Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Jennifer Bruce

Pretoria - The ANC national executive council's current lekgotla will focus on the party keeping an eye on the government, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

Participants at the three-day lekgotla, which began on Thursday, urged the party to monitor the government, he told reporters in Pretoria.

“The difference between this lekgotla and the previous makgotla (plural of lekgotla) is that there is stronger emphasis on the ANC taking charge of monitoring what is happening in government.

“We are asking basic questions. How does the ANC see the performance of the government? What does the ANC want to see happening from now and what is the assessment of the performance (of government)?”

Mantashe said the party had been briefed on the country's financial outlook.

“It (the briefing) gave us a sense of what is possible and what is not possible in terms of the budget. We are zooming in to practical interventions that should happen from now on and the emphasis is on jobs.”

Mantashe defended the controversial “business breakfasts” co-hosted by the SABC and The New Age newspaper.

“That partnership is important (because) it is giving South Africans the opportunity to talk to public representatives in an unmediated way. To us that is the value of that show.

“We are ready to talk to any platform created by any media house, if it gives us the opportunity to talk to South Africans. The actual fight is about value that comes out of those shows.”

Apart from ANC NEC members, the lekgotla was attended by leaders of the tripartite alliance, ministers and deputy ministers, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, heads of government departments, and premiers.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said the current lekgotla would assess the implementation of decisions taken at the July 2012


“We have to be concrete in terms of the specific steps that we need to take. If we look at the issue of youth development, the big issue there is the youth employment incentives that have to be decided at this lekgotla.”

He said ANC wanted to “move with speed” on youth employment incentives. A bilateral meeting would soon be held between the ANC and the Cosatu, Radebe said.

President Jacob Zuma addressed the lekgotla during a closed session on Thursday. - Sapa