The african National Congress ANC is on the verge of a near-collapse following  a 21-page discussion document, the party frankly admits that it could fracture because of pervading internal mistrust and that it could have lost the trust and confidence of South Africans in general.

The ANC could launch into a radical overhaul of some of its critical structures after its December elective conference if a number of proposed constitutional amendments sent to branches for discussion are accepted.

 Although the amendments indicate the need for dramatic interventions from the very top of the organisation to the bottom, it neglects to tackle issues around corruption, state capture and rent-seeking and instead seeks to create new bureaucratic levers to ensure command and control.
 Some of the proposed amendments:
  • The enlargement of the so-called top six officials to a top 14, which includes an extra deputy president, two extra deputy secretaries-general and five permanent chairpersons of subcommittees of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
  • The scrapping of the national working committee with the top 14 taking over the day-to-day functioning of the party as a secretariat or working committee.
  • The reduction of the NEC from 80 elected members to 60.
  • The constitutional entrenchment of the integrity commission.
  • The appointment of an electoral commission to manage succession politics as well as the establishment of a national dispute resolution committee and an appeals body.

According to the document, the ANC needs to understand how it must achieve its stated objectives amid the challenges posed by “other political actors and the negatively wired media”. It also warns that the party should place a premium on the values and character of aspirant leaders in a highly contested political environment.

 The party frankly admits that it could fracture because of pervading internal mistrust and that it could have lost the trust and confidence of South Africans in general.

“Competition for power also carries the corollary that election outcomes are not readily accepted on the ground that results were manipulated. This creates an environment of mistrust and could fracture the organisation,” the document reads.