ANC president Jacob Zuma has called for unity within the fragile tripartite alliance, saying the nature of the alliance been characterised by hatred and those wishing to service particular agendas.
Addressing hundreds of delegates at the party’s National Policy Conference in Johannesburg on Friday, Zuma said conveyors of negative messages about the ruling party which brought the two decade alliance to the brink of destruction. The alliance comprises the ANC, SACP and Cosatu.
“The unity of the alliance must be protected at all costs and must not be under undermined by sectarian agendas and personal hatred,” he said.
Zuma’s utterances come as the relationship between the ANC, Cosatu and SACP continued to worsen as leaders of the alliance have continuously taken swipes against one another on public platforms.
The president highlighted that that one of the main challenges that the party is currently grappling with is how some senior leaders have engaged in irresponsible messaging through various media platforms, which have had a negative impact on the economy.
“The challenge is that irresponsible messaging by our own people has had a negative impact on the economy…factionalism is a cancer that needs to be rooted out. We need to cleanse ourselves on these negative tendencies that have crept in over the years,” he said.
In an unprecedented move triggered by divisions within the party, the 2017 ANC Policy Conference is scheduled to last over a period of five days.
Some of the key issues discussed will look at Radical Economic Transformation as well as Land Expropriation Without Compensation.
Highlighting some of the gains that have been made in recent years, Zuma said the party prides itself on the growth of the middle class, and through its Black Economic Empowerment policy, the aim will be to broaden the policy which will enable it to reach more people within the next five years.
He added that the conference needs to reflect on the pace of the implementation of ANC programmes. One of these is to ensure that the youth gains access to better economic opportunities through the provision of quality, free and affordable education.
“In 2007, we resolved that free higher education for the poor up to undergraduate level must be made possible. Everyone has the right to a basic education which, through reasonable measures must be made accessible,” said Zuma.