The youth wing of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has called on the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to hold an early uncontested conference to have a frank dialogue about the party’s fortunes and how to rediscover its glory.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Secretary-General, Njabulo Nzuza said Thursday: “It is our view that the ANC must go to an early conference. The ANC Youth League believes that all the current NEC members must come to an early conference to account (for the recent setbacks suffered in local government elections).

“The early conference must not be contested and there is a need to introduce young leaders to the officials and the overall leadership contingent of the ANC.”

The ANC is scheduled to hold an elective conference in December next year when the party will elect its new leadership.

The call for an early conference comes as the ruling party’s support haemorrhaged badly in the recent local government elections, with the party losing control of key metropolitan municipalities in the country, including the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The ANCYL reiterated the ANC’s stance of “collective responsibility” on the outcome of the elections, but said the situation could have been avoided if the party had delivered on its promises and resolved policy positions in issues such as free higher education and the scraping of tolls.

The ANCYL said the election results were a sign of the discontent the people felt about the ANC, and the party needed to transform and change the way it handled issues for it to live long.

“As the ANC Youth League, we cannot absolve ourselves from contributing to the discontent our people have about the ANC and they have shown it by not appearing on the voting stations when the ANC needed them the most,” Nzuza said.

“The results are also as a result of incapacity of the ANC to adapt and change our organizational design to respond to the needs of society in a speedily manner.”