JOHANNESBURG, July 3 – African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma believes his party will emerge stronger after the 5th national policy conference (NPC) taking place at the Nasrec Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg, with strong recommendations for the party’s December national conference.
On Monday, after a walkabout at in the exhibition centre, Zuma told journalists that the debates by delegates at the NPC had been frank and impressive.
“It [the conference] is going on absolutely very well. We are very happy and we believe that the ANC, as always, when challenges are there, it rises to the challenges. I think that’s what this conference is doing. It is rising to challenges that are current,” said Zuma.
“I think we are rising to the occasion.”
Zuma said the ANC branch members, who form the majority of the delegates at the conference, were discussing “any issue that we think of”.
“This policy conference is going very well. I think anyone will agree when we say the results are going to be wonderful and the recommendations to the national conference in December are going to take us very far forward. ANC branches are debating, they are debating any issue that we think of. We also looked at ourselves, the situation of the movement, and we we have been very frank about it – as always,” said Zuma.
“This policy conference is, in a sense, looking for solutions to challenges that face us, and we are crafting them as we discuss. For example, what can we do to ensure that all our resolutions, policies and programmes are implemented? There is a very strong focus on that one because we realise that in the implementation side there are some hitches.”
An enthusiastic Zuma said he was captivated by the quality of debate at the policy conference.
“We had a good start and also the good size [numbers of delegates] as you have seen. We are proud. We are big, we are a big organization and we have delegates that are there. The opening was absolutely wonderful and thereafter we discussed the documents that had been presented up to yesterday [Sunday],” Zuma said while briefly addressing journalists during his walkabout in the Nasrec Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg.
“What impressed me more is the quality of the debate, I think it has gone up particularly if you listen to the stalwarts, the youth in particular and the delegates in general. They are really focused and I think up to yesterday we discussed all the things we wanted to discuss. The fact that this time we had more days [for the conference] gave us an opportunity to have more debate, so there is more clarity, time to clarify issues.”
Zuma did not take any questions after his interaction with the media, and was escorted away by several bodyguards.
Security remained tight at the ANC event, with numerous bodyguards escorting senior government officials, and police officers screening people entering the premises.
– African News Agency (ANA)