File photo: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg - ANC national executive committee (NEC) member and spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has lashed out at party members who viewed the ruling party as an employment agency for self enrichment.

This, he said, had resulted in the party's character and values being slowly eroded. Kodwa also called on ANC members to guard against political patronage and blind loyalty to individuals. "Some of the breakaways in the ANC are based on political patronage," he said yesterday (Saturday), while addressing delegates attending the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay elective conference ending on Sunday in Port Elizabeth.

Kodwa said the NEC was not concerned about the new regional leadership are, but on the upcoming national elections in 2019.

The ANC needed to reclaim the metro from the DA-led coalition which was "already falling apart". "The ANC will reclaim the metro before even 2019, but if we fight amongst ourselves that may be far-fetched."

Kodwa accused the DA of "reversing" ANC gains in the metros now under their control, which include Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Joburg.

The metros fell under DA-led coalitions following last year's watershed municipal elections.

"In Joburg, [mayor Herman] Mashaba is throttling them. They are crying, saying they made a mistake [in voting for them]."

He also appealed to party members to stop attacking each other publicly as this has weakened the ANC.

Kodwa seemed to extend an olive branch to opposition parties when he characterised the EFF, PAC and UDM as not the "enemy". "We need to rally them behind the banner of the ANC," he said.

Addressing delegates on Friday, the ANC regional task team convener, Vuyani Limba, admitted that the DA was in power in the metro. "We need to grasp opposition politics, be strategy and not be rowdy," he said.

He received applause when he said the old generation must be prepared to hand over power to the young blood as they would not be in leadership forever. "We need to select programmes that are directly linked to young people. We also need to be serious about political education. Limba called on the incoming leadership to be humble to the electorate.

"The organisation has to close ranks and work hard in regaining lost ground in Nelson Mandela Bay. If we don't work together we will be in a big problem," he warned.

Messages of support from the ANC's alliance partners including labour federation Cosatu and the SACP focussed on the "growing challenging" of factionalism within the movement.

The task at hand was to "put together the pieces and defend the little power that we have" in the metro, the SACP said.

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