Johannesburg -

The upcoming ANC elective conference in Mangaung required exceptional leadership skills to address the country's problems, Agri SA said on Wednesday.

“Problems such as fiscal constraints, labour unrest and reduced foreign direct investment undoubtedly require sound domestic policies as a point of departure if the country is to be prevented from entering into a downward spiral,” said Johannes Möller, president of the agricultural trade association.

The elective conference of the ruling African National Congress is scheduled to get underway in Mangaung on Sunday. It ends next Friday.

Möller said Agri SA wished to add its voice to that of big business leaders calling for drastic steps to deal with problems in education, with corruption and unemployment.

“Policy decisions taken at Mangaung should be aimed at positively influencing the country's economy... whilst preoccupation with ideologies should certainly not be on the cards.”

Möller said Agri SA was approached to participate in the business programme of the ANC's progressive business forum, which would run parallel to the conference.

“We will definitely make use of the opportunity to engage with Cabinet ministers and other government representatives on matters confronting our sector and the country at large.” - Sapa