ANC STATEMENT ON THE OUTCOMES OF THE NEC MEETING HELD ON 11-13 NOVEMBER 2022
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC met in its final regular session before the 55th National Conference that will be held from 16-20 December 2022 in Gauteng.
The NEC deliberated on current challenges facing the nation, such as the ongoing high cost of living and its impact on various segments of society, the national discourse about black economic empowerment, the Electoral Amendment Bill, implementation of the State Capture Commission recommendations, the status of local government coalitions, as well as various international matters. The NEC also considered preparations for the 55th National Conference, which will start in just over a month.
Rising Cost of Living and Responses
The NEC noted that the COVID-19 pandemic induced a global recession, and there have been extreme weather events largely as a result of climate change; and the Russian-Ukraine conflict continues to put pressure on the cost of living across the world.
In South Africa, given the persistence of poverty, inequality and unemployment this rising cost of living severely impacts on the life circumstances of many people living in poverty. These families and communities are dealing first-hand with the challenges of the affordability of basic necessities including, food, fuel, transport, education and health. These factors also impact on persons depending on social grants for survival.
This threatens the gains made in tackling poverty in our country, reflected in key national indicators. Thus, whilst poverty-related severe malnutrition has reduced and child and maternal health improved, childhood stunting remains a major risk for poverty entrapment and poor quality of life.
The NEC noted interventions by government to mitigate the impact of these developments, such as extending the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant until March 2024, the temporary relief on fuel prices, the continuation of the VAT zero-rating of key food items, and the consolidation of our social security and protection system, with social grants in particular, reaching 18 million South Africans.
At the same time, the NEC reaffirmed the key mission of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (1994), that “no political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people
remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government.”
The ANC must therefore continue resolutely, sparing no efforts, to implement its programme to tackle the triple fault lines of poverty, unemployment and inequality. We remain committed to key pillars of the programme to tackle poverty including:
- Transforming the economy and creating jobs;
- Maintaining and expanding social security to protect the vulnerable and reduce poverty, in the context of a comprehensive social security system;
- Providing quality basic services including water and sanitation, affordable energy, and public transport;
- Prioritising skills development and education, through universal access to early childhood development;
- Improving the quality of basic education and strengthen higher education and vocational training; sustainable human settlements to transform the spatial legacy of apartheid and build inclusive and safe communities;
- Moving towards a quality and universal health coverage through the National Health Insurance (NHI), and improving the public health system as the backbone of a future unified health system.
- Land reform that expands participation in and ownership of land, agricultural production, that advances food security and addresses the spatial separation of our cities and towns.
These short- and medium-term interventions remain on top of the agenda of the ANC National Officials, NWC and NEC. The 55th National Conference of the ANC will also be seized with these matters.
Black Economic Empowerment
The NEC remains clear that the movement it leads remains resolutely committed to the implementation of broad-based black economic empowerment.
It noted that whilst progress has been made in empowering black people and women in the economy, the benefits of this progress have not been felt by all South Africans. This means that we need to intensify rather than relax BBBEE measures.
The measures taken include skills development, preferential procurement, investment in black-owned and -managed firms, and increasing the number of black people who manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets in the economy. Such measures have been implemented in the context of an economy with a high degree of market concentration which limits the opportunities for new entrants. We have therefore been using our competition laws to promote the emergence of new black-owned companies into various sectors of the economy.
The NEC however noted that we need to do more; and that there are attempts on the part of opposition parties to reverse this critical policy of economic transformation.
We must therefore strengthen and expand Government and DFI funding for black industrialists, and create platforms for a new entrepreneurial industrial class that can fully harness the resources of our country.
We have to do more to advance the empowerment of young people. The NEC noted the creation of the Youth Employment Service (YES), established with the private sector. In only two years,
the YES has created opportunities for many thousands of unemployed young South Africans. Of the participants, 84% are youth and 62% are women.
The SAYouth.mobi platform, which provides pathways for young people to employment, learning and youth enterprise was launched, supported by the National Youth Development Agency. To date, over 3.3 million young people have registered on the platform and more than 900,000 young people placed in earning opportunities. The National Youth Service is being revitalized to offer young people opportunities to undertake work that builds the economy and provides them with skills, self-confidence and work experience.
The NEC noted the work by the National Treasury in responding to the Constitutional Court deadline on preferential procurement in the public sector. The ANC affirms its position that broad-based black economic empowerment remains one of our key policy instruments, and urged our deployees to ensure that this principle is sustained.
The ANC through its Economic Transformation Committee will monitor progress in government and continue to engage with stakeholders, especially black business and professionals.
Alliance Economic Summit
The NEC noted progress with preparations for an Alliance Economic Summit by a Joint Alliance Economic Transformation Team. The Summit will be critical to cement common positions on economic transformation and development, and championing the interests of South Africans, in particular the working class and unemployed.
The NEC took note of the resolutions of the recent congresses of our Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The 55th National Conference will deliberate on the Alliance, in the context of the ongoing discussions on the reconfiguration of the Alliance.
The Electoral Act Amendment Bill
The NEC received a presentation on progress with the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which has been passed by the National Assembly. This paved the way for its consideration by the National Council of Provinces currently in progress, ahead of the 10 December 2022 deadline set by the Constitutional Court.
The main objective of the Bill is to make provision for independent candidates to contest elections for the National Assembly or provincial legislatures and for the requirements and qualifications that must be met by persons who wish to be registered as independent candidates. The National Assembly passed the Bill after processing inputs solicited from citizens through public hearings and written submissions, since the beginning of 2022.
The debate about the most appropriate electoral system for our country is an important part of our maturing democracy. The ANC has always supported a proportional representation system as it is best suited to a country as diverse as ours in terms of race, class, gender, and political opinion. It ensures that every political viewpoint shared by more than one quarter of one percent of the population is able to find representation in Parliament.
The ANC also supports the view that electoral system reforms must strengthen accountability of public representatives, which should be addressed in the next round of amendments and must be discussed widely in our society. The NEC noted the objections from some sections of civil society, and expressed a desire to continue an ongoing engagement on these matters, taking into account that more comprehensive electoral reform can only be undertaken in the medium-term on the basis of wider public consultation.
Implementation of the State Capture Commission recommendations
The NEC noted the report of the NEC Task Team on the State Capture Commission and supported the submission made by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Parliament on 22 October 2022, that responds to the report and recommendations of the Commission, as an important step in our national effort to end all forms of state capture and corruption.
Local Government Coalitions
The NEC noted that since the 2021 local government elections, coalition governments have become a widespread occurrence in our body politic. Past and recent experience of coalitions showed that they tend to be fluid and volatile. The NEC reaffirmed its principled approach towards coalition government where the need arises, based on advancing the pursuit of a better life for all, building local democracy, and improving accountability to citizens in line with the ANC Principles and Strategic Framework for Local Government Elections. The ANC Coalitions Task Team will continue to reflect on these matters.
55TH National Conference Preparations
The NEC welcomed the report from the National Conference Preparatory Committee (NCPC) on preparations for 55th National Conference, which will be held from 16-20 December 2022.
The NEC thanked the thousands of ANC members who between 16 September and 7 November 2022, gathered in their Branch General Meetings to reflect on various matters on the conference agenda, including election of delegates and nominations for the NEC. It further welcomed similar meetings held by the ANC Veterans, Youth and Women’s Leagues. There are a few disputes relating to the BGMS recorded, and the ANC Provincial and National Dispute Resolution Committees are processing these disputes.
In the coming weeks, branches and members will continue discussions on the critical issues before National Conference including organisational renewal, constitutional amendments, the Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, and the programme of transformation.
This landmark 55th National Conference will be attended by just over 4500 voting delegates from branches, the NEC, Leagues and provincial executive committees (PECs). COSATU and the SACP will participate as non-voting participants, as will Progressive Youth Alliance organisations and others. The NEC has also invited a number of fraternal parties from the region and across the world, as well as national civil society organs, deployed cadres, business and professional associations, and faith-based organisations.
The Electoral Committee of the ANC has started the process of consolidating nominations from branches and the Leagues, and it will begin the process of issuing acceptance forms and vetting,
with a view to release the consolidated lists of nominations for the NEC to ANC structures by 29 November 2022.
National Conference of the ANC is held every five years. As the highest decision-making organ of the ANC it receives reports from Officials, determines the strategy, broad policies, direction and programmes of the movement and elects its national leadership.
The 55th National Conference comes at a time when the country and movement face severe challenges, in a global time of uncertainty. The achievements of democracy are under strain, and ANC electoral support has declined. It will therefore be a watershed conference for the movement to ensure that it revitalizes itself to intensify the pursuit of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
ANC Renewal Commission
The NEC also received an update on the work of the ANC Renewal Commission, on the proposed Vision 2032 and programme for a renewed ANC, which will also be presented to 55th National Conference.
On Integrity Matters
The NEC received a report on work underway by the Integrity Commission, and will maintain its ongoing engagement with the Commission.
ANC Communications Strategy
The NEC Sub-committee on Communications presented an ANC Communications Strategy which outlined the challenges and opportunities facing the ANC towards the 55th National Conference, the 2024 General Elections and beyond.
The strategy emphasised the need for the organisation to communicate effectively with all sectors of society on a multitude of issues within a dynamic, ever-changing communication environment.
The NEC has approved the communication strategy’s thrust towards developing alternative innovative methods of communication, including embracing new media platforms and the re-establishment of Radio Freedom in a digital format to reach new audiences. The NEC further considered proposals aimed modernising the ANC’s overall communication platforms and generating revenue to capitalise the work of the Department of Information and Publicity, including commissioning regular research of pertinent issues.
Members and leaders of the ANC alike are urged by the NEC to maintain discipline, adhere to ANC communications protocols, and refrain from engaging publicly in criticism of each other and on other matters that should be dealt within the relevant structures of the organisation.
Communications for the 55th National Conference
The ANC met with the SA National Editors Forum (SANEF) to once more confirm that the media will not be expected to pay to cover the 55th National Conference. We are also undertaking roadshows to various media houses to consolidate our relationship with the media and ensure that all their requirements for the Conference are duly attended to.
The NEC congratulated the people of Angola and the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) on their celebrations of the centenary since the birth of their patriot and great Pan-African, António Agostinho Neto, a freedom fighter and the first president of a free Angola. As one of the founders of the MPLA, he was an internationalist, who supported the struggles of oppressed people across the continent, and in particular the struggle against apartheid in Namibia and South Africa.
The NEC welcomed the agreement reached between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, as a first step towards resolving the devastating conflict which started in November 2020. The talks were held under the aegis of the African Union, and hosted by South Africa. The talks should pave the way towards finding a lasting solution to ensure peace, stability and the development of Ethiopia. South Africa, which shares a strong and historic friendship with Ethiopia, remains committed to finding African solutions to African problems, and will continue to support the peace talks.
The NEC notes the critical issues before the 27th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27), hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt. The NEC reaffirmed ANC policies and that of government, that developed countries must honour their commitments to reduce their own emissions, and to pay for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. It further confirmed our commitment to an energy mix, that takes in consideration our natural endowments and the developmental needs of the country, in the context of a just transition.
The NEC congratulates President Lula da Silva of Brazil and the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT or Workers Party) on overcoming the forces of reaction and on his re-election to lead Brazil on its path of progressive transformation. We welcome his return to BRICS, and the strengthening of progressive voices in the global arena.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL TREASURER GENERAL PAUL MASHATILE FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE NEC
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