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12/12/2017 10:04 SAST | Updated 12/12/2017 10:10 SAST

Dear Delegate: We Have Much Work To Do To Fix The ANC -- Jessie Duarte

"The ANC took a wrong turn when we allowed our movement to be led by a combination of business and labour."

Jessie Duarte, Gwede Mantashe, Baleka Mbethe, President Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize during the 104th ANC birthday celebration rally on January 09, 2016 at the Royal Bafokeng stadium.
Felix Dlangamandla/ Foto24/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images
Jessie Duarte, Gwede Mantashe, Baleka Mbethe, President Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize during the 104th ANC birthday celebration rally on January 09, 2016 at the Royal Bafokeng stadium.

As you pack for the conference, along with any chronic medication you need, please pack your National Policy Conference discussion notes and then remember that your branch mandate is sacrosanct.

Our country has great potential and we also have the most wonderful history of resilience at times of real need. We now need to use our strength as a movement to ensure that we take a giant leap forward and embark on radical economic transformation.

This idea is written in all our strategy and tactics documents and is the very essence of what a national democratic revolution is: to transform this country into a nonracial, nonsexist, united, democratic and prosperous one.

So, what will we debate at the conference? It is the content of how much we have to sacrifice to achieve an economy that is inclusive and how we will use all our assets as a nation to grow this economy. One idea that has been put forward is that we find private equity partners for some of our state-owned enterprises.

It is urgent that we return the land to our people with a proper land-use plan in place, as well as provision for support to new farmers and agricultural industrialists. Let us not stop there.

The comfort zone of the monopoly capitalists in retail and in finance must be challenged and give room to black ownership of banks and financial institutions. The idea that only foreigners can manage safe and secure investments has long been debunked

Our revolution has content and the primary purpose of the ANC is to transform our society.

We have much work to do to fix our organisation, which is overly burdened with politics of personalities and the cult of personalities, let us choose solid leaders who are rooted in the community and know the needs of our people. The ANC took a wrong turn when we allowed our movement to be led by a combination of business and labour.

Both these sectors are as symbiotic as they are they inward-looking. It is a leadership of rivals who agree on one thing: to make money.

Our revolution has content and the primary purpose of the ANC is to transform our society. Poor people need houses, education, good healthcare. They don't want handouts but need jobs and good education.

Poor people need to be secure and know that they will be cared for and that they are making a contribution to society. We have a country to build and to provide the infrastructure that will last for centuries.

Daniel Born/ The Times/ Gallo Images /Getty Images
The ANC's top six leaders Zweli Mkhize (treasurer); Cyril Ramaphosa (deputy president); Jacob Zuma (president); Baleka Mbete (chairperson); Gwede Mantashe (secretary-general) and Jessie Duarte (deputy secretary-general) after their election at the ANCs elective conference on December 18, 2012 in Mangaung, South Africa.

We have a nation to build of solid citizens who despise crime and corruption. Let us say with one voice: Zero-tolerance on corruption and corrupt people.

** Jessie Duarte is the ANC deputy secretary-general