An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC while the President Jacob Zuma addresses ANC Gauteng Cadre Assembly in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The Limpopo ANC has warned that the governing party will soon lose its grip on power unless it speedily addresses economic hardships facing the majority of black people.

Provincial party secretary Soviet Lekganyane tacitly admitted the ANC could not always ride on its Struggle credentials and reputation as a liberation movement to woo voters.

“The majority of our people are still poor, 18 years in power,” said Lekganyane.

He cautioned that voters would soon remind the ANC about promises made since 1994.

Lekganyane said the “backbone” of the ANC, the members, most of whom are black, remained poor.

“We talk about the elderly who rely on social grants, the youth whose families cannot afford university tuition fees,” he said.

Limpopo, the third largest ANC province in terms of numbers, wants President Jacob Zuma to be replaced by his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe.

The province’s executive committee, which is still sympathetic to expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema, has nominated Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general. Motlanthe is believed to be leading Zuma in the province.

The committee favours “strategic nationalisation” of mines and a change of leadership at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference in Mangaung next month.

Lekganyane told party members at an OR Tambo memorial lecture on Sunday night in Polokwane not to kill the ANC in Mangaung.

Lekganyane told the members, who signalled that they wanted change, to preserve the ANC at the elective conference.

“For you to understand what you must do, is to look at the developments in the country and globally. You must also look at what we have agreed upon at the revolutionary programme of the ANC, the Freedom Charter,” he said.

“Follow OR Tambo, who was an inspirational leader of the ANC. Follow the Tambo who was an example of moral rectitude in the ANC. Follow the Tambo who united the ANC,” said Lekganyane.

“What kind of leadership do we have in the ANC today? Those are the questions you must ask,” he added.

Lekganyane chastised ANC members who turn a blind eye to wrongdoing and those who support leaders in exchange for lucrative positions.

“If things go wrong and you see they are going wrong, but you want to perpetuate the wrong things, you are destroying the ANC,” he said.

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The Star