National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Comrade Baleka Mbete, has set the tone of the 5th National Policy Conference currently underway at the Nasrec Expo Centre in the south of Johannesburg. Speaking during the opening session of Conference, Mbete reminded delegates that the Conference is held during the year the ANC has dedicated to the memory of liberation giant and former President General Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo and that this should serve to urge delegates to deepen unity within the organisation.
‘I call upon all of us comrades, as we go in and out of here, as we go up and down the precinct, to remember that we must unite in how we conduct ourselves as cadres of the movement. Even in the songs that we sing we must unite our movement’, Mbete said.
Mbete further called on the delegates to remember the voice of the people. ‘We have heard our people. Bakhulumile abantu. Abantu bakhuluma ngokusithanda, bakhuluma nangentukuthelo (the people have spoken. They have spoken of their love for us but they have also spoken of their irritation with us)”, Mbete said.
She asked that ‘in everything comrades do in this conference they must remember the sound of the voices of the people. Outcomes of this conference must show that we are a listening organisation, Mbete emphasized. ‘This is an organisation of Oliver Tambo who taught us how to love one another, to be humble, while being steadfast in our convictions and beliefs in the values of the organisation’.
In her remarks the National Chairperson emphasized the importance of ensuring that the ANC emerges from the conference united.
“The movement must be united to make our former leaders like Oliver Tambo and those that came before us proud. We must be disciplined throughout this conference and delegates must desist from singing divisive songs. Unity is very important for the ANC” said National Chairperson, Ms Baleka Mbete.
The ANC National Policy Conference is being attended by delegates from ANC branches from all nine provinces across the country. The conference is taking place from 30 June to 5 July 2017.
President Jacob Zuma in his opening address further emphasized unity and appealed to delegates to discuss the issues frankly and help the ANC to dicisively address them to accelerate the people’s struggle.