Former African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe says branches of the ANC must play a more active role in communities to bridge the social gap otherwise the party will lose the support of the people.
Motlanthe was delivering a memorial lecture on the late struggle veteran Raymond Mhlaba in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.
Mhlaba was a struggle veteran and former Eastern Cape Premier. He would have turned 100 years old this year.
Motlanthe says if branches are not in touch with the masses, the party will lose the support of the people.
“When there is social distance between the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, the government and the masses we will lose the support of the people.”
Video: Former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe delivering Raymond Mhlaba’s memorial lecture
On Saturday, members of the party’s third-largest region in KwaZulu-Natal were schooled on the values for which he stood for. The region has been problematic with internal squabbles over leadership positions.
Motlanthe says ANC branches need to be more than just forums, to discuss leadership matters and positions, but that they must include communities that they are in.
The former President said those members who are not elected to positions must be able to serve under those who’ve been elected.
Rooting out corruption
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that unless corruption is rooted out, it will destroy the ruling party. He said there are some in senior positions squandering the public purse and setting the party back through corruption.
In the video, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the Raymond Mhlaba lecture.
Ramaphosa described Mhlaba as a disciplined leader who was willing to sacrifice his life for the country’s liberation. The president said leaders like Mhlaba would have questioned whether or not the current party leaders upheld these same values.
“Are we advancing the values that they stood for, are we serving the people of South Africa with expecting anything in return? When we go out, are we looking at what we can gain for ourselves?”
Ramaphosa also cautioned members against corruption, saying it will be the downfall of not only the party but the country.
“We are saying that there are those within our ranks, in high-level positions that are setting us back by stealing from the government…Those people stand in the way of growth and employment and poverty alleviation project; they stand in the way of broad-based black economic empowerment and development of small businesses.”
ANC Ziveze campaign
Meanwhile, the ANC in the region also welcomed scores of new members from other parties. The party on Friday launched a new online membership system at Saul Tsotetsi Community Hall at Sebokeng in the Vaal in Gauteng.
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said the party had embarked on the Ziveze campaign to enable members to verify their membership status at branches.
The party’s previous conferences have been marred by allegations of membership fraud, which resulted in the collapse of some of its regions. Magashule maintains that the new system is incorruptible.
“The new and modernised online membership system is reliable, robust and not open to manipulation…The new membership system discourages gate-keeping and vote-buying, it promotes the unity growth and vibrancy of the African National Congress.”
The Moses Mabhida region is currently preparing to hold its regional elective conference. – Additional reporting by Vusi Makhosini.