Johannesburg - The ANC's national conference in Mangaung later this week must bring change, trade union federation Cosatu said on Thursday.
“The country is facing a multiple crisis,” said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, quoting from a booklet setting out the federation's position.
Vavi called for a “Lula moment” in South Africa.
He was referring to a turnaround in Brazilian politics engineered by the country's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
South Africa needed change in three core areas to tackle poverty, unemployment and inequality.
This included structural change in the economy, decisive change in the state, and radical change and renewal in the ruling alliance to reassert a culture of service and accountability.
The politics of principle were being replaced by “a politics based on narrow ambition and accumulation”, Vavi said, characterised by back-stabbing, innuendo and even assassination”.
“There is a poisoned atmosphere of divisions, and fast-moving cliques and cabals,” he said.
The ANC policy conference earlier this year had recognised that erosion of the ANC's core values threatened its continued existence.
But more urgent steps should be taken to protect the ANC's image. The party needed to prevent abuse of power or office for private gain or factional interests.
Public representatives had to choose whether they would be people's representatives living within the means their salaries provided, or whether they would be business people.
Outsourcing and tenders should be limited where possible, as economic outsourcing encouraged fraud, said Vavi. - Sapa