Planning minister Trevor Manuel has declined a nomination to the ANC's national executive committee, City Press reported on Sunday.

Manuel said he wanted to play a “different role” and believed the African National Congress's values were being destroyed by the current competition for leadership.

“After 21-and-a-half years, you ask: do I still have the hunger?” Manuel told City Press.

“It is time for young people to come through the system. I want to try and mentor. I feel there's a duty to do that now. If everything is a competition, you destroy values (as is being done now).

“If this happens, you cannot draw on the skills and expertise (of people who leave after brutal competition). This was clear at Polokwane.”

He said it was time for younger leaders to take over, that the party's policy-making was poor, and that Parliament was weak, City Press reported.

Manuel took the decision “as a matter of principle”.

Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin and Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also announced on Saturday that they had declined nominations, the newspaper reported.

Manuel added that in the world of politics “logic does not always reign supreme”.

According to City Press, Manuel wanted a smaller NEC of “fewer cadres and better-quality discussions”. He said Parliament was “weak” at overseeing the making of policy, and implementation.

The ANC's conference starts on Sunday morning. - Sapa