Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma says a remedy is needed to solve the ANC’s factionalism and slate problem that is deeply imbedded in the party’s structures.
Zuma said factions had become so real that at times it seemed like there were two organisations that exist in the party.
“How do we get rid of factionalism? How do we find a remedy?,” asked Zuma.
He was giving his closing address at the ANC policy conference in Soweto on Wednesday.
In a jubilant and energetic mood, Zuma planted a seed in the minds of delegates by asking them to consider some of the proposals given at the committee for organisational renewal that proposed changes to expand the official structure.
On Tuesday, the committee on organisational renewal recommended that the leadership structure be re-looked at by adding the positions of second deputy president and general secretary.
Another proposal by the committee focused on shrinking the size of the party’s highest decision-making structure, the National Executive Committee.
Febe Potgieter-Gqubule said this was proposed to strengthen the NEC to better respond to issues presented before it.
Zuma asked delegates to consider these options and asked them to spend the next couple of months before the elective conference in December debating this.
“Branches should consider adding a second deputy president by making changes to the constitution. Effective monitoring and evaluation of ANC policy implementation is needed at headquarters,” said Zuma.
His recommendations were met with both grumbles and cheers from some delegates.
He justified his ideas by sighting what happened in Polokwane in 2007 were lines were deeply drawn in the leadership battle between him and former President Thabo Mbeki.
“In Polokwane we saw a very good crop of leaders leaving the organisation and forming their own party,” said Zuma.
A number of ANC members left during that time, with some leaving to form the Congress of the People (Cope).
Zuma said the “winner takes all” mentality, which bred slates and factions, was not working and should be reconsidered.
He said all members, even if they won or lost, should be incorporated to work with the new leadership or be a part of it.