Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday hit back at critics who claimed the South African "rainbow" was unravelling.
Motlanthe, who was speaking to Talk Radio 702, urged every citizen to play their role in the country's democracy.
He said that in the face of the textbook crisis, and others like it, today's leaders should focus on current problems and not rest on the shoulders of struggle giants.
Limpopo pupils received the last of their learning material six months into the academic year.
The Department of Basic Education failed to meet several deadlines to deliver all textbooks by mid-June.
The initial delay was caused by an invalid tender awarded to textbooks supplier EduSolutions - which was only cancelled in April.
"We have to all ensure that we have a participatory democracy - rather than one that is left to politicians and leaders," the deputy president said.
The show's host, John Robbie, asked Motlanthe how the ANC's elective conference in December would play out.
"Are things going to come right in Mangaung? There's not going to be any blood on the walls?" Robbie asked.
Motlanthe responded: "They've got to come right. I don't think there's any choice other than to set things right."