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Mon Nov 24 07:00:06 SAST 2014

Time for the ANC to wake up to the new reality

The Times Editorial | 26 November, 2012 00:29

The Times Editorial: There is positive talk coming from those ANC members whose concern is not about the interests of individual leaders but about the survival of the organisation.

Their discussions delve into how the organisation can transform itself to meet the demands of the changing electorate.

Though the discussions are in their early stages , it is heartening to see young leaders casting their nets wider in the search for sustainable solutions for South Africa.

They say that the current system, which allows only the connected and influential to decide who becomes the leader of the ANC, should be changed, and that an open leadership contest, funded by the organisation, should be implemented.

The thinking is that an open contest would give ANC members in particular, and South Africans in general, the opportunity to grill candidates.

The system, they claim, would reconnect the party to ordinary people, giving legitimacy to those elected.

If such a proposal were to be adopted by the ruling party, South Africans would be able to put their future in the hands of people who, they know, have the interests of the whole country at heart.

As the ANC prepares to elect new leaders in Mangaung in a few weeks' time, our hopes and dreams are held hostage by a few delegates whose decisions will determine who becomes our president in 2014.

The voices calling for change in how the ANC elects its leaders have been almost silenced by conservatives who say that the party is not ready for such a reform, but the debate should be encouraged, nevertheless.

The sooner the ANC realises that its tried and tested formula for electing its leaders is no longer in sync with the electorate, the better for the country.

The ANC should embrace change and not wait for the masses to take to the streets in search of a better leader - it must act now.

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