DELEGATES at the ANC's national general council in Durban were on Tuesday primed for “deep discussions” on organisational renewal and gender.
Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said both President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe set the tone for the commission discussions when they highlighted areas such as organisational development and discipline on Monday.
He hailed Mantashe’s report, saying it was “honest”, “open” and “frank” about the weaknesses the party faced.
KwaZulu-Natal delegate Phelani Ngcobo echoed Zuma’s comments on placing the ordinary members at the centre of the party’s focus.
“The most important thing is the membership. It's something we want to see put into practice. This will help with the differences among members in the branches,” he said.
He said people joined the ANC for “their own gain” without understanding what the organisation stands for. To handle this, the party had to ensure that its members were in the party for the right reasons - to serve the people.
Ngcobo said Zuma had also dealt with relations within the alliance, which he felt were strained in recent months. He was happy that the president “took charge” on the matter.
Milton Morema from Mpumalanga said he expected “extensive discussions” on tackling corruption in particular. He described Zuma’s address as “powerful” and said his concern over the alliance and the ANC Youth League was somewhat alleviated.
Thembi Mgomezulu from KwaZulu-Natal wanted the ANC to look into creating more jobs for women.
Youth league delegate Thulani Sichwana expressed concern over Zuma’s comments on the ANCYL -- the ANC president took a firm stance on discipline, saying the recent happenings at league conferences were “unacceptable”.
Sichwana said the league was an autonomous body with is own constitution and therefore should not be subject to the discipline of the ANC.
The mood at the council was more sombre on Tuesday, a marked difference from Monday where songs pervaded the air as old friends renewed acquaintances.