Cape Town 16.01.11 ANC meeting at, Landbou Saal in Piketberg picture : neil baynes

The ANC says it is fully aware that it has to up its game because “apartheid” will soon no longer hold water as an excuse for poor service.

KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala told the media that SA was fast approaching the end of the second decade of democracy.

If there was no service or transformation during this time they would no longer be able to blame it on apartheid and it would also not be acceptable.

Zikalala was speaking on the fringes of the party’s conference in Newcastle at the weekend.

In his organisational report to the conference he said: “The next elections will be more strategic as they will mark the end of the second decade of liberation.

“This also implies that a sizeable number of voters would not have experienced apartheid and will make their judgement based on the ANC’s performance in government.”

The ANC in KZN is possibly the first province to come out and admit this as it has always been DA leader Helen Zille and the party’s parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who have warned that the “born-frees” would not have lived under apartheid and that there would be a difference in thinking and expectation between those who were loyal to the ANC because of the Struggle against apartheid and those who were born into democracy.

Zikalala’s report spoke about unity in its provincial executive committee which is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the party’s programmes.

He said the outgoing committee had successfully led the party in KZN to the 2009 national general elections and the 2011 local government elections.

However, Zikalala in his organisational report said its unity had been seriously threatened by allegations that there were “comrades who were mobilising to overthrow the premier”.

He said this information was “beginning to threaten the committee and the organisation as a whole”.

He said the matter was investigated and the provincial executive committee found there were “information peddlers” who wanted to “set leaders against each other”.

The other issue which had tested the committee’s unity was the corruption charges against Peggy Nkonyeni, the ANC’s provincial treasurer, and Mike Mabuyakhulu, the MEC for Economic Development and Tourism.

He said the manner in which the issue was handled caused “serious pain” in the organisation because it was in the media domain for a long time before they were charged.

The ANC is watching the Minority Front’s continued woes with great interest as it prepares to woo more Indians, whites and coloureds into its ranks. Zikalala admitted that the party was worried about its loss of support in minority communities.

“We don’t shy away from weaknesses… we hide nothing,” he told the media. He said the ANC would not “leave that terrain exploited by the DA” and would be intensifying its lobby for support in those areas.

The MF has been faltering since the death of its founding leader Amichand Rajbansi, in December and appears to be on the brink of implosion amid heavy internal disputes. - The Mercury