Eastern Cape ANC chair Oscar Mabuyane has called on party members to eliminate corrupt politicians and government officials.Mabuyane was addressing ANC members at the party’s provincial lekgotla in East London on Sunday.

In a wide-ranging speech, Mabuyane came out guns blazing, saying until corruption was rooted out, service delivery would continue being negatively affected. “We must crush corruption with every fibre of our being. As the Chinese say: ‘we must hunt the tiger and swat the fly’ to show our determination to fight corruption. This means we must eliminate corrupt individuals within our ranks, be it politicians, senior and junior government officials or the willing corrupters in the private sector.

“It is painful to imagine how much could have been achieved in resolving the problems we face if we had used the millions spent on kick-backs or the so-called facilitation fees to improve the infrastructure in our schools, renovate stalls for hawkers, improve facilities in our public health institutions and so on,” he said.

Mabuyane turned to the need for government to pay service providers within 30 days after submitting invoices.

Provincial departments owe suppliers more than R2bn.

“Perhaps it is time that accounting officers in departments and municipalities are held individually liable for non-payment of service providers on time, which is a major contributor to delayed and incomplete projects,” he said.

Turning his attention to the regional elective conferences where four regions are expected to elect new leaders from this week, Mabuyane called for a united ANC going to next year’s national and provincial elections.

“Conferences or not, we are working towards a decisive victory in the upcoming national general elections. That will require that we all pull efforts together with one goal and objective to win back the confidence and trust of our people

“Let us all redouble our effort in working towards the unity and renewal of the ANC in our province and recommit ourselves to the struggle for total liberation of humankind.

“The upcoming regional conferences must not reverse the progress we have made in building unity of the ANC post the eight provincial conference,” Mabuyane said.

He called on all party members and supporters to accept conference outcomes and rally behind those who would be elected.

“No one has [a] birthright entitlement to leadership positions, we therefore do not expect any member of the ANC to disrupt the unity of the organisation merely because their wishes did not find expression,” Mabuyane said. – DDR