29/06/2017 11:46 SAST | Updated 29/06/2017 11:46 SAST

Renewing And Redesigning The ANC: What To Expect

These are some of the major topics for discussion at the ANC's policy conference on how it can bring about organisational renewal and recover lost ground.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Supporters of the African National Congress chant slogans during ANC president Jacob Zuma's election campaign in Atteridgeville a township located to the west of Pretoria, South Africa July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

One of the big topics of discussion at the ANC's national policy conference will be organisational renewal and design – major issues the party has said are crucial to preventing further losses when South Africa goes to the polls in 2019.

Here are some of the main points on the cards for discussion:

  1. Is there a risk of organisational paralysis?

The discussion document postulates a view that the conditions under which the ANC operates have changed and, therefore, the party must essentially "adapt or die". There is a need for a comprehensive review of the party's structural and organisational design to address critical weaknesses in the party.

  1. The party's strengths and weaknesses.

Although the ANC still enjoys the majority vote, it lost three major metros in the last local government elections and suffered a significant drop to 54.5% of the total national electoral votes. The party will have to prioritise deep introspection and come to a resolution of challenges of governance, political management and factional battles for power.

  1. Furthering the revolution and going back to the core manifesto.

The ANC has always promoted itself as a party driving social change to rectify the oppressive policies of apartheid. Since the ANC came into power, the number of black capitalists has grown significantly, but the process of transformation for a majority of black people has been slow and tentative. The party is expected to discuss ways to forward radical economic transformation and deracialise the ownership of South African businesses in an attempt to recover lost ground.

  1. How to achieve organizational renewal.

The ANC will seek to re-establish itself as a liberation movement, rooted among the people of South Africa. But this will be difficult. To make this happen, the ANC will have to review the configuration of its branches and the roles of its regional and provincial structures; reaffirm its alliance with its support structures, including the Youth, Women's and Veterans' Leagues; and screen future ANC cadres to root out corruption.

  1. Going forward.

Some of the recommendations for party renewal will focus on resolving the mistakes already made. It was recommended the ANC conduct a "massive" skills audit at all levels and that the ANC's election process be reviewed to allow for "open contest and transparency". The party will also consider reviewing the current branch system, allowing for sectoral and institutional branches as well as the current territorially-based branch structures.

The ANC's 5th policy conference will commence on Friday at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.