National General Council
Report on the State of the Organisation by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe
20 September 2010
1.1 This report is an overview of the state of the organisation since the 52nd National Conference in Polokwane,December 2007. It is also our Mid-Term Review report to the National General Council. It is a political and organisational account of developments of the period under review, and an assessment of the progress made and challenges faced by the movement and our country. It outlines the major tasks of our movement for the period ahead.
1.2 We should assess progress made against the strategic objectives of the ANC, key among which are the following:
- To unite all the people of South Africa, Blacks in general and Africans in particular, for the complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression.
- To end apartheid in all its forms, and rapidly transform South Africa into a united, non-racial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous country based on the principles of the Freedom Charter, as the primary objective of the National Democratic Revolution (the NDR).
- The implementation of the five priorities of the 2009 Election Manifesto – creating more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihoods; improving the quality of education; improving healthcare; accelerating rural development and land reform; and fighting crime and corruption.
1.3 The 52nd National Conference was a watershed for our movement in many respects. Out of that Conference emerged a national leadership collective led by President Jacob Zuma. Conference voted not only for change of leadership but also for a major renewal of our movement, as reflected in the resolutions of the Conference on organisation building. The Conference affirmed our longstanding position that the ANC belongs to all its members, who are highly committed to serving the people of South Africa. It resolved to build a powerful ANC, as the strategic centre of power and leader of a strong and vibrant revolutionary Alliance. Major social and economic policy resolutions were adopted in response to the challenges of unemployment, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality. Conference further resolved on industrial policy, building a developmental state, land and agrarian reform, and improving the quality of education and healthcare for all South Africans.
1.4 Critical to carrying out the mandate of the 52nd National Conference was the paramount task of uniting the ANC, the Alliance and our people. This happened within the context of doing away with `two centres of power`, wherein the government led all the programmes and the ANC tailed behind, thus posing a serious challenge to effective governance. It was also in the context of the political persecution of our President, necessitating a sustained campaign to defend and mobilise around him. The developments surrounding the contestation between government and the party, which was fast rendering the government ineffective, led to the recall of President Mbeki by the ANC; a decision supported by our members and allies. Contrary to media speculation of possible civil war and chaos, under the sterling leadership of the ANC`s Deputy President – deployed as President of the Republic – the transition from the Mbeki administration was smooth and did not cause major disruption in society. The national leadership began the process of revitalising our structures for one of the greatest, but challenging, election campaigns we have seen. Indeed, we mounted a united and largely disciplined election campaign, in which we secured the decisive electoral victory for the fourth term. All these, including the decisive interventions in troubled provinces in this period, should be understood as part of the process of uniting our movement.
1.5 The organisational renewal is on-going and focuses on areas of rebuilding our structures, growing our membership base, embarking on massive political education programmes, building a campaigning ANC, and strengthening the strategic policy capacity of our movement.
1.6 The renewal of our movement is by extension the renewal of our Tripartite Alliance and our broader democratic movement. Since Conference the working of the Alliance has improved dramatically, particularly when compared with the previous ten years of cold relations. But much more needs to be done to improve Alliance relations at national and sub-national levels. The ease with which the components of the Alliance attack each other in public is a source of major concern and an urgent problem that needs to be addressed and eliminated.
We have also interacted with the broader mass democratic movement, even extending our efforts to new progressive social formations in society.
1.7 Fundamental to the improvement of Alliance relationships is for the ANC to lead in addressing the real issues raised by our allies, that is, concerns around job creation and sustainable and decent work, matters surrounding service delivery and the quality thereof.
1.8 On the 8th of January 1980, celebrating the 68th anniversary of the ANC our revered and beloved Comrade OR TAMBO addressed the question of unity in the Alliance. He said,
“The need for unity in the broader alliance movement has never been greater than it is today. Our unity has to be based on honesty among ourselves, the courage to face reality, adherence to what has been agreed upon and to principle… we should not fall into the trap that the enemy has set and we start ourselves encouraging false divisions and antagonisms… yet the fact must be admitted, that during this past year, we have seen many attempts to gain temporary advantage by seeking to ferment and exploit these divisions and antagonisms.
In certain instances matters have disintegrated into public and personal bouts of mutual vilification. It would be playing into the hands of the enemy if we allowed the politics of our struggle to become a contest among powerless for power over one another.”
1.9 OR`s message is relevant today as then. Our NDR is still in progress, it would be reasonable to assume that some forces at home and abroad would wish to see the ANC fail in its mission for a complete transformation
of our society. We dare not allow this to happen and for this we need to hear the words of OR and to take it to
heart, ensure that we indeed operate on principle not fiction and factionalism.
1.10 Our 2009 Elections Manifesto is the basis for uniting the ANC, the Alliance and all our people behind a programme for transformation. The Manifesto identified five priority areas:
- Creation of more jobs, decent work, and sustainable livelihoods;
- Rural development and land reform;
- Health; and,
- Fight against crime and corruption.
1.11 These commitments are in line with the demands of the Freedom Charter. Improving our performance in these five areas will take us closer to the ideal of a free South Africa that our forebears dreamed of fifty-five years ago.
1.12 However, to lead the state and society effectively in the speedy implementation of the manifesto priorities we require a strong and dynamic movement that is rooted among all sectors of society. What then is the state of organisation as we gather at this National General Council?
PART 2: STATE OF ORGANISATION
“Flowing from five days of constructive and, at times, intense engagement the integrity of the ANC and its democratic processes has emerged victorious. Eschewing dangers of division and discord that threatened to distract us from our historic mission, we emerged in unity to recommit ourselves to the tasks of reconstruction and development, nation building and reconciliation”. (52nd National Conference Declaration, 2007)
2.1 This paragraph captures the Conference mood, ambience, spirit and commitment of the ANC to changing the lives of our people for the better. The Declaration describes the resolutions as constituting “a mandate that will guide the actions of all the cadres of the ANC, wherever they may be deployed, and which will form the centre-piece of our policy agenda over the next five years” and beyond.
2.2 National Conference elected a collective into the NEC with the responsibility to lead the organisation and implement its resolutions for the next five years, into the Centenary celebrations in 2012 (see Table below).
2.3 Since Polokwane, the following developments impacted on the composition as elected by Conference:
- Cdes Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Ncumisa Kondlo passed away, may their souls rest in peace.
- Ms Charlotte Lobe and Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole defected to COPE.
- Cdes Bheki Cele and Janet Love resigned from the NEC due to deployment to strategic state departments and institutions.
- Cde Valli Moosa asked for leave of absence and was released from the NEC to comply with the requirements of an international company.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AS ELECTED AT THE 52ND NATIONAL CONFERENCE, 2007
President: Zuma, Jacob
Deputy President: Motlanthe, Kgalema
National Chairperson:Mbete, Baleka
Secretary General: Mantashe, Gwede
Deputy Secretary General: Modise, Thandi
Treasurer General: Phosa, Mathews
CAPA LANGA, Zoleka
DLAMINI ZUMA, Nkosazana
VAN DER MERWE, Sue
2.4 Following the above vacancies, the following comrades were co-opted onto the NEC:
- Ellen Nana Molekane
- Salome Sithole
- Kgomotso “Bushy” Magau
2.5 At its first meeting, in January 2008, the National Executive Committee elected the National Working Committee as per the Constitution. The functioning of the NEC and NWC will be dealt with in Part Four.
Organisational Challenges and Priorities from Polokwane
2.6 The Organisational Report to the 52nd National Conference diagnosed challenges facing our movement, thereby offering a concrete premise for our organisational work. Central to all the challenges identified in
implementing our main programme, that is, the Freedom Charter and conference resolutions, is the ability of the ANC to lead the membership and structures of the movement and society at large.
2.7 In order to address the challenges identified, Conference noted that over the 95 years of the existence of the ANC, the movement evolved into a force for mass mobilisation, a glue that held our people together and a trusted leader of the broadest range of social forces that share the vision of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
2.8 It said that the enhanced capacity, inspired vision, organisational cohesion and unity of the ANC are critical success factors for the realisation of our vision of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
2.9 It said that the preservation of the movement`s character, culture and values in a changing context should be the central focus of the organisational renewal effort in the run-up to the Centenary of the ANC in 2012.
2.10 Conference therefore instructed the National Executive Committee to lead a sustained and thorough-going programme of organisational renewal around the following organisational priorities:
- Building branches that are active in community development, with local programmes of action, organising people to partake in their own development.
- Leading and improving the capacity of the organisation as we move towards our centenary, including its capacity for mass mobilisation, political education and cadre development, political management of governance, policy formulation, management of international relations, instilling discipline and ethical conduct, funding the movement, and modernisation.
- Developing a politically conscious and active membership and cadreship through institutionalisation of political education and cadre development; and
- Building a united and cohesive organisation that can unite, organise and lead the motive forces and the people of South Africa.
2.11 This Mid-Term Organisational Review is an account by the National Executive Committee of how far it has progressed in implementing these instructions and resolutions of Conference.
An Active and Politically Conscious Membership
2.12 An active and politically conscious membership is important to the continued existence of the ANC as a mass movement and servant of the people. As a democratic movement, our Constitution decrees that policies and leadership are determined by membership through their branches. Our review of the state of organisation must therefore start with the state of membership since Polokwane.
2.13 Polokwane conference resolved the following on Membership:
- Induction of members should take place through basic political education in branches.
- Tasks should be given to members and there should monitoring of their participation.
- Accurate membership records should be kept and there should be follow-up on membership renewals.
- The ANC should have achieved one million members by 2012.
- Regulations on membership verification and auditing should be reviewed and standardised.
- There should be a uniform and effective membership administration system at branch and regional levels, supported by an effective national administration.
- Branches must have a recruitment strategy, dedicated recruitment teams, and should induct new members formally and ensure all new members should take the oath.
- All leadership collectives should ensure a comprehensive recruitment approach that encompasses all the motive forces, reflects national diversity and draws on the best among all our people.
- We should do membership profile studies to understand the sociology of our branches and membership.
- Leadership must also ensure innovative ways of reaching our supporters, doing active political work amongst them, understanding their issues and recruiting from amongst them.
2.14 In terms of implementation of the above resolution, we can report on the following:
Membership Growth since Polokwane
2.15 The table below shows membership in December 2007 as represented at the 52nd National Conference, membership as it stands at this National General Council (based on data captured thus far) in September 2010 and provincial targets to reach our goal of one million members by 2012:
|DECEMBER 2007||SEPTEMBER 2010||TARGET 2012|
|South Africa||621,237||749, 112||1,000,000|
|N Cape||37,262||37, 122||90,000|
|Free State||61,310||41, 627|
|E Cape||153,164||161, 161|
|North West||47,353||57, 911|
|W Cape||36, 497||40, 427|
|ANCWL (excl. WC)||96,181|
2.16 This table shows that we have grown by 127 875 since December 2007.
2.17 Membership growth has fluctuated since Polokwane, with large increases around some provincial conferences, often followed by declines. For example, in the Northern Cape membership rose shortly before the Provincial
Conference in September 2008 to 44,000, but declined to current levels – that is, 37,122 – after the defection of the former Provincial Secretary to COPE. In Limpopo membership rose from 88,920 in October 2009 to the current 101,971.
2.18 The overall trend since the 52nd National Conference shows marginal growth of membership in six of the provinces, that is, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape; and decline in the three provinces of Free State, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.
The amount of growth in each province is as follows:
- Eastern Cape + 7,997
- Gauteng + 10,396
- KZN + 89,876
- Limpopo + 34,339
- North West + 10,558
- Western Cape + 3,930
The amount of decline is as follows:
- Free State – 19,683
- Mpumalanga – 8,508
- Northern Cape – 140
Membership system and administration
2.19 There are five key challenges with respect to the membership system, namely,
- Improvement of administrative procedures and processes;
- Clearing the membership backlog;
- Cleaning and migrating membership records;
- Supporting regular branch membership administrative activities; and,
- Developing and implementing an appropriate membership system.
2.20 A new system has been put in place (again), piloted in different provinces. There are almost two million members reflecting on the current database. However this data is still being cleaned before it is relocated to the new membership system. Major challenges remain, including:
- We have been unable to reproduce membership cards on a mass scale, although visible progress is being made in this regard.
- Due to non-payment to the previous service provider, the migration and the implementation of the new system has been slow, with some disruptions from time-to-time.
- Membership capturing should mainly take place at regional level, but due to lack of finances, human resources and technology in most regions, this has been slow.
2.21 Gauteng has tried to fix these problems through a dedicated intervention, which has resulted in a record-keeping system at branch, regional and provincial level. The province was able to verify and clean all membership records and print 53,190 membership cards between December 2009 and May 2010. The Gauteng process could potentially be used as a case study for fixing our system nationally.
Membership recruitment strategy – reaching our one million members target by 2012
2.22 As part of this target, as instructed by Polokwane, each province has set a target to contribute towards the million members by 2012, and most provinces have broken this down further to regional targets.
2.23 We re-launched the Imvuselelo Campaign in May 2010 in Mpumalanga. Other launches, for example the Eastern Cape, took place in the run up to the NGC, where both the President and the Deputy President participated. There will be launches in other provinces that have not been visited. In addition to the mass launch activities we also developed a manual to guide branches in their recruitment. This manual focuses on the issues raised in the resolution, such as induction of new members, local recruitment strategies, role of the organising team, oath taking, membership administration and so forth.
2.24 Having taken all the provinces through provincial conferences, gate keeping remains a major problem and a source of resentment among members of the ANC. Manipulation of membership statistics to influence outcomes of elective conferences is central to the conflict that has characterised almost all our provincial conferences.
2.25 The dysfunctional membership system continues to make membership auditing a farce. Commissioning various institutions to clean our system has proven to be a nightmare. We need to invest more resources in the membership system if we hope to move to a more reliable system that can make membership statistics reliable and auditing meaningful. Only then can we make the dream of one million members a reality. The control of the membership system must be in-house with the backup system off-site.
2.26 The role of the branch in recruitment, induction and political education of members has been clarified and elevated to the right level of importance. The only aspect that has been compromised, because of deep-seated factionalism, is the role of a member in recruitment. Efforts of individual members to recruit for the ANC are treated with suspicion and are, in the end, frustrated. The tendency of branch leaders, when recruiting members, to keep piles of forms and only submit them when there is a Biannual General Meeting, is the main source of suspicion. This limits the right to recruit in a branch to the officials, at best, and to the branch secretary, at worst. It is important for the ANC to encourage the members to recruit for their organisation. In doing so, we must emphasise that membership application forms should be processed by the branch. The tendency of individual members to keep piles of membership forms must be fought and defeated. All new members must be made to take
a pledge in the meetings of the branches of the ANC, and not branches of FNB. We must remind our members that the eight weeks of probation only starts on the day the branch receives the form.
2.27 As things stand, a lot of membership remains unaccounted for. We can however report that all our provinces are working hard to clean our membership system and issue membership cards as quickly as possible. We are hoping that the complex problems of membership will have been sorted out by the time of the ANC centenary in 2012.
Branches as centres of local development and membership involvement
2.28 Branches are the primary organs of the ANC to which every member, including leadership, must belong. They are the umbilical cord between the ANC and communities, and the primary political school for the socialisation of ANC members.
2.29 The Polokwane resolution reaffirmed this role of ANC branches as the basic unit of the movement and instructed us to do the following:
- Intensify branch work in each community through the Imvuselelo Campaign.
- Allocate resources to support branch work, including 100% return of the membership fee to branches.
- Make branches the focus for political and ideological work by senior leadership and cadreship.
- Implement a nationally driven branch political education programme.
- Share good practice and experiences.
- Discuss the naming of branches. The NEC should provide guidelines on this matter.
2.30 Since Polokwane, the situation with regard to the state of branches and their standing is as follows:
|Province||Potential Branches||Branches in good standing in 2007||Branches in good standing in 2010|
|TOTAL||3 933||2 696||2 575|
The above table indicates the following overall picture:
- That a majority of provinces are sitting with many branches not in good standing.
- This sharp drop in the eligibility of branches seems to go hand-in-hand with the tendency to have a growth of membership in periods around elective conferences at all levels of the organisation, followed by sharp declines after conferences.
- The provinces that have been less stable over time also seem to be the ones heavily impacted upon.
- There is a decline in branches that are in good standing, thus making reaching the target of the potential branches almost unattainable.
The growth in branches in good standing is as follows:
- Gauteng + 45
- KZN + 34
- Limpopo + 108
The decline in branches in good standing is as follows:
- Eastern Cape – 54
- Free State – 31
- Mpumalanga – 75
- North West – 38
- Northern Cape – 57
- Western Cape – 53
Political work to support branches
2.31 The state of the organisation is primarily about the political life and grassroots activities at branch level. All the structures may appear in good shape and theoretically strong, but if there are no branches, or branches are weak, there is no organisation, as there can be no organisational life. No campaign can be sustained if the branches are weak.
2.32 Regions are responsible for organisational work in the branches. Many of the regions are operational despite the absence of administrative capacity in the form of an operational regional office; full-time staff, finances and communications infrastructure remain a major challenge. The state of the organisation in each province does impact on the regions under its jurisdiction. When regional leadership seeks to manipulate the membership of the branches they normally undermine membership records kept in branches, since branches normally keep copies while regions hold the original forms. This is an area that can be resolved by a reliable membership system that could be used to test the reliability of the regional and branch records. This debate is underway and will be concluded soon.
2.33 The Imvuselelo Campaign, launched in May 2010, aims to consolidate membership recruitment and support branch work. Provinces report that, as part of this campaign, PEC members have been deployed to regions to support branches and work with RECs to induct branches. Dedicated political education campaigns are targeting branches. In the few instances where branches took up local issues, especially programmes based on Manifesto priorities, the profile of the ANC improved. Following the service delivery protests after the 2009 elections, NEC members have been deployed to different regions to assist branches with developing local campaigns and dealing with service delivery and local development challenges.
Mass mobilisation, organisation and local campaigns
2.34 ANC branches were called upon by the National Conference to lead mass organisation and mass mobilisation in the regions they are located in, also to lead and organise communities to participate in local development. After Polokwane, a major part of local work was around preparations for the 2009 elections campaign. The detailed report on the election campaign is covered in a subsequent section.
2.35 Following the launch of the Manifesto with its five priorities, we have emphasised the need for branches and provinces to be active in mobilising communities and sectors beyond the elections around these priorities and other local issues. The provincial reports indicate that a number of initiatives have been taken in this regard:
Northern Cape: campaigns around election of School Governing Bodies and Community Safety Forums, education campaigns around the National Health Insurance and a Sobriety Weekend campaign.
KwaZulu-Natal: a big focus in regions on mobilising a volunteer corps movement and a campaign around political education.
Limpopo: engaging sectoral formations and the Alliance around the Manifesto.
Mpumalanga: main activities focus on commemoration days, which are jointly done with the Alliance.
Gauteng: local campaigns focussing on education, health, safety, and the energy crisis, and a general drive to ensure visibility of ANC branches in communities.
Free State: Operation Hlasela has been developed to deal with service delivery and poverty. It is used to engage communities on joblessness, and encourage structures to confront factionalism and deployment tensions.
Eastern Cape: the only campaign reported is the Buyelekhaya in the Nelson Mandela region, which is a campaign to bring defectors to COPE back to the ANC.
Western Cape and North West: given their challenges they had to focus on rebuilding branches.
2.36 The ANCWL campaigns include the August Women`s month campaign, a month-long focus on senior citizens in October 2009, 16 Days of No Violence Against Women each year; the reburial of Ida Mtwana and celebrations of International Women`s Day in March in each province.
2.37 The ANC Youth League campaigns include programmes during its anniversary, public debates around nationalisation of the mines and on African leadership, the mobilisation of young women, campaigns against liquor and drugs, and HIV and AIDS prevention and education.
2.38 Shortly after the elections and the inauguration of the new government in May 2009, the country was confronted by a wave of service delivery protests. The movement had to develop a comprehensive response, at both organisational and governance levels, to intervene and deal with the issues behind the protests.
2.39 In more recent incidents, ANC members led mass protests, playing a negative role in the majority of cases. These members seemed to be leading mass protests against the ANC itself, with the aim to position themselves for candidature in the 2011 local government elections. The positive work done by both the branches and the majority of councillors continues to go unnoticed. People become more vocal when there is criticism levelled against these activists of our movement. This negative characterisation of mass work has become the mainstay of our message even at leadership level. This has a demoralising effect on the hard-working cadres who actually constitute the majority.
2.40 All provinces and local structures have played a major role in contributing towards mobilising communities and raising awareness through public events, flag days and Football Fridays and generally raising the profile of the SA 2010 FIFA World Cup. In a lot of ways, the mass character of the South African participation in the World Cup reflected ANC-style mass mobilisation, drawing on mass spontaneity.
2.41 All our structures must consciously work on more positive messages as part of building our movement. We must redeem ourselves from the self-destructive practice of sending out of negative messages about ourselves, and the ease with which we attack each other in public.
Unity, cohesion and discipline in the context of organisational renewal
2.42 As we have reported on the polarisation and divisions that have characterised the period towards the 52nd National Conference and the subsequent period, one of the biggest hurdles has been the lack of confidence of branches and individual members in the structures and processes of the movement. Individual members and branches tend to direct their problems directly to the SGO. Even when these problems are channelled back to the relevant structures, comrades insist on the SGO dealing with them directly. This trend is a reminder to all of us that our internal processes must give the membership access to fairness and justice.
2.43 All our structures must be educated that the organisation cannot be about comrades one wishes to deal with or those we only agree with. Part of strengthening the organisation is consistent engagement of structures even when there is conflict or disagreements. Processes can only improve if we participate in them with the necessary confidence. Only appeals against the provincial structural decisions must end up in the SGO, not those that are a function of lack of trust and confidence in the relevant structures.
2.44 Infighting and destructive contestation in the structures of the ANC remain one of the many challenges facing the movement. The influence of money in our processes has the biggest potential to change the character of the movement from being people-centred and people-driven in all the processes, to one where power is wielded by a narrow circle of those who own and/or control resources. This is at the centre of the resurgence of factionalism in the movement where contestation is neither political nor ideological but driven by narrow interests.
2.45 The NEC has reaffirmed the need to develop guidelines for lobbying. This was in response to the emerging trend of making lobbying for positions the mainstay of our organisational work. An emerging perception is that daggers are always drawn and there is no political life other than vying for positions in the ANC. This reduces the important political activity of electing leadership into permanent conspiracy and plotting, without giving it the necessary political and programmatic content. When lobbying is not informed by a programme and coupled with the necessary combination of skills needed to implement it, it is likely to be informed by group interests.
2.46 The way we handle each other publicly promotes this negative image, and the ANC can ill afford to be in a state of lobbying from one conference to the next. The organisation pays heavily whenever there are public fights and bleeds profusely out of self-inflicted wounds.
2.47 The political education sub-committee has begun a review of “Through the Eye of the Needle”, as directed by the National Conference. This should help us tackle the myth created around the election of leadership. It will remove unnecessary tensions around the legitimate political activity of electing leadership. Changing leadership when it is necessary must never be factionalised or made a source of suspicion. Leadership performance and the combination of skills needed for the implementation of the programme must be an open discussion in the structures of the ANC, and branches in particular. Lobbying will then be removed from the influence of money and returned to the members of the organisation. In that way the organisation will be liberated from being held hostage by strong lobby groups and factions. The NEC must be seen to be leading this rectification process and talk with one voice.
2.48 Organisational renewal must therefore enable the ANC respond to “the range of global, domestic and intra-organisational factors and forces which impact on the organisation – its character, structures and membership” – and the new environment. The Polokwane Resolution reminds us that “the preservation of the movement`s character, culture and values in a changing context and new conditions of struggle is the central focus of the organisational renewal effort in the run-up to the Centenary of the ANC in 2012”.
2.49 An old organisation, including one as dynamic as ours, tends to be gradual in effecting change. Organisational renewal is therefore about “adapt and preserve” wherein the culture and tradition of the movement is preserved but the organisation adapts to the urgent needs of the times so that it remains ahead of the pack and relevant at all times.
PART 3: TASKS OF OUR MOVEMENT – BUILDING A NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
3.1 The Strategy and Tactics adopted at 52nd National Conference set out the main objectives of the NDR in the current phase, and the pillars of social transformation. The five pillars of social transformation are: the state, the economy, organisational work, ideological struggle and international work. Priorities and challenges in these five pillars should inform the programmes of the ANC and its cadres, wherever they are deployed.
3.2 The 2009 Election Manifesto and the overwhelming mandate from our people set out the priorities for the ANC in government from 2009-2014. The Manifesto is the basis for uniting the ANC, the Alliance and all our people behind a programme for transformation. The Manifesto identified five priority areas:
- Creation of more jobs, decent work, and sustainable livelihoods;
- Rural development and land reform;
- Health; and,
- Fighting crime and corruption.
3.3 These commitments are in line with the demands of the Freedom Charter. Improving our performance in these five areas will take us closer to the ideal of a free South Africa that our forebears dreamed of fifty-five years ago.
Education – opening the doors of learning to all
3.4 Our people, at the Congress of the People in 1955, declared that, “education shall be free, compulsory, universal, and equal for all children. Higher education and technical training shall be opened by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit” (Freedom Charter, Clause 8). The resolution of the 52nd National Conference takes the demands of the Freedom Charter a step forward by declaring the intention to extend free and compulsory education to junior degree level.
3.5 The focus on education and human resources development was echoed in the Reconstruction and Development Programme of 1994, given the huge challenges we face to eradicate the legacy of apartheid education. Building on the foundations of the first fifteen years, we can note that as at 2009:
Ninety-eight percent (98%) of children between 7 and 15 years are currently in school, thus bringing South Africa close to universal access to education.
More than sixty percent (60%) of deserving schools are no-fee schools. Approximately 68% of learners (approximately 8 million learners) nationally are in 19,900 no fee schools, thereby making a humble beginning and progress towards free and compulsory education. Our challenge is that we should emphasise “free and compulsory” education in our daily communication, and strive more towards our commitment of making education free up to the undergraduate level, as resolved in the National Conference. This can only be achieved if we can quantify scientifically progress made in this regard.
Functional illiteracy, as a percentage of the population, has been reduced from 14,4% in 1995 to 8,8% in 2009. Through our massive Adult Literacy Campaign – Kha Ri Gude – led by the Department of Basic Education, we are well within targets to eliminate illiteracy by 2014. Currently there are more than 1-million adult learners enrolled, up from 500,000 in 2009.
3.6 The fact that we made education one of the five priorities over the next five years reaffirms the commitment of the ANC to the improvement of the quality of education and access thereto. The 2009 Curriculum Review addresses the content and impact of education on young people, their procession to higher education and their preparation for entry into the labour market. Further pronouncements by this Ministry on the work being done to improve our basic education system gives further hope.
3.7 The establishment of the Ministry for Higher and Further Education, responsible for coordinating skills development, is an affirmation that the ANC is keen to respond to the needs of the country and the economy. If the ANC is not succeeding in improving the volume of skills generated from our education system, the humble economic growth we have seen over the last ten years will not be sustainable.
3.8 We must, however, acknowledge that black students are still a small minority in `hard` disciplines like engineering, built environment and financial management. The representation of blacks in these critical disciplines will largely determine the pace at which blacks assume greater control of the economy. The ANC must monitor the progress of universities from having racially-based admission policies to becoming real non-racial and non-sexist institutions. This will require keener monitoring of the dropout rate and all forms of exclusion driven by internal rules.
3.9 The lower enrolment in Further Education colleges is itself a problem that must be confronted if we want to grow the economy in a sustainable way. It is graduates from these institutions who occupy the middle management and technical capacity of any institution. For every university graduate in engineering we need at least four artisans to support him or her. Our programmes should therefore talk to this reality.
A Healthy nation
3.10 Our people, at the Congress of the People, further declared that, “a preventive health scheme shall be run by the state. Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children” (Freedom Charter, Clause 9).
3.11 The renewed focus on health was informed by the ANC acknowledging the deterioration of the quality of healthcare, despite improved access to health services. Since 1994 we have appropriately emphasised preventive rather than curative health in the form of primary health care. Many more clinics have been built, yet the quality of care in hospitals has declined and queues in all health facilities has grown.
3.12 The lack of confidence among our people in the ability of the clinics at their doorstep to deal with minor ailments and problems is a function of a mindset that can only be changed if the consciousness of the citizenry is raised. Public health education must receive more attention in health facilities and in the community meetings of the ANC.
3.13 In our 2010 January 8 Statement, we said that:
“The implementation of NHI will go a long way in addressing the inequalities that still persist in our health system, especially in the skewed distribution of funding and human resources between the public and private sectors. It is an established fact that the current command of health resources by the private health sector, which serves a minority section of the population, has been to the detriment of the public sector on which the vast majority of South Africans depend.”
3.14 The implementation of the National Health Insurance – which forms part of the ten-point plan for health reform to overcome inequalities, and improve the quality of health care and public facilities – provides a clear and concrete framework for moving with speed towards ensuring universal access to healthcare.
3.15 The renewed energy with which the challenge of HIV and AIDS is attacked has instilled confidence that the impact of this pandemic can be reduced within a reasonable period of time. We are referring to the renewed focus on expanding the ART programme on a national scale, as well as the massive HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign (HCT) launched by our President early this year.
3.16 Investment in health is critical for our society to improve the life expectancy in our country and improve the lives of our people. It is accepted that health is not a departmental issue but a societal issue. There is a good positive vibe in society about the visible energy displayed in the efforts made to improve our healthcare system. Part of this societal contribution involves the mobilising role of our movement, as whole, in reinforcing government efforts to transform the healthcare sector.
Economy – the people shall share in the country`s wealth
3.17 We will see when we deal with the work of the Economic Transformation Committee that economics is politics in reality, because of the many issues that constitute the current challenges having to be dealt with by this committee. The stubbornly high levels of unemployment, deepening poverty and growing inequality in our society are at the centre of our focus to create more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihoods.
3.18 The day-to-day challenges like electricity pricing, infrastructure rollout, and practically implementing the decision to focus more on real economy without losing sight of sustaining the macro-economic framework that was developed painfully over a long period of time.
3.19 The focus of our Alliance partners on economic policy confirms its importance. As the biggest source of policy disagreements, the economy requires our full attention. We remain divided on the monetary policy instruments, for example, interest rates policy, inflation targeting, exchange controls and the most appropriate policy framework to effectively deal with the challenge of high unemployment.
3.20 The question we need to answer regarding the role of the state in the creation and redistribution of wealth and income is whether we have made sufficient progress in ensuring that “the people shall share in the country`s wealth”? Two key demands of the Freedom Charter have been put on the agenda of the movement for discussion. The first one is the demand that “the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”. The second one is to give practical meaning to the work that has been done and programmes that are underway in an effort to implement this policy as outlined in the Freedom Charter. Any new issues in this regard must be dealt with, with the full understanding that one of our primary policy documents is the Freedom Charter. A few years ago an observation was made that the ANC has made visible progress in the implementation of all the clauses of the Freedom Charter except in respect
of the economic clauses.
3.21 The debate on the nationalisation of the mines, recently raised by the ANCYL, has to be expanded to give meaning to this clause of the Freedom Charter. The ANC has a responsibility to give it practical expression. Given that the ownership of all mineral deposits have reverted back to the state, that private operators pay royalties to the state and a state-owned mining company has been reactivated; we need to offer concrete proposals as to what more can be done in this sector.
3.22 We must give meaning to the monopoly industry and identify sectors constituting it, following the major reconfiguration of the economy since 1994. The promulgation of a series of anti-monopoly laws and the establishment of the Competition Commission was a serious attempt to deal with monopoly industries. The question is whether these interventions have given society the desired results.
3.23 The more curious question is; why has the movement been reluctant to even open the discussion on the role of the state in the banking industry, including discussing the fact that the South African Reserve Bank is one of less than five central banks in the world whose shareholding is in private hands. We must be ready to tackle the alarmist posture displayed by interested parties on just hearing the ANC raising this critical policy question. The movement must take a concrete decision with regards to giving the Postbank a proper banking licence, something that would establish visible presence of the state in this important sector. The question that arises with regard to the Postbank is whether a banking licence should be limited only to the savings (as proposed in the current Bill), or should include other financial services such as credit.
3.24 The commission on economic transformation must take up these issues so that the debate is directed, and the content thereof has focus.
3.25 The reality that the global economic meltdown has impacted negatively on the economy must be analysed and debated, so that we can develop concrete policy proposals to deal with similar challenges in the future. The ingenuity of stakeholders to develop a framework for dealing with the recession was unique to South Africa, but no detailed analysis has been done on whether the impact thereof was sufficient to turn the situation around. The quick movement of our economy out of recession should not lead to a false sense of satisfaction and an attempt to simplify the policy interventions that contributed to this turnaround upon which the ANC can build.
3.26 The manifesto directs us that central to our economic policy should be employment creation. We must improve the quantity and quality of jobs.
3.27 The Economic Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) are interventions aimed at ensuring that our commitments to the electorate are made a reality by intervening directly in the real economy. The NGC provides an opportunity for members of the ANC, through the delegates from the branches, to deepen their understanding of these important policy interventions. In a few years time we can assess if they make any significant impact on the challenges facing our society.
Rural Development and Land Reform
3.28 The ANC has identified rural development as a priority focus, in order to ensure economic activity in these underdeveloped areas of our country. Food production and food security are at the centre of this programme. To make rural areas sustainable economic centres, infrastructure must receive the necessary attention.
3.29 The slow pace of land reform over the last sixteen years imposed on the ANC a duty to pay special attention to it and separate it from agriculture. This was intended to ensure that the tensions that go with land redistribution do not directly impact on food production. This approach contributed to South Africa moving quickly out of being a net food importer in 2007-2008.
3.30 The establishment of the new Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform is meant to accelerate the pace of implementing this ambitious programme. A more comprehensive programme has now been developed and a number of pilot projects have been started in various provinces. The challenge now is to move beyond pilot projects towards sustainable programmes in the country.
Political and Social Hegemony
3.31 The ANC remains the leader and representative of the hopes, interests and aspirations of the vast majority of the people of South Africa. It is the majority party in government with 65.9% of voters (11.6 million voters) having expressed their confidence in the ANC`s ability to lead this country to a better future.
3.32 The Conference`s Political Report reaffirmed the conclusion of the 2005 National General Council (NGC) that, “the consolidation of political democracy, the growing electoral strength of and support for our movement, and the relative stabilisation of the economy have created a new set of opportunities and challenges for the cause of social transformation”.
3.33 We must, however, make sense of the decline in percentage we received in the 2009 general elections. Despite an increase of about 800,000 votes, the ANC`s share of the votes dropped from 69% in 2004 to 66% in 2009.. It is important to highlight that the gains made in terms of the number of voters were, in the main, garnered in the province of KwaZulu/Natal, as the other provinces registered a percentage decline in the electoral support. (We will elaborate on this when we deal with the elections).
3.34 With the threat of the opposition parties forming coalitions whose main purpose is to oppose the ANC in all the spheres of government, a detailed analysis of the performance of the ANC and the opposition parties must be carried out down to ward level. Of particular significance are the following: the upward trend in the support for the DA; the ability of COPE, as a young party, to have representation in all nine provinces; the massive reduction in support for the ID and the UDM; and the near annihilation of smaller parties. The ANC structures must resist the temptation of being arrogant and feeling that the support of our people is a given and can, therefore, be taken for granted. We must continue to service our traditional support as we try to penetrate new constituencies.
3.35 The challenge, therefore, is that of maintaining the ANC as a truly multi-class movement where all the people of South Africa, irrespective of race, gender or class, are at home. The ANC must truly remain the leader of all the forces for change, and lead the process of mobilising “all South Africans to contribute to the ongoing transformation of our country. In doing this, we strive to appeal to and foster a common sense of South Africanness and a shared responsibility for our common destiny among all citizens of South Africa, black and white.” (Strategy and Tactics, 2007)
Nation Building and Reconciliation
3.36 The task and responsibility of building a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society in South Africa remains, in the main, that of the progressive forces led by the ANC. One day it will be a reality, not as a function of time, but because of the effort we put into it. Over the past sixteen years a lot of progress has been made, yet, through our actions and the pronouncements we make from time-to-time, we tend to understate that progress ourselves. A few examples need to be cited to illustrate what we normally deem insignificant in what we do to knit our nation together:
3.37 The outreach programme as adopted by the NEC was used to engage communities that have worked against or were not close to the ANC historically. Although our focus was on changing the attitude of these communities towards the ANC the results of the 2009 national and provincial elections proved that we are beginning to reap the fruit of our efforts. The ANC`s support in white communities increased from about 3% in the 2004 elections to about 6% in the 2009 elections. This is significant growth, although from a low base. Engaging the various Afrikaner formations has helped the ANC understand them better as a community.
3.38 The racial tensions that were whipped up on the death of the leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) proved that the ultra-right wing is small and on the periphery of society. The organised formations in Afrikaans society distanced themselves from the AWB`s threats. It became clear to all of us that there is a big body in this community that is loyal to the constitution and keen to make a contribution in building South Africa as a winning society. The use of courts by right wing formations to either reverse or arrest progress in transformation highlight the slow pace of transformation in the criminal justice system in general and the judiciary in particular.
3.39 We must however acknowledge that the assumption that the Coloured and Indian communities, historically part of the struggle for liberation, can be organised as we normally do in African communities is misplaced. Provinces must take new initiatives to organise these communities and appreciate their diversity.
3.40 Sport is fast proving to be an important tool that can be used to unite society in South Africa. The hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 1995 was the first clear indication of sport being effective in uniting society. The African Cup of Nations in 1996 was another milestone. It is our submission that we did not exploit the opportunity that presented itself in both these occasions.
3.41 The silver lining of the Mokgadi Caster Semenya debacle is that it will always be regarded as the defining moment in the history of athletics and sport in the world. It brought to sharp focus the subject of inter-sex athletes. The outcome of this long drawn-out fight is the acceptance that what defines a person is how he/she has expressed his/her identity since birth. Laboratory tests and medical treatment deals with equity in competition, not gender.
3.42 The support and active campaigning by the ANC and its Leagues, particularly the ANCYL, must be commended. The support by many South Africans during a difficult period was the source of strength, and contributed immensely to the upholding of Caster`s human rights. Her return to competitive athletics is another victory for our country.
3.43 The holding of the Super 14 rugby semi-final and final in Soweto challenged the view that rugby is a sport only for white men. It gave white South Africans an opportunity to visit the biggest township in the country. Equally it communicated a strong message to the residents of Soweto that South Africans belong together. A large number of white patrons in Soweto taverns, coupled with jubilant scenes of “braaivleis”, were a perfect reflection of how an ideal society should look.
3.44 The hosting of the 2010 soccer World Cup effectively improved the image of our country internationally. The negative publicity that was peddled by the media and analysts has been proven to be far off the mark. The confidence of investors in our country and economy has improved dramatically. Visitors who came to watch football went back with a more positive view about South Africa. The uniqueness of the “vuvuzela” added a special flavour to an event that was, in itself, a resounding success.
3.45 This was one of those events that proved our seriousness about making the 21st Century an African Century. The image of the whole continent has been improved dramatically. This incident-free event forced criminals to take some leave. Nation-building and social cohesion underpinned by the respect for national symbols was the biggest achievement of this tournament.
3.46 We must however pay attention to the suggestion that an event of this magnitude should have been co-hosted with another country in the region to maximise the impact in the continent. We could not, however, leave things to chance at a time when many worked and prayed for this event to fail.
3.47 The challenge facing us is to ensure that the momentum of this massive event is not lost. Our government, guided by the ANC, must find innovative ways of sustaining our success. The same energy that was displayed in rolling out the World Cup infrastructure must be used in developing our country, including in addressing the imminent energy and water crises.
3.48 South Africa is indeed a winning nation. The ANC has the responsibility of rescuing our country from forces that do not wish it well.
3.49 Arts and culture can be another instrument that can be used to unify our country into a strong nation. Our history and heritage must be protected and used more positively. The fight around the singing of one of the struggle songs reminded us of the importance of protecting our history and heritage from those who have a partial interest in the preservation of this history. We must overcome the trend that seeks to demand more compromises from the victims of apartheid to go out of their way to appease the beneficiaries of this evil system.
PART 4: THE NEC, NWC, NEC SUBCOMMITTEES, PROVINCIAL DEPLOYEES AND HEADQUARTERS
4.1 National collectives and structures play an important role in giving leadership to the ANC structures, its membership as well as to governance and society. These structures also symbolise and reflect the value and character of our leadership, that of a collective. Leadership is critical to ensuring that the ANC plays its role effectively as the strategic centre. How the NEC, NWC, NEC Subcommittees, Provincial Deployees and National Headquarters carried out their functions and responsibilities is therefore an important part of this review.
The National Executive Committee (NEC)
4.2 Rule 12 of the ANC Constitution gives detail on the powers of the National Executive Committee, that is, as the highest organ of the ANC between Conferences, with the authority to lead the organisation, implement decisions of Conference and NGC and supervising and directing the work of the ANC and all its organs, including ANC caucuses in government.
4.3 This clause of the constitution not only outlines powers of the NEC but also creates expectations from the lower organs of the ANC that this structure will always apply its mind in taking decisions. Therefore, its decisions would always be sound. It is a reasonable expectation that the NEC will embody institutional memory, experience, diverse skills, immense political awareness and the highest level of ideological consciousness.
4.5 Our NEC, as elected in the 52nd National Conference, reflects diverse skills and experiences that our movement can draw from in order to deal with the challenges of the day. Of the 86 directly elected members of the NEC, 39 are first time members. They come from different backgrounds with a wide range of skills and experiences. Initially, on the face of it, the depth of experience looked very suspect and needed a more aggressive orientation programme to knit the team together. The ability to deal with complex challenges that faced our movement proved the value of this diversity of skills. The once-off induction conducted by the Deputy President, and the political overview delivered by the President in every NEC meeting, served this purpose. After two years, we now have an opportunity to assess if we have met the expectations of the structures of our movement, and displayed and deployed the best combination of skills and experience. This part of the report is intended to ensure that we do a candid and honest assessment of the NEC. This is a difficult exercise because it is self-assessment and the risk is that we can only focus on the positives and shy away from the serious challenges that we must deal with.
4.6 The NEC came out of the National Conference facing big challenges of polarisation and deep divisions that characterised the period leading to, during and post the national conference. These divisions affected almost all provinces, and the NEC had no time to settle down but to plunge into the crisis-ridden environment and confront the immediate organisational challenges. This NEC took over a fractured and divided organisation, with comrades having taken rigid positions as to who to align and work with.
4.7 From the acceptance speech and throughout the first eighteen months the President of the ANC, supported by the officials and the whole NEC, made unity and cohesion the theme and talked to it in every gathering. Those whose preferred choices did not win in Polokwane were assured and reassured. The leadership went out of its way to dispel the notion of purging those who did not support them. However, some of those who were assured behaved as if the movement owed them a fortune, and had to bend over backward to appease them.
4.8 There were clear cases of provocation that were not dealt with at the earliest point. As the NEC took time to analyse the situation the detractors grew more confident. As they grew in confidence, with the belief that they could act with impunity, the more mistakes they committed. The removal of the Eastern Cape Premier is a good example of where the conciliatory approach was abused and the expectation that anything would be tolerated. After several visits by the NWC to the province no explanation was forthcoming in respect of all issues raised about delivery, including the absence of the rural development plan for a very rural province. The removal sent shock waves throughout the organisation and made all and sundry realise that this leadership can be firm and decisive, even if it takes some time to reach that point. With the benefit of hindsight we can confirm that this was a good decision by the NEC, and was supported by the majority of people in the province.
4.9 The decision to remove the Premier of the Western Cape defied the recommendation of the NWC, which suggested that as the Premier was removed the Chairperson and Secretary of the province should be asked not to stand for elections. At the time the NEC did acknowledge that in dealing with factions it is not correct to even create a perception that the intervention weakens one faction and strengthens the other. Despite this acknowledgement, a decision that reinforced this view was taken. We can now confirm that this was a costly decision for the ANC and should be a point of learning. As it sent a strong message that the NEC can take tough decisions it alienated the coloured community from the ANC, because the perception that the leadership took a biased decision was reinforced. We are still paying a price for this. This is not the only factor that alienated the coloured community, but it added to the cumulative effect of the open factional fights that characterised the province over
a long period of time. The reality we had to face was that the organisation was weak in the province. Unfortunately, publicly, these divisions were projected as mainly being about Africans and the Coloureds.
4.10 As we are trying to build the structures, it is becoming clearer by the day that the organisation was given a false impression that there was some organisational capacity when there was none. There are very few branches of the ANC in the Western Cape, thus creating a situation where the organisation cannot even sustain campaigns that constitute the life-blood of the organisation. It has become clearer to this leadership that there were no branches in Coloured communities. Even where they existed they were weak, making it impossible to penetrate areas where the majority of citizens and voters reside. The divisions that became more glaring during the provincial conference, with the Provincial Conference held in two venues, deepened our problems and ultimately led to the PEC being disbanded.
4.11 A few days after the 52nd National Conference, the National Prosecuting Authority recharged the President of the ANC. The NEC took a far-reaching decision of being concrete about the support given to the President, that is, developing a campaign and availing resources thereto. The number of NEC members who attended court sittings was concrete evidence of the organisational approach to the problem facing the ANC. The legal team that was put together made visible impact to the legal processes. When Judge Nicholson threw the case out and gave a detailed account of the reasons for such a judgment, the NEC had to engage with dynamics that were thrown up by the judgment. This judgment confirmed the suspicion that the persecution of the President was political and, basically, conspiratorial. The appeal against the Nicholson Judgment by the NPA and the cabinet, and the overturning thereof, brought about a new pressure point on the NEC. The ultimate withdrawal of the case was the climax of this campaign and closed an ugly chapter that could not be closed in eight years. Although the view was that a concrete programme came late in the process, it however showed results sooner and demonstrated that organisational support can make a big difference in any situation. The power of the organisation can turn around any situation when there is maximum unity in the structures. Hence the need for all the structures of our movement to appreciate that unity is critical moving forward.
4.12 Following the Nicholson judgment the NEC had to deal with a legal affirmation of a strong and long held view that the persecution of the President of the ANC was politically motivated. It became a tipping point after the long and tense relations between the organisation and the state after Polokwane. The contestation of many NEC decisions before being implemented in government had reached a stage of becoming a source of irritation. Following one of the longest sessions of the NEC, a decision was taken to recall the President of the Republic. This was a serious decision that had to be handled with care. This decision triggered resignations of eight ministers and deputy ministers from the cabinet. These vacancies were swiftly filled, including the election of the Deputy President of the ANC as the President of the Republic, thus frustrating the attempts by this small group of disgruntled members to create a crisis for the ANC. Some of these former members of the cabinet ultimately
led the breakaway by dissident members.
4.13 It is our submission that the NEC handled this complex process with distinction. The breakaway posed a real threat to the movement and triggered a counter-reaction. The willingness of the NEC members to be deployed to every corner of South Africa with a simple appeal for unity saved the movement. The unity of and collective effort by the leadership was central to the movement successfully defending itself. All the cadres of the movement, even those who had taken unofficial leave, heeded the call and became part of fight in defence of the revolution.
4.14 The NEC remained united during the most difficult times and ran an election campaign of all time and season. The mobilisation of as many cadres of the movement into action repelled the threat and defied all negative predictions about the performance of the ANC in the elections. This period was the highest point of unity and thoroughness in discussing any issue before decisions were taken. The NEC has the responsibility of converting this support into long-term sustainable organisational machinery, because as it is now, success in this regard is in isolated cases rather than it being a norm. We must work on this objective weakness in the process of rebuilding and strengthening the organisation.
4.15 The leakage of NEC discussions and decisions to the media are a regular feature of this leadership structure. It is common practice that comrades talk to the media as sources and leak comments made in the meetings of the NEC, with the intention of weakening the impact of the official communication of the ANC. Agendas of the NEC are shaped and influenced in the media, with comrades blatantly projecting what they want discussed. This tendency weakens the leadership of the ANC in the public eye as it projects this august body as lacking the necessary ability to discuss serious matters confidentially and communicate accordingly. The NEC has decided that the Officials must deal decisively with anyone found to be leaking information to the media.
4.16 The public spats dent the image of the ANC. The NEC has been timid in dealing with the tendency of members usurping the right of being the spokespersons of the movement on any matter. This has publicly created an impression of an incoherent leadership voice, with the structures of the ANC pre-empted before announcing any serious decisions. Hence, in the majority of cases when serious decisions are made, they are perceived as leadership succumbing to group interests. The NEC decision that all public spats must cease, and anybody who crosses the line must face the consequences, is a serious resolution applicable to all the structures of the ANC. Any transgression must be handled as close to the level it occurred as possible.
4.17 The temptation to open the debate prematurely on the leadership line-ups for the 2012 elective conference is causing a lot of instability in the movement. The NEC has taken a firm decision that it should be stopped, as any lobbying for positions by its nature is divisive. Lobbying is an important political activity that should never be relegated to conspiracy. Public pronouncements on the so-called succession debate have, at least at the public level, somewhat quietened down.
4.18 The big body of the work of the NEC is executed either by the teams of NEC deployees in the provinces, or sub-committees of the NEC. The NEC has acquitted itself very well as a structure, but assessment of the sub-committees and NEC deployees to the provinces will give us a better picture of the effectiveness of the entirety of the work of the NEC. It has met in terms of the provisions of the constitution without fail, meeting at least once every two months and more frequently during the election campaign. No meeting of the NEC has ever been called off for failing to form a quorum. The lack of discipline in starting the meetings on time has been identified as needing attention.
4.19 We must however acknowledge that two members of the NEC defected to COPE. Two comrades had to leave the NEC when they were deployed to strategic positions in the state and state institutions. One comrade asked to be given leave of absence from the NEC to comply with the rules of the international company he was chairing. Two members of the NEC passed away, may their souls rest in peace. The NEC was therefore seven-members less since the 52nd Conference, until three new NEC members were co-opted to replace the two comrades who defected and the one who passed away. This has left three vacancies, and one more vacancy in the NEC. Based on the size of the NEC there is no crisis emanating from these vacancies.
4.20 The NEC had to oversee many rowdy provincial conferences during the period under review. The focus of many NEC members was on the behaviour that is alien to the traditions of the ANC. We never paid sufficient attention to the reality of these provincial conferences being used to deepen contradictions within the movement, with the intention of ultimately taking over the control of the organisation. It was a known fact that one of the options that the group that ultimately defected considered seriously was to take control of provinces and use them to call for a vote of no confidence in an early National General Council. Pushing for the provincial conferences against the odds thwarted these plans and pushed the dissidents to the periphery and, ultimately, to defection. The most recent conferences were calmer, reflecting the relative stability that has returned to the organisation. There are worrying signs that more attention has to be paid to the conferences of the Leagues, since
incidents of rowdiness have been witnessed in some of them.
4.21 When we look into this picture holistically we come to the conclusion that, collectively, the NEC is doing well. We must, however, continue to invest time and resources in ensuring that there is maximum unity in the movement. We must continue being rooted among the people, earn their support and never take it for granted.
4.22 The NEC grappled with the trend of comrades holding positions in organs of the organisation at different levels. The constitution is silent on this matter, except in respect of Provincial Chairpersons and Secretaries who are required to resign from their positions if they get elected to the NEC, alternatively, motivate why they should be allowed to continue in both positions. This trend affects all structures and positions, with a large number of comrades being involved, thus leading to good comrades becoming less effective and the development of a broad base of leadership being limited. The NEC is of the view that in the next National Conference the constitution must expressly prohibit comrades from holding more than one position in the organisation. This view is informed by the understanding that all these responsibilities are important for the organisation to operate optimally.
4.23 General collapse of discipline has characterised the period under review. Disruption of ANC meetings, assault of members in ANC meetings and taking the ANC to court without exhausting the internal process are widespread. The NEC resolved that all these transgressions must result in a member being summarily suspended, and granted seven days to motivate to the disciplinary committee why the suspension cannot be converted into an expulsion from the organisation. This resolution is applicable at all levels of the organisation and the Leagues. For the resolution to be meaningful, our structures must be efficient and effective and give our members access to fairness and justice. Discipline therefore should be seen from its broad context of the general conduct of the cadres of the movement, and how they relate to each other and the organisation. The disciplinary processes must be seen as interventions whose primary objective is to correct behaviour and a maximum sentence must only be meted out to the incorrigible.
The National Working Committee
4.24 The NWC carries out decisions and instructions of the NEC, conducts the current work of the ANC and ensures that provinces, regions, branches and all other ANC structures, such as parliamentary caucus, carry out the decisions of the ANC, and submits a report to each NEC meeting.
4.25 The National Working Committee consist of the six officials and members elected in the first NEC meeting after the 52nd National Conference. The list of members of the NWC is as follows:
NATIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE
- President: Zuma, Jacob
- Deputy President: Motlanthe, Kgalema
- National Chairperson: Mbete, Baleka
- Secretary General: Mantashe, Gwede
- Deputy Secretary General: Modise,Thandi
- Treasurer General: Phosa, Mathews
- Ex-Officio Members: Mandela, Nelson and Mbeki, Thabo
Directly Elected Members
- Collins Chabane
- Bathabile Dlamini
- Jessie Duarte
- Tina Joemat-Pettersson
- Pallo Jordan
- Fikile Mbalula
- Nomaindia Mfeketo
- Angie Motshekga
- Nathi Mthethwa
- Maite Nkoane-Mashabane
- Siphiwe Nyanda
- Blade Nzimande
- Dina Pule
- Jeff Radebe
- Susan Shabangu
- Lindiwe Sisulu
- Max Sisulu
- Makhenkesi Stofile
- Tony Yengeni
4.26 The NWC is a sub-structure of the NEC and, therefore, has no original powers. Hence its decisions must be reported to and ratified by the National Executive Committee.
4.27 The NWC has met as scheduled and has even convened special NWC meetings to step up the work of the organisation. It has met every second week in the head office and in the provinces. The decision to rotate NWC meetings to the various provinces of the ANC was intended to ensure that its work is not abstract. This has been of particular importance when the ANC was confronted by complex challenges. During the last two years the focus has been on provinces with complex challenges so that the NWC is not just routinely visiting the provinces but that it should deal with concrete organisational problems. This has been successful as an approach. We must however note that the NWC has been unable to visit all the provinces in this period, given the prioritisation of the difficult areas. The approach of prioritising provinces with problems is a correct one as evidenced by the results of direct NWC intervention in a number of provinces, which are concretely captured in the report.
4.28 The problems that are found in the NEC are challenges that the NWC must equally deal with, such as the leaking of discussions and decisions to the media. This problem makes the pre-circulation of critical documents impossible and, therefore, making the discussions much poorer.
4.29 The willingness of the members of the NWC to honour deployment to the regions in all the provinces has borne fruits. In the beginning of this term contestation in the Free State was approaching destructive levels, with a Premier who regarded herself as another centre of power, making the work of the PEC almost impossible. The NWC spent time guiding the impatient structures of the movement through this difficult period. This included dealing with the rebellious municipal structures in the province. The current stability reflects the correctness of the approach that has long-term benefits. The Northern Cape had its fair share of the problems with one of their regions having been disbanded for close to two years. The relative stability in these two provinces is concrete evidence that the NWC is making a big difference. The Eastern Cape took longer time to reach the stage where we can talk of relative stability. The NWC visited the province not less than four times. Calls for
disbanding the province were successfully resisted and the province held a successful provincial conference, despite it being highly contested. The decision to disband both the North West and the Western Cape PECs was taken after a series of visits. The process of rebuilding these two provinces is underway and promising to give us solid structures moving forward. There is currently more focus on Mpumalanga and the NWC must be patient and thorough in dealing with this situation. This makes the difference between an effective structure and one that uses a checklist approach.
4.30 The NWC is working effectively. However, some comrades are beginning to find it difficult to reconcile their work in the NWC with other deployments. As the first step, those comrades of will now be exposed. It can even be better if comrades come forward and offer to step down from the NWC. This is a working committee whose effectiveness impacts directly on the work of the NEC.
THE NEC SUB-COMMITTEES
4.31 The NEC sub-committees are working relatively well, although some are bordering close to being dysfunctional. In the majority of cases where sub-committees are not functioning well, the chairperson of the committee is not focused on the work of the sub-committee. In other instances the chairperson has been deployed to a different cluster in government, resulting in divided attention and stretching the comrade close to a point of being ineffective.
4.32 Although we have been cautious in terms of appointing ministers to chair sub-committees that are their line functions we have practically discovered that the worse option is deploying a minister to chair a committee that is totally removed from his/her line function. Such an arrangement forces the minister concerned to chair the different sub-committee and, as a line minister, he/she must participate in a sub-committee related to his/her line function.
4.33 The sub-committees give content and detail to the work of the NEC. In some instances sub-committees take too long to develop positions that are needed to provide leadership in society. This puts pressure on ministers to make pronouncements that have not been processed properly. Where they are serious sub-committees provide a concrete framework for government work.
4.34 The sub-committee convened a number of regular meetings to process issues that relate to the implementation of resolutions of the 52nd National Conference, including the 2009 election manifesto priorities, the 2011 local government elections, the January 8th statements, specific policy matters and co-ordination of policy discussion documents towards this NGC. This committee is made up of the Chairpersons of the NEC Sub-Committees. In addition to the Chairs of Sub-Committees, members from the Drafting and Resolution Committee also attend the meetings when the need arises.
4.35 The ANC`s 52nd National Conference resolved on the need to prioritise the development of the ANC policy and research capacity, especially in a form of a Policy Institute, as part of the organisational renewal of our movement.
4.36 With reard to the Policy Institute, the Policy Sub-Committee presented to the NEC a concept and funding proposal on the establishment of the Policy Institute, which will have the following core functions:
- Policy Co-ordination: facilitating and co-ordinating the process of developing policy within the ANC; providing support to the NEC Sub-Committees; and facilitate the drafting of the January 8th statements and manifesto policy development process for national and local government elections. These tasks will involve close interaction with the NEC Sub-committee on Policy Coordination and other Sub-Committees.
- Policy-research: This will cover a diverse range of areas, informed by the priorities and programmes of the ANC.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: focusing on government-wide performance; tracking policy development trends, through evaluation reports; performance of public representatives; and conducting annual or mid-term reviews at all levels.
4.37 Currently the Policy Institute has a minimal staff and the process is underway to finalise the operational structure and funding framework, before the end of this year. The Polokwane resolutions make it very clear that future funding for the Institute (together with the Political School) should be sourced primarily from a “comprehensive public funding”.
4.38 The Policy Sub-Committee, through the Policy Institute, has embarked upon a process of conducting evaluation of public representatives. The initial target group for the evaluation exercise are local government public representatives. The original intention was that the project would be concluded by February 2010.Resources both financial and human has negatively impacted on the original timeframes. We can now report that the work has been completed, with about 4,000 councillors covered by this exercise. A separate report on the findings of the evaluation is included in the NGC conference package.
Commission for Religious and Traditional Affairs
4.39 The Commission for Religious and Traditional Affairs (CRATA) is one of the most active sub-committees of the NEC. It is important because it interacts with many stakeholders in society, giving meaning to the concept of the ANC having the responsibility of leading society. Its work is guided by the 52nd National Conference resolution; that of repositioning the religious, arts, culture and heritage sectors as pillars for social transformation, nation building, social cohesion and moral regeneration. The value of this work was more obvious during the general elections, where the various sectors were successfully mobilised to support the ANC and starve the opposition of the support base that was assumed to be up for grabs to any party.
4.40 CRATA has held a number of consultative meetings to develop a detailed programme. The sub-committee has identified key policy issues that need to be reviewed in preparation for the National General Council and the centenary celebrations, including:
- Religion and politics
- Heritage and indigenous knowledge systems
- Culture and development
- Common culture between Africa and the Diaspora.
Focus groups have been established to develop discussion papers on these policy issues, but the NEC has agreed that any of these papers should be used as input to the social transformation commission.
4.41 CRATA has facilitated the establishment of an inter-faith movement. In its assessment, the sub-committee came to the conclusion that many faith-based formations were generally ineffective. After a long consultative process the National Interfaith Leaders Council has been established. It is non-partisan and inclusive of all faiths. As a natural consequence of this development there was some concern from within the established churches that needed attention, such as the South African Council of Churches (SACC) view that it was being pushed to the periphery. This concern has been addressed and all the organisations, including the SACC and the South African Catholic Bishops` Conference (SACBC), are now part of all the inter-faith initiatives. Without undoing the work that is being done in the broader inter-faith movement our historical allies must be reassured and kept in the fold. This is important in that all these formations are contested and their support for the congress
movement cannot be taken for granted. It must continue to be earned, as that is the historic mission of the ANC.
4.42 CRATA structures have been established in the provinces with the following desks:
- PEC coordinator
- Inter-faith Coordinator
- Coordinator for the Institution of Traditional Leadership
- Coordinator for the Institution of Traditional Healers
- Provincial Chaplains
4.43 This sub-committee has developed an ambitious programme moving forward. For this programme to be realised the sub-committee depends heavily on invited members, since three of the six NEC members of the sub-committee have never attended a single meeting. The only three members who are consistent carry the burden of ensuring that the mandate of the 52nd National Conference is implemented.
Legislature and Governance
4.44 The Legislature and Governance Sub-Committee had a bad start, because for a year, it hardly met and virtually no work was done. This forced the NEC to reconfigure the committee and shift people from positions of responsibility and replace them. Since late 2008 the sub-committee has been very active and effective. More energy is needed at its leadership level, since the volume of work is averse to any slack.
4.45 L&G has defined its mandate as follows:
- The transformation of the judiciary
- Transformation of legislative institutions
- Transformation of the executive institutions of the state
- Conceptualisation of an inclusive governance system
- Appreciation of its work being heavily dependant on close co-operation with other sub-committees
4.46 The following areas of work have been processed for completion. Some require the final decision of the NEC, and further discussion in all the other structures of the movement:
- Political assessment of the state of local government and the development of the turnaround strategy. This work is at the implementation stage but it is too early to quantify any results. The success of the turnaround strategy is more dependent on the provinces taking primary responsibility for the improvement of the performance of individual municipalities, including paying closer attention to the audit reports on the individual municipalities.
- Demarcation disputes in Merafong, Moutse and Matatiele. The Merafong dispute has been finalised and both the Moutse and Matatiele disputes are awaiting the final recommendations of the NEC task teams assigned to take charge of the political management of the process. It must be noted that two new areas have been considered, that is, Balfour and GaMothibi. The most important lesson for our movement is that the message that we are a unitary government is not loud enough, hence the fight for re-demarcation from one province to the other. The policy of the ANC on provincial boundaries has been severely weakened by the budget system that puts a lot of emphasis on the population statistics, rather than on developmental needs.
- Review and recommendations of the Ad-Hoc committee on the review of Chapter 9 institutions and related institutions. The report of the committee was tabled to the NEC but a final decision needs to be taken.
- The review of local and provincial government. This work still needs to be discussed in detail by the NEC. Political discussion must be opened wherein the current system is assessed, particularly the long-term sustainability of the current provinces and whether there is a case for the reduction of the number of provinces. This discussion should look into whether the original position of the ANC on the provinces is still worth pursuing. This controversial discussion has been left in abeyance for too long, leaving comrades to their individual views, which get construed to be the policy of the ANC.
- Assessment of the current governance model of the Executive Arm of National Government. This work was submitted to the transitional committee that looked into the structure of the cabinet and the development of the National Planning Commission. The cabinet was reconfigured with some new portfolios being created for the effective implementation of the manifesto. The National Planning Commission has now been established and has started working.
- Report on the restructuring of the Electricity Distribution Industry. This work is used as an input to the Economic Transformation Committee discussions on the integrated energy strategy. It is however urgent that a decision is taken on the end state of the electricity distribution industry in South Africa. There are now serious reservations about the establishment of the six independent REDS as initially conceived.
4.47 The following work is being processed:
- The development role of the institution of traditional leadership. This area of work overlaps with the work done by CRATA and integration is therefore necessary.
- Strengthening the electoral system and creating a dynamic link between the people and public representatives.
- Strengthening constituency work and public participation.
- A single public service.
- Reviewing the existing codes of conduct for public representatives and ANC leadership in the fight against crime and corruption.
- Transformation of the judiciary. This area of work is overlapping with that of the Peace and Stability sub-committee.
4.48 The Political Education Sub-Committee was dysfunctional for the first eighteen months. There was no programme and meetings were called as a matter of formality, without concrete results showing. There was, instead, hollow calls that something had to be done about political education. Subsequent to the defection of the former chairperson, the committee was reconfigured and the NEC appointed a new chairperson in July 2009.
4.49 Since then the sub-committee meets regularly, with new energy displayed and few of the NEC members taking interest. The sub-committee, as other subcommittees do from time-to-time, invites participation of non-NEC members.
4.50 The sub-committee has agreed on the programme that can be categorised as follows:
- Leadership development
- Political school
- Staff training and political development
- Leadership to society
4.51 Three other programmes support the broader organisational programmes, that is, the NGC, Centenary preparations and local government elections.
4.52 The induction programme commenced with the training of 10 trainers per region. This programme has been rolled out in all the provinces. In addition, the sub-committee will regularly circulate notes on topical issues for branch discussions. Some of the articles will be in the revitalised Umrabulo, and they must be used for political education.
4.53 The site for the political school has been secured. We need to develop a comprehensive plan for the school, including clearly identifying the sections of the political education programme that will be housed in the school itself. As we proceed with the political education programme, the role of the school must be concretely determined. We must also identify those programmes that will be accredited and the institutions we want to partner with. After developing the curriculum, the programme will be rolled out in the provinces, the regions and the legislatures. The programme will target all the leadership collectives, the NEC, the PECs, the RECs, BECs, MPs, MPLs and Councillors. Cadre development will happen in all sites of struggle.
4.54 A Core ANC Curriculum has been agreed on, with 10 modules identified:
- The history of the ANC and national resistance
- Ideological training and tools of analysis
- Theory and practice of development
- State, government and transformation
- Introduction to economic concepts and theories
- Organisation theories and tools
- Communication, battle of ideas and the media
- Basic research skills
- International relations
- Revolutionary ethics
4.55 For this programme to succeed more resources have to be invested. Every province must at least have a political education officer. Alternative sources of funding must be identified and found. Only then can we be able to implement the action plan.
Peace and Stability
4.56 The Peace and Stability Sub-Committee started off well, focusing on real challenges facing the movement. It has, however, not been consistent in terms of its performance. Over the last twelve months, having stepped up its work, the subcommittee has met six times. Some members of the sub-committee have not attended a single meeting, reducing its capacity. The good work done by the sub-committee must, however, be acknowledged.
4.57 The successful dissolution of the Scorpions and the establishment of the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations, the Hawks, is a product of hard work and undivided focus on the task at hand. We must remind ourselves of the heavy resistance mobilised by the opposition and the surprise they confronted during public hearings when there was an overwhelming support for the dissolution of the Scorpions. This was an aggressive implementation of the National Conference resolution.
4.58 The National Conference also resolved that a Ministry for Military Veterans be established. The establishment of the Department of Military Veterans within the new Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans is a major step forward in the implementation of the conference resolution. The Ministerial Task Team chaired by the Deputy Minister is dedicating time and energy on issues of military veterans. Among the key issues being currently discussed are:
- Special pensions and a special tax dispensation for military veterans.
- The Non-Statutory Force Pension is being reviewed to allow for lump sum payouts at the end of the pensionable age. As the committee pushes hard for this arrangement it would be helpful for the team to study the impact of moving from defined benefits to defined contributions, which translated into lump sum payouts in many sectors in the 1990s. It is worth noting that lump sum payouts require a deep understanding of the investment options, as the responsibility to see one through the remaining years is transferred to the individual. On the other hand, a defined benefit system at least ensures a relatively comfortable life throughout.
- The allocation of some of the RDP houses to military veterans.
4.59 The sub-committee has been monitoring progress made in the strengthening of the Criminal Justice System. This work covers the following critical areas:
- Improved performance of the courts, including acceleration of trials, handling of bail applications and reviewing of the old bail protocol. A new bail protocol has been developed and signed by the relevant ministers.
- The amendment of the Criminal Procedure Act, intended for streamlining criminal justice processes, is being drafted.
- Work on improving conditions for specialist careers, such as in SAPS forensic laboratories, investigations, SAPS criminal record centre, legal aid boards and social work, is underway.
- Implementation of a seamless and reliable national criminal justice information system.
This work must be communicated in simple language to re-instil public confidence in the criminal justice system. If we do what needs to be done in this area of work we can win the battle of making criminal justice a societal issue.
4.60 Following the protest action by the SANDF members, the sub-committee dealt with the complexity of developing a policy framework to ensure enforcement of discipline in the defence force. The NEC supported the decision to de-unionise the SANDF and the sub-committee engaged with the objections from the Alliance partners, COSATU in particular. Equally important was the acceptance that working conditions of soldiers had to be urgently reviewed, resulting in the interim establishment of the Military Commission to deal with this complex area of work.
4.61 The sub-committee is working with the Alliance partners in developing a comprehensive crime and corruption fighting strategy. It is working together with the Department of Home Affairs to draft the review of the immigration policy. Central to this review will be to clarify the distinction between asylum seekers and economic refugees.
4.62 The Social Transformation Sub-Committee has been meeting regularly since the 52nd National Conference. It has identified its mandate as that of ensuring government departments implement policies, with the ANC being at the centre of social transformation. The emphasis was on improving services to the poor, including supporting government`s efforts of developing a comprehensive social security system. Building on the work done over successive terms of leadership and the implementation of the resolutions of various national conferences, the 52nd National Conference acknowledged that we are only at the beginning of a long journey to a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
4.63 The sub-committee started its work by assessing the effectiveness of departments in implementing the mandate derived from the National Conference resolutions. Eleven thematic areas were discussed and policy options assessed since the beginning of 2008:
- The challenge of load shedding, an issue that was of public interest at the time. This work overlapped with the work of the ETC on the energy crisis.
- Comprehensive social security and broad social development.
- Housing, human settlements and sustainable livelihoods.
- Social cohesion, heritage, arts, culture and sports.
- Comprehensive rural development strategy, land and agrarian reform and food security.
- Building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities and improving services by the Department of Home Affairs
- Review of medical parole criteria.
- Women, children and persons with disabilities.
- Youth development.
- Military veterans.
- The impact of drug and alcohol abuse.
4.64 There has been more focus on ensuring that the work of STC is integrated with the work of other sub-committees. The Social Transformation Sub-Committee has participated actively in the preparations for both the Alliance summits and the Alliance economic summit, producing discussion documents for these meetings. Out of this process, three broad policy issues emerged:
- Extension of the child support grant to those eighteen years of age and also the age equalisation for eligibility to old age pension.
- Introduction of mandatory social security covering unemployment insurance, reforming the Road Accident Fund, introduction of the National Health Insurance and the reform of retirement provisions.
- Consolidation of social security service delivery by the relevant department.
4.65 The sub-committee also contributed to drafting the 2009 election manifesto, strengthening the social transformation component. The summary of the progress made in the provision of houses, water and electricity to millions of households has been used as the yardstick for measuring progress in improving the lives of our people. The strengthening of the social transformation component of the manifesto covered areas like the extension of free basic services, protecting the most vulnerable and increasing the number of social grants and child support grants to ameliorate the impact of poverty in society. The establishment of new ministries and departments like the Ministry of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities has increased the scope of work of the committee. This is part of the strategy to ensure that implementation of the resolutions is not left to chance but given to specific Ministries for implementation.
4.66 Changing the Ministry of Housing to that of Human Settlements is not just about name change, but the refinement of our development agenda. It is driven by the desire to improve the quality of life of our people and build stronger, better-planned and sustainable communities. The establishment of the Housing Development Agency will improve support provided to the provinces and municipalities. The core strategy is the development of settlements that must entail, among others, provision of services, proximity and access to income-earning facilities, and integrated spatial planning.
4.67 The committee has not reported substantively on sport development as part of the strategy to develop an integrated and healthy society. The debate about the springbok as a symbol for rugby, in addition to the national emblem, was not merely technical but also political. The maturity with which this controversial debate was handled and settled can instruct our approach in a number of aspects of nation building.
4.68 The successful hosting of the World Cup was a dream come true. Taking into account that South Africa was kicked out of FIFA in 1967 its re-admission after the unbanning of the liberation movements is concrete evidence that the political miracle contributed to this important decision by FIFA. It was an appropriate reward for the heroic struggles of the South African people. It was a fitting acknowledgement of the commitment by many of the heroes of our struggle, those who paid the ultimate price, those who spent many years in exile, those who languished in prison and those who faced the enemy with bare hands in their quest for freedom. The warmth and generosity experienced by the visiting teams and their supporters communicated the message that South Africa is a winning nation and a good tourist destination. The performance of Bafana Bafana, despite not qualifying for the tournament except to play by virtue of being the host nation coupled with their being the second lowest rated team in the World Cup, gave us confidence that we can be a great soccer nation.
4.69 The Caster Semenya support campaign gave the ANC some practical taste of what the dynamics are in sport. All our structures and the ANCYL, in particular, must be commended for taking the stand when it really mattered. The green light given that she can again participate in competitive athletics is a result of the whole nation standing firm behind her.
4.70 The main message that must be taken to all the structures of our movement is that transformation in sport is not the responsibility of the department, but a national campaign for the ANC. The lack of transformation in major sport disciplines, like rugby and cricket, requires our active interest as a movement.
4.71 The following issues were addressed within the context of the programme of the STC:
- The Department of Social Development has been tasked to investigate and do the financial modelling for a pension fund for veterans, including musicians and artists.
- The committee prepared the country statement and participation in the United Nations` Commission on the Status of Women held in New York on 1-12 March 2010. The Conference reviewed progress in advancing the fight for women`s equality. It is this work that led to the recommendation and the NEC`s decision to reinstate the Gender sub-committee.
- The committee has discussed the possibility of widening the scope of social security, and linked to this is the need to develop capacity to remove from the system those who access employment.
- The campaign against drug and substance abuse has always focused on urban areas but evidence is proving that this dangerous habit is equally a problem in rural areas. The committee is recommending that further research be conducted on various streams and assess the extent of drug abuse in South Africa.
- In dealing with rural development the committee is happy with the progress made but the lack of access to markets has been identified as needing urgent attention. Public Works and Rural Development have to compare notes on an ongoing basis on the successes achieved as we refine the integrated rural development strategy.
- Having received the report from the Gender Commission the committee has decided on a joint workshop between the Gender Commission and the Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, as there is a lot of overlap in their work. The Ministry has been given the responsibility to facilitate the proposed workshop.
- The question of the deteriorating water infrastructure has been identified as a disaster in waiting. The funding model for water provisioning needs to be revisited as the principle of cost recovery can make water inaccessible to the poor. There was agreement that other departments have to be involved in the discussions, as this problem is multi-dimensional.
- The review of medical parole is another area that was discussed. The proposals that have gone through the ETC has led to the amendment of the relevant legislation.
Education and Health Committee
4.72 After the 52nd National Conference the NEC decided to establish a stand-alone Education and Health Sub-Committee, distinct from the Social Transformation sub-committee. This decision was informed by the desire to ensure that there was focus on these two areas of work that were seen as critical for the transformation of society. It was not necessarily meant to redefine education and health outside social transformation, but to rather strengthen and accelerate the pace of change and implementation of the resolutions of the 52nd National Conference. This has become one of the most active sub-committees of the NEC.
4.73 The sub-committee met regularly and also held a workshop to process issues. They held meetings with several organisations, which had direct interest in education and/or health:
- The sub-committee engaged the South African Medical Association (SAMA) on the problems relating to the Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD) for medical doctors. In this engagement the ANC highlighted the negative impact the strike had on the public health system. This was an important contribution towards finding an amicable solution.
- The engagement with the Suid Afrikanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) was part of the outreach programme wherein minority communities are made to understand that they have a role to play in making South Africa work. The responsibility of building a non-racial society was explained in detail. The SAOU committed itself to contributing to an improved education.
- The sub-committee engaged the National Association of People Living with Aids (NAPWA) on the social welfare, grants and economic development of people living with HIV. While expressing their appreciation on progress made on the rollout of ARVs, NAPWA emphasised the importance of nutrition as part of the comprehensive programme on HIV and AIDS.
4.74 The Education and Health sub-committee launched the education and health campaigns, encouraging participation of branches and soliciting contribution from Alliance partners and other stakeholders in these sectors. These campaigns did not catch fire at branch level because of lack of capacity in many of the provinces. With both education and health being the priorities of our movement over the present five-year term, we should strive to implement these campaigns, and educate communities about the basic issues they can do to improve the quality of education and healthcare where they live.
4.75 The policy on the National Health Insurance was developed and adopted by the NEC. This policy has been presented in the provinces, including numerous meetings and conferences like those of Medical Schemes Advisors, Black Health Funders, the Western Cape Democratic Left and the COSATU Winter School, among others. This was important in the face of the initial attack directed at the concept of the NHI as a non-starter. The committee has now completed its task in this regard, and is now waiting for the Department of Health to publish the green paper for public discussions.
4.76 The ten-point plan that was developed by the sub-committee has now been adopted as the strategic plan for the ministry. It was even more exciting when the National Cabinet Lekgotla, adopted this plan with clear timelines. This will make implementation easier and the sub-committee will support the department fully.
4.77 The sub-committee developed the ten-point plan on education. The Ministry of Basic Education has adopted this plan as its strategic plan for this five-year term. The National Cabinet Lekgotla also adopted the plan. The sub-committee is focusing on a few concerns that urgently need to be attended to:
- Disruption of schooling, particularly in township and rural schools
- The role played by teachers in the disruptions
- Flashpoints where cross-boundary problems affect schooling
4.78 In view of these problems the sub-committee is proposing an Alliance Education Summit to focus the whole movement on education and improvement thereof.
4.79 The work on Higher Education and Further Education and Training is at the initial stage, given that this is a new department. A roadmap is being developed and priorities are being identified. A discussion has also been started on the relation between the departments of higher Education and Science and Technology.
4.80 Attendance of meetings remains the biggest challenge facing the sub-committee. This trend has now extended itself to MECs who attend sub-committee meetings by invitation.
4.81 This remains one of the most active sub-committees of the NEC. The ETC meets from time-to-time to consolidate its work. The volume of work directed to this committee is growing almost on a daily basis, and to cope with it the sub-committee restructured itself into focused task teams, namely:
- Developmental state and planning
- Employment and Human Resource Development
- Agrarian reform
- Macro-Economic Policy
- Industrial and Trade policy
- Development Finance Institutions and State Owned Enterprises
- Infrastructure development
- Mineral Resources
- Climate Change and Water Resources
The NEC has decided to set up a stand-alone sub-committee on State Owned Enterprises and Development Finance Institutions. These institutions, as tools in the hands of the developmental state, need a focused attention so that their mandates can be clarified and corporate governance improved.
The 52nd National Conference resolution requires that the organisational and technical capacity of government be developed, with a view to building and strengthening the developmental state. It further calls for the creation of an institutional centre for government-wide economic planning.
4.82 The Developmental State and Planning Task Team spent a lot of time and energy dealing with issues of composition, structure and institutional location of the National Planning Commission. The task team looked at planning institutions in other countries like Brazil, India, Malaysia and South Korea. From this exercise a comprehensive proposal consolidating the position of the ANC on the approach was made to both the ETC and Legislative and Governance sub-committee. The work of this task team culminated in the Green Paper. The National Planning Commission has now been set up and is operational. It is still too early to expect concrete proposals from this newly established institution.
4.83 The establishment of the Economic Development Ministry is intended to strengthen government`s economic policy-making, planning and coordination machinery.
4.84 The task team on Development Finance Institutions and State-Owned Enterprises did not meet as regularly as expected. It has discussed the concept of the developmental approach of the DFIs and the National Treasury report on the review of DFIs. The discussion on the mandate of the big five DFIs has been started. The ETC has supported the proposal of the National Treasury review that a DFI Council be established. This proposal is still to be endorsed by the NEC. These institutions remain inaccessible to the people and are weak in channelling resources to the relevant economic activities and, in the main, promoting transformation. SOEs and DFIs can play a more significant role in skills development and training. Although we must acknowledge that there is some work being done in this area, it is not close to the potential role these institutions can play.
4.85 The Employment and Human Resource Development Task Team is one of the best functioning task teams of the ETC, with a high level of participation. Its focus has mainly been on employment creation, with particular focus on the creation of decent work. This is linked to the central role that can be played by education, training and skills development in giving people greater access to the employment opportunities in the labour market. Many of the recommendations of this task team were included in the election manifesto. The complex issue of labour brokers was also engaged with, so that the ANC could provide guidance to the parliamentary process.
4.86 The Macro-Economic Policy Task Team is the best attended as it deals with many areas of divergence. The discussions on the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank are ongoing, and the pronouncement made on this matter during the budget speech took the debate forward and closer to finality, defining the mandate of the Reserve Bank in the broadest terms. The impact of the global economic crisis on our economy and public spending was another issue that consumed a lot of time of the task team.
4.87 The Energy, Climate Change and Water Resources task team met only once in 2008, and that meeting was poorly attended. The focus was on the security of a safe and equitable supply of water in South Africa. Although there has been a lot of talk about a pending water crisis, we have failed to elevate the debate to that level. The challenges facing our country in respect of energy supply have been on the table but the task team has been quite tardy in dealing with them. The ETC could have provided bolder leadership on the Multi-Year Pricing Dispensation. There is still a reasonable expectation that this task team will provide leadership in the ongoing discussions on the build-programme for energy and difficulties in finding appropriate and cost effective funding for it. The proposal of an Independent Systems Operator managing the access of Independent Power Producers to the national grid without being blocked by Eskom needs to be finalised, so that there is a clear option as to what
this ISO will look like at the end of the day.
4.88 The Industrial Policy Task Team found convergence among the Alliance partners on the need for a well-crafted industrial policy. There is agreement on the need for this policy to focus on developing domestic industry. Due to poor attendance by NEC members at the discussion on the Draft Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), no concrete decisions could be taken. This deprived the ETC of the opportunity to provide leadership before the draft policy was adopted by cabinet.
4.89 The Trade Task Team was guided by the Polokwane resolution that the “industrial policy should lead our overall approach to sector development, whilst trade policy should play a supportive role and be sensitive to employment outcomes.” The task team has focused on the challenges regarding the EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). There was agreement that the ANC, at a party-to-party level, should pro-actively mobilise countries in the region around collective regional interests. The first detailed engagement has been with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and plans are afoot to engage the relevant parties in both Botswana and Swaziland.
4.90 The task team on Rural Development and Agrarian Reform spent much of its time developing a comprehensive framework on rural development. There was specific focus on the development of the government`s response to rising food prices. The work of this task team is guiding the work of the newly established Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform.
4.91 The ETC continues to work effectively but poor attendance by NEC members inhibits the work of the sub-committee. The deployment of many members of the sub-committee to strategic positions in government has not made the work easier. Many of the task teams are expected to provide guidance to critical areas of work and should therefore be more pro-active in their approach. The fact that the Mining Task Team has only met once is instructive.
National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal (NDCA)
4.92 The National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal was formed in terms of the resolution taken by the 52nd National Conference. At the time of taking the resolution, the view was that the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) would refer all cases to this committee. This logic does not apply in the case of the dismissal of public representatives who have the automatic right of appeal. The volume of cases handled by this subcommittee reflects the reality that the majority of cases referred to it were, in the main, those of public representatives.
4.93 The subcommittee handled 128 appeal cases between August 2008 and June 2010. The process of handling these appeal cases is quite an involved one, in that the NDCA is not a disciplinary structure of the first instance. It has to rely heavily on the proper documentation of cases at both the provincial and regional levels. Although many regions and provinces have developed great capacity in handling disciplinary cases, there are many that have not reached the required level of development, making the work of the NDCA more slow and complicated. To close this gap the NDCA will be conducting workshops for all the disciplinary structures at provincial and regional levels.
4.94 The size of this subcommittee, that is, five members, and the unavailability of the members, is a major cause for slowness in the processing of cases. To address this constraint the next National Conference will be asked to amend the constitution in order to increase the number of members from five to ten. This will require that the composition be extended beyond the NEC members to provide for the inclusion of veterans who will have more time at hand, and also more people with legal expertise to increase the skills base of the subcommittee.
4.95 The majority of cases handled by the NDCA are those of councillors who have defied the decisions of the ANC structures with regard to the voting processes in council meetings. In most cases these councillors collaborate with the opposition to undermine the ANC, even where it is in majority in the specific council.
4.96 The second category of cases are those about differences over deployment, where councillors sometimes defy the ANC executive structures in selecting candidates for deployment, using institutional protection. Mostly, the differences originate from the ANC structures themselves and overflow into the council chambers. This, contrary to common projection, is more a political rather than a technical problem.
4.97 The defection of councillors to parties not in Alliance with the ANC, in general, and COPE, in particular, constitutes the third category of cases. Many of these cases were difficult to handle as they ended up in courts. These councillors were determined to advance the interests of COPE from within the councils, using council resources to undermine the ANC. The attempt to find a political solution in line with the appeal by the President to lure those who defected back to the ANC collapsed, as the subcommittee soon discovered that it was dealing with people who were outright dishonest.
4.98 The bias of the municipal officials in general and municipal managers, in particular, against the ANC, is a source for concern. Many of these officials find innovative ways of circumventing the decisions of political parties, taking sides with the individual members and refusing to remove dismissed councillors.
4.99 The experience in these cases imposes an obligation on the ANC to refine the constitutional provision that gives public representative an automatic right of appeal, without imposing a similar responsibility on the individual to take the initiative to appeal. This provision is heavily abused in that appellants just absent themselves from disciplinary hearings as they have this automatic right.
International Relations Sub-Committee
4.100 The International Relations Sub-Committee continues to do good work with the meagre resources it has access to. Staffing levels are at desperately low levels, depending heavily on interns to do work. In the long-term, this is unsustainable in that every intern has a right to leave the organisation at any moment they have secured themselves a permanent post somewhere else. If our international influence is to be maintained or improved, the ANC must allocate sufficient resources to this unit.
4.101 Over the last two and half years IR has done serious work to fulfil its mandate as agreed in the strategic session held in 2009, that is:
Advancing the leadership of the ANC and her government in the continent, in the strengthening of South/South relations and in the globe, with specific reference to the multilateral institutions.
Coordinate the international work undertaken by the ANC, the Alliance partners and the broader democratic movement, in that way optimising the impact we can make as a country.
Pooling together capacity and resources in the ANC, in Government and in organs of civil society.
4.102 The engagement among the former liberation movements in the region has been revived. Secretaries General of these parties have met several times in an attempt to strengthen their historic relations. This work culminated in the meeting of the leaders of the parties that agreed on a programme. Among the agreements were: the frequency of meetings for both the Secretaries General and the leaders of the parties respectively, the identification of other progressive parties in the continent, identification of the liberation heritage sites in the continent, and the need to reconnect with the successor organisations to the anti-apartheid movements.
4.103 The contribution made by the ANC at party-to-party level in the process that culminated in the democratic elections in the Sudan must be commended. The comrades who spent weeks in that country training party agents and even mediating among parties that are hostile to each other must be applauded.
4.104 The relationship with the Communist Party of China continues to grow from strength to strength. In addition to many visits to China by various delegations, it is heartening to report that the education exchange programme for our NEC has translated into two groups of NEC members undergoing intensive political education programmes, resulting in a total of 35 members of the NEC and 6 other invited participants benefiting. The aim is to ensure that all the NEC members go through this programme as part of the ongoing political education for the leadership of our movement. A trip for provincial secretaries is also planned before the end of the year.
4.105 The party-to-party relations between the Communist Party of Cuba and the ANC need to be strengthened further. That work has been started with a visit by a small delegation of the ANC. This should graduate into a state visit by the President. We are emphasising the party-to-party aspect because a lot of good work is happening at the level of government. This programme includes a few visits by Cuban delegations. As Cuba opens up its economy, the ANC should take an active interest and keep close to the process.
4.106 The four “Social Democratic Parties”, that is, the ANC, the SPD of Germany, the Congress Party of India and the Workers Party of Brazil, have met twice over the last two years. The last meeting took place at the height of the global financial crisis, giving us the opportunity to share experiences on how each of the parties handled this global crisis. The ANC used the opportunity to argue for the admission of South Africa to BRIC, to make it BRICSA. It is encouraging to note that our government is quite aggressive in engaging the member countries on this subject. Another meeting will be held in South Africa before the end of 2010.
4.107 Many leaders of the ANC have undertaken trips that had the intention of complementing the work of our government, particularly in the area of inviting investors to South Africa. The experience gained here points to the slippery nature of this terrain. As we re-assure investors that South Africa is a good investment destination, contradictions are in the process sharpened as some comrades see this as preferential treatment to investors over the needs of our people. We must appreciate that South Africa is competing for investment globally, wherein other countries will capitalise on our mistakes to grab any investment opportunity. What we must guard against is to engage in the race to the bottom, trying to attract investment by giving unsustainable concessions.
4.108 The ongoing debate about the transformation of the multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and all its organs and the African Union, should be placed firmly on the agenda of the sub-committee so that the ANC can guide the discussion.
4.109 This is another subcommittee that is quite active but needs to strengthen the documentation and quantification of the work done. This also talks directly to the questions of resources and capacity.
NEC PROVINCIAL DEPLOYMENTS
4.110 As part of its responsibility to supervise and direct the work of the ANC and all its organs, further ensuring that the provincial, regional and branch structures of the ANC function democratically and effectively, the NEC has divided itself into teams that work in the provinces. This is the weakest area of NEC work. Very few of these teams work hard enough to make a difference, many NEC members doing the barest minimum and satisfied with mere attendance of PEC meetings. Many NEC members participate fully when the NWC visits provinces, but most deployees are strangers in provinces where they are deployed. We hardly have a team where half of the NEC members take their deployment to the provinces seriously. We must commend those who are hard at work as teams.
4.111 The NEC deployees in the Northern Cape have done the barest minimum. Many have not attended a single structural meeting in the province, resulting in a handful of deployees consistently attending meetings of structures, be they PEC or REC meetings.
4.112 Although the provincial lekgotla developed a comprehensive programme for the implementation of the five priorities in our manifesto, the deployees cannot confidently account for the implementation efforts of regions and branches of the ANC in this regard.
4.113 An instance where all the deployees participated enthusiastically was in mobilising for the local government by-elections. A detailed framework on how best the province would engage those members who defected to other parties informed the programme.
4.114 Almost all the NEC deployees are not available for branch work despite the programme having been developed. This has the direct impact on the ability of the branches to wage campaigns in a sustainable way. This is impacting in a practical way on the work of organisation building and campaigning.
4.115 The movement of the convenor of deployees to the Western Cape has worsened the situation in the province.
4.116 The deployees in the Eastern Cape have allocated themselves to the regions so that they can provide political and organisational leadership directly. The expectation is that the deployees will attend all REC meetings. This does not preclude any NEC deployee from working in any other region in the province.
4.117 The deployees played an important role in ensuring that the province held a successful conference where contestation threatened to destabilise the province, and the conference itself. They supported the province in ensuring that all regions held their regional conferences before the provincial conference, and conducted pre-registration a week before the conference to eliminate many of the queries upfront.
4.118 The NEC deployees were given the responsibility of directly guiding the PEC in preparation for the conference. This was short of disbanding the previous PEC, but an option to limit its political powers. Four comrades are consistent in doing their work in the province, and one is hardly available for work in the province.
4.119 The new provincial leadership has taken an aggressive stance in driving the programme of the province. As a consequence many of the NEC deployees have slowed down in terms of their activity in the province. Some do not even attend PEC meetings, without any apologies.
4.120 The province continues to ask the NEC deployees to assist in dealing with specific problems and challenges. The challenges around the district mayor of O.R. Tambo and the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro are good examples of the difference the involvement of the NEC deployees can make in a province.
4.121 In its first twelve months this team was the most active, working as a collective. This collapsed after the 2009 general elections, following the movement of some members to other provinces and others being deployed in one or the other position in government. These responsibilities have stretched comrades to the limit, making them less effective in organisational deployment. Less than half of these deployees remain as effective as before.
4.122 The disbandment of the PEC and the appointment of the PTT pushed the task of building the organisation in the province to the fore, imposing a bigger responsibility on the NEC deployees. The availability of the convenor when there are emergencies and urgent issues does not replace the need for the team to work as a unit.
4.123 The work of this team in a province where factionalism is almost formalised must be appreciated. The PTT needed more support from the NEC deployees in the difficult work of building structures at all levels of the province.
4.124 The dynamic interaction between the SGO, the PTT and the convenor of deployees, in the main, closed the gap that would have otherwise been created. The team is expected to invest time and energy in ensuring that the provincial conference is held before the first week of December 2010.
4.125 We must also acknowledge the positive role played by the NEC team in ensuring that the ANC secured a landslide victory in the 2009 elections in an environment that was basically hostile within the ANC structures themselves.
4.126 Our performance in the 2011 local government elections requires the NEC team to closely monitor our structures in the province and be more hands on.
4.127 Five of the seven NEC deployees are consistent in doing ANC work in the province. They are actively participating in PEC meetings and discussions.
4.128 The NEC members are hands on in the regions and have a clear understanding of the problems that face the organisation. Working this close with the PEC contributes positively to the stability in the province.
4.129 NEC deployees, working with the PEC, are part of the Imvuselelo campaign in the province. They are active in by-elections campaigns. Progress made and gains achieved in almost all the by-elections reflect the hard work put in by these teams.
4.130 The close cooperation between the NEC deployees and the PEC is a source of strength and helps the movement build unity and cohesion.
4.131 Mpumalanga is a difficult province to work in given the activity of factions since the provincial conference. The NEC team of deployees is alive to this reality and take their deployment very serious. Despite the provincial conference being heavily contested, the deployees invested a lot of time in ensuring that it was successful and stable.
4.132 The subsequent regional conferences kept the NEC deployees on their toes. This team had to deal with the much-pronounced divisions in the Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni regions. The relative stability in these two regions is a result of the hard work put to the management of contradictions.
4.133 The elections campaign helped the province display some semblance of unity and cohesion.
4.134 The NEC deployees had to be deeply involved in dealing with service delivery protests that were widespread in the province. The NWC team that did an in-depth analysis of these problems in the province is intended to reinforce the work of the deployees and the PEC.
4.135 All of the seven NEC deployees are active in the province, participating in its political activities.
4.136 They have allocated themselves to the five regions and interact with the lower organs of the movement. The year planner guides the work of the deployees and the dynamic communication between the convenor of deployees and the Provincial Secretary keeps the team informed of all the activities in the province.
4.137 The team is dealing with issues that have emerged and tend to negatively impact on the province:
- Allegations of tensions within the PEC, which could potentially spill over to the lower structures.
- Potential of the divisions in the ANCYL structures affecting unity and cohesion in the province.
- Tribal tensions emanating from the demarcation in the Thohoyandou/Malamulele municipality.
- Location of PCOs in town centres away from where the concentration of voters is.
- Influx of Zimbabweans in the Musina area putting a lot of strain on scarce resources.
- The Moutse cross-boundary dispute remaining a divisive issue in the region.
4.138 The team has raised an issue that affects almost all deployees, that is, lack of resources for deployees who are not deployed in the executive in government.
4.139 At the time of their deployment in the province, the team of deployees had to hit the ground running. This was informed by the tensions that characterised the province in the run-up to the National Conference.
4.140 Given that the provincial conference was held in the run-up to the national conference, the NEC deployees had to deal with a call in early 2008 that the Provincial Conference and Regional Conferences should be held along the lines of the new term of office adopted by the Polokwane Conference. This was resolved amicably.
4.141 At least three major municipalities were facing serious problems taking a lot of time of the NEC deployees who were hands-on in dealing with these problems.
4.142 The team decided against allocating themselves to the regions, an approach that is now seen as a mistake and being reviewed. This has deprived the team of the opportunity to deal with organisational problems at regional level and thus interact directly with the branches of the ANC.
4.143 Poor attendance of PEC meetings and other provincial activities by NEC deployees remains a major problem, let alone doing any political work in the province. Only half of the total number of deployees have been consistent in their interaction with the provincial structures.
Summary on Provincial Deployees
4.144 An overall analysis of the performance of NEC deployees leads to the following conclusions:
- Where NEC deployees have allocated themselves to regions in the province their performance is better than those teams that attend PEC meetings as their main task.
- Very little impact is felt in provinces where deployees only attend meetings.
- NEC deployees make a big difference when they are hands-on in the work of the province, dealing with the challenges.
- There is general trend of few comrades carrying the burden on behalf of more than half of the team members who do not take time to do organisational work.
- Where comrades do not do practical organisational work they become less innovative and become unable to take initiative. This requires that clear directives be given based on the experience.
4.145 When we returned from the 52nd National Conference, the Headquarters of the ANC was a shell, with many of the departments dysfunctional and/or with low levels of staffing.
4.146 The SGO had two office assistants and a group of comrades who were not departments in the true sense of the word. We have improved the operational capacity by putting together a team of three comrades in the SGO focusing on policy, information collection and dissemination, and the NEC/NWC coordinator who replaced a comrade who resigned after being moved from the Presidency to the SGO. Three committee officers have been employed to support the work of the NEC sub-committees. Although we cannot say all problems have been resolved, the situation has improved dramatically. The level of experience is not what it should be, but this is being built and the comrades are engaged on an ongoing basis. Every feedback given is taken seriously as part of this process. Nevertheless, the ANC will continue settling for second best, and those who commit to it as national service, as long as it is not sufficiently resourced to be able to pay decent remuneration packages. We will always have the ambition but this will remain an eternal dream. We must work towards ensuring that the ANC has sufficient resources to attract the best skills from the open labour market.
4.147 Communication, which continues to be headed by an NEC member, has been one of the departments that has kept the ANC going. The departure of the manager from this department has created a gap that is being attended to. The NEC Bulletin has been re-introduced to ensure that the structures of the movement access NEC decisions from the same source, so as to minimise confusion caused when comrades communicate only that which they prefer or are passionate about. The area identified by the NEC as needing attention is the ability to deploy cadres of our movement to engage in public debates and thus actively influence society. We appreciate that when the temperature is raised in the public domain this is one unit that is expected to absorb it. In the majority of cases it is criticised when the diverse interests in the movement have strong views on specific issues. Comrades are encouraged to alert this unit when there is a strong feeling that the ANC must engage with a particular debate.
4.148 Capacity in the Organisation Building and Campaigns unit has been improved. All the provinces have now been given the right to have the basic staffing requirements. The employment of the manager in the Head Office has improved the coordination of activities. The deployment of volunteer organisers to problematic provinces has contributed positively to the work of the unit. Provinces can give testimony to the positive impact made by these teams where they have serious staff shortages. This unit would have been more effective were it to be headed by an NEC member who is fulltime, as decided by the National Conference. It is, therefore, doing relatively well under the circumstances. The unit has been very effective in the area of mobilisation and campaigning. Fulltime leadership would have made a big difference in the area of building and servicing structures consistently. The project of cleaning and developing a more reliable membership system requires more resources, both human
4.149 Political education is at the initial stages of rebuilding itself. All the provinces have been authorised to fill the basic posts required for the work of the unit. With the sub-committee being revived the work of this unit has received a boost. The site for the Political School has been identified and purchased. The sub-committee has put together the curriculum and the operational framework for the school. The Political School programme is not waiting for the physical building, as many of the provinces have started their programmes. Provinces that have legislated the political fund for parties are doing well, with those that have opted for caution struggling to have even the basic induction programmes. Since an NEC member who is fulltime took charge of this unit there is visible movement and more work is being done.
4.150 The Policy Institute has been established with minimum staffing. The process of experienced cadres of the movement taking the responsibility of putting an operational structure together is underway. The question of securing sufficient resources for the institute remains a major challenge. A separate fund-raising initiative is seen as the possible solution to the challenge of the poor resource base for the Institute. For the Institute to play the expected role it needs at least two senior researchers and a group of assistant researchers. This will determine the volume of work and the quality thereof that will go through this important institution.
4.151 The International Relations unit was dysfunctional for some time due to low levels of staffing. When the Chairperson of the NEC sub-committee left for parliament, the unit drifted close to a point of collapse. When the National Chairperson started being full-time in the Head Office the unit was allocated to her as an area of focus, resulting in giving it a major boost. This has, however, not addressed the need for proper staffing of this important unit. The increased activity in the international relations warrants that we get good staff members. Our sister parties, including those who struggle with resources, are operating at higher level than the ANC.
4.152 The question of resources is a major constraint in many respects. The salary structure of the ANC deprives it access to the best brains, and forces it to settle for the second best. Only the most committed normally agree to sacrifice and regard employment by the ANC as national service. Unless we get solution to this problem we will always operate sub-optimally.
PART 5: THE LEAGUES
ANC Veterans League
5.1 The 52nd National Conference noted the resolutions taken by both the Bloemfontein and Mafikeng Conferences, that is, that a veterans` commission be established in the Office of the President and the Provincial Chairpersons` Offices. The intention of this resolution was to ensure the integration of all veterans, ex-combatants and ex-political prisoners into the mainstream political life of the movement. The Polokwane conference directed the new National Executive Committee to establish the Veterans League as a constitutional structure, fully functional by the time of the ANC centenary.
5.2 The necessary constitutional amendment was effected and the constitution and uniform of the Veterans League has been finalised. The launch of the ANCVL in December 2009 was a major step forward, in terms of giving the ANC access to the organisational memory and experience these comrades embody.
5.3 We must acknowledge the critical role played by the Organisation Building and Campaigns sub-committee of the NEC in realising this longstanding dream. The enthusiasm shown by the veterans in all the provinces gives hope that their contribution in the organisational work will make a big difference in ensuring that the history, traditions, values and principles of the movement are reinforced. We must invest sufficient time and resources to ensure that the Veterans League becomes an important structure that brings the necessary balance in the movement.
5.4 The establishment of the ANC Veterans League, which is in accordance with the Polokwane Resolution, will give the ANC a structured access to the experience and memory of the movement embodied in the collective wisdom of its stalwarts. The veterans will play an important role in reinforcing “the traditions, history, values and unity of the movement”. This is a reasonable expectation from the ANC structures at all levels.
5.5 For this to be a reality the structures of the Veterans League must work effectively and efficiently. Preparations for the constitutional structural meetings must be thorough so that these meetings facilitate the unity of the league. Only then will the ANCVL be able to play its rightful place.
5.6 The veterans` structures are operational and meet regularly, although they need the support of the movement, as whole. The ANCVL needs to move beyond pettiness and appreciate that the structure is important. It must intervene effectively when there are problems and prove their ability to deal with challenges facing the veterans league itself.
The ANC Women`s League (ANCWL)
5.7 The 11th National Conference of the ANC Women`s League was held in July 2008. The theme of the conference was “Mobilise and Unite Towards a Caring Society”, which was a commitment by women and a programme for the elected leadership. The NEC was inducted in September 2008, grounding the leadership firmly soon after being elected.
5.8 The Women`s League has since embarked on a number of campaigns, that is,
- Successful 2008 women`s month campaign launched in Welkom.
- Senior Citizens` Month in October 2008, coupled with the celebration of MaSisulu`s birthday.
- Using the 16 Days of Activism to highlight the achievements of the ANC government over the last 15 years.
- The reburial of the first elected President of the Women`s League, cde Ida Mntwana.
- The International Women`s Day in March 2009 organised in Kwaggafontein and Butterworth.
5.9 It is the ability to take up campaigns and issues that affect women directly that will make the Women`s League continue being relevant. It is particularly important for the leadership of the Women`s League to consciously raise women`s issues in every public pronouncement they make. This structure must be more vocal and active in public debates on gender.
5.10 The ANCWL participated actively in the election campaign. The sixty days of Electioneering Non-Stop was an innovative initiative directed at women voters. The Women`s League participated in all the stages of the ANC election campaign, including participating in the drafting of the manifesto.
5.11 After the elections the Women`s League started the 60 days follow-up programme anchored in the situational analysis on how the status of women has improved since 1994. The programme was started with the launch of the 60 days campaign report on 20 April 2009, just two days before the elections. The 60 days follow-up programme was for all the provinces following up desperate cases and helping those families with immediate problems that were identified during the elections.
5.12 The Women`s League is actively involved in international work, undertaking certain activities in their own right, and ensuring that the League is part of the ANC international trips and activities.
- Working with the Gift of Givers the League sent a cargo to Gaza in support of women in this war zone.
- A dialogue between a member of the Cuban Women Federation and the President of the Women`s League was an important gesture of solidarity.
- A delegation participated in a number of activities in the continent, notably in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Egypt.
ANCWL Provincial Structures
5.13 The structures of the League are uneven, with few performing relatively well:
5.14 In the Eastern Cape the League held its provincial conference in September 2008, coming out with a leadership that committed itself to the defence of the unity of the ANC and ANCWL, and a clear programme. With the Provincial Secretary having been elected the Secretary General, the Deputy Provincial Secretary took over as the Acting Provincial Secretary of the League. Despite the challenge of scarce resources the League is functional and is launching branches in the regions. It is grappling with the problem of weak sub-committees, inability to organise women from the middle class and minorities. The membership is currently standing at 14,211.
5.15 In the Free State the League is active but can do much better as a structure. In a number of regions the relations with ANC structures is cordial. The province is of the view that the ANCWL must address the tensions within its structures at regional level with the necessary speed. It is not consistent in implementing its own programme. The membership is currently standing at 9,521.
5.16 In Gauteng the ANCWL has held its provincial and all the regional conferences. The League played an active role in the election campaign, guided by the rallying call to all the structures “in defence of the ANC”. The structure is functional and effective in the province. The membership is currently standing at 14,721.
5.17 In KwaZulu-Natal the ANCWL is functional, effective and focused on the implementation of the programme. The structure was very active in the election campaign focusing specifically on women. The programme includes the women indaba, the Caster Semenya picket and a successful women`s month programme. The membership is currently standing at 17,784.
5.18 In Limpopo the PEC of the ANCWL is hard at work implementing the resolutions and the programme as adopted by the provincial conference. Some of the PEC and PWC meetings could not sit due to failure to form a quorum, something that is a sign of organisational weakness. The NEC of the Women`s League has intervened in political challenges that faced this structure. The role of the ANCWL in the election campaign is commendable. The membership is currently standing at 20,632. This is one province where its provincial conference saw physical confrontation among leaders, an incident that was addressed effectively.
5.19 In Mpumalanga the last provincial conference of the ANCWL was held in July 2007. Unfortunately, soon after the provincial conference, the structure got depleted as a result of various deployments, including some being elected to the NEC of the League. The province is happy that, although limping, the PEC of the ANCWL has consistently implemented their programme and working very close with the PEC of the ANC. Many of the branches are, however, not functional. As a result of the many organisational problems the PEC was ultimately disbanded and a PTT appointed. The programme of rebuilding the organisation is underway. The membership is standing at10,005.
5.20 In the Northern Cape the ANCWL is functional with some challenge that can be regarded as normal organisational challenges. Members of the League are active in ANC programmes. The membership is standing at 7,065.
5.21 In the North West the ANCWL is functional and meets regularly. Factions and divisions in the ANC are equally impacting on the Women`s League, similarly the defections to COPE. It is now busy with the programme of resuscitating and building the structures at all levels of the organisation. The membership is standing at 2,242, far below the potential the province has.
The ANC Youth League
5.22 Immediately after the 52nd National Conference the ANCYL started preparations for its own National Conference, which was held in April 2008 in Mangaung. As was the case with other organs of the ANC, the polarisation and divisions that characterised the Polokwane conference heavily impacted upon the Youth League`s conference.
5.23 Anarchy that characterised the conference got maximum media coverage and was analysed as the beginning of the end. The results of the election of the officials of the League were contested to a point where the conference could not continue. The NEC intervened in this dispute, affirmed the results of these elections and directed the ANCYL to complete the business of the conference. The second session to complete the electoral process and the business of conference was held six weeks later, in NASREC.
5.24 The new leadership had to invest time and energy in building unity and cohesion following a highly contested national conference. The League had to deal with the reality that deep divisions in the ANC affected it directly.
5.25 Following the recall of the former President of the Republic and the formation of COPE a number of the ANCYL leaders, at various levels, defected. This galvanised the movement into a higher level of organisation and mobilisation. These tensions kick-started the election campaign and the ANCYL had to identify its niche in it. We must commend the Youth League for the role it played in the elections. The innovation we saw during the elections in slogans (ayobaness/amandlaness) and in action, attracted young people to vote ANC in their numbers. This defied the wisdom of many analysts who predicted that the middle class youth would mainly vote for COPE.
5.26 Many young people were deployed in various structures and institutions after the elections. This is positive, but has some negative impact on the structures as the availability of these cadres is reduced. The Youth League participated in processes such as the drafting of the manifesto, the list process and the constitution of government.
5.27 The consolidation of all the youth development agencies into the National Youth Development Agency (the NYDA) is a product of an elaborate strategy and months of debates and discussions. Since its establishment the NYDA has engaged young people in all the nine provinces.
5.28 We must now highlight few campaigns that the Youth League has undertaken:
- The ANCYL has consistently celebrated its anniversary and used the occasion for mobilising its constituency.
- It has taken up issues for public debate, reaffirming its character of being a critical body of opinion. Two burning issues that must be highlighted are nationalisation of the mines and African leadership, debates that will be refined in the NGC documents. We must however highlight and emphasise that the ANCYL must be more open and tolerant of different views when issues are opened for public debate. To antagonise and alienate those who wish to contribute to the debate makes the engagement poorer.
- The election campaign, as already acknowledged earlier.
- The interest taken by the league in education matters at all levels is important, particularly in view of the fact that education is now one of the key priorities of our movement.
- The ANCYL has held a national political school, followed by provincial political schools in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and a regional political school in the Lower South Coast.
5.29 International work has seen ANCYL delegations to Cuba, China, Hungary and inclusion in various ANC trips.
5.30 MKMVA is more active in the structures of the ANC. Reporting on the activities of this structure has improved, but it can be better and properly structured. We can do more in the area of looking after the welfare of ex-combatants. The establishment and formalisation of the Military Veterans Department in Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans should add impetus in the work of improving the life of military veterans.
5.31 The fact that the Secretary General of MKMVA is not fulltime is a serious handicap in that the work is attended to in an ad-hoc manner, with very little follow up being made in a coherent manner. The comrades are doing well in the areas of lobbying and advocacy.
5.32 A lot of energy has been put in fundraising and striving for more self-sufficiency. If the various investment initiatives of all the structures in the family could be tightly coordinated we would have better results. We are leaving this to the Treasurer-General`s report.
5.33 It must be noted that 2011 will be the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Umkhonto weSizwe. This is another opportunity to project our history positively and educate younger generations in our movement and the country.
PART 6: THE ALLIANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY
The Tripartite Alliance
6.1 The Alliance, led by the ANC, remains a relevant political force for the unity of the movement. It is an appropriate vehicle for the realisation of the objectives of the national democratic revolution.
6.2 The Alliance is working relatively well at national level. This is not just a statement about regular meetings but more about the seriousness with which the Alliance work is taken. Since December 2007 we have held three Alliance Summits, one of which was an Economic Summit.
6.3 The work of the first two summits contributed to the drafting of the election manifesto. This is the basis for the approach that Alliance partners cannot complain about being marginalised in the implementation process of the manifesto. We must take collective responsibility because it was not only drafted jointly but was sold to the electorate collectively by the Alliance partners. Consultation with the Alliance partners has been very comprehensive over the last two years, with their views being taken seriously. The Alliance partners were consulted when the cabinet was put together without tampering with the prerogative of the president to appoint the cabinet. The third and the last Alliance summit spent time in developing the implementation strategy for the priorities as identified in the election manifesto.
6.4 The Alliance partners have been at loggerheads over the concept of the Alliance being the strategic political centre. The focus of this discussion is always counter-posed to the leadership role of the ANC, as the leader of the Alliance during the current phase of our revolution. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) feels so strong about this issue that it has threatened to insist on signing the social pact with the Alliance partners, so that agreements are not changed mid-stream of implementation. This debate remains open in that the ANC has insisted on it being the strategic centre of power. The question that should be confronted is whether the debate is about conceptual disagreements or a fundamental disagreement that talks to the need for the restructuring of the framework governing the Alliance.
6.5 The decision that an Alliance Summit, whose focus will be on the character and the political framework that governs the Alliance, should be convened in the first quarter of 2010 was taken with the aim of ensuring that our understanding of the Alliance is the same. It will help bridge the political and ideological gaps that are apparent in the Alliance as witnessed in the disagreement on the proposed programme of action. Experience abounds that whenever the Alliance partners get together they have the capacity to find each other and resolve any problem confronting them. In between the Alliance meetings the tendency to make public pronouncements on differences that are not fundamental distracts us from real issues. We must accept that this is not a tendency that can be decreed out of existence but a matter that needs urgent and serious political attention.
6.6 This is a strategic alliance forged in the trenches of struggle for liberation. It is an alliance of independent partners who have the right to influence each other and are open to being influenced. The leadership of the ANC is unquestionable, and has been affirmed and reaffirmed. The fact that partners are independent should never be interpreted to mean that the emphasis is on our differences. The Alliance is about finding agreements on the programmes that can be implemented jointly by the Alliance partners.
6.7 The Alliance between the ANC on the one hand, and the SACP and COSATU, on the other, is an inter-class alliance where working class organisations are in alliance with the multi-class liberation movement. These working class organisations do not melt into the Alliance and lose their class character and ideological outlook. It is this reality that makes it difficult to even understand the demand for a signed pact among the Alliance partners.
6.8 The policy differences and points of emphasis must therefore never take us by surprise. If we understand that our long-term objectives are not the same we will appreciate the apparent impatience from the working class formations, from time-to-time, when perceiving that movement is not taking place with the necessary speed. This understanding will make us appreciate the need for careful management of this relationship.
6.9 On the other hand it will help our allies understand that gains made by the revolution must always be consolidated and defended. We must never throw away gains because we are upset by failure to agree on some issues. The all or nothing attitude can be very destructive and create almost permanent disagreements.
6.10 The recent public sector strike highlighted once more the temptation to resort to destructive rhetoric when confronted with serious challenges that require our collective wisdom. It is dangerous to believe that when we project each other as weak in the public we will be perceived as strong the following day. The trend of targeting the President when there are problems is dangerous in that this is an attack on the highest office that must intervene when everything else collapses. It is equally dangerous to call for the intervention from this high office even before we have engaged each other sufficiently.
6.11 These developments call for a collective debate on the role of a revolutionary/transformative trade union in the current phase. It raises questions about conditions of employment in relation to the urgent need to transform society. This discussion must be opened now rather than wait for a conflict situation. The public sector must be nudged to sign a formal agreement on how essential services are handled during strikes, otherwise our people will continue being victims every time there is a strike.
6.12 The tensions between the ANC and SACP, which emanate from the party discussion documents to the Special congress in December 2009, must be discussed politically. Can any Alliance partner call on the other to account for their independent analysis or do we need to engage each other when there are disagreements? Equally important is to realise that when analysis is used to describe groups of people or individuals, it ceases to be an analysis but becomes labelling. It is never helpful as an approach when there are tensions.
Civil Society and Social Formations
6.13 One of the critical tasks of the ANC-led Alliance is to mobilise the broad democratic front for change beyond the Alliance. This will give meaning to the ANC leading society rather than just its membership.
6.14 Work with various formations in society has improved over the past two years. Among the highlights of the last two-years has been the convening of the Mass Democratic Movement Summit and the Religious Leaders` Summit that culminated in the formation of the National Inter-faith Leaders` Council. Through these interactions we have sought to reconnect with various sectors in our society. We have developed relations with traditional leaders in all the provinces, religious groupings, business and professional bodies and many other structures in society. This has strengthened our leadership role and put the ANC in its rightful place in society. The cool relationship with some religious organisation that historically worked with us needs to be attended to soon to ensure that as we get new friends we do not lose old ones.
6.15 Work with the trade union movement has been stepped up as well, with more unions insisting on the ANC making inputs in their structures, and not only their national congresses. The engagement has however been characterised by angry outbursts over the last few months. In the process the good work done get dwarfed by the negative public statements that catch the headlines. The bilateral meetings with the Alliance partners create the necessary platform for direct engagement where better understanding develops. One thing that we must manage with the necessary care is avoiding making our engagement bargaining for positions instead of political engagement based on trust and good faith.
6.16 Not enough work has been done in engaging the social movements, many of which are issue specific in their programmes. Over time they grew hostile to the movement, but where an effort has been made to engage, as for example with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), their attitude has changed. Opportunistically many of the social movements are used by the real ultra-left, who exploit the vacuum left by the movement. There is therefore need for our movement to engage these structures in a more systematic programme.
PART 7: ANC AND GOVERNANCE
ANC: the Strategic Centre of Power
7.1 The ANC is the key strategic centre of power, having the responsibility of leading the Alliance, the democratic movement and society. The 52nd National Conference of the ANC and subsequent National Congresses and Special Congresses of all the Alliance partners reaffirmed this leadership role. The election results in 2009 reaffirmed that South Africans remain convinced that the ANC represents the aspirations and interests of the vast majority of people in society, a point that has been made over and over again. Although the ANC has a duty and obligation to consult with the Alliance partners it is its primary responsibility to ensure that government performs and implements the commitments made in the manifesto. Political oversight is part of this leadership, wherein the ANC as the strategic political centre of power provides leadership and does not tail after departmental initiatives. Deployment of cadres must always be based on the need to develop capacity to execute.
7.2 Our deployment policy is under attack from our detractors for the wrong reasons. Mistakes committed by our structures in deploying cadres who do not even meet the basic requirements for the posts they are deployed in have opened the movement to unfair criticism. We have a duty to ensure that when a cadre is deployed, he/she meets the requirements of the post concerned by balancing political integrity and professional competence. Such an identified cadre must not be given guarantees upfront but must be expected to perform well in the selection process. The selection process must give any institution confidence that the candidate has a better chance to succeed in the post he/she is deployed in.
7.3 The NEC has revived the Deployment committee, chaired by the Deputy President and coordinated by the Deputy Secretary General. This committee has come up with a framework for implementing the deployment policy. Some Ministers continue to make senior appointments without even checking and balancing their ideas and views with the Deployment Committee. This is beginning to spread to board appointments that fall within the jurisdiction of specific Ministries. If this is not addressed, the work of the Deployment Committee will continue to be undermined and become a source of frustration for those deployed in it. The biggest danger is when a short cut is taken in the deployment process the movement finds it difficult to intervene when there is a fall-out.
7.4 The deployment of Premiers and the replacement of Mayors are done in terms of the National Conference resolution. This is also the case in the constitution of Provincial Executives and Mayoral Committees. There have been attempts to change this approach and give the Alliance veto powers on deployments using the argument that the Alliance is the strategic political centre. This is either a reflection of the extent of frustration stemming from exclusion of Alliance partners from the work of deployment committees or outright mischief. Instead of trying to use all the tricks that can cause more confusion the Alliance must deal with the real problems. The policy is clear that Alliance partners are invited to participate in and influence ANC deployment committees. The ANC, however, has the primary responsibility of ensuring that these committees work and the allies are part of the processes.
7.5 As long as deployment is based on the principle of political integrity and professional competence there should be no problem. If we ever drift into making deployment an exercise that seeks to make professional work representative of group interests seeds of disaster will be sown. The challenge therefore is that of ensuring that the Alliance partners do not see their role in the deployment committee as that of fighting for their own, but that of helping the process select the best-suited candidates for the position being filled.
7.6 National and provincial caucuses of the ANC have clear disparities in terms of development and ability to engage. This reflects the extent to which the individual provinces managed to retain or lose experience. Those provinces that succeeded in retaining more than fifty percent of the MPLs are doing relatively well. Those provinces in which the majority of MECs are new are struggling to run the provincial government effectively. We must still develop a coherent approach and formula to ensure that all caucuses compare notes and share best practices. A National Forum of Chief Whips has already been established for this purpose. The concept of an activist caucus and a one-stop centre for parliamentary constituency offices (PCOs) has been accepted. There have been questions about the concept of an activist caucus and activist parliament, which are answered in this section in simple terms.
7.7 ANC public representatives are beginning to appreciate that good governance and oversight are not only the responsibility of the opposition and the media. Difficult questions to Ministers and MECs should, in the main, come from the ANC benches with the intention of helping ANC deployees to perform better. The attitude that it is a sell out position for ANC public representatives to raise these questions is dangerous to our movement. Engagements in parliament and legislatures communicate with the people out there and not only colleagues and comrades in these houses.
7.8 Many of the sessions in parliament, less so in the legislatures, are broadcast live, thus communicating with the broader society. This is one of the reasons that ANC public representatives must take them seriously. Every opportunity to communicate with our people must be used optimally.
7.9 Taking parliament to the people must be taken more seriously by the ANC as it provides an opportunity for our public representatives to engage communities. When the caucus of the ANC undertakes a similar exercise it is perceived as undermining the structures instead of developing guidelines for this work to compliment and reinforce the work of the work of the ANC structures. This is an issue that should be discussed, clarified and utilised as an additional capacity for the ANC.
ANC Public Representatives
7.10 The 52nd National Conference instructed the current NEC to strengthen the guidelines and processes of selecting public representatives “to enhance democratic participation, ensure that we select and deploy the best cadres for public office and involve the broader society in our candidate selection processes.”
7.11 Serious effort was made to comply with the content of this resolution in the 2009 list processes. We must, however, develop a comprehensive framework for involving broader society in the selection of ANC candidates. This will make a big difference if this can be implemented in the run-up to the 2011 local government elections. ANC structures must take charge of this process instead of seeing it as usurping the right of ANC members to select their own candidates. We must accept that nominating very unpopular candidates who are members of the ANC has cost us a number of by-elections. The risk going with the approach of involving the communities in selecting our candidates is the possibility of populism replacing competence.
7.12 All these challenges require of us to assess if our structures have the capacity to implement our decisions. These structures must not only do the barest minimum but should continue to improve the ability of the ANC to do what it set itself to do.
PART 8: STATE OF PROVINCES
8.1 In the period since National Conference in December 2007, all provinces were due to hold their Provincial Conferences. The following table indicates these dates:
|Provincial and League Conferences||Next Conference|
|N Cape||September 2008||September 2012|
|KZN||June 2008||June 2012|
|Limpopo||July 2008||July 2012|
|Mpumalanga||August 2008||August 2012|
|Gauteng||May 2010||May 2014|
|Free State||July 2008||July 2012|
|E Cape||September 2009||September 2013|
|ANC WL||July 2008|
|ANC Veterans League||Launching conference December 2009|
8.2 Participants in the various induction workshops in the provinces highlighted the challenges below.
8.3 The depth of the problem is further reflected in the lack of nominations for branch awards during the January 8th 2008, 2009 and 2010 anniversary celebrations. In the majority of cases the Awards Committee had no choice to make and those sole nominations end up getting the award without real competition. This situation diminishes the value of these awards.
8.4 The problems identified include:
- Rise in ill discipline in the ranks, especially among those in leadership positions.
- Decline in political consciousness amongst the general membership as well as the leadership across all structures of the movement. The inability to grasp the essence of the organisation of those who are supposed to be politically conscious, who deliberately mislead the general membership, is the single most serious threat to the long term survival of the organisation.
- Deployment and election of people who are not suitable to positions of authority and leadership of the organisation to further certain factional interests and narrow economic agendas.
- Lack of political understanding among members of the role of the Leagues and the Alliance.
- Most Branches have no programme and are inactive.
- Branches exist during preparation for conferences.
- Buying membership for members – patronage and nepotism.
- The ANC is regarded as an employment agency.
- There is a feeling that membership is being manipulated.
- People are joining the organisation to access resources.
- The absence of ANC full-time capacity in Provincial and Regional offices.
- No consistent political education programmes.
- The new culture of block voting based on slates compromises internal democratic leadership election processes and denies the organisation of its capable leadership.
- The piloting of membership cards must be concluded and membership cards be accessed by members more quickly.
- The graduation (short-circuiting) of members to the position of leadership without going through the necessary organisational development processes remains a challenge.
- The role of the branch in electing leadership, including public representatives, is riddled with flaws leading the ANC to lose even safe wards in some cases.
- Factionalism and lack of political debate by members.
- Lack of understanding of the ANC as an agent of change.
- Leadership debate and lobbying for positions having been relegated into conspiracy and plotting.
- The role of the Branch sometimes undermined through lack of consultation and accountability by the leadership.
- General acknowledgement that our structures are weak and not able to provide leadership to society.
- Fear instead of respect of leadership.
- Amassing wealth at the expense of the organisation
- Personalisation of political or organisational issues
- Lack of organisational memory due to quick turnover of leadership.
- Inconsistent recruitment of membership.
- The buying of membership and skewed recruitment.
Note: these problems are found in all the structures of the movement and therefore summarise the challenges that must be confronted in earnest by the organisation.
8.5 Following hereunder are individual reports of provinces, which are intended to give a sense of the state of the organisation at provincial level.
8.6 The Northern Cape held its provincial conference in September 2008, at the height of polarisation and divisions in all the structures of the ANC. Like all the ANC conferences at the time this provincial conference was highly contested, with the outcome contested heavily by those who saw themselves as having lost.
8.7 It is important to note that although the conference was highly contested there were no physical fights. Attempts to arrange the leadership were stopped and elections were duly conducted.
8.8 The PEC was only inducted in October 2009. The PWC has met 26 times in sixteen months and the quorum could not be formed in the case of two other meetings of the PWC. The PEC has never failed to meet as a result of failing to form a quorum. This is an indication that the provincial structures are operational and have problems like any other province that is engaged with organisational work. The PEC has visited and held its meetings in four of the five regions. In June 2009 the PEC decided that the Premier should be part of all the Officials meetings, and participate in the PWC and PEC meetings to ensure dynamic interaction between the ANC structures and government structures. This invitation has been honoured consistently.
8.9 Membership was 37,800 when the Northern Cape went to the 52nd National Conference and grew to 44,000 during the sixth provincial conference. Membership dropped to 31,591 by March 2010. The trend of membership getting bloated in the run-up to elective conferences must be addressed. As reflected in the schedule above the membership has grown slightly. The province has set itself a target of 90,000 members by 2012, as part of their contribution to the national target of 1 million. The question is whether this target is realistic and achievable in a province where the voting population is just over 400,000.
8.10 Frances Baard is the biggest region in the province. It has been entangled in factional battles for the better part of the last decade. The region is due to go for a regional conference, but the divisions within the REC are making this work difficult. This has weakened the REC a great deal in terms of its coordinating role, both in the organisational structures and governance structures.
8.11 Pixley kaSeme is the most politically stable region in the province. It held a successful Regional Conference in October 2009. The regional leadership is highly focused and is taking up a number of campaigns. The biggest challenge is that COPE established its biggest base of 20% during the 2009 general elections in this region. This poses a serious threat for the 2011 local government elections.
8.12 Siyanda region held its regional conference in 2008, following about 2 years of disbandment. This conference was very volatile and highly contested. There are two flashpoints identified in this region, that is, Ntsantsabane and Kgatelopele. The province is not convinced that the region has the capacity to respond adequately to difficult situations. Many of the branches in this region are dysfunctional.
8.13 Namaqualand region held its regional conference at the height of divisions in the province in 2008. The regional conference was marked by violent conflict, where one comrade who was assaulted passed away. There is a semblance of cohesion in the region with the REC being very much focused on building unity.
8.14 John Taolo Gaetsewe region held its regional conference in May 2010, following one failed attempt to hold one. Due to the political dynamics and divisions in the run-up to the regional conference the PEC intervened and assisted in ensuring that the new leadership unified the region. These divisions do not only affect the organisational structures but also functionality in numerous municipalities. The new more united leadership is more likely to deal with these problems successfully
8.15 The province has 174 wards but 184 branches because of the exemption granted to those branches that cover vast areas. 105 branches are in good standing.
8.16 The province is engaged in four visible campaigns:
- Election of School Governing Bodies
- Election of Community Safety Forums
- National Health Insurance Campaign
- Sobriety Weekend campaign – working with the Leagues, which led to direct confrontation with liquor businesses.
8.17 In the Northern Cape COPE won 17% of the votes, mainly from the traditional ANC support base. Opposition parties together got 40% of the votes, thus reducing the ANC majority. Opposition parties are very active in the province, with the COPE, the DA and ID being the most visible of these, all having held their first anniversary celebrations in Kimberley. The province is actively managing the process of those who are coming back to the ANC, from COPE in the main. There is a real threat in some areas that the performance of the ANC in the 2011 local government elections can be reduced.
8.18 The Northern Cape had its fair share of service related protests, with four areas being identified as flashpoints in this regard. These are Dikgatlong Municipality, Tsantsabane Municipality, Phokwane Municipality and Kgatelopele Municipality. In all these cases the mayors and particular councillors were specifically targeted. The province is convinced that many of the municipalities in the province do not have strategic and technical capacity to deliver basic services efficiently and effectively. This is used to mobilise and misinform communities to revolt against councillors who can do very little to accelerate service delivery.
8.19 Following the 52nd National Conference the province held a provincial conference in June 2008 and aligned the structures in terms of the constitutional amendments adopted in Polokwane. The PEC is functioning well, meeting all the constitutional requirements.
8.20 During the list process the province requested that the provincial secretary be released to serve in the legislature. He was subsequently deployed as the MEC for Education. The PEC co-opted him, cde Ravi Pillay and cde Diana Hoorzuik.
8.21 The regions are important for effective implementation of any provincial programme. The strength of the regions in the province is uneven.
8.22 The eThekwini Region is functioning effectively, with seventeen effectively functioning zones and organisational presence in every ward. The region is focusing on the following campaigns: political education, Volunteer Corps Movement and RWC visiting the branches to build capacity at this critical level. Key challenges that are being attended to by the region include: members of the ANC joining community structures that play an oppositionist role in society, exclusion of comrades from legitimate activities of the ANC, gate-keeping and people deprived of the right to join the ANC, and isolated service related protests
8.23 Moses Mabhida Region is effective organisationally and politically, with the structures meeting as required by the constitution. The tensions between the REC and the ANCWL in the region have been addressed. Seven sub-regions were established, and are fully functional. The region is focusing on the following programmes: visiting sub-regions and branches focusing on building unity and cohesion, political education, establishment of a Volunteer Corps Movement and the municipal problems as identified above.
8.24 Lower South Coast is functioning but faces some minor organisational challenges. The focus is on political education and establishment of the Volunteer Corps Movement. The region has recruited many people from other political parties and requires a strong programme to integrate these new members.
8.25 Harry Gwala Region is functioning but is divided on the basis of a grouping that emerged in the run-up to the regional conference. The PEC is engaging the region in this regard with space having been created for unity and cohesion. The region is focusing on the programme of political education and building the Volunteer Corps Movement. Two of their municipalities need urgent attention, that is, Kokstad and Umzimkhulu.
8.26 Okhahlamba region is functional and has demarcated itself into five sub-regions, with one outstanding sub-region. The region includes a number of historically no-go areas for the ANC, and continues to make inroads in areas where the ANC had no branches. The challenge is in sustaining these branches and ensuring that there is political life. There is a lot of inconsistency among the branches. The region is implementing the minimum programme of political education and building the Volunteer Corps Movement. The PEC is busy engaging the region to close divisions that can be traced to the regional conference. These divisions have adversely affected relations between the REC and some sub-regions and are making the work of the REC ineffective.
8.27 Emalahleni region is functioning well with a great degree of stability and unity and cohesion. There are emerging signs of divisions within the REC as rumour mongering emerges as a trend. The PEC is attending to these problems. The region is however implementing the programme of the province of political education and the establishment of the Volunteer Corps Movement.
8.28 Inkosi Bhambatha region is functioning relatively well but is weak with implementation, given that the REC does not work as a unit. The region is implementing the programme focusing on: political education, establishment of the Volunteer Corps Movement and popularising the NHI. The region was affected by violence during and after the elections making the environment in the area tense. The tensions between the ANC and SANCO complicate the situation. This problem is being attended to by the PEC.
8.29 Abaqulusi region is stable and functions relatively well. It has five sub-regions but only two are working, that is, Vryheid and Dumbe. The region is battling to implement the programme. The training of the trainers is the only aspect of the programme that has been carried out. The PEC continues to provide support to the structures in Ulundi and Nongoma.
8.30 Far North Region is functioning well with few members of the REC being inconsistent in performing their work. Five sub-regions have been launched. The REC is engaged in the programme that includes political education, establishment of the Voluntary Corps Movement and setting up and gearing the structures for local government elections. The PEC is attending to the poor state of the organisation in False Bay where the leadership of the sub-region is divided.
8.31 North Coast region is functioning well with a good presence of the organisational structures throughout the region. The REC is implementing the programme of establishing the Volunteer Corps Movement in the rural areas and political education, although this is being slowly implemented. The PEC is attending to the issue of tensions between the REC and the comrades deployed in local government.
8.32 Greater KwaDukuza region is functioning well with all the four sub-regions having been launched and operational. The region is busy implementing the programme of establishing the Volunteer Corps Movement and ensuring political education is intensely implemented, except that very little is happening after the training of trainers is completed. The assassination of a councillor in Mandeni raised suspicions among our comrades until arrests were made.
8.33 Membership in KZN has increased from 102,742 in the 52nd National Conference to 134,766 in March 2010 and the membership increased further since then. There are 774 potential branches in the province, of which 603 have been audited and 41 branches have not been launched. The province has seen a drop in membership in 80 branches.
8.34 The Alliance is functioning relatively well and is coordinated at the level of the Alliance Secretariat. The province has established the Alliance Provincial Political Council and the Alliance partners have agreed that the Alliance summit will be held once per annum. The cooperation between Alliance partners during the election campaign impacted positively on the overall election in the province. The Alliance has held the provincial Alliance Economic Summit where a detailed analysis of the impact of the economic crisis was done.
8.35 Particular attention has been paid to specific municipalities with service delivery challenges, namely:
- UMngeni Municipality was almost rocked by corruption affecting key deployees. The province intervened decisively and received full support from the structures.
- UMsunduzi Municipalities faced divisions within the Executive Committee. This manifested in many ways, including lack of prudent management of resources. The province dealt with this situation decisively.
- Four other municipalities can be described as dysfunctional, i.e. uMhlabuyalingana, uMsinga, uKhahlamba and Indaka. The MEC has been directed to guide these municipalities through the difficult times.
8.36 The resolution on party funding by the legislature is facing serious challenge, with strong views suggesting that it is unconstitutional. This is not specific to KZN as it affects other provinces as well. Despite the National Conference resolution, National Treasury has consistently and strongly contested the constitutional authority of provincial legislatures to promulgate this kind of legislation. The NEC and the relevant national Ministries must ask and help provinces close the constitutional loopholes. The need has been identified and all parties see it, thus the law should be used as an enabler towards that.
8.37 Limpopo held its sixth provincial conference in July 2008, which reaffirmed the building of a strong ANC and good governance as the key areas of focus. The PEC was only inducted in 2010.
8.38 Since the provincial conference the PEC has met as scheduled and has established sub-committees to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the province. In addition to the scheduled meetings two special PGC meetings were convened to deal with two specific issues:
- The deployment of the provincial chairperson in the Executive Committee in preparation for the following term and to ensure continuity.
- Replacement of the Premier after his defection to COPE and the deployment of the interim Premier.
8.39 The province appreciates the availability of the majority of NEC deployees and their contribution to political stability in the province. A number of NEC members have been invited to make political inputs to the various structures in the province, with the aim of raising political awareness and impacting on the ideological outlook of the province.
8.40 The Limpopo province has made the following general observations about the branches:
- The general membership is not involved in activities. BECs run solely with branch programmes. This is depriving members of any political life.
- In the majority of cases there is minimal contact between the branches and the communities they are located in, thus creating a disconnection with the masses, traditional and religious structures in these communities.
- Membership is maintained at the minimal level of just above the constitutional requirement of 100 members.
- Many branches are only active around elective conferences and that is elevated to being the sole purpose of existence.
- Many activists who get elected to branch leadership positions are active in many other structures, stretching them thin to a point where branches suffer due to their absence.
- The defection to COPE by some key branch leaders, leaving with branch records in some instances, had a visible negative effect on the effectiveness of many branches.
- Where branches have taken up some campaigns the profile of the ANC has been raised.
- Of the 513 branches in the province 510 branches are in good standing.
8.41 The ANC membership in Limpopo has fluctuated as follows:
- 67,632 in the National Conference in 2007
- 73,063 in the provincial conference in July 2008 and
- 88,920 in October 2009.
- The membership has since increased to more than 101,971.
What is positive about these membership figures is that it shows a consistent upward trend.
8.42 The regions have an uneven performance. All of them have held regional conferences in terms of the new constitutional provisions. The description of the shape of each region is informed by close engagement with the PEC, and full understanding of conditions in each region in detail.
8.43 Waterberg held its regional conference in December 2008 and is functioning fairly well. This is one region that was hit hard by defections to COPE, including that of the regional chairperson, four sub-regional secretaries and a number of BEC members. The region is heavily divided with comrades continuing to relate on the basis of a pre-conference line up. The province is engaging the region to impress upon them the importance of unity and cohesion. When the situation did not improve the PEC ultimately disbanded the region, a decision that has been heavily contested.
8.44 Mopani remains a strong ANC support base and is actively engaging structures in communities. It is the only region in Limpopo that delivered increased election support in the 2009 national and provincial polls. Lobbying in the run-up to the regional conference in September 2009 was characterised by smear campaigns and character assassinations that have tempered with unity and cohesion in the region. Comrades are suspicious of each other and accuse one another of being ANC during the day and COPE by night. The support for the ANC in this region is in defiance of the apparent divisions in the structures of the ANC.
8.45 Vhembe held its regional conference in October 2009 due to delays related to the election programme. The region was minimally affected by defections to COPE, with the district municipality chief whip and one member of the REC being the only high profile defections. This is one region that battles to have REC meetings to form a quorum, resulting in regular postponements.
8.46 Sekhukhune region is fully functional and is implementing a programme of strengthening structures. It is actively engaging councillors regarding challenges mainly in three municipalities, that is, Makhuduthamaga, Elias Motsoaledi and Fetakgomo. There are ANC councillors working with the opposition in the Elias Motsoaledi municipality. This challenge is being attended by the PEC. The cross-boundary dispute in Moutse has been a source of destabilisation in the region.
8.47 Capricon region held its conference at the end of October 2009. It is the economic heartland of the province with a long history of resistance and mass organisation. There is a visible decline in the quality of work and performance of the region. REC members have not readily availed themselves for organisational work, leaving it to few comrades. This region was heavily affected by defections to COPE where the regional secretary, treasurer, an REC member and a few BEC members defected. During this turmoil loyal ANC staff members were unprocedurally removed so as to create space for detractors to tamper with organisational processes and records.
8.49 The implementation of the manifesto is the main programme for the Alliance. The province is actively engaging various progressive formations in society. The ANC joins these formations in sectoral and inter-sectoral programmes that contribute to the aims and objectives of the National Democratic Revolution.
8.50 The Alliance is working well in Limpopo and the relationship with the SACP, in particular, is very strong. The Alliance partners work together in mobilising and organising society behind the programme of the ANC.
8.51 SANCO is facing serious challenges organisationally, with unity being elusive for the progressive civic movement. The election results for 2009 reflected the power of the Alliance, and the outcome of working together in confronting our common challenges.
8.52 Mpumalanga held its provincial conference in August 2008. This was a highly contested conference characteristic of all the post-Polokwane provincial conferences. The province came out of the conference stronger and united until the signs of divisions emerged during the list processes.
8.53 Regional conferences were held in all the four regions to align them in terms of the national conference resolutions. There were no problems in the regional conferences, except in Gert Sibande where some comrades held a parallel regional conference. After the intervention of the PEC, supported by the NEC deployees, all the parallel structures were disbanded and the legitimate structure re-affirmed with a few comrades from the parallel structures being co-opted. The problem rears its head from time to time because comrades seem determined to sustain divisions.
8.54 Emerging signs of complacency are apparent. Organisational structures are quite weak throughout the province. This deprives the ANC of the space to provide leadership to communities, because of the prevalence of infighting in our structures. The recent violent protests that engulfed the province reflect these weaknesses. The biggest danger is the involvement of ANC members in all the destructive groupings positioning themselves for the 2011 local government elections.
8.55 The NEC has decided to pay attention to the Mpumalanga province so as to help it make passage through its current difficulties. It is heartening to realise that the province itself appreciates that it is having serious challenges that need urgent attention. This will make our work much easier and give us space to succeed in all our efforts.
8.56 Since the National Conference ANC membership in Mpumalanga has declined from 54,913 to 46,405. This membership is in 397 branches, of which 180 are in good standing. This shows that organisationally the province is not in good shape. The two regions that need urgent attention are Gert Sibande, with only 44,96% of the branches in good standing and eNkangala, with only 40,74% of branches in good standing.
8.57 The province accepts that for many years the Alliance was on paper and for convenience. Partners worked together only during election campaigns or to commemorate specific days on the political calendar. With dynamic interaction among the Alliance partners relations have improved, wherein Alliance Secretariat meetings are held regularly. In the last year a ten-a-side and an Alliance summit were held.
8.58 The Alliance must address the tendency of comrades moving from one organisation to the next whenever they have problems in any one of the Alliance components. This is a formula for sustaining artificial divisions among the Alliance partners. Also the province has not invested enough time and energy in mobilising the MDM formations.
8.59 The ANC remains the dominant party in the province with opposition parties having an insignificant presence, with tiny pockets of support. The ANC controls the legislature and all the municipalities in the province.
8.60 Gauteng is one of two provinces that were exempted from holding a provincial conference after the Polokwane Conference, for two reasons:
Firstly, the term of office of the PEC had not ended because their Conference in the run-up to the 52nd National Conference. Secondly, the province would have space and time to focus on the election work in 2008 and the first half of 2009. The province held its provincial conference in May 2010. The branches and regions were realigned to the new three-year term in the course of doing this work.
8.61 Post-Polokwane Conference, the PEC worked hard to rally the membership around the NEC`s call for the unity and healing rifts occurred in the run-up to the 52nd National Conference. Gauteng was one of the provinces targeted by the founders of COPE for destabilisation. Propaganda that a sizeable number of senior provincial leaders would join COPE in support of the former premier was sustained right into the elections. This caused serious tensions and suspicions in the ranks. However, the collective leadership of the PEC, RECs and branches defended the ANC and thwarted the threat posed by the breakaway party.
8.62 The 2009 election campaign galvanised and energised ANC members and supporters in Gauteng into one of the most innovative campaigns ever to be fought since 1994. The campaign brought greater unity of purpose and common determination to ensure that the ANC is returned to power with an overwhelming electoral majority. This goal was achieved when the ANC won 64 per cent of the vote in Gauteng, although there was a 4 per cent drop in support compared to 2004.
8.63 After the elections, tensions began to build up especially after the decisions on the deployment of the Premier and MECs. These tensions triggered an early process of lobbying for the Provincial Conference that was still a year away. The PEC rallied the structures to give support to cadres deployed in government. At times, decisions taken at government level were beginning to be aligned and interpreted along conference discussions and lobbying. In branches, positioning for the candidacy for the 2011 local government elections were beginning to cause instability. BEC members in a number of branches are beginning to position themselves for the 2011 local government elections, thus leading to serious tensions between BECs and councillors. Many of the service protests put councillors under siege with ANC members and leaders visibly on the offensive.
8.64 The provincial conference was held in May 2010 against the backdrop of all these serious tensions. Working together with the NEC deployees, the PEC managed to take the organisation through a successful Provincial Conference which emerged with a balanced and experienced provincial leadership collective and adopted resolutions on how to strengthen the overall work of the movement in the province. Immediately after the Conference, the newly-elected PEC focused on building unity and healing the rifts that occurred in the run-up to Conference and strengthening the relationship between the ANC and cadres deployed in government. The NEC deployees are working with PEC to stabilise regions and municipalities in the run-up to the 2011 elections.
8.65 Five of the six regions in the province have gone through their regional conferences. The sixth region, Metsweding, is in transition following the decision to de-establish the district and constituent municipalities in order to merge them into the Tshwane Metro.
8.66 Johannesburg went through a highly contested regional conference in July 2008, with the results of the regional officials election being disputed. The conference business could not be finished, and was completed three weeks later. The investigation confirmed the results as being legitimate, but this left deep scars in the region. This region fought hard against the efforts to lure members of the ANC to the splinter party. It mobilised and displayed the strength of the ANC. It, however, remains a matter of grave concern that COPE attracted sizeable support in some townships in the region. The province has to consistently fight against the tendency of using state institutions and organisational structures as instruments of self-enrichment and self-aggrandisement in this region. On account of persistent in-fighting and divisions among REC members and the dysfuntionality of the REC and its neglect of organisational work, the PEC has dissolved the REC and established an interim
structure to oversee the work of the ANC in the region.
8.67 Ekurhuleni went through its regional conference in August 2008. The REC is still trying to unite the groupings that formed themselves in the run-up to the regional conference. The national election campaign created an opportunity to unite all the forces behind the ANC. The determination of the province to provide leadership in both the organisational and government work is undermined by factions who fight it out for the access and control of municipal resources. The PEC continues to invest time and resources in helping this region build unity and cohesion. The organisational weaknesses in this region are posing a real threat in that the DA has declared their intention to contest it hard to take the control of the Metro from the ANC. The province has to pay more focus on this region as we move towards local government elections.
8.68 The West Rand held its regional conference in July 2008. This is one the most consistent regions in mobilising for an ANC victory in elections. The re-incorporation of Merafong into the region brought about new dynamics and challenges. Any suggested reshuffle creates tensions because the sense that comrades are being purged always comes to the fore. The PEC had to intervene when reshuffling was suggested after the elections. The redeployment of the former mayor of Merafong to the National Assembly and the appointment of the replacement mayor has been completed. The REC and PEC`s tireless efforts to heal the divisions and stabilise the situation in this community have yielded positive results because stability has returned to the area.
8.69 Sedibeng held its regional conference in September 2009. This is one of the regions that faced the biggest threat during the formation of COPE, particularly when the District Mayor resigned to join the splinter party. The province paid significant attention to this region due to the threat of COPE making inroads, but the ANC defended itself. The regional conference arrived at good resolutions despite the little regard paid to political discussions in the run-up to the regional conference. Factional deployment into government structures remains a threat to the unity of the region. The regional leadership is showing a common commitment to rid the region of divisions of the past.
8.70 Tshwane held its regional conference in September 2009. The region was, for some time, dogged by internal ructions in the structures making it organisationally ineffective. This even affected the election work in the region, forcing the PEC to deploy a task team to deal with the factors that led to organisational paralysis. The improved election results reflected the collective effort. The regional conference was highly contested. Its outcomes, that is, the organisational and political resolutions, are reassuring. This is one of the Metros that the DA has declared openly that it will contest hard to take away the control from the ANC. The province has to take this challenge seriously.
8.71 Metsweding was launched in 2001. The region has struggled to maintain a viable organisation. Over time, the successive RECs have done their best to give leadership to municipalities that are plagued by perennial problems of institutional and financial viability. This has led to a situation in which mayors have been redeployed time and again without improvement. This inability of municipalities to carry out their development agenda and democratic mandate led to a situation wherein the province has agreed with the Municipal Demarcation Board decision to integrate Metsweding district and its constituent municipalities into Tshwane Metro in the post-2011 local government dispensation. Metsweding held its one-day regional Conference on 17th April 2010 to elect a new REC collective. The two regions are now focusing on concluding the merger and integration of governance and organisational structures into a single metro and region.
8.72 After the elections organisational renewal became the focus of political discussions in the province. This work was coupled with grassroot campaigns on education, health, safety and the energy crisis. Attention was also paid to the branches, proclaiming unity, ensuring visibility, particularly given the targeting of the province by the dissidents who formed the splinter party. Speaking about unity was important, especially at the time when comrades found it convenient to accuse each other of being members of COPE.
8.73 The province is running a standing political education programme with specific sectoral targets focusing on regional and branch leadership. More than 500 cadres have graduated from the provincial political school. The province is finalising the institutionalisation and launch of the provincial political school, in close cooperation with the University of Johannesburg. Political education has been put at the centre of the organisational renewal programme.
8.74 Gauteng is busy with a programme of addressing membership system problems. The record-keeping system is in place at branch, regional and provincial level. The verification and cleansing of membership records is underway and is almost complete giving the ANC a case study that can be extended to other provinces. Proper membership statistics will be produced at the end of the process. The province is also busy dealing with the problem of printing and distributing membership cards.
8.75 The audited membership is 70,305. The membership of the province remains too small relative to the population of the province – Gauteng is now the largest province in our country. The province has cleaned up its membership records and printed and issued out membership more than 51,000 membership cards to members within four months. There are lessons for other provinces based on the success of the province.
8.76 The province was affected by the violent protests in a number of areas, namely, Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Nokeng, Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, Thokoza, Etwatwa, Meyerton, Zenzele and Bekkersdal. Councillors were attacked and property was destroyed in the process. In the majority of cases ANC, SACP and SANCO members led these violent protests, a trend that has to be understood in detail to be able to deal with it successfully. The PEC and RECs have established service delivery response units at provincial and regional offices. The province is convinced that the most sustainable response to these problems is in building strong ANC structures.
8.77 The Alliance worked well in the election campaign and confronted the threat of the breakaway party. Relations among Alliance partners are constructive and working very well. There has been robust debate on the interpretation and implementation of the manifesto. Similarly, the extent to which Alliance partners can be involved in transformation and governance remains a hot and intensive debate. A provincial Alliance Summit was held in March 2010 and engaged in various strategic and political debates. The Summit adopted a framework document that defines a functioning Alliance as well as a ten-point programme of action.
8.78 As we emerged from the 52nd National Conference, the Free State was going through a series of problems like:
- Members who took the ANC to court repeatedly, nullifying a number of REC elections.
- Resignation of senior activists and leaders from the ANC, coupled with defections to COPE close to the elections.
- Flaws in the running of a number of by-elections driven by the desire to undermine the ANC.
- The province came out of this process stronger organisationally. The provincial conference was held in July 2008 and the PEC continues to be functional.
8.79 The PEC sub-committees have been set up in line with the NEC sub-committees. Many of these committees have not functioned to their full potential. Three sub-committees have been relatively effective, that is, Economic Transformation Committee, Commission for Religious Affairs and Political Education. Organisation and Campaigns is also reported to be improving, particularly in the area mobilisation. The communication sub-committee has been effective during the elections, but the unit is comprised of temporary staff of interns. The international relations sub-committee is more active.
8.80 Regions play a very important role in coordinating the work of the branches. There is a common feature of regions being weak in following up their own programmes. Many of the regional offices have serious staff shortages, and in some regions there are no fulltime organisers. The regions in the province are at different levels of performance:
8.81 Lejweleputswa region is united, and meets regularly but early signs of divisions and organisational problems are visible. Although the region has set up sub-committees, many have not implemented any programme. Only CRATA and the political education sub-committees are operational. Many branches in this region have an obsession with local government issues. Although many concerned groups continue to cause instability in communities the organisation has been consistent in providing leadership. The membership of this region has halved, giving a clear signal that there are organisational problems that need urgent attention from the province.
8.82 Motheo is fragile even though meeting regularly. There is a significant body of branches that are riddled with internal conflict and divisions. Good work and visible leadership emerged during the elections. The region is working hard in mobilising communities in a difficult region, particularly in the Bloemfontein area. This is one of the regions where key activists and leaders defected. The proclamation of Mangaung as a Metro has led to new challenges that are being attended to.
8.83 Thabo Mofutsanyana is functioning well with all the sub-committees in place. This is the only region in the province where sub-committees are working with concrete programmes in place. It has mobilised more volunteers than any other region, giving many comrades an opportunity to participate in ANC activities. The leadership has consistently interacted with the community-based structures, particularly the churches and is, therefore, in a position to practically lead society. From time to time individualism tends to undermine the collective efforts of the leadership. Allegations against members of some of the Alliance partners that are said to lead some of the destructive protests have muddied the Alliance relations in the region. The membership has dropped from 17,000 to 16,000 since the provincial conference.
8.84 Fezile Dabi region is functional with all the sub-committees in place. Many of these sub-committees have been dysfunctional, but there are initiatives to ensure that they work effectively. The region is very inconsistent in terms of performance, moving between extremes of very poor performance and excellence, depending on issues at hand. Political education is one programme that has been implemented effectively in Fezile Dabi, starting with the induction of branches. Communities are consistently mobilised behind the programme of the ANC. Some REC members have not given sufficient time to the work of the organisation, leaving a few comrades with the burden of sustaining the programme. The relations between the REC and the district municipality are not at their best, but the province is attending to the underlying dynamics to this matter.
8.85 Xhariep is functioning, with serious lapses that have necessitated PEC intervention. The performance of the branches has improved and there is relative stability. The region is rebuilding itself after suspicion among REC members and deep-seated mistrust between the REC and many branches led to its near collapse. Following the intervention of the PEC the region is more stable and ready for the regional conference. There is an effective programme of inviting those who defected to COPE back to the ANC. The PEC acted against destructive elements and also intervened in cases where councillors made it a norm to defy the organisation.
8.86 The province has 300 branches of which 153 are in good standing. The biggest weakness is that even the branches in good standing have no programmes and, consequently, depend on national organisational programme. During elections many BECs had problems managing BETs, and tensions became a feature of the post-election period. Branches are critical for the mobilisation of members and communities.
8.87 Some of the branches cover farming areas, making their sustainability difficult. In many of the branches the distance from one end of the ward to the other is just too vast and difficult to administer. Racism remains prevalent in farm areas with farm owners continuing to victimise the workers, thus minimising their participation and contribution. This creates functional no-go areas that must be liberated, and few branches are able to deal with these complex challenges.
8.88 Since the National Conference membership has been on the decline, moving from 61,310 in the national conference, to 58,000 during the provincial conference and down to 49,792 by March 2010. This is a result of a series of audit processes as directed by the court, and also a poor membership system and administration. The province is piloting a new electronic membership system in 25 branches. There is strong support for the ANC in the more rural areas where poverty is prevalent.
8.89 The Alliance relations are robust and principled and there is more engagement around specific issues, and problems and concerns have been confronted. The Alliance Secretariat and Officials have been able to meet regularly. There was robust engagement when the allies were consulted on the constitution of the provincial government.
8.90 The decisive 72% victory in the elections was not impressive as it reflected a 10% decrease from the 2004 results. Even with higher turnout the decline was real in terms of both the percentage and actual numbers. The DA increased its support and COPE, as the new party in the province, emerged as the new opposition.
8.91 Close to the elections the province witnessed a wave of service delivery protests in a number of municipalities. This is reflecting the local government challenges that have been with the province for some time. The conflict among councillors has resulted in poor management in a number of municipalities. Poor financial management has pushed some of the municipalities to the brink of insolvency. This is more a trend where there are vacancies in senior management positions.
8.92 Operation Hlasela has been developed as a programme to deal with service delivery and pushing back the frontiers of poverty. This programme has strengthened the planning and monitoring capacity of the province. In the process the province has identified four underlying causes of factional fights:
- Individuals positioning themselves for the 2011 local government elections.
- Joblessness and poverty used to mobilise communities.
- Tensions around deployment and a sense of entitlement among comrades.
- Scramble for resources from comrades with business interests.
- The PEC is dealing with these problems as Operation Hlasela is used to engage communities.
8.93 The Eastern Cape was one of the two provinces that were not required to align their PEC immediately after the 52nd National Conference, as they held their last provincial conference in the run-up to the National Conference.
8.94 The NEC handled the province with care given its most vocal support for the third term and its resolve not to support the leadership elected in Polokwane. Both the PEC and the provincial government were openly hostile to the new leadership. This situation required political maturity, calling for and being seen to be working for maximum unity.
8.95 The province is acknowledging that it has been divided for over a decade where provincial groupings were institutionalised and comrades openly identifying with factions. They accept that one of the challenges is to change the trend that has developed over a period of time, that is, always attending national gatherings as a fragmented force that cannot take a view on anything, basically attending as a group of individuals. The province accepts that this has weakened their ability to make an impact on national debates, and influence them from a well-considered position.
8.96 The 6th provincial conference held in September 2009 was highly contested like the previous conferences. Because of the high level of disunity the provincial conference could do very little beyond the election of provincial leadership, with credentials being the most debated item. Block voting deprived the ANC of accessing the best leadership collective.
8.97 The leadership elected in the sixth provincial conference has committed itself to working for unity and building bridges between the different lobby groups. The conference at least came out with a broad thematic programme that gave the PEC the strategic mandate to build and consolidate the ANC organisationally and politically. The PEC has met consistently since the provincial conference. It has been duly inducted and has elected the sub-committees. It is still early days to assess the performance of these sub-committees.
8.98 All the regions held their regional conferences as part of the preparations for the provincial conference. All the regions are now constitutionally operational.
8.99 Since the Eastern Cape was among provinces that were targeted by COPE for destabilisation, the regions must be commended for their hard work in deflecting this offensive. The deployment made by the head office is equally appreciated. In both Amathole and the Nelson Mandela Metro the province witnessed an exodus of high profile leaders of the ANC to COPE, alongside eight members of the PEC – among them the Provincial Secretary. Both regions were disbanded and RTTs formed to help rebuild them.
8.100 Alfred Nzo region is a stable region with the leadership being able to provide leadership to structures and deployees (in local government). The region had to deal with a number of challenges, for example, the defection of key leaders, including the Regional Chairperson, to COPE; and a cross boundary dispute in Matatiele. The district municipality was rocked by financial mismanagement leading to the intervention of the provincial government. The proposed incorporation of Bizana and Tabankulu to the region requires political management.
8.101 Amathole region was heavily affected by defections to COPE, experiencing mass defection of the regional leadership. An RTT was put in place to rebuild the organisation. The regional conference, boycotted by some delegates, was highly contested and heavily divided. This is a very politically unstable region where a number of sub-regions have to deal with financially unstable municipalities. Four municipalities, namely, Amahlathi, Mnquma, Mbashe and Buffalo City, were specifically targeted by COPE and have, as yet, to regain stability. Many of the disciplinary and court cases the province is dealing with are from this region. The declaration of Buffalo City to be a metro is going to require serious political management, both at the level of local government and in the ANC structures.
8.102 Cacadu is functioning relatively well. It held its regional conference in August 2009. The region has high poverty levels wherein generally the state and local government, specifically, is regarded as the main source of employment. Deployment has become the main source of conflict and contradictions in the region. Despite the relative stability the region has not been immune to divisions and infighting. As a result of this infighting the ANC lost Baviaans municipality to the DA. The developing coalition of the DA and COPE in Kouga poses a real challenge.
8.103 Chris Hani region has been stable and functional for some time. The region held its regional conference in August 2009 with 107 branches launched. The region had its fair share of challenges over the last two years. The structures were demobilised with some sub-regions being dysfunctional and weak in implementing the organisational programme. The lack of political awareness became more obvious when the organisation was faced with difficult organisational challenges. Scramble for control of state resources is the main cause of divisions and factionalism. The conflict between the regions and some sub-regions, in the main subtle, but open in respect of Lukhanji sub-region almost reached the level of animosity. It is this reality that led to the reshuffle in this municipality.
8.104 Joe Gqabi region is stable with the REC working as a united and cohesive team. Membership remains static due to vastness of areas covered by the branches. The region is mainly farm areas and some rural villages. This is one region that has been rocked by service delivery problems, such as the water problem that resulted in the death of a number of children, causing a national disaster. There is a huge infrastructure backlog in water, sanitation, electricity and roads that are basic needs for our people. The poor border control with Lesotho puts a lot of pressure on the infrastructure as a result of massive immigration into the region. In the 2009 elections racial patterns of voting emerged with the big chunk of minority votes going to the DA. The net effect of this was the decline of the ANC support.
8.105 Nelson Mandela Region is now functional, following a long period of being run by the RTT. 53 of the 55 branches have been realigned. There have been tensions between the organisational structures and the municipality for a considerable length of time. This ultimately resulted in the recall of both the mayor and the speaker. This is one of the regions that were specifically targeted by COPE, hence the mass defections of the former regional leadership. This caused tensions within the structures of the ANC, with comrades very suspicious of one another. The region is now relatively stable and has the necessary capacity to structurally deal with the organisational challenges. As a result of operation “buyelekhaya” campaign, many of the high profile leaders who defected to COPE have returned to the ANC.
8.106 O.R. Tambo region held its regional conference in August 2009. The conference was heavily contested and very tense, in the main, as a result of the prevalence of parallel structures, particularly in the Ngquza Hills sub-region. The worrying trend in this region is physical fights in ANC meetings. The organisational challenges are overflowing into the municipality and negatively affecting service delivery. There have been reports, both in structures and in the media, about high levels of nepotism and corruption in local government. Tensions between a number of municipalities and the REC have affected service delivery negatively. This is one of the poorest regions in the country with the rate of unemployment being very high.
8.107 Membership marginally increased from 153,164 in the National Conference to 155,779 at the end of 2009, and has since been on the upward trend. There are few trends in terms of membership that are worth noting:
- Membership growth is more visible in areas where parallel structures are a problem.
- Women remain the majority in the province
- There is more support from the working class, unemployed, the elderly, urban and rural poor.
- In metropolitan areas and big towns where there is a concentration of the population, membership is low relative to the density of the population.
- The membership base is in African areas, with some decline in coloured areas and very low membership in Indian and white areas. The performance of the ANC in elections reflects this trend.
- The membership system constitutes disservice as it opens membership up to manipulation.
8.108 Alliance relations in the Eastern Cape are recovering from near collapse, when engagement was confrontational and relations antagonistic for some time. The Alliance partners always engaged the ANC as a block, and caucused in meetings as such. This was visible in how the Alliance partners related to the ANC list processes and elective conferences. Since the sixth provincial conference the PEC has invested a lot of time and energy in rebuilding the Alliance relations. There has been constant engagement with the Alliance partners and public spats have been reduced to a minimum.
8.109 The North West is notorious for continued fights among very hostile and antagonistic factions. In the report received by the NEC the history of these factional fights was traced back to more than a decade ago, with factions changing shape and form. In preparation for the 52nd National Conference these factions were at each other`s throats and the one supporting the third term became the dominant one. On their return from the 52nd National Conference the PEC declared their support for the elected leadership. The biggest challenge, however, was the reconciliation of the pronounced support and the actions on the ground. The factional fights continued, every ANC gathering reflecting the intensity of the fights. This was clear testimony to the fact that it is easy for leadership structure to pledge support for the leadership that was not their preferred choice. The biggest challenge, however, is the ability of the leadership structures to convince their support base of the newly
found peace and ceasefire. This process takes longer, as we discovered in the North West.
8.110 The North West was among the first provinces to hold their provincial conference after the Polokwane conference. It is this conference that ushered in a new culture of open physical fights in ANC meetings, resulting in the Sun City provincial conference broadcast as a “war zone”. The outcome of the conference was contested from day one, despite the NEC delegation that supervised it declaring it free and fair. The continuous contestation translated itself into instability in the province. There were deafening calls for the PEC to be disbanded. An investigation was commissioned on the status of the PEC. The team recommended that the PEC be disbanded. At this point the formation of COPE was underway with threats that a big number of PEC members would defect. In trying to deprive all these comrades a cheap excuse for defection the NEC decided that the PEC not be disbanded, but observed them closely.
8.111 As the election campaign was unfolding it became clear that there was dragging of feet in terms of the election campaign. Two further decisions were taken:
- The election campaign to be directed by the NEC deployees with the PET reporting directly to the deployees, the political authority of the PEC be taken away and all its decisions being ratified by the NEC deployees.
- The situation in the province to be reviewed after the elections.
8.112 After the elections the NEC decided to disband the PEC and put together a PTT that was tasked to rebuild the organisation and convene a provincial conference within nine months as prescribed by the constitution.
8.113 The PTT has been hard at work since August 2009. It remains united and visible with some pockets of resistance in the province. These comrades stood firm even when they were attacked and criticised. The question posed is whether these comrades should avail themselves in the provincial conference. In considering this question the NEC had to be reminded of the risk of going with firm positions too early in the process, in this regard. There are two extreme possibilities that could apply to any province or region where there is a task team in place: –
- If there is a firm decision that these comrades should not avail themselves, we may begin to see serious decline in the enthusiasm and very little work being done.
- If we firmly confirm that they can avail themselves objectivity may suffer, in that comrades may work in a way that creates an impression that they are positioning themselves for elections, an allegation that is likely to be there anyway.
8.114 The PTT has taken an approach of disbanding all of the regions and put in place RTTs. This approach has been extended to branches where all the branches have been disbanded and replaced with BTTs.
8.115 Branches in good standing are growing in number, with the 365 potential branches being run by BTTs. Branches are being launched with membership being audited and validated. The province is preparing for regional conferences, with the aim of holding the provincial conference before December 2010.
8.116 We must be reminded that the North West was one of the four provinces targeted for political takeover by COPE. This caused serious confusion in the province with comrades being very suspicious of each other. The propaganda that a group of PEC members were ready to defect was very effective in this province, causing much more confusion. The performance of the ANC in the elections defied all negative projections. The 73.96% received by the North West is commendable despite the fact that it was a 9.87% decline from the previous elections. This is even more commendable if one has to consider that a few senior provincial leaders defected to COPE, including the provincial deputy secretary, the elections coordinator, and the provincial secretary of the ANCYL, the chairperson of K.K. Kaunda region and many other leaders of our movement in the province.
8.117 The province has witnessed a wave of service delivery protests. It is important to acknowledge that there is now relative stability in the province. The opening up of space for communities to raise their concerns is the contributing factor to the decline in the service delivery related protests in the province.
8.118 The PEC of the Western Cape came out of the 52nd National Conference very divided. Although the province took a formal decision to support the third term there was a visible body that came out in opposition to this position. The leadership structure itself was very divided in this regard with even a smaller part of the PEC supporting the third way. Coming out of Polokwane the NEC had to deal with a highly factionalised province that was in denial, making it very difficult to intervene effectively.
8.119 The demand for the removal of the premier was vocal and loud. The PEC produced volumes of information to prove the urgency for recalling the premier. The NWC visited the province several times to engage all the groupings in the province. All the groupings had files on each other and each made serious allegations against the other. After several visits the NWC came to the conclusion that the Premier had to be recalled and the Provincial Chairperson and the Provincial Secretary be asked not to stand for elections in provincial conference. The NEC amended this recommendation and only the premier was recalled.
8.120 Preparations for the provincial conference were difficult as factions fought it out. Many complaints from the branches were received and every effort was made to resolve them. It was clear to all in the NEC that there were deep-seated problems in the province. When the conference was ultimately convened delegates got split into two groups and this conference was held in “two venues”. The NEC team that was deployed to supervise the process recommended that the outcome be accepted, as there was a quorum in the official venue. The new PEC was then accepted as the legitimate leadership of the province.
8.121 With the PEC in place the problems of the Western Cape persisted. This was one of the provinces that were heavily affected by the formation of COPE. Some regional leaders, former provincial leaders and a sizeable group of councillors left for COPE. When by-elections were held for the replacement of these councillors the province failed to register a number of them and basically gave away those wards. When the elections were held we lost more wards causing a lot of unhappiness in all the structures of the ANC. The province was, however, given the benefit of doubt and allowed to continue.
8.122 When PET was put together it was decided that it should report directly to the NEC deployees. At that point surveys were showing that the ANC support had dropped to about 18% in the province. The ANC ultimately lost the elections with the DA getting an outright majority in the Western Cape. After the assessment of the election results the NEC decided to disband the PEC and a PTT was put in place.
8.123 The work of rebuilding the province has started although very slowly. The remnants of the old factions show their ugly head from time to time, with a number of PTT members doing very little more than attending meetings. To boost coordination a member of the NEC, Comrade Duma Ndleleni, has been assigned the task of acting as a coordinator.
8.124 The province has been given up to the beginning of December to ready itself for the provincial conference. The reality is that all the regions have fewer that 50% of the branches in good standing, the only exception being Central Karoo and the Southern Cape. The constitutional requirement is that at least 70% of the branches must attend the conference. This situation casts doubt on the province being able to hold its provincial conference before December 2010.
8.125 The decision that all NEC members donate four days per month in this province is but one the many attempts to ensure that as many comrades as possible participate in the rebuilding of the province. The reality is that very few comrades have taken this up with enthusiasm, and their contribution is appreciated.
PART 9: FROM POLOKWANE TO GOVERNMENT
9.1 The 52nd National Conference ushered in two centres of power, creating an intensive and tense contestation between the government and the executive structures of the ANC.
9.2 Every decision of the NEC had to be processed and, in most instances, was resisted. The leadership of the ANC was cautious in engaging the leadership in government, because every move was perceived as intended to make the life of those in government difficult. The proposal to deploy the Deputy President of the ANC to cabinet, with the aim of creating a dynamic link between government and the party, was treated with suspicion and took months before it was ultimately accepted and implemented. This was an overflow from the heavily contested and polarised 52nd National Conference, where comrades took strong positions against each other.
9.3 The leadership also faced a challenge of dispelling the myth that all those who supported the third term were being purged. This made it difficult to effect changes in government. Every case had to be carefully assessed before any decision to re-deploy could be made. This approach irritated many comrades who became impatient with what they perceived to be the leadership`s reluctance to act. In retrospect, this was an appropriate approach in that it forced the leadership to carefully process every case and close any loopholes that could be exploited by those who wished it to fail. It was equally important in ensuring that the task of uniting the movement was not complicated by reckless and hasty decisions. The NEC had the benefit of doubt whenever tough decisions were taken.
9.4 Following a series of visits and intense engagement, the Premiers of the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape were recalled. In both cases we were accused of purging those who did not support the new leadership. The decision was largely accepted in the Eastern Cape, with some pockets of discontent here and there. In the Western Cape the decision further deepened the divisions, as it was seen as entrenching a faction. It is now history that divisions in this province have cost us dearly, including losing the political control of the province.
9.5 The recall of the President of the Republic, after the decision of the High Court confirmed the widely held view that the persecution of the President of the ANC was a function of political conspiracy, heightened the tensions in the ANC. At the same time, it was inevitable that the negative impact the two centres had on the organisation would have to be resolved. More seriously is that this decision was used as a trigger for dissidents to form the splinter party, COPE. The body of the report has captured the impact of this initiative on the ANC and our structures at various levels. A group of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, in solidarity with the recalled president, resigned as a group. Many of them withdrew their resignations following the appeal from the movement that all deployed cadres should remain in their posts. Only eight ultimately left the cabinet in protest.
9.6 The Deputy President of the ANC was deployed to take over the responsibility of being the President of the Republic and the National Chairperson to become the Deputy President of the Republic. Resulting from the resignation of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, a cabinet reshuffle was necessary. We must commend these comrades for keeping government in shape, with no visible drop in its performance, from that moment on up to the 2009 elections. The handing over of the Order of Mapungubwe to the new President, a symbol of handing over power, was the most exciting and emotional moment of the transition.
9.7 The formation of the splinter party, COPE, plunged the ANC into an early election campaign. Initially the campaign was chaotic, fuelled by the sense of panic that set in. We had to contend with opposition parties pinning their strategies around the pending case and charges against the President of the ANC. This was used as an entry point for dirty politics that characterised the whole campaign. We must concede that it was very difficult to manage the levels of suspicion and unsubstantiated accusations alleging some comrades to be members of COPE, or deployed to remain in the structures of the ANC to steal information for this splinter party.
9.8 During the hype that followed the launching of COPE analysts and commentators predicted that the ANC was going to lose the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the North West, to the opposition parties. The possibility of the opposition parties forming a block that would deprive the ANC of a majority in the national election was projected as the likely outcome. This threat galvanised our forces and mobilised even those cadres of the movement who had become passive over time.
9.9 At the beginning of the campaign our message cynically described as “flip-flop” because of the inconsistency in what the different leaders said at different places. The communication committee worked hard to correct the situation and developed a consistent message. The process of developing the manifesto helped us move to the level of “one message, many voices”. The mobilisation work provided a platform to perfect our message, improve voter contact and leadership visibility. The range of T-shirt, messages and widespread branding of cars gave our campaign a character. The availability of leadership for deployment is an advantage we should never let go off. Six months towards the elections it was clear that the ANC was unstoppable.
9.10 The 97th anniversary celebration rally in the Eastern Cape, the home of the ANC, where the manifesto was launched, was a convincing display of power. The Siyanqoba rally held in Gauteng proved that the performance in the Eastern Cape was not a fluke. We must thank all the committees for work well done.
9.11 The election results reaffirmed the ANC as the movement of the people, the leader and representative of the interests and aspirations of the majority of our people. They proved all the analytical predictions wrong, including those purporting that the ANC would lose the majority nationally, lose majority in four provinces and have marginal majorities in the Free State, Gauteng and Limpopo.
9.12 Closer to the elections the prediction shifted from “no win” for the ANC to “no two thirds majority for the ANC”. The ANC received 65,9% of the votes, with the number of the actual votes for the ANC having increased from 10,8 million in 2004 to 11,6 million in 2009. Our support decreased in percentage terms in all the provinces except KwaZulu-Natal, which achieved its own “1994 breakthrough”.
9.13 The DA became the biggest beneficiary in the 2009 elections, with about one million more votes garnered, an outright control of the Western Cape, becoming an official opposition in the National Assembly and in three provinces. COPE established itself as the third biggest party in the country with 1.3 million votes. It became the official opposition in four provinces and a national political party with a presence in all the nine provinces.
9.14 The ANC remains, by far, the majority party nationally and in eight provinces, including being the official opposition party in the Western Cape. Our support in coloured communities has virtually been halved, and we lost support even in the rural Western Cape. The official survey reflects a national decline of support in both Coloured and Indian communities, a trend that is consistent and moving in one direction since 2006.The biggest threat is that there is not a single municipal area where the ANC secured more than 50% support in the Western Cape. We saw significant decline in our support, in percentage terms, in all the provinces except KwaZulu Natal where there was an increase, as seen below:
- Western Cape – 13% decline.
- Northern Cape – 10% decline.
- Free State – 10% decline.
- Eastern Cape – 9% decline.
- North West – 6% decline.
- Gauteng – 4% decline.
- Limpopo – 4% decline.
- Mpumalanga – 1% decline.
- KwaZulu-Natal + 16% increase.
9.15 It is instructive to counterpose the decline of our support to the percentage support gained by COPE. From this we can make sense of the extent COPE corroded our base in the various provinces. COPE support in the provinces was as follows:
- Northern Cape +16%
- Eastern Cape +13%
- Free State +11%
- Western Cape +9%
- Gauteng +8%
- Limpopo +7%
- North West +4%
- Mpumalanga +3%
- KZN +2%
9.16 These election results gave us the right to set up a government at national level and in eight provinces, and to be the official opposition party in the Western Cape. When the National Cabinet was put together it was widely supported in the broader society and within the structures of the ANC. It was regarded as balanced and representative in all respects. The biggest criticism was that it was not 50/50 representative, with women constituting about 43% of the cabinet, a weakness that requires more political attention. The election manifesto outlined the priorities for the ANC government. The reconfiguration of the cabinet took this into account with new ministries created and others reconfigured.
9.17 It is still too early to assess the performance of the individual ministries fully only one year in office. This is even more so for the ministries that are established from scratch. But there are areas when performance is exceptionally good and those that are performing far below par. But the detailed assessment is left to government processes with the ANC giving the necessary feedback in those processes. The pace can be accelerated in those ministries that have established departments. Comrades deployed in government collectively must support each other in setting up the necessary structures. All the ministries must complement one another rather than being competitive.
9.18 Even before we are in a position to do an in-depth evaluation we must be able to monitor progress made in areas where the ANC has committed itself in the election manifesto, and the successive January 08th statements.
9.19 In the January 08th, 2010 statement we committed ourselves to build a public sector cadre for effective service to our people. The relevant ministries must locate this commitment within the capacity of PALAMA as an institution that must take a bigger responsibility in developing intellectual capacity in government. The question that we must confront is that this institution must not pretend to be another university. The curriculum must be developed such that it does not only focus on the technical requirements of public service but also include the philosophical framework of the governing party. This will close the gap between the political leadership and management leadership in all the public institutions. The framework for this approach must be developed urgently if we are to see the necessary improvement in our performance.
9.20 The commitment to create more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihood, accompanied by concrete figures of 4 million jobs by 2014, requires that concrete steps be developed so that we avoid finding ourselves in a corner come 2014. We must be able to quantify progress, year on year. In the face of the economic crisis the NEDLAC stakeholders developed a framework that should be implemented and monitored. Work done in the various departments and sectors of the economy must be monitored to ascertain their contribution to the set targets. The discussion of both the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the Economic Growth Path must be located within this broader objective.
9.21 The ten-point plan on health must guide our implementation. The NHI debate must be taken to an implementation phase. It is glaring that the 2009 mid-term budget was silent on NHI and the 2010 budget made insignificant provision for the processes, raising questions about our seriousness.
9.22 The ten-point plan on education must guide us. There must be a clear plan for turning the tide on the matriculation results, which is one of the milestones for assessing progress made. The much talked about external examinations for Grades 3, 6 and 9 should be introduced to send a clear signal that we are serious about education. This will remove the hype around matriculation results. The engagement with teacher organisations must be intensified.
9.23 Rural development must be taken beyond projects towards an integrated approach as agreed in the Alliance Summit in 2009.
9.24 The transformation of the criminal justice system must be taken beyond the conceptual statements to concrete steps that can help our government re-instil confidence that crime can be defeated. While appreciating the establishment of the inter-ministerial task team on crime, there must be clarity on its role and programme. The only effective way of fighting crime and corruption is the arrest, prosecution and conviction of those found guilty. No amount of talking about crime and corruption will result in its reduction.
9.25 Two areas that have not been isolated in the manifesto as priority but continue to emerge as approaching a crisis stage, needing urgent attention, are housing and water. In the case of water the question of water rights, wherein communities in close proximity to reliable water streams having no access to water, need to be corrected urgently.
9.26 The ANC needs to pay urgent attention to the relation between government and state. We must confront the question of the impact of short-term contracts for senior civil servants looking at the quality of service delivered and the loss of institutional memory that goes with it. The bureaucracy in the state must provide a sense of continuity in the workings of government.
9.27 The January 8th statement sharply raised the question of municipal employees holding office in political parties and the impact thereof on accountability in local government. The NGC must reaffirm the position that being both the employee of the municipality and the political executive authority at the same time results in serious contradictions.
9.28 Using the detailed report on the 2009 election, the commission on local government should start the process of developing the strategy for the 2011 local government elections. The detailed analysis of the last elections and trends in local government by-elections should be used as early indicators of what the ANC can expect or seek to improve on for the coming local government elections.
PART 10: CHALLENGES GOING FORWARD
10.1 Some of the major challenges, as captured in the January 8th statement, for the year ahead, are as follows:
10.2 Unity and cohesion of our movement. Unity of the ANC is paramount and is a task that starts within the ANC and its Alliance partners and extends to the rest of our society. All our members must be united behind a programme of action developed by the ANC and its allies. Everything we do is aimed at improving the living conditions of all South Africans, but especially the poor and the working class. In doing so, all structures of the ANC must vigorously adhere to our principles of unity, selfless service, collective leadership, democratic centralism, internal debates, humility, honesty, hard work, constructive criticism and self criticism, discipline and mutual respect.
10.3 Strengthening organisational discipline: The ANC will continue to take firm action against ill discipline, corruption, incompetence and abuse of power in our ranks. In particular, we will be consistent and firm in acting against abuse of leadership positions for personal gain and factionalism. We will also manage the deployment and redeployment of cadres in a more objective and transparent fashion through our internal monitoring and evaluation processes. Together with our Alliance partners, and the broader mass democratic movement, we will individually and collectively confront the imperatives of discipline.
10.4 Promoting moral regeneration: The ANC has recognised that human development has spiritual and material aspects. It will therefore continue to mobilise interfaith, cultural and traditional organisations for the creation of cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
10.5 Stepping up the political education within our movement is a priority this year and beyond. Political Education will focus on curriculum developed by the ANC, and will focus on building the culture of umrabulo (“lets talk politics”), leadership to society and preparations for organisational events such as the National General Council.
10.6 Building capacity for ANC-led campaigns. As part of our efforts to ensure that our structures, especially branches, have capacity to mount campaigns, we will, together with our allies, unveil a campaign programme aimed at complimenting efforts of government in implementing our Election Manifesto, especially around the area of education, health, combating crime and corruption and vukuzenzele activities.
10.7 Policy development: Another priority is to build policy and research capacity within the ANC to ensure that ANC is able to provide strategic guidance and support to the deployed cadre.
PART 11: CONCLUSION
11.1 We infer that the movement has over time stabilised compared to the state it was in prior to, during and soon after the 52nd National Conference. The instability that characterised every gathering of the movement immediately after the Polokwane conference is no longer prevalent.
11.2 The chaos we have witnessed in a number of ANCYL provincial conferences is a cause for concern. The solutions should be organisational, with a focus on strengthening the organisation so that it can absorb the knocks.
11.3 The ANC must be bolder against real and perceived corruption as part of sustaining its leadership in society.
11.4 The general collapse of discipline in the movement must be a preoccupation of every structure of our movement so that we can deal with all transgression as close as possible to the point where the offence is committed.
11.5 We cannot justify non-performance in any of the areas of focus. Any failure to deliver on our commitments is not going to be forgiven by our people.
11.6 The Political Report, as presented by the President, and the Financial Report by the Treasurer-General, must be read together with this report to complete the state of the organisation report.
11.7 The State of the Organisation: Mid-Term Review Report is tabled for discussion and adoption.
African National Congress