Monday, December 22, 2014

ANC Year End Statement - Advancing the Ideals of The Freedom Charter
21 December 2014
ANC Today

When the President of the African National Congress, Comrade Jacob Zuma, delivered the NEC Statement on the occasion of the 102nd Anniversary at the beginning of this year, he said

“ANC members must recommit ourselves to the notion of service to the nation. We must follow the example of Comrade Madiba, who dedicated his whole life to the people of South Africa, our continent and the world…. We have repeated it often that unity is the rock upon which our Movement is built. Unity of purpose and action to move our people forward.”

It is opportune therefore that as we close of this year, 2014, that the National Executive Committee had declared “The Year of United Action to Move South Africa Forward”, we must revisit the words of President Jacob Zuma and the tasks of the movement that the NEC had declared as imperative to advancing our revolution. As South Africans prepare to take much needed rest at the end of an extremely eventful year, we must, of necessity, assess the road we have traveled and the strides we have made as an organization to ensure and entrench “unity of purpose and action to move our people forward"

Government will, in good time, provide us all with its own scorecard on how the state has fared in delivering to the aspirations of our people during this period. As the ANC, ours is to understand the terrain in which we operate, the balance of forces that define it and the progress being made towards the attainment of the strategic goal of the National Democratic Revolution which is the creation of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous South Africa; underpinned by the implementation of our prime political mandate and programme – the Freedom Charter.

The decisive and overwhelming victory of the African National Congress in the 5th General Elections was once again confirmation of the confidence the masses of our people continue to have in the ability, experience and commitment of the ANC to move South Africa forward. This faith in our movement is one that the ANC does not take lightly or for granted. It is for this reason therefore that the movement will continue to take stock of our successes and whilst doing so also caution ourselves and our public representatives to never take our people’s confidence in the movement lightly. We must know that the overwhelming mandate to govern is one that we must continue to earn through word and deed in the execution of our daily service. Ours is to be of service to the nation. When our people go to the polls, they vote for the ANC not because of the headlines that speak of its successes or those that predict its imminent demise, they vote for the ANC because on a daily basis, they can see and feel delivery for a better life for all. Indeed, with no fear of contradiction, we declare that the ANC and its government has changed for the better the lives of millions of the historically oppressed peoples of South Africa.

The 5th democratic elections held this year demonstrated the consolidation of our democratic order. Like the 4 General Elections preceding the 7th May 2014 Elections, South Africans took to the polls in a peaceful manner. With the eyes of the continent and the world at large on South Africa, the 5th democratic elections were unambiguously declared free, fair, peaceful and transparent. Despite very robust electioneering by all political parties and a few isolated incidents of violence, South Africans demonstrated political tolerance and a maturing democracy where every citizen is afforded an opportunity and protected by our supreme law to start, belong and vote for a party of their own choice. Like in preceding elections, new parties contested elections – some faring better than others – and this practice once more reaffirmed our society’s appreciation for a plurality of views and opinions on what needs to be done to build the country that so many of our countrymen and women fought for.

The outcomes of the 2014 General Elections led to the reconfiguration of Parliament and Parliamentary politics. A number of small parties evaporated, others continued with their quest to protect minority rights and privilege at all costs and an strange alliance of unlikely bed fellows developed - Parliament became the new battlefield for opposition parties that had failed to win the right to govern through the ballot box. Instead, in addition to another failed strategy to attempt to co-govern with the ANC using the Courts, they set out to make Parliament ungovernable. We are pleased that our Members of Parliament understand that the strategy of those who oppose progress is to delay and derail the implementation of our Manifesto, the Peoples’ Manifesto, through disruption and disorder.

We are confident that moving into the new year, ANC MPs will keep their eyes firmly on the prize which is driving and accelerating the radical socio-economic transformation which is the main preoccupation of our people rather than the theatrics of opposition parties in Parliament. It is still our call that Parliament must get its house into order, enforce its rules and restore its dignity to avoid descending this important institution of our democracy to chaos and anarchy. Baseless fabrications claiming that the President has not appeared before Parliament as he is required by the Rules and the Constitution must be dismissed with our people understanding clearly that in the 5 months of the 5th Administration, the President has already appeared no less than 5 times in Parliament.

Away from the sideshows of the opposition though, in 2014 South Africans celebrated the good story that is 20 years of freedom and democracy. Whilst significant progress has been made on almost every front, our society continues to battle with an economy that caters for too few people and is still largely in white hands. The land question remains extremely emotive and unresolved and the delicate and difficult work of building a united and cohesive society is undermined by persistent racism, rampant abuse of women and children and the corrosive impact of corruption. During the 103rd Anniversary Celebrations, the statement of the National Executive Committee will reflect on these matters and what is to be done with these pressing challenges.

The African National Congress welcomes though the strides that have been made in these areas including the revision of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice and the proclamation of the BBBEE Amendment Act. We have also welcomed the signing into law of the Public Administration Management Act, which in its quest to promote professional ethics in public administration, prohibits public servants from conducting business with the State or being a director of a public or private company that conducts with the State.

More small businesses are needed to be the lifeblood of the economy. Young people in particular need to be integrated into the mainstream economy. The land must be shared amongst those who work it. It is these pressing matters and others that must occupy our national discourse as we go into the new year. It is the hope of the African National Congress that 2015 shall be the year that South Africans recommit themselves to working together as a people and as a nation to confront the challenges facing us. The urgent task of transforming society requires the resilient and tenacious spirit of people who know, as they have always known, that they are their own liberators. In the midst of challenges, it is easy to become despondent; however the progress we have made together tells the good story of a nation capable of transcending division and intolerances.

Much of what has characterized our national discourse has not assisted to establish and entrench a national consensus of our common vision, which is the implementation of the Freedom Charter. The National Development Plan is our long term vision to attain this objective. The overwhelming support enjoyed by the NDP in our society confirms the hegemonic policies of the ANC and its government in our country. Our call therefore is to patriotic business, civil society, academia and society at large to work with the ANC, putting shoulder to the wheel to realize our vision to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. Government must play its role to popularize this Plan to each and every South African to ensure that indeed it becomes a living document guiding us towards our common vision.

On the 5th January 2015, members of the African National Congress throughout the country, led by the National Executive Committee of the ANC will descend in Cape Town for the 103rd Anniversary Celebrations that will take place on Saturday, 10th January 2015. The January 8 celebrations are significant occasions in the life of the organisation as it serves as a moment of reflection on the challenges and tasks confronting the organisation, the Alliance and society and thus provide a broad guide on the immediate tasks and focus for they year. As is tradition, the President of the ANC will deliver the NEC Statement that will outline our programme of action for the year. As part of the build up to the celebrations, members of the NEC have been deployed throughout the province of the Western Cape, painting it black, green and gold. 52 000 people are expected to fill at the Cape Town Stadium, over 400 busses, more than 30 trains and over 1000 taxis will ferry them from all corners of the province. The diversity that is South Africa in its non-racial glory has already confirmed attendance with expected guests including Die Kaapse Klopse, farmworkers, members and leaders of the religious sector, guests of different categories including business, organized labour, women, youth and may others. This massive celebration will start of the year which will also see the marking of the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

Whilst welcoming the outcomes of our own General Elections earlier this year, the ANC has also been heartened by the victories of Africa’s liberation movements across the continent. Regardless of the onslaught from local and foreign forces to weaken liberation movements within the region, SWAPO of Namibia, FRELIMO of Mozambique and CCM of Tanzania reaffirmed the unwavering belief our people have in the liberation movements to complete the work of the rebuilding of Africa. This bodes well for our collective vision of progressive internationalism which continues to gain momentum through amongst others the recent release of the Cuban 5 by the US. This decision is a culmination of years of campaigning and petitioning of the U.S. authorities demanding the release of the Cuban Five and the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The ANC commends President Barack Obama for being the President of the US who took this bold move following more than 50 years of strained relations between the two countries.

The ANC wishes the Matric Class of 2014 all success as they await the outcome of the National Senior Certificate Assessments at the beginning of the year. The last 5 years of consistent improvement in the Grade 12 results are an indication of the investment we have made in Education. We welcome improvements in yet another rite of passage with the reduction in the number of fatalities from botched circumcisions during the initiation season this year. To all those who will be traveling to various destinations, we urge you them observe the rules of the road and arrive alive.

Issued by
Gwede Mantashe
Secretary General
African National Congress

Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
082 330 4910

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