Former President Thabo Mbeki committed himself to campaign for the African National Congress (ANC) during next year’s municipal elections.

Mbeki was speaking on the sidelines of the ANC political school in Durban on Sunday.

This is the second time Mbeki was invited by the party provincial leadership to address the organisation’s gathering in the province since he stepped down as President in 2008.

Last year he addressed the memorial lecture of the late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe – also in Durban.

The former President says he is available to help the ruling party win the elections.

“I’m the member of the ANC, in South Africa, not in KZN and therefore I will be able to assist the ANC everywhere including in KZN. Indeed the last local government election in which I participated, when I was still in the leadership of the ANC, was in KZN in 2006. My last operation was here in KZN, so it wouldn’t be wrong to come back again for the local government elections,” says Mbeki.

Mbeki has also called on the state to tackle ailing State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

“I’m hoping that the government will pay all the necessary attention to the details about all these things because there are serious challenges in terms of Eskom. I don’t know what the government is going to do with this very big debt because it’s got to be addressed. The matter of SAA I think we should wait and see what the rescue team will say,” Mbeki explains.

Additional reporting Vusi Makhosini