"[The ANC] must continue to be relevant and capable of providing leadership today, not because of the [party's] glorious history," Deputy President Motlanthe was quoted as saying by Business Day on Monday.
The newspaper quoted from a transcript of a Financial Mail interview with Motlanthe, in which he said Mangaung would be a "tipping point" for the ANC.
He reportedly said that as people and various sectors looked to Mangaung on clues about South Africa's political and economic outlook, the ANC would be expected to set out clear policies.
Motlanthe said the party had to be the natural political home to the broadest cross-section of South Africans, including the youth.
"They use a simple measurement … Is the ANC capable of going to the moon? And they say: 'Well if it can't deliver textbooks, how can it go to space?'"
Motlanthe said children born after apartheid would be voting for the first time and that this generation was not sentimental in its approach to choosing which party would get its vote.
"We have to ensure that we come up with a formula that works for this country." – Sapa