Umrabulo Number 25, May 2006

Contextual considerations in addressing challenges of leadership

Reflections of the NEC Political Education Committee (Joel Netshitenzhe, Enoch Godongwana and Mandla Nkomfe)
(See ANC NEC Statement of 29 May 2006 on Challenges of leadership)

SACP discussion document on State Power, plus PDF and related links

COSATU discussion document on Fundamental Change

As it prepares for its 52nd National Conference, due to take place in 2007, ANC structures should begin discussing issues around the trajectory of the National Democratic Revolution, including issues of organisational renewal.

The ANC will hold its 52nd National Conference in December 2007. The Conference is critical from two angles. It will be the first assembly of the ANC's highest decision-making body in the Second Decade of Freedom, after 13 years of democracy and a government led by the ANC. It will precede, by two years, the stepping down of the current President of the ANC as President of the Republic.

In this respect, therefore, this will be one of the most decisive moments in the ANC's history, marking a confluence of three critical undertakings:

  • an ANC that will be 95 years old, called upon to start, in the light of a century's experience, defining a vision for its own evolution in its second century of existence;
  • an ANC that can, with the advantage of more than a decade of experience in governance, confidently chart out a trajectory of the country's development far into the first century of the third millennium;
  • an ANC that will in broad terms be managing a generational transition as most of the stalwarts of the campaigns of the 1940s and 1950s bow out of formal political leadership structures.

All these three matters require strategic, dispassionate and honest reflection in the ranks of the movement. At the core of such reflection should be the critical issues of content - a self-assured self-definition by the ANC in the context of a long-term vision.

Deriving from this would be the identification of the kind of leadership the movement needs to carry out these tasks. The two issues are intimately linked. Both within and outside our ranks and even among those opposed to the ANC, the contestation around these issues has been joined. And the ANC itself has to give leadership.


The current strategic thrust of the ANC is set out in a Strategy and Tactics document that was adopted at the 1997 National Conference, in Mafikeng, some 10 years ago. The 2002 National Conference, in Stellenbosch, conceded that new developments dictated an update of the movement's Strategy and Tactics, but asserted that these were of such a nature that they did not require an overhaul of the document. A Preface was then appended to address this issue.

Quite clearly, there will be need at the 2007 National Conference to reflect on and adopt a new document. Work on this will need to start as urgently as possible, so that there is sufficient engagement in our structures with the critical issues at hand. This will in itself serve as an important political education campaign.

Some of the issues that require such reflection were identified during discussion in preparation for both the 2002 National Conference and the 2005 National General Council (NGC). Since the NGC a number of practical developments have raised profound conceptual issues. Some of the questions that have been thrown up by developments in the past 5 years are outlined hereunder.

Characterisation of the NDR
The tasks of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) in respect of the fundamental question of property relations: this relates both to the de-racialisation of ownership and control of wealth and the more thoroughgoing challenge of eradicating poverty. In other words, how do we theorise the interrelationship between reducing social inequality and the rise of a black middle strata and business class; how do we deal with the danger of the perpetuation of Colonialism of a Special Type, with the majority of black people excluded from any significant participation in the economy and few blacks co-opted into the courtyard of privilege!

Pursuing the ideological struggle in the context of the ANC aspiration to create a society that cares: given the fact that we operate in and are in fact managing a capitalist system, how do we ensure that the outlook of society and posture of both the ANC and the state reflect a correct balance in the delicate relationship between encouraging entrepreneurship and individual initiative, and a promotion of the collective needs of society!

Managing contradictions that are bound to express themselves between the two contending classes, the workers and the bourgeoisie: as previously asserted, the NDR does not aim to eliminate this core antagonism of a class society.

The ANC is therefore called upon to manage the expression of these contradictions, proceeding from the perspective that its core constituency is the working class and the poor. Further, this reflection should impact our understanding of the character of the NDR (what it seeks to achieve) and its motive forces (the combination of social drivers of fundamental change)!

Construction of a democratic state as an instrument of the people as a whole: how far have we gone in transforming the state and how should the ANC relate to such a state? Attached to this is our principled stand on critical precepts contained in the country's Constitution such as the separation of powers, equality of all before the law, arms-length relationship between the ruling party and various state institutions in a law-governed society, and so on!

International balance of forces and building alliances across the globe: besides the obvious consolidation of a unipolar world and socio-political globalisation, it can be asserted that there is an emergence of a perspective that takes on board universal human values around issues of democracy, equity in global relations and solidarity to improve the human condition. Yet arrayed against this are the mutually reinforcing tendencies of right-wing religious fundamentalism, militarism and terrorism!

National Democratic Transformation
Related to these issues are new matters of policy, not adequately elaborated in the Strategy and Tactics document, which should help inform the programme of National Democratic Transformation. At the 2005 NGC, these were identified as follows:

  • In relation to interpretation of the Freedom Charter, have the objectives of a "united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic" society been adequately defined in our Strategy and Tactics, and should we find positive expressions in the place of "non-racial/non-sexist"? For instance, with regard to the economy, are we limiting ourselves to "de-racialisation" and
  • genderisation" of the commanding heights of an inherited economic structure, rather than addressing its transformation?
  • The concrete definition of the objectives we pursue in the Second Decade of Freedom is contained in the 2004 Election Manifesto, which elaborates the popular mandate for the coming period - how should this find expression in the Strategy and Tactics document?
  • How do we characterise the type of state required to pursue developmental goals, beyond the phrase, "developmental state", particularly in relation to economic challenges?
  • Having gained experience in the operation of our governance system, what are the strategic interventions required to ensure more effective implementation of our programmes, including the relationship among the three spheres of government?
  • What approaches are required to deal decisively with the legacy of the spatial manifestations of apartheid, in both social and economic sectors?

Further, work done in recent years brings out in bold relief the challenge of eliminating systemic and racialised underdevelopment through spear-heading accelerated, sustainable and shared economic growth.

Underdevelopment is both a historical legacy and a reality reproduced by many entrenched features of the current economic system. This includes a limited national market, advanced but skewed and inefficient infrastructure, a developed but excessively concentrated First Economy, and a skills deficit and import dependence combined with excessive export orientation. The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA) seeks to address these constraints. But does it go far enough in defining a growth path that is job-creating, productive and fosters skills development, regional integration and the development of a vibrant small, medium and micro sector, including cooperatives?


Clarity on the tasks outlined above will help inform how the ANC defines itself in the current conjuncture and how it shapes itself as an organisation of the future. Some of the issues requiring serious reflection are outlined hereunder, and most of these were not sufficiently canvassed during the 2002 National Conference and the 2005 NGC.

The ANC is still at one that it is by definition a liberation movement with the primary mission of dealing with the contradictions that were thrown up by the system of apartheid colonialism. Using various terrains of struggle and centres of power - mass organisation, the state, economic centres, ideological struggle and international work - it has the central task of organising and mobilising the motive forces of the NDR to realise their common and disparate interests.

Unity and Diversity
As the ANC defines the trajectory of its own evolution well into its second century of existence, it has to take into account trends that have started to manifest themselves in the political terrain. The first category of these trends includes:

  • besides its own theoretical self-definition, composition of its branch structures and its conduct of government policy, the ANC's assertion that it is an organisation whose primary constituency is the working class and the poor has repeatedly been borne out by electoral results;
  • that this class content is informed by the national question in our country is reflected in the fact that those whose station is improving as a consequence of democratic change - the emergent black middle and upper strata - have also remained loyal to the ANC, and see themselves as allies of workers and the poor;
  • at the same time, as the ANC succeeds in changing the country for the better, to the benefit of more than just its narrow constituency, more and more sections of the white community are identifying with the broad objectives of change and some even with the ANC as an organisation: in a sense, the ANC starts to assume the character of being a representative of the people as a whole.

However, arrayed against these trends are strong centrifugal tendencies some rooted in the legacy of apartheid:

  • some forces within South African society retain their adherence to a racist outlook, and define themselves as not being represented by this state, let alone the ANC as an organisation;
  • in a vibrant democratic system such as ours, organisations that base their mobilisation on narrow issues are bound to multiply as part of civil society - the challenge is when such issues (including conservative interpretations of religion, 'family values', attitude to sexual orientation, narrow focus on HIV and AIDS) start informing the constitution and main programmatic positions of political parties;
  • how the ANC manages this dynamic can impact upon the political terrain in a fundamental way, re-ordering the content of electoral contestation in a manner that can condemn South Africa's core issues of class and race to a secondary status;
  • while the movement has succeeded over the years, within its own ranks and across society, to exorcise the demon of tribalism, the urge among some to use this for opportunistic political ends continues to play itself out -but besides this negative source, the ANC needs to weigh the long-term implications of a correct policy to encourage pride in language, culture and history on the resurgence of ethnic chauvinism.

It can be asserted that the centripetal pull is stronger than the centrifugal tendencies. Thus, going forward, it should be expected that unity around the national principles enshrined in the country's Constitution will strengthen. To the extent that the ANC represents the progressive expression of the Constitution's values, broader forces than its historical constituency will gravitate towards it. The question, though, for the medium- and long-term is whether this tendency, as it applies to the ANC, is sustainable: can the movement continue to present itself as all things to all people?

Challenge of self-definition
These questions do not lend themselves to easy answers. The natural tendency for any organism is to grow and annex space. Yet, if the ANC in its evolution into the future merely responded as an unthinking object of natural selection, it may become soulless and rudderless - a dinosaur so shorn of ideological rooting that what defines it are battles for leadership positions within the movement and in turn within government. In addressing this challenge the following issues should guide our approach:

  • The ANC should continue to consolidate its leadership of the motive forces of the NDR in their totality, proceeding from the premise that its core constituency is the working class in particular and the poor in general. However, it should be noted that a significant layer of these core motive forces do reflect a level of marginalisation and alienation that should be cause for concern - for example, violent protests and significant non-participation in elections.
  • The ANC should clearly define its ideological relationship with the working class. An amorphous expression of leaning towards workers and reference to pro-poor government policies is not enough: there should be clarity in more positive terms about the kind of society (and indeed the kind of economy or even capitalism) we seek to create.
  • The ANC should more clearly define the organisational and structural relationship it seeks to forge with organised workers. This should involve a much more proactive and strategic engagement with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliates. Related to this should be the guidance the ANC gives to the evolution of the trade union movement -should we actively promote unity of the organised working class, and should political conditions be attached to this!
  • The ANC should "grow" with the emergent black middle strata and capitalist class - devising ways of organisation, ideological leadership and definition of each sector's tasks in line with the core strategic objectives of the NDR. This is proceeding from the premise that these sectors have a direct interest in transforming the structural features of our society and economy.

This challenge also applies to winning over strata and classes from the white community. It is the task of the ANC to weld these and other forces around the programme of transformation.

  • The ANC should devise creative ways of capturing the imagination of the new generation of young people. These young people are to be found across the spectrum of classes and strata in society, including workers, middle strata and entrepreneurs. Defining their personality, though, is that they grow up under conditions in which old forms of organisation and mobilisation are patently inadequate.
  • The ANC should adopt clear and formal constitutional and structural mechanisms to reflect the reality of being in office. This relates to formalisation of ANC government collectives (executives, legislature caucuses and so on) within the movement's constitutional structures. This should be combined with addressing challenges of accountability and dispassionately managing the negative effects of incumbency such as careerism, competition for status, corruption and so on.
  • The ANC should forge a cadreship through programmes that relate to the actual challenges that these members face in their daily lives. This requires a deliberate combination of politico-ideological education and skilling to lead processes in government, the private sector and civil society in general. Especially in this environment of political incumbency and opportunities in the private sector, it would be the height of folly on its part for the ANC to live in the hope that cadres selflessly committed to the people's interests will emerge without conscious preparation.
  • The ANC should ensure deliberate processes to assemble leadership collectives that reflect its core mandate and tasks. This means ensuring, among others, that its leadership structures reflect the national, class and gender content of the NDR as well as appropriate balances between cadreship in and outside of the governmental terrain.

What does this mean in terms of the broad orientation of the movement in a changing social environment?

Implications of evolving social structure
In the coming years, as the programmes of transformation unfold, the changes in alignment among the classes and strata in our society will intensify.

The number of employed workers, including highly-skilled workers, is bound to increase; the ranks of the middle strata are bound to swell; more black people will rise to the higher rungs of the corporate sector as professionals, managers and owners. Acculturation across the apartheid fault-lines is bound to intensify.

Yet at the same time, we should accept that there will be a sediment of the poor who will remain marginalised - the 13% unemployed in 2014 if we succeed to halve unemployment - who will feel more marginalised and alienated! This will in part be an objective consequence of progress, which may include growing income inequality between the top-most and lowest rungs in the socio-economic ladder, and deepening feelings of 'relative poverty' among the unemployed and the poor. It will also be a reflection of the obduracy of challenges of under-development and unjust global relations in which we are located.
The ANC should conduct its mass and ideological work and define itself to ensure that the working class, professionals and the middle strata, and a significant section of the capitalist class find common cause under its wing. The defining character of such coalescence should be a left agenda to build a caring society, in line with the best and most progressive traditions of social democracy.

It should however be expected that there will be two extremes that may not fit into the net:

  • Sections of poor communities with a sense of marginalisation and alienation: if recent experience is anything to go by, these sections will organisationally be nebulous in character, presenting as issue-based protest within the broad democratic movement. The appeal and intensity of such protest across the broader working class will depend on whether there are conscious efforts to fan the flames of conflagration by organised formations with sufficient credibility. It will also be affected by any tendencies to technocratic aloofness and bureaucratic neglect within government. How each component of the Alliance deals with this and how the relationships within the Alliance are handled will define not only the behaviour of these sectors, but also the evolution of the Alliance itself.
  • The more conservative and callous among the rich and the middle strata: these are forces which protest any transformative steps taken including legitimate and law-governed redistribution of wealth and resources, affirmative action, levels of progressive taxation, women's emancipation, rights on sexual orientation and so on. These can easily be addressed as an obstinate residue with anti-transformation sentiments but with a right all the same to exist and find political expression. How strong this tendency will be, will define the evolution of the Democratic Alliance (DA), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and other mainly white-based parties.

As the ANC develops its strategic and tactical approaches, it should maintain a personality based on its history of struggle and the years of experience in governance. But this should be a personality that shows conscious adaptation to new realities: particularly in relation to organising and mobilising the new generation of youth and the emergent middle and upper strata, and forging common bonds among these sectors and the working class and the poor. The ANC should be the driver of a potent social contract.
The abiding strength of the ANC historically has been its ability to organise and mobilise millions of ordinary South Africans around their immediate grievances and long-term aspirations, and to provide intellectual leadership on critical social issues facing the country. This has been underpinned by strong organisation, an attribute that puts the ANC head and shoulders above all other parties. In the evolving socio-political terrain, this strength should be backed up by better utilisation of legislatures as high-profile defenders of ordinary people's interests, more creativity and relevance in its work among the new generation of citizens, better nuance and sophistication in relating to the emergent elite, and more discipline and authority in the ANC's articulation of its standpoint on critical issues.


All these considerations, and perhaps many others, are fundamental to the debate on national leadership as we prepare for the 52nd National Conference. In this critical period, the ANC cannot afford a situation in which the outcome in composing the National Executive Committee (NEC) including the Officials is left to chance, and thus more likely to become a product of machinations of forces outside of, or even inimical to, the movement.

Necessarily, we should ensure that the balances in the composition of the national leadership are informed by our immediate programmatic challenges.

But, in this period of a major transition, a period in which decisions we take will define the movement's personality for at least a decade, it is critical to appreciate that what we shall be putting in place are the stepping-stones towards a new evolutionary trajectory for the movement in its second century of existence.

General principles: Through the eye of a needle The constitutional requirements and culture of the movement in dealing with the issue of choosing leaders is comprehensively dealt with in the document, 'Through the Eye of a Needle' (Umrabulo 11). This document, prepared in the build-up to the 2002 National Conference, should be used as a basic resource. In brief, it deals with the following methodological and organisational issues:

  • It describes the character of the ANC as a revolutionary democratic movement which within itself should reflect the unitary, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist society that we seek to create.
  • It outlines the basic principles of organisational democracy that are fundamental to the character of the ANC, including elections, collective leadership, branches as basic units of the organisation, principles of consultation and mandates, criticism and self-criticism, and subordination of lower to higher structures.
  • It elaborates attributes that are expected of leaders including understanding and application of policy, self-improvement by learning from mistakes, avoiding populism, leading by example including revolutionary morality, and subjection to the will of the collective.
  • Its description of the political environment within which leadership election processes were taking place then is updated in earlier sections of the current document.

In terms of the ongoing challenges that individuals in leadership positions face, 'Through the Eye of a Needle' is instructive in identifying the following issues: "The struggle for social transformation is a complex undertaking in which at times, personal interests will conflict with the organisational interest. From time to time, conflict will manifest itself between and among members and leaders. The ultimate test of leadership includes:

  • "striving for convergence between personal interests - material, status and otherwise - and the collective interest;
  • "handling conflict in the course of ANC work by understanding its true origins and seeking to resolve it in the context of struggle and in the interest of the ANC;
  • "the ability to inspire people in good times and bad; to reinforce members' and society's confidence in the ANC and transformation; and
  • "winning genuine acceptance by the membership, not through suppression, threats or patronage, but by being principled, firm, humble and considerate."

'Through the Eye of a Needle' also places quite a high premium on the integrity of the democratic processes within the movement. This includes the fact that election processes start within the basic unit, the branch.

Where nominations are made, there should be clear motivation and discussion of such; and candidates for specific positions become such only when formal nomination has taken place and, in relation to national conferences, when the Electoral Commission has certified and confirmed such nomination (as distinct from speculation in, and lobbying through, the media). Such motivation and discussion should dispassionately factor in the performance of individuals and the collective as a whole during their term of office. Also critical are considerations of all-round capacity and development of the new cadres being proposed for leadership.

The document further warns against negative tendencies that have started to manifest themselves in the context of the ANC being in political office.

These include the danger of using positions with power of patronage to suppress debate or for individuals to censor themselves and hide their own genuine views to please 'seniors'; corrupt practices which include "buying" of ANC membership cards to load conferences with "voting cattle"; business interests sponsoring candidates so as corruptly to benefit when "their people" are in government; and an intense display of factionalism and even tribalism especially when government positions are at stake.

Overall leadership collective
How should all these issues - political and organisational - inform the process of selecting leaders going forward? In a sense, 'Through the Eye of a Needle' and the earlier parts of this current document do help in identifying the broad considerations for the election of a new National Executive Committee. However, as indicated at the beginning of this document, the 52nd National Conference in 2007 will need to address the question of the relationship between the Presidential transition in government (in 2009) and the constitution of the ANC's leadership in 2007.

Whatever permutation in terms of the Presidency of the ANC, a general point needs to be made in respect of the overall leadership collective:

  • The collective in its totality should reflect a better balance in terms of leadership in and outside government: the ANC is left the poorer when virtually all of its national leadership comes from one centre of power.
  • The NEC should include a fair representation of young people, and start to evince a better reflection of the generational and cultural changes happening within society as a whole: while this should naturally imply graduation of young cadres from the ranks of the Youth League, the reality is that a significant section of young cadres are either not part of or are alienated from the Youth League itself.
  • There is consensus within the movement that there should be better gender balance in the NEC, beyond the one-third achieved at the last National Conference: however, as to whether this should translate into a binding 50/50 constitutional requirement - thus ruling out and marginalising young male cadres - is a matter that should be further debated.
  • The trend in the past few years is that the NEC has evolved to consist of only the middle strata and business, a consequence of political incumbency and opening of opportunities in the private sector: it would be a travesty of its own express orientation if the ANC's national leadership does not include working class cadres.
  • Over the past few years, there has been a weakening in balanced racial demographics in leadership structures, a matter that needs to be consciously addressed: this is even starker in relation to the Nation Working Committee (NWC) which is made up only of Africans.

With regard to these and other issues, it will be critical as early as possible to start debating changes that may need to be introduced to the ANC Constitution in order to address a number of adjustments. For instance, consideration may need to be given to increasing the size of the NEC from the current upper limit of 93 provided for in the constitution (including at most 5 'co-optees') to a maximum of 120. This would help accommodate the following considerations:

  • 80 directly elected members plus 6 Officials,
  • if agreed, introduction of the 50/50 gender representation without necessarily displacing young male cadres who are acquitting themselves well in various capacities,
  • provision for 10 coopted members to allow for regional, demographic, class, governmental deployment and other balances,
  • four additional positions in the NEC reserved for individuals nominated by the trade union movement (COSATU), even if some trade union leaders may have been directly elected,
  • over time ensure that strategic political leadership positions in national government are occupied by elected or coopted NEC members, and the need for extended NEC meetings is reduced.

The Presidential transition
In respect of the ANC Presidency, two options present themselves: continuation of the current President as President of the ANC, or election of a new President. While strictly speaking this should be separated from considerations relating to Presidency of the Republic, it is unavoidable that decisions taken would have to take the 2009 scenario into account.

For reasons outlined below, the decision should therefore be taken as a package, with the following options:

  • Option I: the current ANC President is elected to continue and a Deputy President is also elected. In this consideration, the question regarding the President and Deputy President of the Republic in 2009 would be left open. The Deputy President of the ANC could become the country's President (Option Ia) or someone else selected through the list process (Option Ib), and that person would select their Deputy President in government.
  • Option II: a new ANC President is elected and a Deputy President also elected. A consideration in many cadres' minds and the public perception would be that the ANC President would become the movement's 2009 Presidential candidate. In 2009, the ANC Deputy President (Option IIa) or anyone else (Option IIb) would be appointed as Deputy President of the country.

What are the pros and cons of each option? Attached to these are general conceptual issues as well as, unavoidably, matters that relate to personalities and all kinds of sensibilities.

If Option I is adopted, the following issues will need to be addressed in order to deal with the disadvantages:

  • There will be a need very clearly and very firmly, possibly as a resolution of National Conference, to assert that the ANC is not considering amending the country's Constitution to provide for a third term. * While unconventional and not provided for in the ANC constitution and processes, the NEC may wish earlier than the list processes to designate the ANC Deputy President (or whoever else) as the movement's candidate in the 2009 elections, and ask branches to endorse.
  • The experience of some countries, in particular Tanzania, is that, due to pressures of time, and the fact that a former state President is required to fulfil intense functions beyond the country itself and to develop a profile broader than the political party, they are forced after a few years to relinquish the party position. In this instance, this could be allowed to happen after the 2009 elections (with the proviso that in 2007, the ANC Constitution can be amended to allow for the ANC Deputy President to act as President until the next Conference or NGC).



Some implications of the Options
In addition to the observations above, the following needs to be kept in mind:

  • For both options, there will be a need to reflect on the issue of continuity in government, particularly at the senior-most level within the Presidency. Although this is a matter that will be decided upon by the new President of the Republic, and will depend in part on the outcome of National Conference, the point needs to be made that total discontinuity may negatively impact upon the implementation of government policies.
  • For Option II, a consideration will need to be given to formalising and ensuring implementation of the decision of the movement that a former President takes active part as an ex-officio member of the collective of Officials, NWC and NEC. Consideration can also be given to electing a former President, in this case at the 2007 National Conference, as Chairperson of the ANC. This would help restore the status of this office as the custodian of ANC decisions, an impartial centre that can play a role of "speaker" and "ombuds". Other considerations may include: introducing a 2-term limit for the ANC Presidency; and formation of a Council of Elders to put to good use the wisdom of senior experienced leaders not located in formal structures.

Both options imply the emergence of a new leadership team at the highest level: new state President and/or new ANC President and the possibility of new Deputy Presidents in both the ANC and government. The membership of the movement will therefore be called upon to take momentous decisions on choices of individuals. Naturally, this should be left to the democratic process; but this does not equate to leaving such crucial matters to chance.

The argument in this discussion document is that the following should be kept in mind as these processes unfold:

  • The characterisation of the current balance of forces, the trajectory of the NDR and realignments in the class structure of our society should determine what personality the ANC defines for itself. The senior-most leadership identified, weighed and finally elected should be the foremost expression of this personality.
  • The qualities of leadership described in 'Through the Eye of a Needle' apply even more to those who will be required to occupy the pinnacle of responsibilities within the ANC and in government.
  • In deciding this vexed question, the movement also has to ensure that it does not limit itself to considerations of intellectual capacity, style of work and public profile that it has become used to in the current milieu.

Continuity should be encouraged. But the recent history and current experience of the movement's Presidency (Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki) does show that, working as a collective, the movement is able to adapt to and utilise to maximum effect the unique attributes and value addition that a given personality brings to this responsibility.


It is a matter of principle and convention that matters relating to election of leadership are managed internally and at the appropriate time within our ranks. Their resolution is the responsibility of branches and ultimately delegates at the National Conference. However, this does not mean that the ANC should leave the field open to cultivation by others - mainly forces outside of, or opposed to, the movement.

Issues raised in this document pertaining to the trajectory of the NDR including organisational renewal should be canvassed in the context of the drafting of the new Strategy and Tactics document. As early as possible, as part of preparations for the National Policy Conference, the broader issues canvassed in this document should be introduced into debates within the branches. At the same time, ways should be found to manage the broader public discourse, and avoid shallow, personality-driven and sensationalist treatment of these critical matters.

This is a discussion document prepared by the Political Education Committee of the ANC National Executive Committee.


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