Johannesburg - As the race to the ANC elective conference in December heats up, the party’s Lindiwe Zulu says only a person who can keep the centre holding and be selfless should be elected as the next leader of the party.
Zulu said there were currently too many voices in the party which spoke different messages, and a new leader should ensure unity in the party.
She was speaking on the side-lines of day six of the ANC policy conference in Soweto on Tuesday where the party’s delegates have been wrestling ideas on the party’s policies.
After the conference, the polices will then be rubber stamped at the party’s elective conference in December where a new leader will be elected to take over from Jacob Zuma.
Although nominations have not been opened yet, former African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have been invited to speak at various branch meetings over the past couple of months – in a possible early start to campaigning.
Zulu, who is also the minister of small medium enterprises, said the time has come for the party to stop speaking about unity and actually take practical steps towards achieving it.
“It’s about ensuring that once decisions have been taken by the collective, we all need to go accordingly. As of late we have been hearing different voices with different messages. And at times communication has been at pains to explain to our comrades that it is not about you, it’s about the ANC and the policies that we should take,” said Zulu.
“In the ANC there has to be one message and many voices. That is what we need to keep on working towards when we talk unity, it must be practical and real because people will not believe us if we speak in different messages,” she said.
Zulu also spoke about investors who might be uncertain about the country when issues such as radical economic transformation are promoted by the ANC.
A recent example was the release of the mining charter last month by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebezni Zwane -which will now require mining companies to be 30% black owned.
That decision sent shockwaves through the mining sector, but also raised concerns from rating agencies.
Zulu said instead of opposing ideas and polices, investors should work with the government to ensure the upliftment of South Africans who are being left behind economically.
“It is unsustainable when we don’t address the challenges that are faced by the majority of our people. You can have as many investors as you would like but if the people of this country do not see the value that you are trying to prove then you will have a problem on your hands,” said Zulu.
“When we say lets work together with the private sector is because we really believe in it and genuine partnership. Their investment would be secured more if there was peace and prosperity in the country,” she said.