Former South African president Thabo Mbeki says the ruling African National Congress (ANC) needs to renew itself if it wants to regain the trust of all South Africans to vote for it in the forthcoming municipal elections in November.Speaking during a meeting with businesspeople and professionals on the ANC’s local government election manifesto in the commercial capital Johannesburg, Mbeki said the party had made promises to the people, but the pledges were not delivered due to alleged corruption among its members in the organisation.
“The population is losing trust in the organisation. The programmes of the movement which are being announced are not implemented. This is because the ANC is being identified with corruption,” Mbeki said.
He added: “The 2017 party conference said there must be renewal of the organisation so that the ANC becomes what it ought to be.”
But people were now becoming members of the ANC for the wrong reasons, particularly wanting to advance their personal interests and for self-enrichment, he said.
It was, therefore, not possible to entrust this “degenerated” membership with the important task of choosing councillors, the former president said.
“How do you entrust an organisation like that, which is not renewed, with the task of producing the candidates that we want? You can’t,” he added.
He said that the renewal process of the ANC was necessary – but it was going to be painful as a lot of people would be heavily affected.
The renewal process would, among others, leave people by the wayside, especially those who were not of the calibre the party wanted, Mbeki said.
South Africa votes on 1 November to elect ward councillors and city mayors.