ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte came out with guns blazing on Tuesday, criticising leaders who serve themselves instead of the people of South Africa.
Speaking at the ANC's 107-year birthday celebrations in Shakaville Community Hall in KwaDukuza, Duarte said the message from the ANC's top tier leadership was clear, help people or leave office.
"We did not commit to serving the people in an air-conditioned office and then drive home in a nice big car. Leave the car in the office and walk to the people. We want this from our officials on a daily basis."
Duarte told the General Gizenga Mpanza region that the leadership of the ANC was committed to re-establishing a better working relationship with communities on the ground.
She said that the time of ANC officials driving in large convoys was at an end. She warned that those leaders had no place in the party. She said such behaviour was selfish and an insult to those still living in poverty.
"People eat your dust while you drive through in convoys. The convoys must stop. Go back to the people."
Prioritising average citizens
Duarte said the ANC would be people-centric and had to become "obsessed" with service delivery.
"People must do us one favour. If you are a leader in the ANC and you do not know all the people in your community, please just resign so we can put someone better in your place. The people deserve that."
Duarte said that being committed to public office meant that the average citizen was a priority.
"We cannot treat the people of SA like we are doing them a favour. Some are too used to blue lights and their road getting cleared. The time has come to say that the only thing that matters [is] how I am serving the people. When I go home I must say this is what I did for our people today."
She said that attacking people demanding services was pointless.
"You can call a good person a rat all you want, they will still be a good person."
Members warned not to be 'complacent'
Referencing a recent Ipsos survey, Duarte said that the 61% of votes predicted for the ANC was not a given.
" Don't listen to that research. What we need is for you to go door to door and know exactly every street and the people who will vote for ANC in May. We are not going to wait for someone in an air-conditioned room to tell us 61% is right. We must make sure. We must work hard and not become complacent."
She said that while 2018 had been a challenging year for the ANC, the party had to be strong.
"We need to go forward now. There were difficult, dark moments in 2018. But we as the ANC will never waste a crisis. A crisis is when the ANC is at its best. Now is the time to unite, be firm and strong."