Delegates at the Gauteng ANC Policy Conference were reminded of the importance of engaging with the party's policies ahead of the national conference next week with provincial ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile discouraging factionalism and slate politics.
Mashatile instead said they should strive for a consensus when it comes to the 105-year-old liberation movement's succession debate.
He warned that the winner takes all approach could lead to the destruction of the ANC and posed a danger of the party losing the 2019 general elections.
He delivered a political overview at the provincial policy conference on Friday evening in Irene, where he stressed the need for party members to concern themselves about the ANC's policies.
The ANC in the province has yet to discuss, let alone communicate their preferred candidate to take over the political party when President Jacob Zuma steps down in December.
However delegates used song and jokes to express their preferences throughout the first evening.
"Si hamba no Cyril [We are with Cyril Ramaphosa]," was the song of choice for many gathered at the St George's hotel.
Attempts by some including the Ekurhuleni chairperson and mayor Mzwandile Masina to sing about Zuma were repeatedly drowned by those in support of Ramaphosa.
Almost giving a glimpse into his own ambitions and what people are saying about him, Mashatile jokingly said some, himself included had been approached about taking up positions in the national executive committee (NEC), he is currently there as an ex-officio member due to his position as chairperson.
"I can tell you comrades that the PEC [Provincial Executive Committee] is of the view that some of us have been there for too long, they are saying some of us must go help the NEC," he said to loud applause
"I only know that I am one of them.
"SG I am not campaigning, just telling you what the PEC is saying," he laughingly said to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
But in between the singing and jokes Mashatile urged his comrades to use this period to define leadership and manage it within their structures. An exercise which needed to be guided by the ANC's Through the Eye of the Needle document, he said.
"Rather than we be obsessed with names, we should define the characteristics that a leader of the ANC must possess," said Mashatile.
Strengthening Luthuli House
Mashatile said some of the considerations which will be discussed over the weekend include a comprehensive policy on leadership with enforcement measures which can be utilised, when dealing with the issue of leadership.
He also said they needed to strengthen the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters in order to make it a strategic centre of power.
"Discussions are that more people should be sent to strengthen Luthuli house," he said.
These would include a second deputy president and two additional deputy secretary generals. Although Mashatile emphasised that these were not resolutions adopted by the province yet, it was just discussions.
He also said the way members of the party were selected to be public representatives was often a cause for contention in the party and that the thinking was that a revolutionary electoral college would assist in circumventing the issue. -- News24