Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma says the ANC will emerge from the policy conference much stronger and with solutions.
He was giving his keynote address at the ANC’s fundraising gala dinner in Nasrec on Thursday night.
Zuma, who arrived alongside his wife thanked the private sector for its continued support.
“While the ANC has sound policies, we must use the Policy Conference to find mechanisms to accelerate their effective implementation. That will be our main focus, to say how we can effectively implement our good policies,” he said, adding that despite the internal organisational challenges the movement faces, it was determined to attend address these challenges.
“We have set aside two days to focus on organisational renewal. South Africa needs a strong, united and focused ANC, and we have a duty to ensure that we resolve all challenges that hinder the ANC from fully fulfilling its role as the leader of society.”
He also said the ruling party had made significant strides in providing service delivery but added it had more work to do.
Meanwhile, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said the presidential gala dinner was a platform for businessman and women to continue supporting the ruling party.
“Tonight is about interacting with stakeholders who have supported us,” Mkhize said. He wouldn’t be drawn into revealing the cost of hosting the evening, which he says took a few weeks to organise, or the cost of the tables – which can go for millions depending on where you’re sitting.
“We’ve encouraged people to give what they can,” he said.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was not in attendance as he was deployed to attend the funeral of late former Botswana President Ketumile Masire.
But all eyes will be on the real business on Friday when the conference kicks off.
The conference is billed as the biggest and most important gathering where ANC members will deliberate on the party’s policies.
Analysts have warned that the policy conference is also likely to be overshadowed by the succession debate and other issues such as State Capture.
Those who attended the dinner included, among others, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantshe, Minister of Women Susan Shabangu, Cosatu President S’dumo Dlamini and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzo Zokwana.