Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma will on Wednesday deliver the closing address as the African National Congress' 5th policy conference taking place in Nasrec, Johannesburg, draws to a close.
The six-day long conference discussed policies through nine commissions. The more than 3 000 delegates held intense discussions on organisational renewal and policy and tactics, communications and the battle of ideas, peace and stability, the negative state of the economy, education, health, science and technology, legislature and governance, social transformation and international relations.
The conference was preceded by two days of self-introspection as delegates analysed the problems facing the fractured governing party.
The ANC's document 'Through The Eye Of the Needle', penned in 2001 and which provides guidelines on how to elect credible leaders, was resuscitated as a practical road map. The document is one of a few that seeks to save the party as it faces membership decline, factionalism, vote buying, mistrust among members and gatekeeping.
Another contentious issue discussed at the organisational renewal and tactics commission was state capture and the influence of the politically-connected Gupta family, seen as wreaking havoc within the party and government.
ANC Secretary general Gwede Mantashe's diagnostic report he presented over the weekend pointed to a liberation movement that was no longer trusted by South Africans and was seen as corrupt, and its leaders aloof and arrogant.
Mantashe said instead of dealing with the crisis that faced the ANC, such as the Nkandla debacle and the recent state capture report by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, ”a defence was developed” by members to shield Zuma. A narrative was also developed ”to link any discomfort with the influence of the Gupta family to the regime change agenda”, he added. ”Linking regime change to state capture reflects the decline in our analytical capacity. The series of [leaked Gupta] emails that are released in tranches each day cause more harm than good,” read the scathing report.
Presenting the report back on organisational renewal and policy and tactics to journalists on Tuesday, ANC national executive committee member Joel Netshitenzhe said the majority of the conference rejected the term ''white monopoly capital'' and agreed that race should be dropped from the term during the intense discussions.
Nine out of eleven commissions agreed that although there were still glaring inequalities because of white dominance in the economy, global monopoly capital was the enemy.
Another NEC member, Nathi Mthethwa had told journalists the previous day that the conference was warned about the ''risk of white monopoly capital becoming black monopoly capital'' as the fight against lack of equal economic opportunities continued.
Netshitenzhe has come under fire from staunch Zuma supporters such as the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo who accused him of distorting conference resolutions on white monopoly capital.
MKMVA chairman Kebby Maphatsoe reportedly said the majority of the conference agreed that white monopoly capital existed and was a problem that needed urgent solutions.
The resolutions would be presented at the upcoming elective conference in December where they would be ratified and adopted. With clearly expressive internal documents that self-introspect and scathingly point to problems and how to deal with them, it remains to be seen whether the ANC will eventually implement its own decisions and not become another liberation movement that died a slow death.