News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
6 Jul 2017
5:10 am

Mthembu urges ANC to look after the people

Steven Tau

He says the party was born to be of service to the citizens of SA.

ANC Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu. Photo: Supplied

The ANC has to move quickly to deal with internal divisions and start improving the living conditions of citizens, says Jackson Mthembu, chairperson of the subcommittee on communications.

Speaking at the ANC’s national policy conference which ended yesterday, Mthembu stressed that the ANC was born to be of service to the people.

“Unfortunately, there are these things that have divided us internally, that have now derailed us from this important aspect of what we were born for and what we are,” said Mthembu.

“It is for this reason that we say we must remove all those things that are subjective weaknesses in the organisation so that the message of the ANC should stick to bettering the lives of our people and nothing else – not factions in the ANC, not disunity in the ANC, not disunity in the broader movement, the alliance, but we all have to go back to that aspect of bettering the lives of our people, unfortunately we have off-ramped from that aspect.

“We have dealt with those issues here in the last couple of days and the NEC will continue to deal with those subjective weaknesses so that we come back and start spreading a message.

“That message must resonate with our people … it must be a message that asks what steps we are taking to better the lives of all the people.”

Turning his attention to matters involving the SABC and other state-owned enterprises, Mthembu said the best way to avoid what those institutions have been through is to get the best brains, particularly in management positions.

Mthembu said the issue of inadequate funding for community media institutions also troubled delegates.

“We only give them start-ups and leave them without going back to see how they are doing. Some community media have been captured by some big companies because they have not been able to sustain themselves because of our inability to give them further support,” Mthembu said.

Regarding the BLF, led by Andile Mngxitama, which has been accused of harassing some members of the media, Mthembu said they did not agree with going to people’s houses, in particular journalists, to threaten them.

“Where we disagree with you on what you write, we will go to the ombudsman, but we will always protect your media rights,” Mthembu said. – stevent@citizen.co.za