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Set aside time to have renewal discussions, Mbeki tells Western Cape ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape held an extended Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) meeting on the 20th and 21th March 2022 to reflect on the political programme of the renewal and unity of the ANC in the province. Former President of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki also attended the meeting. Photographer: Armand Hough - African News Agency (ANA)

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape held an extended Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) meeting on the 20th and 21th March 2022 to reflect on the political programme of the renewal and unity of the ANC in the province. Former President of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki also attended the meeting. Photographer: Armand Hough - African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 22, 2022

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Former president Thabo Mbeki said there was a need to set aside a time for a political discussion in the ANC in the Western Cape to practically think about what was to be done to achieve the party’s objectives.

Delivering his closing address at the two-day interim provincial committee’s (IPC) extended meeting in Cape Town on Monday, Mbeki said one of the tasks they have set was to strengthen the ANC.

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“The task we have set ourselves as part of the renewal is to strengthen the ANC so that practically in the Western Cape, it can play this role actually to help us achieve the changes that are required.

“It is clear we are to going have another engagement among ourselves because part of the task that we were striving to do over the last two days was to think practically about our future.

“There are many things we got to understand or agree with one another about,” he said.

Mbeki said part of their return would be to set aside time for political discussion on issues.

“That discussion is very important and I think it will be part of a process of making factions irrelevant. By making them irrelevant, we empower ourselves to be agents of change.”

The former president noted that the two-day session had identified factionalism as one of the problem engulfing the province.

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“The identification of the problem, I think, means commitment to address it and, necessarily, it means understating having a clear idea of what we are being factual about.

“The very fact we identified this as a problem, it has to be addressed,” he said.

Mbeki also said one of the comrades had suggested that they make factions irrelevant.

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“We have set ourselves a task like that as part of the process of renewal of the ANC in this province in order to make it an effective participant in the struggle of eradication of this legacy, among other things.”

He also said the ANC in the Western Cape should ask itself what was meant by the renewal and what the next step was.

“That is very important. We are the ANC in the Western Cape. I am saying your national task affects the whole ANC wherever it is. This province has got its specific challenges,” he said.

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“We can’t answer all of those questions in general. Let me say we can in general, but we must also be particular,” Mbeki said.

Mbeki also noted that some of the ANC activists were absent from the two-day session.

“I know a little bit about this province and a little bit about the comrades. I looked around and I didn't see them,” he said.

“That in itself, I think, is a challenge. It seems to me that they must, some of them, have a grievance that they will stay away,” Mbeki added.

He also said there was a need to find those who were absent from the meeting.

“They are good comrades as far as I know to come back to help all of us carry this task which is very big.”

Mbeki cited what he called was a rhetorical question asked by a fellow member about what was the ANC ’s mission.

“A very correct question because I think at all times the ANC needs to ask itself that question.”

Mbeki said the ANC in the Western Cape should be asking itself if it was fit for the job.

“Do we have the strength, the capacity and everything else to discharge that responsibility of the eradication of that legacy? Even the thinking, comrades, visualisation and conceptualisation of actions that need to be taken if we are saying we must eradicate the legacy with regard to education, what does that mean?”

Mbeki said there should be the capacity to think what it was that needed to be done in order to succeed in their tasks.

“Even this question of renewal, we need renewal of the ANC. It is a decision of the national conference of the ANC and everybody feels bound, of course… naturally conference decisions must be implemented.”

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Political Bureau

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