The ANC’s head of policies, Jeff Radebe, has urged party members in Nelson Mandela Bay to organise themselves as an effective opposition in order to win back the metro in 2021.
Radebe was addressing ANC delegates at a workshop to discuss its policy documents at the Opera House in Port Elizabeth.
He said the ANC was formed as an opposition to apartheid and that is where it learned to govern.
“We must learn to mobilise ourselves as an opposition in Nelson Mandela Bay,” Radebe said.
He said the party also lost ground in the municipal elections because it did not respect its internal democratic practices.
On policy proposals, Radebe encouraged ANC members to be robust and focus on the party’s renewal documents.
“We release these documents to the public. We do so with full knowledge that if we do not address our deepening challenges, we will not be able to gain back the trust of our people and these policies with programmes that follow will be nothing,” he said.
Radebe said for the party to change its operational machinery, it also needed to change in order to meet the new challenges.
“We must act as both the national liberation movement as well as the political party in order to attain the goals of national democratic revolution,” he said.
“I think we have not focused much energy on that prosperous part of the NDR.”
Radebe also outlined certain dangers that the organisation was facing that needed to be corrected.
He mentioned the social distance and isolation of leadership from the masses.
Radebe said: “Since 1994 many of us have been involved in government. At times we did not get enough time to be back to our roots, community and constituency, but we must avoid giving that distance between ourselves and the masses of our people.”
Radebe also touched on the issue of corruption.
“Whether it is real or perceived, our opposition parties are sitting on this issue of corruption. We should be relentless and unapologetic in condemning corruption whenever it raises its ugly head.”
Party members had an opportunity to engage Radebe on the proposals he outlined and the challenges they have experienced at branch levels.