JOHANNESBURG- African National Congress NEC member David Mahlobo says its now time for healing for those who were involved in the bruising contest to lead the organisation.
Mahlobo said the campaign trail and period leading to the conference was characterised by character assassinations and unpleasant name calling. He called on the elected leaders not to purge their opponents but to rather work together to grow the party.
“Those chosen are some of the finest products the ANC has ever produced. The ANC can’t proceed on the path it has chosen. Those elected must not spend too much time celebrating, they can celebrate for a few minutes, but the biggest task lies ahead. The things we did coming here, comrades have insulted each other, character assassinations. We need to start a journey to heal. The way we interacted with each other, we hurt each other. I hope the break we are going to take will allow people to reflect. It’s not the end of the world,” he said.
Mahlobo said those who did not get elect must not lick their wounds for too long or think of deserting the movement as has been the case in the past. He said they still have a place in the ANC and they should all work together.
“There are those who lost but we expect them to respect the sovereignty of conference. You must be the first one to congratulate them and pretend like you it was your preference too. The task of facing the 2019 elections is going to be a very tough one. We need everybody, ANC belongs to everybody equally. Those given the honour to lead should never forget that,” he said.
Mahlobo said unity was important for the party to prosper in future. He said the party has gone through many challenges but always managed to emerge stronger. Members need to focus on adopting policies that would change people’s lives and create conducive living conditions.
“Unity is not an event. The ANC has gone through many challenges. At the end of the day, you van chose leaders but if there is no plan, what are they going to do. This country, there is a big interest in terms of what policy are we taking. Are we proceeding with the last policy position taken in the last 20 years? Where are they going to be adjustments and to what extent? How is it going to affect ordinary South Africans, business? Everybody wants to take a cue from South Africa because what we do here in the corner of our continent has an impact on the rest of the continent,” he said.
Mahlobo also advocated for the need for alternative energy sources for the country. He said such moves would go a long way to boost the economy and create jobs.
“We need the growth of the economy to stimulate jobs. Energy security is also more about sustainability and prosperity. I’m not preoccupied with one choice of an energy source. Our policy is to say the endowment you have agreed in the integrated resource plan, implement all of them,” he said.