President Jacob Zuma arrives at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto for the ANC's 105th anniversary bash. He was scheduled to address the crowd at 11am. Photo: Siphelele Dludla/ANA
Johannesburg – The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) should mobilise young people and prepare their "political education into the mother body", ANC President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday, as he appealed for unity in the organisation.

"The youth league must emulate the spirit of comrades who launched the South African Youth Congress (Sayco) 30 years ago. They must mobilise and unite young people... the youth of today are more connected to each other and the world with the advance of communications and information technology," he told ANC supporters at the party's 105th anniversary celebrations at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.

 

"The youth are more informed about local and global events, and the ANCYL must attract young activists from all sectors to strengthen our movement." He said ANC branches had told the party that its leaders were "busy fighting each other" instead of attending to their needs. "Our own research and interactions with members of the ANC demonstrate clearly that the people abhor the apparent preoccupation with personal gain. People are clear... their main priorities are jobs, fighting crime, and corruption. Our task is therefore to grow the economy, create jobs, and rigorously fight crime and corruption," Zuma said.

The governing party went to its branches following the bruising August 3 local government elections, which saw it lose control of the Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Nelson Mandela Bay metros. The leadership's meetings with branches, which the party referred to as "an introspection", was conducted throughout the provinces after the elections.

The ANC said the public meetings were meant to get a sense of what went wrong at the local polls. Zuma said the party should take lessons from its past leaders such as Oliver Tambo and do away with factionalism and gatekeeping.

"We must learn from president OR Tambo and continue to demonstrate to the people, in word and in deed, that the ANC remains the organisation most capable of leading South Africa. The ANC must unite so that we are able to unite the people against our common enemies – unemployment, poverty, and inequality," he said.

African News Agency