KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on Saturday warned ANC members in eThekwini that the party will lose the next elections if its renewal programme is not implemented.
Addressing ANC delegates at the party’s eThekwini regional conference at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Zikalala said the electorate was not interested in who would emerge at the conference but was more interested to know how the ANC was responding to the community’s concerns around corruption, arrogance and self-centeredness
“The ANC must take organisational renewal seriously if it doesn’t want to perish.
“If we are to correct the current challenges, we need to revisit the way we do things,” he said.
While fighting corruption within the ANC was part of what was required to renew the ANC, Zikalala warned the ruling party about the dangers of approaching the issue of renewal in a selective way.
“Renewal should also be about the restoration of the ANC’s revolutionary character,” he said.
The conference, whose start on Saturday was delayed by several hours, will see new regional leaders being elected.
Former eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, is set to contest against the current council speaker, Thabani Nyawose, for the regional chairperson position.
According to the ANC KwaZulu-Natal leadership, the delay was due to the prolonged pre-conference discussions on the delegation list.
The results of the regional elective conference are due to be announced on Sunday.
High profile ANC leaders attending the conference include tourism minister, Lindiwe Sisulu and deputy finance minister David Masondo.
Zikalala said the fact that most of the ANC members in eThekwini were only interested in one aspect of the conference – the election of the region leadership, was a major concern.
“An ANC conference is not an elective conference.
“There are other important tasks such as the assessment of the ANC’s policies,” he said.
Zikalala took a swipe at ANC leaders who have identified themselves as proponents of the party’s radical economic transformation (RET) faction.
“Radical economic transformation is an ANC policy.
“Therefore, it’s wrong to characterise some of us along with ANC programmes such as RET,” he said.