18/12/2017 11:46 SAST | Updated 18/12/2017 16:39 SAST

Mantashe: 'We Don't Want To Be Relegated To A Rural Party'

Mantashe said state capture is real and that the ANC must not find itself on the back foot when addressing the issue.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

The ANC's organisational report focuses holistically on challenges facing the party, including state capture, corruption and the loss of support ahead of the 2019 national election.

In his final briefing as the ANC's secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said state capture was real and that the ANC must not find itself on the back foot when addressing the issue.

Asked questions about the lead-up to the national elections, Mantashe said the ANC did not want to be "relegated to a rural party".

"You want us to come to you and say the ANC is finished now and will disappear after 2019... Where we have lost ground we want to regain the lost ground... We don't want to be relegated to a rural party. We want to regain the metros and we want to be a strong ANC. We cant have doubts about 2019," he said.

"Every organisation grows, peaks, matures and when it matures it stagnates and it declines... We want a better ANC because a better ANC is good for the country. The ANC is recognised as a trailblazer and as a leader in society and we must not take that for granted."

He said state capture was a debate that continued to divide the party.

"It divides us but it imposes a responsibility on the leadership of the ANC to engage in that debate. It is there, we can hide our head and says it doesn't exist; it exists. The ANC cannot be seen to be back-footed on the matter," he said.

"Slate politics weakens an organisation, it marginalises good activism, it makes the organisation have a narrow pool of leadership."

Mantashe did not read the full organisational report. It will be released to the media later today.