JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma called on delegates at the ANC’s National Policy Conference (NPC) to discuss the growing discontent within the party.
Opening the conference in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Friday, Zuma said the ANC had faced several challenges over the past few years.
“There has been a development of some negative tendencies, which have caused frustration and disillusionment among the membership and nation at large. This policy conference is called upon to look in(to) this and emerge with recommendations… and redirect to its core mission and character,” said Zuma.
Zuma condemned ANC members for speaking out publicly against the party.
The party leader also blamed the country’s economic downturn on a constant negative narrative.
“We also need to look at the issue of ill-discipline in various forms… attacking the movement by ANC members and leaders instead of handling matters within the organisation… Some members have become primary conveyors of negative messages about their own movement,” said Zuma.
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The president told members this year’s policy conference had to address South Africa’s slow economic growth.
“At the time of the budget in February the economy was expected to grow at a low 1.3 percent in 2017. Given the current difficulty, even this low growth rate may not be achieved. Our deliberations… will need to look at what needs to be done… over the next five years.”
Zuma also said allegations of state capture needed to be investigated.
He said prolonging such investigations had tainted the image of the ANC and its leadership.
“We support the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the matter.
“At a political level, this debate requires a thorough… analysis of the South African political economy so that we can understand what is meant by state capture.
“We need to know which business interests have sought to influence the ANC and its government over the years, with what impact and what must be done to end the said capture.”