The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday that the restoration of unity and values in the movement ahead of the 2017 national conference was paramount.
President Jacob Zuma was elected as president of the ANC at the 53 rd national conference in 2012. The party was expected to elect a new president at the 54th national conference in December 2017.
Provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala addressed a provincial executive committee lekgotla at Champagne Sports Resort at the weekend and called on the party to do a deep introspection.
Zikalala said in a statement that approaching the 2017 national conference, the party should seek to address all challenges in the movement since it came to power.
"These include the use of the state on internal issues, which [became] prevalent since the 2002 Stellenbosch Conference. Going to Polokwane, we saw the state leading the movement and the movement tailing behind the state on all issues.
"We also saw the emergence of factionalism and state politics, where the winner took all and those who are not in the winning slate will not be elected, irrespective of their standing and capabilities."
Zikalala said, while the 2007 Polokwane conference had tried to address some of the challenges, some persisted and new ones now prevailed.
"These include permanent factions which... are becoming a norm, and this cannot be accepted. This resulted in a number of experienced cadres of the organisation not elected into structures."
He said the non-acceptance of elected leaders and, in some cases, deliberate attempts to undermine them, was often used as a way to prove the leadership was failing.
This, in turn, led to the loss of leadership integrity.
Zikalala said next year’s national conference should be used to unite the party.
"We must position the ANC as the movement of the future through maintaining the principle of continuity and change, but ensure visible rejuvenation of the organisation.
"We need to consolidate the unity of the alliance and all streams of the revolution. This should include the consolidation of the role of all strata; in particular the working class, intelligentsia, women, youth and students."
Zikalala said the party also needed to ensure the advancement of the economic path the party had adopted at the 52nd national conference and the subsequent radical economic transformation programme it adopted at the 53rd national conference in Mangaung.