"There is a difference between a member and an cadre, you have to go through a process to become a cadre," Mantashe told ANC members at a memorial lecture for the late Moses Kotane on Friday.
"You must be reliable… This year, it's the beginning of the decade of the cadre."
Mantashe said a party could not produce a cadre that was competent, disciplined, committed and contentious with only one lecture a year.
He told members they could not become cadres if they had the attitude of what was in it for them.
"You are not a cadre who could take the country and party forward."
He said a person who could not differentiate between resources of a municipality and what was his was also not welcome.
"Yours is the salary, that's all," he said to huge approval of the members.
Mantashe said the party wanted community leaders who would get involved during community protests. Destroying a school to get a road was wrong.
Referring to Moses Kotane, Mantashe said future cadres would be measured against the values lived by Kotane, a former general secretary of the Communist Party in South Africa.
Kotane died in Russia and was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow in 1978.
Mantashe said Kotane believed in non-racialism and despised white supremacy.
"The enemy of the liberation movement was not the white people. It was the domination by white people that was the enemy."
He said Kotane also believed in unity and was committed to hard work to the course of the people.
"One outstanding quality of Kotane, he was incorruptible," said Mantashe.
The ANC secretary-general said Kotane was a man who would never let you down, do something behind your back or deceive a person. – Sapa