'God is on the side of the ANC' - Jacob Zuma

President says time has come for black people to play a visible and more meaningful role in the management of economy

'God is on the side of the ANC' - Zuma

Polokwane - The ANC will not only win the 2019 elections but will take it with an even greater margin than before, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

"The ANC is on the side of the people and God is on the side of the ANC. We cannot lose," said Zuma.

Speaking in Burgersfort, Limpopo on Sunday at the provincial celebrations of the party's 105th year anniversary, Zuma said: "Some people in South Africa enjoy criticising the ANC... because they do absolutely nothing".

Thousands of supporters dressed in ANC colours braved the scorching heat to hear Zuma speak.

He told them it should come as no surprise that the ANC had made some mistakes as it was a working organisation.

Following its lackluster performance in the 2016 municipal elections, which saw it lose three of the country's big metros, the party admitted it made mistakes in the lead-up to the polls and took collective responsibility.

Addressing matters which have seemingly become more urgent as the ANC heads for its policy conference, Zuma shared the movement's plans on economic inclusion and land redistribution.

He said the party needed to take more decisive steps for greater economic inclusion.

“The time has come for black people to play a visible and more meaningful role in the management of South Africa's economy," he said.

Zuma said the ANC government would use the Expropriation of Land Act to pursue land reform and redistribution.

"If we don't act appropriately on this, political opportunists will use it for their own benefit. It will never benefit the people," said Zuma.

Amidst calls for a consultative conference ahead of the party's national elective conference Zuma warned that conferences should not be used to tear the organisation apart.

"No amount of conferences must make us want to tear ourselves apart."

He also cautioned ANC members against making pronouncement of their preferred candidate to lead the 105-year-old movement when he steps down. He said the time to do so hadn't arrived yet.

Speaking in isiZulu in what could be interpreted as a veiled attack on his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been one of those calling for lifestyle audits in the party, Zuma said, "They have been talking about this for a long time but haven't done anything".

The decision for leaders to undergo lifestyle audits was announced in 2016 but no action plan has since been announced.

Zuma also highlighted the issues of gate-keeping and vote buying, urging branches to avoid falling victim to the manipulation of internal democratic systems.