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The ANC recognises it is facing a “crisis of credibility” and needs to find a solution at its policy conference this week.
The ANC’s 52nd National Conference in Polokwane in 2007 identified the organisational renewal of the party as critical to its survival.
Renewal was again discussed at the ANC's 2010 national general council, where it resolved “that decisive steps must be taken to reverse negative tendencies that are eroding the political integrity and moral standing of the ANC among our people”.
The 2012 discussion document “Organisational renewal: Building the ANC as a movement for transformation and a strategic centre of power” continues this debate.
According to the ANC's strategy and tactics paper, although the party has reflected on the fact that it is facing a “crisis of credibility”, it has not yet found a solution.
“And yet, we have not succeeded in effectively dealing with factionalism and ill-discipline. Mangaung must be a turning point, because unless we halt the decay, we will soon reach a stage where it becomes irreversible.”
The ANC needed to change from a resistance movement that led the struggle to overthrow apartheid, to a “transformative movement and effective governing party that succeeds in building a developmental state, deepening democracy and effecting fundamental socio-economic transformation of our society”.
The document identifies three main organisational weaknesses - the erosion of the ANC's values; in-fighting and factionalism to the detriment of service delivery; and organisational capabilities that do not match the demands of the current phase of the revolution.
The paper proposes a decade-long programme of action to deal with these problems, including building the ANC’s capability to act as the strategic centre of power.
It needed to lead social movements to change the legacy of apartheid colonialism and overcome the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities.
The party had to revitalise its grassroots structures and focus on the problems of the masses.
The ANC had to fast-track its large-scale infrastructure development and enhance the capacity of the state to intervene in key sectors of the economy in pursuit of higher growth rates, employment creation and broad-based empowerment.
The document also calls for urgent steps to “restore the core values, stem (sic) out factionalism and promote political discipline”.
The ANC will meet in Midrand for four days, starting on Tuesday, to discuss 13 policy documents ahead of its national conference in December.
The policy decisions made at the policy conference will then be discussed and finalised at the national conference in Mangaung, Free State, in December. - Sapa