South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) needs to end corruption and party divisions, and deliver on promises to tackle poverty if it is to halt declining voter support, a new policy document said on Sunday.
The ANC has been under pressure to adjust its policies after losing votes at elections last year to the left wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a party that proposes radical redistribution of the economy and land to the black majority.
“The ANC faces declining fortunes,” said the strategy paper, released ahead of a party conference on June 30.
“Internal squabbles, money politics, corruption and poor performance in government all conspire to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the broader public.”
The policy discussion paper talked about reducing unemployment and inequality, ending government corruption and improving economic growth, but contained few specifics.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said new policies would be laid out in more detail after the conference.
President Jacob Zuma called this month for the constitution to be changed so white-owned land could be redistributed to black South Africans without compensation, a measure long-proposed by the EFF and supported by many poor voters.
The ANC has not made this an official party policy and has pledged to act within the law.
The strategy paper said the ANC would not yield to calls by EFF to nationalise mines because it would lead to massive job losses, a move that may ease any lingering concerns among gold, platinum, coal and diamond mining firms.
South Africans are disillusioned by festering inequality. Black people make up 80 percent of the 54 million population yet, two decades after the end of apartheid, most of the economy remains in the hands of white people, who account for about 8 percent of the population.