Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Statement of the African National Congress Following the National List Conference and National Executive Committee Meeting Held From the 27th to the 30th May 2016
31 May 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) convened a National List Conference (NLC) from the 27th to the 28th May 2016 at the Saint George Hotel in Irene, Tshwane. The National List Conference is the culmination of an extensive and thorough process of internal democracy that saw communities throughout the length and breadth of our country select their candidates for the 2016 Local Government Elections for the ANC. No other party in South Africa can legitimately claim the same extent of transparency and inclusiveness in the selection of candidates. As the ANC we are justifiably proud of this and the role our people play in their development - truly advancing people`s power.

An ordinary meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) followed the List Conference and considered and adopted the outcomes of the National List Conference, This statement reflects the resolutions of the NEC meeting inclusive of the adopted positions of the National List Conference. The NEC further received and deliberated on the following:

Political Overview from the President
Local Government Elections Report
Economic Transformation Sub-Committee Report
Report from the National Working Committee
On Candidate Selection

The National List Committee (NLC) is chaired by the Secretary General and is composed of 6 senior ANC members with no direct interest in the outcome of the candidate selection process as well as representatives from Alliance Partners and the Leagues. The NLC presented to the NEC the outcomes of the candidate selection processes. The process had commenced in December 2015 included:

Branch nominations where four (4) candidates are nominated in the Branch General Meeting (BGM)
This is followed by community meetings where the candidates are presented to community members
Communities engage the candidates in the presence of the screening committee which selects candidates depending on their performance in the community engagement
These outcomes are presented to the Regional List Committees which convene a Regional List Conference and;
The Provincial List Committees which convene a Provincial List Conference

The Regional List Conference considers the ordering of the Proportional Representation (PR) List. No tampering of the ward candidates is allowed. The outcome of the Regional List Conference is presented to the Provincial List Conference. It is the outcome of the Provincial List Conferences that is presented to the National List Conference. Provincial List conference may make adjustments to the list of no more than 15% to ensure adherence to the principles outlined below.

All candidate lists were extensively scrutinized by the National List Conference to ensure they meet the following unassailable principles that must characterize all lists:

A minimum of 50% of all candidates on the list must be women
A minimum of 20% of all candidates must be youth (35 years and below)
A minimum of 2% of all candidates must be people with a disability

A minimum of 60% of serving councilors must be retained in the candidate lists to ensure continuity
The African National Congress is proud to report that on aggregate these targets have largely been met across all provinces. This is an undisputable demonstration of the ANC`s commitment to advancing our mission to create a non-sexist society, which empowers young people and people with disabilities amongst others. The ANC does not pay lip service to these commitments but tangibly enforces their attainment, especially within its ranks.

The NEC denounced in the strongest possible terms the incidences of violence that would have erupted in some areas during the candidate selection process. The NEC called for the relevant structures to act decisively in those instances.

We congratulate those comrades who have emerged as the choices of our people to contest as councilors in the upcoming elections. They will no doubt know that deployment, should they be elected, is an honour and a privilege. It can be withdrawn or changed at any time the ANC decides. In line with the commitments of the ANC Manifesto, all councilors will be required to sign performance and accountability agreements. They will be expected to work tirelessly to serve and keep constant contact with our people.

The NEC reaffirmed its decision to announce Mayoral Candidates for the Metropolitan Municipalities and other strategic municipalities. Consequently, the NEC urges the Regional and Provincial Executive Committees to urgently resolve on these matters in line with the Constitutional prescripts on the selection of Mayors.

On Local Government Elections and related matters

The NEC has urged all members and structures of the organisation to now focus on the intensification of election work to ensure an overwhelming and decisive victory for the ANC on the 3rd August 2016. We remain committed to full adherence to the Electoral Code of Conduct and peaceful, free and fair elections.

Consequently, the NEC condemned the use of any inflammatory language or other instances of political intolerance in the course of campaigning. ANC members and supporters are expected to exercise maximum restraint even in the face of provocation.

The NEC expressed itself strongly against the continuing practice of the destruction of private and public property as part of community protests. It is the view of the NEC that criminal acts should be dealt with as such. These include the burning of public facilities by agent provocateurs in institutions of higher learning masquerading as representing the genuine grievances of students.

The ANC government must move with speed to respond to the very real challenges that have been created as a result of our successes in expanding access to institutions of higher education. Because of the ANC`s pro-poor policies, now more than ever, children from poor backgrounds have swelled the ranks of those in tertiary institutions. This success of open access means that government is now considering greater support for these students, specifically on food security and accommodation. Government must urgently intervene in this matter to respond to student demands. We welcome the appointment of a task team by Cabinet to deal with this matter.

On the tragedy of Vuwani, the NEC encouraged government to continue with efforts to return children to school and restore normality in the area. Intimidation tactics by those opposed to education must not be tolerated. The NEC urges continuing engagement with the community of Vuwani to reach a lasting solution to the challenges in that area. The NEC called on communities to take a bigger responsibility in the protection of their community assets.

The NEC resolved that the Siyanqoba Rally would be hosted in the Greater Johannesburg Region, Gauteng Province on the 31st July 2016. In line with the resolutions from the National General Council (NGC), the NEC once again called for the consideration to eradicate VIP accreditation at our rallies. This practice increases social distance between the leadership and the masses of our people and should be strongly discouraged.

On Economic Transformation

The NEC received a report of the Economic Transformation Subcommittee, which sought to identify actions that will aid economic recovery, directly and urgently. The report of the ETC Sub-Committee together with the actions proposed was based on the accelerated implementation of the 9-point plan announced by government, which remains a meaningful instrument to bring about tangible change in the economy.

The NEC identified the following as being critical to halt the decline in South Africa`s economic growth forecast:

Ensuring security of energy supply
Revitalizing agriculture and agro-processing
Encouraging private investment

Re-evaluation and reform of the role of state-owned companies and development funding institution
The NEC noted that good progress made the past 20 years in improving the living standards of our people. However, the global financial crisis has undermined these gains and as a result South Africa and, and many other countries around the world, continue to experience a prolonged period of low economic growth and rising unemployment.

During these difficult conditions, the government responded by pursuing counter-cyclical measures in order to promote economic growth and development. Due to the prolonged nature of the crisis, we are now experiencing rising debt levels. The new priority for fiscal policy now is that expenditure must be controlled and tax revenues raised in order to avoid a debt trap. Accordingly, the ANC supports the government`s fiscal stance with its associated cost containment measures.

The NEC welcomed the labour market interventions. The ANC supports the engagements between government, organised labour, business and communities in dealing with, amongst others, the duration and violent nature of strikes.

The NEC further noted and welcomed the report indicating progress on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage. We trust that all social partners will speedily conclude all outstanding matters in this regard. Youth unemployment, in particular within the 15 to 24 year old cohort, must receive greater attention. To this end, the NEC adopted a proposal to massively broaden focused vocational training amongst this group. By so doing, government will develop much needed technical skills in our economy, increase productivity and reduce unemployment. A task team to implement this proposal has been established and is expected to ensure the programme commences by January 2017.

While land reform remains the focus of our redistribution pillar, the NEC resolved that special attention be given to the production side as well. Support measures such as access to finance and markets, quality and efficient extension services, infrastructure etc were identified.The Land Bank was placed under National Treasury to ensure good cooperate governance and improved financial management. That purpose has been achieved. It will now be moved back to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and its mandate will be reviewed. There will be a special focus in rural areas and rural towns and all under serviced areas.

There are continuing discussions on the role of Development Funding Institutions (DFI) in supporting development and small, medium and micro enterprises.

The NEC welcomed the increase in tourists arrival by 13 % and 18% in January and February respectively and resolved to put more effort to grow this industry as it is labour intensive. There will be a discussion to review the industrial incentives towards labour absorbing sectors.

The assessment of the Ocean Economy is that it could generate an estimated GDP contribution of R129 - 177billion by 2030. In its 18 month operating period , it has already unlocked about R17billion investments.

Progress has also be made to remove the electricity constrains. New rounds of IPP rollout are in progress. The Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and Inetgraged Resource Plan (IRP) will be concluded soon. Government is working on improving the technical capacity of the infrastructure management and there will be review of the portfolio to shift the focus towards labour absorbing projects.

Report of the National Working Committee (NWC)

The NEC received a report on the engagements that had been undertaken with ANC structures and other stakeholders on the alleged business influence on the state as well as the Constitutional Court judgement relating to the security upgradings at the President`s residence in Nkandla. Overwhelmingly, the branches of the ANC confirmed the decision of the NWC not to recall the President. Branches emphasised the importance of unity of the movement and accepting the apology of the President must conribute to unity of the movement. As we accept the apology we also reminded ourselves that we should devise a formula for dealing with the mistakes we are committing.

Following the call by the ANC for comrades to provide any information about alleged business influence on the state, a number of comrades came forward to engage with the Office of the Secretary General. It was unfortunate that only one person could make a written submission on the matter. The allegations made were serious, they cannot be treated lightly and many warrant a comprehensive investigation. The NEC has advised comrades to formalise their complaints to institutions that deal with complaints of this nature.

The NEC acknowledged the progress made in strengthening the unity of the Alliance following the recently held Provincial Alliance Summits. The outcomes of the candidate selection process are indicative of greater collaboration and cooperation between the ANC and its Alliance Partners in the provinces.

To strengthen the ANC`s organizational and mobilizing capacity, the NEC resolved to appoint Comrade Fikile Mbalula as the Chairperson of the ANC NEC Subcommittee on Organising. We wish him well in this task and have no doubt of his capacity to lead the ANC`s organizational machinery.

The NEC congratulated winner of the Comrades Marathon, David Gatebe, and commended him for joining other great sportsmen and women who have flown the South African flag high in this the greatest race of human endurance.

The NEC has called on all members of the ANC to close ranks and dedicate themselves to working for an overwhelming victory of the ANC in the Local Government Elections. Everything else must be subordinate to elections work. Our branches must effectively play the role of leading society and advancing people`s power in every community.

Issued by
Gwede Mantashe
Secretary General
African National Congress

Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910

No comments: