Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo says the ANC will have to be challenged, or "given a fight for its money" before it can "get it right".
In an exclusive interview with Business Day, Obasanjo said there was a general leadership problem in South Africa and Nigeria that was preventing the two economies from driving their subregions on the continent.
He reportedly said strong governing and opposition parties were important to make countries work.
Obasanjo is in the country to launch a book he co-authored with Greg Mills, director of the Brenthurst Foundation called "Making Africa Work: A Handbook for Economic Success."
Obasanjo told Business Day that liberation movements risked becoming irrelevant if they did not "convert themselves".
"Here, I don't really know what is going on because the ANC is the majority party. You will not get it right until the ANC can be given a good fight for their money... Because of the governance problems that you have, it flows into the management of the economy, the confidence in the economy. If you go out on the streets now, you will see posters – what type of posters do you see?" he said.
"All I know is that in SA and in Nigeria, we must get our houses in order, we must act as we should act because we must be powerhouses to drive the subregions that we are in – the Southern African Development Community for SA and the Economic Community of West African States for Nigeria," he said.
He reportedly also said that improved leadership was needed on the continent in general.
"A leader is meant to lead and once a leader is engaged in anything that adversely affects their job of leading, then their leadership is impaired."