South Africa’s ruling party ANC starts conference to elect new leader

South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), started its 55th national conference in Johannesburg on Friday.

More than 4,000 delegates from across the country are attending the conference, which is scheduled to end on Tuesday and expected to elect the party’s top leadership for the next five years.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, also President of South Africa, stated in his political report to the conference that in the past five years the country had low economic growth, blaming it on corruption, state capture, COVID-19 and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“State capture” is a term referring to high-level graft involving plunder of state resources and attempts to influence policy.

“Insecurity of electricity supply continues to be one of the greatest impediments to economic recovery,” he said. “Poor policy, mismanagement, state capture and corruption have left the electricity system in a state of real disrepair.”

State-owned enterprises functioning and performance also remains a significant challenge, with several struggling with significant debt, under-investment in infrastructure, the effects of state capture and a shortage of skills, Ramaphosa said.

However, some green shoots have started to sprout as the economy is showing signs of recovery, he said, adding that the conference should come up with measures to grow the economy fast, create jobs and improve the lives of the people.