“Instead of drowning us in times of trouble, I urge you to help us,” Mbalula said, acknowledging that the ANC still relies on the veterans’ wisdom and experience to drive programs aimed at revitalizing the party.
In recent times, some veterans have openly criticized the party and its leadership on public platforms. Former President Thabo Mbeki and other senior leaders have been vocal about their concerns regarding the leadership vacuum and the ANC’s performance in the previous municipal elections.
During his speech, Mbalula also took the opportunity to address what he called “lazy ministers” appointed by the ANC to government positions, as well as “defiant members.”
He cited the performance of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in handling the crisis at entities like Eskom and Transnet, warning that decisive action would be taken if progress was not made.
Clarifying his earlier statements about Gordhan, Mbalula emphasized that they were intended as a call to action for all ministers and not an indication of potential recall.
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“We have taken decisive action against some of our appointees who treat their responsibilities as a never-ending party. Those who defy the movement’s instructions must understand that our patience is not limitless. The ANC’s organizational culture is rooted in democratic centralism,” he explained to the veterans’ conference.
Mbalula stressed the importance of adhering to democratic decisions within the party, as majority views must be respected. He highlighted the need for compliance with decisions taken by higher structures of the organization.
In his political report, ANCVL National Task Team Convenor, Snuki Zikalala, called for an immediate resolution to the socio-economic challenges confronting the ANC, such as infrastructure issues, poverty, and load shedding.
Zikalala urged the veterans to rally behind the party in tackling these issues and upholding the rule of law. ANC Women’s League National Executive Committee member Pemmy Majodina expressed support for the ANCVL, seeking guidance from the veterans’ structure as the women’s league underwent its revival phase.
The ANC Youth League Secretary-General, Mntuwoxolo Ngudle, reminded the veterans of the ongoing struggles faced by the country’s youth in the post-colonial era.
He proposed industrializing the South African economy and developing industrial policies as potential solutions to address youth unemployment. Cosatu echoed Mbalula’s call for decisive action by the government in fulfilling its promises ahead of the upcoming elections.
The organization agreed that the alliance must take action against those who tarnish the ANC’s reputation.The three-day conference will conclude on Sunday, July 30, with discussions aimed at finding solutions to the party’s challenges and revitalizing its mission.