snowballing, the organisation clearly requires people of Lesufi's quality to be on the ground and engage with the masses if it is to meaningfully change perceptions and attitudes of voters.

It would be foolhardy for anyone to suggest that there is no threat facing the ANC.

The results of the previous local government elections, when two key metros were lost and one is governed through the mercy of others, is a clear indication that the organisation is vulnerable.

There was a significant drop as well during the national elections of 2014, when the ANC received less than 54% of the vote.

The team that premier David Makhura assembled after he was appointed to the position, worked tirelessly to reverse the damage that was caused by the issue of e-tolls and the perceived alienation of the middle class, among others.

Delegates at the Gauteng conference also expressed themselves emphatically on the issue of e-tolls and resolved that they must go.

Voters will be cautious of this kind of talk, as it has been heard before, however, it is up to the newly elected leadership to start in earnest to engage national government to find a quicker way of relieving motorists of this burden.

What is done in the next few months on this issue may serve as an indication that the ANC in Gauteng is not all talk, but decisive and action-driven.

With someone of the calibre of Lesufi occupying such an important position in the organisation, it is expected that he will use his strong servant leadership attributes to change the landscape and fortunes of the governing party.

His delivery track record in government as MEC makes him appeal easily to the masses.

He has demonstrated over time that he has foresight, which is a strong characteristic for leaders as it enables them to draw on lessons from the past, understand the realities of the future, and appreciate the consequences of certain decisions.

A clear case in point here is Lesufi's argument that the ANC acted hastily in expelling Julius Malema.

Having worked with Lesufi previously in government, I know that his persuasive abilities separate him from many.

He seeks at all times to build consensus on issues rather than to dictate, regardless of the position he holds.

His attitude, that nothing is insurmountable, helps him to confront any issue at hand regardless of its magnitude.

The education MEC is humility personified and the ANC should take advantage of his solid attributes and utilise him more efficiently.

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