WIELDING THE WHIP: Gwede Mantashe addresses the media in Johannesburg on Monday.
WIELDING THE WHIP: Gwede Mantashe addresses the media in Johannesburg on Monday.

AFRICAN National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Monday promised more bold action from the party’s top brass, in the wake of the decision at the weekend to disband the ANC Youth League and Limpopo executives.

It is part of rebuilding the ANC, as the team elected in Mangaung begins work to curb a downward spiral in a party beset with factionalism and power battles.

National executive committee members are also wary of next year’s elections — expected to be the most difficult for the party so far. They will mark 20 years of democracy in a country where poverty and unemployment threaten to erode the benefits of freedom — and the ANC’s electoral majority.

The party has identified public anger over poor service delivery as a possible threat to its future electoral performance.

A national executive meeting at the weekend nullified the league and Limpopo executives, in both cases citing factionalism.

The party is intent on rebuilding the youth league from the bottom up, hoping it can come up with future leaders who will appeal to younger voters in next year’s elections.

Mr Mantashe defended the decision to disband the structures, which will be replaced by interim bodies, while lower structures are being rebuilt. He said the league is crucial in the party’s plans to connect with younger voters.

"It is the quality of the leadership of the youth league that will determine the standing of the ANC in society in 20 years’ time. That is what informed us, that is what convinced us that we need to do something drastic."

Mr Mantashe also announced that the long-awaited integrity commission would be instituted. Former Rivonia triallist Andrew Mlangeni will be chairman, while other commissioners include Frene Ginwala, Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Diale, Gertrude Shope, Rashida Abdullah, Mendi Msimang, Sophie de Bruyn, Jethro Ndlovu, Dennis Goldberg and Lindelwe Mabandla — all veterans who will look at cases of ethical and moral transgressions and recommend action.