ADDRESS BY THE TREASURER GENERAL OF THE ANC, COMRADE PAUL MASHATILE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 10th PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE OF THE ANC IN LIMPOPO
NEC Deployees here present
Veterans of our movement
The Leadership of the ANC in Limpopo
The leadership of the ANC Youth League, the ANC Women’s League and the ANC Veterans League Leaders of Alliance structures: the SACP, COSATU and SANCO
Leaders of COSAS, SASCO, the YCL and Progressive Youth Alliance
Leaders of fraternal organizations
Comrades and Friends:
I bring to this 10th Provincial Conference of our glorious movement – the African National Congress in Limpopo – warm and revolutionary greetings from the Officials and the National Executive Committee of the ANC.
Limpopo is the third province – after Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape – to host its Provincial Conference, as we build up to our Policy Conference and the 55th National Conference in December.
I wish to thank all comrades in Limpopo who have worked hard to ensure that we reach this day.
We thank the overwhelming majority of ANC branches for their perseverance, their understanding and the utmost revolutionary discipline that they displayed as we were preparing for this Conference.
Our gratitude also goes to the outgoing PEC for steering the ship so well, always prioritizing the unity and cohesion of our movement.
We know that there were obstacles along the way, but you have overcome many of them.
Like all Conferences of the ANC, we expect this to be a peaceful and a successful Conference.
The people of this province and the country expect nothing less from the ANC!
They are looking up to us, as the ANC, to provide sound leadership during these trying times of high unemployment, poverty and inequality, as well as the rising cost of living, food insecurity and a general state of despair currently engulfing our country.
We are their only hope. We dare not disappoint them!
2. LIMPOPO IS THE HOME OF THE ANC
Comrades, the people of this province continue to see the ANC as a genuine custodian of their aspirations.
We have seen this in successive elections where even as our electoral support declines, we continue to do better in this Province.
We must never take this trust by our people for granted. We must continue to earn it.
This 10th Provincial Conference of the ANC in Limpopo must be a Conference of ideas and clear programmes to better the lives of the people.
It must not just be a Conference to elect leadership.
At all times we must remember that the ANC exists not only for itself, but also and most importantly the ANC exists to respond the problems of people as a whole.
Accordingly, from all you c
a disciplined ANC, a caring ANC and an ANC of the people.
Comrades, as delegates to this Provincial Conference, we must be proud that we stand on the shoulders of giants – heroes and heroines who changed the course of history and played no small part in advancing our struggle for national liberation.
This province – Limpopo – prides itself as the birth place, the political furnace and revolutionary laboratory that nurtured and shaped the activism and political outlook of some of our country’s finest revolutionaries.
I am referring here to revolutionaries of the highest calibre such as Ntate Sefako Mapogo Makgatho; the second President General of the ANC; Seaparankwe Ntate John Nkadimeng, Lawrence Phokanoka, Elias Motsoaledi, Godfrey Pitje, John Phala and many, many others.
This is also the Province of Frans Mohlala and Peter Mokaba who were part of that death-defying generation of young people who responded to the call to render apartheid unworkable and South Africa ungovernable.
This is the home of Mark Shophe; one of our country’s foremost working-class intellectuals.
The roots of Mama Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke are firmly grounded on our in this province – ke morwedi wa ga Mannya kuwa Botlokwa!
This is the province of Mama Lilian Ngoyi.
Limpopo is also the home of Mama Joyce Mashamba, Mama Priscilla Mokaba, Daisy Sebati and many, many other heroines of our struggle.
It is also in this Province where we find Sekhukhune-land with its rich history of bravery and resistance against colonial occupation.
History records that the 1958 Sekhukhune Revolt was among those developments in the country that inspired the formation of the People’s Army; Umkhonto Wesizwe in 1961.
We also know that many young and early recruits of MK, such as Elias Motsoaledi and Flag Boshielo, were from this part of our country.
3. YOUTH MONTH
Comrades, your Conference is taking place during a special month in the calendar of our country – the month of June. This is a month in which we take time to reflect, remember and honour the role played by young people in our struggle for liberation, and in the ongoing effort to reconstruct and develop our country.
We also use this period to renew our commitment to the goal of advancing the empowerment of young people, for we know it too well that it is upon the shoulders of young people that our future lies.
It was President Oliver Reginald Tambo who reminded us that: “The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.”
Comrades, our country and our movement are at a cross roads.
At this critical juncture, we need young people to occupy the front most trenches in the ongoing effort to renew our movement and to rebuild our country.
We welcome progress made thus far in reviving structures of the ANC Youth League, and we look forward to the Congress of the Youth League this year.
Our young lions, organised under the banner of the militant yet disciplined ANC Youth League of Peter Mokaba and many others, must respond to the rallying call: Young people to the front!
They must put their innovation, their youthful exuberance, their guided impatience, and the power of their fresh ideas at the disposal of our country and our movement at this critical juncture.
As the preparatory political school of young people, the ANC Youth League must play a leading role in equipping young people with the necessary tools of analysis and execution to enable them to take up greater responsibilities in our society and our movement.
Forward to the revival of the ANC Youth League, forward!
Comrades, in addition to contributing towards re-building and reviving structures of the ANC Youth League, ANC members also have a responsibility to contribute towards building a strong ANC Women’s League and the Veterans League.
We must also work hard towards the unity and cohesion of the Alliance with the SACP, COSATU and SANCO.
4. THE GEO-POLTICAL CLIMATE
Comrades, developments globally – including the outbreak of COVID-19 and the escalation in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine – have conspired to produce a new complex reality with different threats and challenges, not imaginable a few months back.
Now more than ever before, the future is more unpredictable and the world more unstable.
We live in an era where a new Cold War appears to be in the offing, and is reshaping the global political and economic landscape.
De-globilization is strengthening as countries are becoming more inward looking and are embracing greater nationalistic undertones.
This can be damaging for global growth prospects, international and regional trade and investment, people to people contact as well as other interactions between states.
Furthermore, inflation is rising globally, as we find ourselves in a cycle of steep increases in energy, transportation, food and fertilisers prices; all of which are threatening the livelihoods of millions of people.
It can be expected that going forward global inequality, poverty and unemployment will increase.
In this environment, populists, narrow nationalists and those who promise easy solutions appear to be gaining the upper hand.
These developments, comrades, call on us to remain vigilant.
We must use proper tools of analysis to analyse these developments so that we can develop appropriate and durable responses.
As a matter of principle, the ANC will always stand for human solidarity, multilateralism, respect for sovereignty, human rights, democracy and mutually beneficial cooperation.
On our continent, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement presents a massive window of opportunity for us as Africans to strengthen trade, investment as well as people to people contact.
The ANC must remain true to its historic mission of Building a Better Africa and a Better World.
In all conflict zones we must continue to call for the silencing of the guns.
We must urge all parties to ongoing conflicts to give peace, negotiations, dialogue, persuasion and compromise a chance.
5. NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE
Comrades, this Provincial Conference is the first to sit after the release of the discussion documents in preparation for our National Policy Conference.
I am encouraged that these documents will form part of deliberations at this Conference.
Ultimately, our goal must be to review the overall policy direction of the ANC, to identify gaps in policy implementation, and to determine what remains to be done to ensure that our strategy and tactics advance the goals of the National Democratic Revolution.
Let us also ensure that our policy proposals produce concrete outcomes that will lift our people from the jaws inequality, poverty, hunger, landlessness, joblessness and a very real sense of hopelessness.
Social compacts with the rest of society are critical in ensuring that our policy proposals deliver the desired results in the shortest time possible.
Time is not on our side. Our people demand meaningful change, now!
6. UNITY AND RENEWAL OF THE ANC
Comrades, this Conference must place greater emphasis on the unity and renewal of our movement.
As comrades will recall, our 54th National Conference directed that; “Organizational renewal…. is an absolute and urgent priority and we may go as far as to say [is critical] to the survival of our great movement.”
Conference further asserted that renewal is “… about building the ANC’s resilience, enhancing its transformative and governance capacity and its ability to adapt to changing situations so that it can continue to organise and lead the people.”
Comrades, the task of renewing and uniting the ANC can no longer be postponed.
It is our generational mission. We dare not fail!
We need a renewed and united ANC to regain credibility and trust among the people of South Africa.
To us renewal includes ensuring that we do everything we do not for ourselves, but for the greater good of our movement and the people of South Africa!
It includes taking deliberate action to close the social distance between our movement and the people.
Ours must be a listening movement; that is not arrogant; a movement that is responsive to the conditions of the people; and a movement that speaks the language of the people – a movement that lives in and among the people – a movement that stands for and not against the people.
The renewal of the ANC, must also include the restoration of the historic, progressive values of our movement: values of hard work, service, honesty, unity, selflessness, sacrifice, discipline, democratic debate, criticism and self-criticism. It must include ensuring that the ANC remains a true Parliament of the People of South Africa; united in their diversity. Comrades, to renew the ANC will require that we do everything necessary to build an ethical movement.
It will also demand that we win the war against corruption, maladministration and greed.
A renewed ANC is the one that will draw into its ranks, men and women – young and old, black and white – who are driven only by the desire to serve the people, selflessly without seeking personal or material gain.
It will require tried and tested cadres whose only motivation is the genuine love they have for their country and its people.
For renewal to succeed, we also need to forge ahead with the agenda of unity.
This will require that all factions be buried and forgotten.
We must continue to spread the message that: we are one ANC – the ANC of Ntate Sefako Makgatho; Ntate John Nkadimeng, Elias Motsoaledi, Mama Lilian Ngoyi, Mama Mokaba and Mama Charlotte Maxeke.
Comrades, the kind of unity we are pursuing must be based on principle.
It must not be unity for its own sake!
It must be unity in action towards a common end.
Comrades, we know that the path to unity and renewal will not be easy.
There will be temporary set-backs. There will be pushbacks.
However, we must soldier on. We must not tire nor give up.
Ultimately, we must handover to coming generations a renewed and united ANC as a potent
hands to further advance the goals of the National Democratic Revolution.
I wish you a successful Provincial Conference!
Forward to the Unity and Renewal of the ANC!