The ANC's survival relies on finding its moral compass and reclaiming its good standing in society, the party's Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile said.
He said he does not want to see a leadership that cannot make decisions because cadres are "full of fear".
"What has been worse is a leadership that is scared, full of fear and can't make decisions. We do nothing, we don't want to elect such people when we go to that conference. We want leaders who must display a high level of integrity, honesty and discipline," he said, while addressing ANC delegates at the Gauteng Provincial General Council at the Saint George's Hotel in Irene on Friday evening.
"We want leaders who must prioritise the people at all times and not use their office for personal enrichment. We want leaders who are going to protect our state from state capture."
The meeting will be held over three days and the province is expected to nominate its preferred leadership and discuss ANC policy ahead of the party's national conference in two weeks.
"(National conference) is held at a time when the ANC is engulfed by an ever-deepening crisis. As delegates we need therefore to remind ourselves of the journey we have traveled so far. For us to continue to not only survive, but reclaim the ANC's good standing, we need to find our moral compass and not stray from the cause," he said.
"There have been a lot of problems in the ANC and the manner in which, in the past months, we have been dealing with issues of leadership...that does not encourage unity and cohesion. If we continue along this self-destructive trajectory, the ANC will be the loser."
Mashatile said the ANC needs leaders who will protect the state from "capture".