PRETORIA-- The African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee is holding its last Lekgotla (meeting of leaders) for 2018 at the St Georges Hotel in Irene, outside Pretoria, on Monday and Tuesday.

It is one of two bi-annual meetings called by the South African ruling party every year to assess the implementation of government commitments and to provide guidance on planning.

The mid-year ANC Lekgotla is called to identify urgent government priorities requiring attention and to guide the work of those deployed in government.

With another fuel price increase in the offing, the two-day meeting is expected to discuss among others the sluggish economic growth and ways to lessen the impact of fuel price increases on the poor.

The meeting will be attended by NEC members, ANC Leagues, the ANC's partners in the Tripartite Alliance, government ministers and their deputies, Metropolitan Municipality Executive Mayors and their municipal managers as well as directors-general of government departments and chief executives of public entities.

South African and ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa opened the gathering by presenting his customary political report.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said its current Lekgotla would focus on improving the economy. South Africa has been battered economically in recent times and teh Value Added Tax (VAT) and fuel price increases have increasingly burdened the poor.

Magashule said the time had come for the ANC to forcefully implement its decisions. The NEC is seeking critical change in its decisions and how to best implement them, he said, adding that the ANC had learnt from past mistakes.