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ANC leadership battle is over, now we must build a better life for all

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The ANC has always fashioned itself as ‘leaders of society’, and if they want to truly live up to that billing then it’s time to get back to basics for the ruling party, says Dr Iqbal Survé.

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

By Dr Iqbal Survé.

As the dust settles on the ANC National Elective Conference, attention must now rapidly turn to fixing the raft of challenges facing South Africa.

While the leadership battle for the ANC was often bruising, it did represent democracy in its truest sense.

Candidates from the ruling party campaigned and contested, branches voted bravely, in some instances independently from their provincial and regional structures – make no mistake about it, this was democracy in action.

For democracy to thrive and strengthen, it requires contestation. Contestation of ideas, values and view-points.

A one sided democracy is a dictatorship.

In the end, as in most battles, there is a winner and a loser. Both sides however must realise now that if they do not move swiftly in the coming months to consolidate the ANC, then they face bleak prospects of success in the next general election.

The ANC has always fashioned themselves as ‘leaders of society’. If they want to truly live up to that billing then it’s time to get back to basics for the ruling party.

Picture: ANC Top 7 – Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

After all, this is the party of Mandela, Tambo, Sisulu, Kathrada, Goldberg, Slovo, Hani, Kriel, Maxeke, Madikizela-Mandela, Shope, Nyembe, Ngoyi and many, many more giants of the liberation movement.

The traditional values of the ANC, once the gold standard around the world, are slowly being eroded. Unity within the party is at an all time low and the movement is struggling to connect with young people.

However, every crisis represents opportunity. All factions of the ANC must surely recognise the importance of uniting the party now, failing which, this generation of leaders will go down in history as the generation that collapsed Africa’s oldest liberation movement.

The immediate task of the newly elected ‘Top 7’ and National Executive Committee (NEC) has to be unity and cohesion underpinned by the movement’s historical mission to create ‘a better life for all’.

A better life not just for members of the ANC, but a better life for all South Africans.

The party and country needs decisive leadership. President Cyril Ramaphosa must take up the mandate given to him by branches of the ANC, and lead.

The country is teetering on the brink of a failed state. We face an unprecedented energy crisis. Municipalities around the country are falling apart. There is rampant corruption ravaging government departments and the scourge of crime and gender-based violence spiralling out of control.

South Africa needs a strong governing party.

Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Millions of South Africans are depending on the ANC.

The country requires a sustained period of stability that will usher in economic prosperity for our citizens and create opportunities for our young people.

Now is the time for the ANC to prove to South Africa that it can be the leader of society, that it is capable of leading and that it can create a better life for all.

Dr Survé is Sekunjalo group chairman.