Former president Kgalema Motlanthe believes that if the ruling party, the ANC, continues to ignore its people, it faces becoming irrelevant, according to a report in the City Press.
Motlanthe was speaking at a consultative conference of the ANC at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth over the weekend.
The ANC has seen its national support decline from 61.9% in 2011 to 53.9% in the 2016 local municipal elections; while the DA climbed from 23.9% in 2011 to 26.9% in 2016; and the EFF obtained 8.2% of the vote.
The DA also obtained power in three key metros, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, in Port Elizabeth.
“Renewal cannot be just tampering with the structures. It means we must think very deeply about what the challenges are that our people face today. The ANC exists for one purpose only, and that is to address the problems of our people.
“If it [the ANC] is no longer addressing the problems of our people, we might as well begin writing the obituary of the ANC,” Motlanthe said.
Motlanthe reportedly noted that organisations also “rise and fall” in line with the rule of nature.
“Nothing is static. Nothing is permanent. That is why, when you are elected, you must understand that the platform of leadership that you have is not permanent.
“You serve in that capacity because members say so. Renewal must therefore be a function of understanding where we are, where we are heading to and what the challenges are,” he said.
The former president warned that the ruling party can nolonger rely on its struggle credentials, to take it forward.
“The minute we fail to adapt to the concrete conditions and the challenges of today, the organisation becomes irrelevant. And people realise they can continue with their lives and have progress without the ANC.
“That would be the end of [the ANC].”
“If we come together like this and we spend 80% of our time singing and glorifying the past, we will emerge with nothing.
“We will emerge from here not with any clarity, but with more confusion. There is no substitute to identifying the real problems,” Motlanthe said.
The full article is contained in the 18 September edition of the City Press