African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma has warned against reckless actions by party leaders who are given the responsibility to make decisions affecting the economy.
Zuma is delivering his last political address as party leader after his 10-year stint at the helm of the governing party.
Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC Member of Parliament Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the front runners to succeed Zuma as party president.
Zuma opened the 54th ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
“We have to act decisively as doing nothing almost guarantees that there will be little progress in the resolution of the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. On the other hand, reckless action will plunge the country into deep economic and social stresses. We must tread carefully, but act because of the serious economic challenges facing our country currently.”
Zuma says the party is working towards radical socio-economic transformation.
“The 54th national conference is convened under the theme ‘Remembering Tambo towards unity, renewal and radical socioeconomic transformation’. We are building on the instructive theme of the 53rd conference in Mangaung which was ‘unity in action towards radical socio-economic transformation’. Going to that conference, we had become alive to the fact that the country needed to get onto a higher development trajectory in order to move more speedily to the national democratic society envisaged by the freedom charter.”
Zuma has also urged party members to accept the outcome of the vote that will determine the new leader of the ruling party.
“I want to believe comrades that all of us here know what is the right thing to do; and I believe we all love our movement and that’s why we are given a choice to choose who do we think should lead the ANC. The ANC policy says no matter how strong you felt about the candidate, once the branches of the ANC have made a choice you have to respect that and agree to that point.”
Zuma denounces use courts to settle party’s dispute
President Zuma has denounced the use of the courts to settle the party’s leadership disputes. Disgruntled members have used the courts to seek recourse after disputes emanating from election of regional and provincial leaders.
On Friday the courts had to annull the leadership of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Free State and Bojanala region in the North West, over claims that there was vote rigging and disregard of the rules governing the staging of elective conferences.
In a strongly worded statement, Zuma said the party leadership should enforce the decision to expel those who use the courts to settle internal party disputes, saying the tendency seeks to erode the authority of the ANC.
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