Mantashe speaks of party consciousness

Gwede Mantashe said the ANC was not immune to the problems that face all organisations.

ANC Secretary General Mantashe.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe on Friday said the party's policy discussion documents showed that any organisation, including his party, can disappear if it does not get a kick start from time to time.

ANC policy head Jeff Radebe said there will be no 'holy cows' during next week's policy conference.

Mantashe said the ANC was not immune to problems that faced all organisations.

"What do we need to do to ensure that ownership translates into benefits that accrue to societies and communities."

Radebe, however, said there will be robust discussions next week.

"There will be contesting views and opinions. Only the power of persuasion can carry the day."

He said issues around land, mines and the economy will be on the table.

Radebe added the ANC was considering giving more powers to local government.

He said the ANC needed to deploy stronger leaders to local councils.

"As the National Executive Committee we need to have a paradigm shift of ensuring that local government is a very important sphere of government."

He said municipalities need to do more.

"We need to give more powers to local government such as housing and public transport."

Many provinces are plagued by service delivery problems over the last few years.

Mantashe's comments come in response to South African Communist Party (SACP) Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Cronin's criticism on the document.

Cronin said he does not believe the ANC policy document around what the party calls the second transition, is the best starting point for a debate on real transformation.

Cronin criticised the document in an evalation on the SACP's website, ahead of the ANC's policy conference next week.

In his critique he said the ANC's document overplayed some of the successes of the first transition after the majority attained political power in 1994.

Cronin believes the document can be improved, "You can't separate the challenges and the failures on the social and economic front - you can't separate those from the question of the imperative of looking at political power and transforming it."