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Zuma: The Boks have a winning spirit, like the ANC

The president was speaking at a dinner ahead of the ANC’s National General Council in Midrand today.

President Zuma was speaking at a Presidential dinner ahead of the ANC’s National General Council (NGC). Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says policies from opposition parties cannot even compare to the policies from the African National Congress (ANC), which is why investing in the ruling party is a wise choice.

Zuma was speaking at a Presidential dinner ahead of the ANC's National General Council (NGC), which kicks off at Gallagher Estate in Midrand today.

Hundreds of delegates arrived at Gallagher Estate in formal attire, with a red carpet leading them into the banquet hall where a three-course meal was served.

The NGC has the power to suggest new agencies or means of achieving policy objectives.

Zuma says, as a politician, he's had insight into policies from other parties.

"I've not found policies that can compare to those of the African National Congress about the future."

He says the ANC has created opportunities and it's a winning party, comparing it to South Africans national rugby team.

In isiZulu, he told delegates, "How many did the Springboks score, 64! They've got a winning spirit, like the ANC. Absolutely! Because ANC is the winning party."

Zuma says the NGC is an important gathering, where the ruling party can reflect on the past and ensure it doesn't fail in the future.

The ANC's NGC is expected to focus on transforming the economy, attracting investment and creating jobs.

Zuma says it's an important gathering where the ruling party can analyse where it has gone wrong and focus on what it needs to do in order to be better.

POWER DYNAMICS

There are more than 4,000 delegates attending this conference, and more than 2,000 of them are ordinary branch members.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says economic policy and its effect on the broader population will be thoroughly debated.

"How does this policy impact jobs, how does that job impact poverty or inequality? That's what members of the ANC will be asking. We have a responsibility as leadership to simplify complex economic concepts to make them understand."

While the party says the congress is not about leadership, ANC Women's League treasure Maite Nkoane-Mashabane says their position is clear.

"We're not even shy to say this is about time that South Africa will be very proud to have first female president."

Nkoane-Mashabane says she resents the perception that the so-called 'premier league' influences them.

"They must please not insult us. That's an insult because we're adults, and we're leaders in our own right. We fought for this freedom together with others."

On the surface, the ANC goes into this event less divided than in the past. In 2005, the division between then president Thabo Mbeki and now president Zuma, was stark.

In 2010, Zuma won a huge battle with Julius Malema that led to Malema eventually being expelled from the ANC.

But there are still complicated power dynamics at play within the party.

The premier league of three premiers appears to be gaining ground, and some provinces may try to fight back.

Then there's the relationship between Zuma and Mantashe, which appears that they don't seem as close as they were once were.

But many people will simply be watching for any hints of who could take over from Zuma in 2017.

'INVEST IN THE ANC'

Zuma has placed a strong emphasis on attracting investment, in order to help grow the economy, during very difficult financial times across the globe.

He says economies across the world are facing difficult times, but the ANC's objective is to transform South Africa's economy and create decent jobs.

"This requires the economy to grow faster. Government is clearly committed to improving the investment climate."

Zuma says the country also needs to position itself for African growth.

"Business people should position themselves for African growth, which is going to be massive for a very long time."

The president investing in the ANC is a wise choice.

"If you don't invest in the ANC, the business is in danger."

The president says the NGC will reflect on what the ANC has done, and what it can do in order to succeed.