ANC members need to have a frank debate and discussion about the economy, instead of "finger-pointing", according to President Jacob Zuma. File photo

Pietermaritzburg - African National Congress members need to have a frank debate and discussion about the economy, instead of "finger-pointing" which is "derailing the transformation agenda", according to President Jacob Zuma.

While a great opportunity had been missed in 1994 to overhaul the country’s economic landscape, there was a need for the ANC's rank and file to discuss openly what needed to be done to effect transformation, he said at the launch of the Truman Magubane Family Foundation in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

“We need frankness in assessing and debating the economy, we [need] graduates who will restructure the economy completely. But we blame one another instead of dealing with challenge before us,” he said.

Magubane - currently chief whip at Msunduzi municipality - was one of the "key figures who helped in reviving the ANC as part of the underground operation". He spent 15 years on Robben Island, Zuma said.

The current problems in the economy demanded that information be provided to younger people so that they understood the country’s background. The launch of the foundation would help to bridge the information gap. The foundation should not be used to fight political battles but should focus on its core mandate. 

“Because you are one of us we will ensure that the foundation is not used by people to criticise the ANC,” Zuma said.