The only way to unite the African National Congress is if the leadership of the party is handed over to the younger generation, ANC Youth League treasurer general Reggie Nkabinde said on Friday.
“Come 2017, when [Jacob] Zuma leaves, the old people must go home,” said Nkabinde.
Nkabinde said he wanted to see a more united ANC and spoke out against those he said were attempting to sow division and encourage factionalism.
He said the party needed to deal with divisions ahead of its elective conference in 2017 and national general elections in 2019.
“Our divisions leading to 2017 determine our ability to win the 2019 general elections,” he said.
He lashed out at those he said were interested only in self-preservation, but did not mention names. He said that ANC members needed to avoid being drawn into the politics of individuals and stop pointing fingers at each other.
Nkabinde made a few suggestions of who could possibly take over the leadership of the party.
“Young people must take over. I am referring to the generation of Fikile Mbalula, Malusi Gigaba, the likes of Nathi Mthethwa, Lebo Maile and Songezo Mjongile,” said Nkabinde.
He blamed the ANC’s loss in support in the 2016 elections on the apathy of young people towards the party.
The ANC lost three big metros for the first time since the dawn of democracy and its support declined by 8%.
“Today people can say we are losing elections because of this and that, but the reality is it’s young people – people who decided they are not going to vote after registering in numbers.”
He said the party needed to inspire the youth, otherwise it was going to run into more problems.
The ANC Youth League is said to be facing internal turmoil over differences on who they should support at the mother body’s elective conference to replace the current leadership, with Nkabinde said to be at odds with president Collen Maine over the mother body’s top six positions.