ANC STATEMENT ON THE OUTCOMES OF THE SPECIAL NEC HELD ON 24 – 25 APRIL 2022
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress met in a special session on 24-25 April 2022. The meeting focused on the finalization of discussion documents towards the ANC National Policy Conference and 55th National Conference, to be held at the end of July and in December 2022 respectively.
In addition to Policy Conference documents, the Special NEC also received reports on current issues facing the nation, including the latest floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
The Special NEC also dealt with urgent organisational matters, including the launch of the Letsema Campaign, the implementation of the “step-aside” resolution adopted by the 54th National Conference, the ANC Women’s League, and the status of interim structures.
The NEC was mindful that 24 April 2022 coincided with 29 years since the passing of its long-serving president, cde Oliver Reginald Tambo. It recalled the important role Cde OR, as a strategist, leader, internationalist, diplomat and commander-in-chief played in the movement and in the country.
The NEC further congratulated Dr Frene Ginwala, first Speaker of the democratic Parliament and former member of the NEC, on the occasion of her 90th birthday on 25 April 2022. The NEC values her contribution, as a constitutional expert, a human rights activist, and a leader of the women’s movement and feminist. The NEC wished Cde Frene Ginwala good health and best wishes on this important milestone.
KZN FLOODS AND OTHER DISASTERS
The Special NEC observed a moment of silence in remembrance of all who lost their lives during the devastating floods that affected KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The NEC expressed its condolences to the grieving and traumatized families.
The NEC noted the unprecedented scale and extent of the loss of life, destruction of infrastructure and disruption of economic activity, communications, logistics networks and social services – giving rise to serious humanitarian challenges, especially in the eThekwini Metro and iLembe District Municipalities in KZN, as well as Port St Johns, Bizana and the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
It also conveyed its solidarity and support to those whose homes were devastated during fires in Langa, Cape Town and commended the interventions by the Department of Human Settlements, working with provincial and local government to provide relief recovery.
The NEC commended the work done by ANC structures in KZN to ensure a swift and coordinated response to the disaster. ANC volunteers, working with government and community-based organisations, community members and ward councillors are actively involved in clearing debris and assessing damage, and providing humanitarian assistance in up to seventy wards.
The NEC welcomed the declaration of a national state of disaster as well as the rescue, humanitarian and recovery interventions by all spheres of government.
It also commended the outpouring of solidarity and the spirit of Ubuntu demonstrated by South Africans across the country who have donated food, water, clothes and other necessities to the people of the affected areas. ANC regional and provincial offices as well as 195 parliamentary constituency offices are serving as collection points for donations.
NEC urged government to ensure that the process of recovery and reconstruction in KZN and other affected areas, is done in a planned, swift and accountable manner.
The NEC proposed that the Solidarity Fund, formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, should become a permanent institution, that allows for monetary contributions from individuals and institutions to various disasters.
Building disaster and climate resilience
The NEC noted the impact of climate change and the increasing frequency and intensity with which extreme weather events are affecting our country. It emphasised the need for urgent measures to build climate change resilience and mitigation.
Whilst many cities, towns and municipalities have adopted climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, they must, in consultation with communities, ensure that building on floodplains is discouraged, and that infrastructure is climate change resilient.
The Special NEC resolved that climate change and the response thereto should be incorporated into all National Policy Conference discussion documents.
ANC NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE DISCUSSION DOCUMENTS
The Special NEC discussed and agreed to the distribution of National Policy Conference discussion documents, subject to amendments proposed by the NEC.
The ANC is due to hold its 55th National Conference in December 2022. This will be preceded by a National Policy Conference in July 2022.
The Policy Conference offers the ANC an opportunity to reflect the extent to which we have implemented our policies and to make proposals for the amendment or existing policy or introduction of new policy.
The National General Council scheduled for 2020, could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Policy Conference discussion documents therefore built on the preparations made for the NGC.
Policy Conference documents cover two key areas: the first three discussion papers focus on issues of the ANC political and organisational strategy and programme, and the second set of papers deal with various areas of transformation and governance of society. The papers are:
Political and Organisational Strategy, Management and Sustainability:
(1) Balance of Forces and Strategy and Tactics
(2) Organisational Renewal
(3) Constitutional Amendments
Transformation and Governance Policy Areas:
(1) Social Transformation
(2) Economic Transformation
(3) Peace and Stability
(4) Education, Health, Science, Innovation and Technology
(5) Archives, Heritage and Culture
(7) Legislature and Governance
(8) International Relations
A large political school and festival of ideas
The final discussion documents will be published in early May 2022 in a special edition of the ANC journal, Umrabulo.
The process leading up to the National Policy Conference will constitute a festival of ideas characterized by broad, inclusive an intensive participation in evaluating the implementation of policies adopted by previous National Conferences and proposing amendments to these policies, as well as the formulation of new policies.
NEC Sub-committees will engage with Alliance partners, mass democratic movement formations, various sectoral and civil society organisations, as well as the public and media on its discussion documents.
From May to early July 2022, over 250 workshops will be conducted across the country with all ANC branch executive committees for induction and training in the facilitation of discussion of Policy Conference documents. This training will enable BECs to conduct study groups and workshops with ANC members to discuss these vital issues facing the country and communities.
The ANC calls upon all individuals, organisations and institutions to make inputs and enrich these discussions papers.
LETSEMA, BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES TOGETHER
The Special NEC also welcomed the recent re-launch of the Letsema Campaign in the Mangaung Metro, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on 23 April 2022.
The Letsema campaign is a call to action for all ANC members and citizens, to work with their local, provincial and national government to build better communities. The programme encourages communities and government to work together, forming local compacts to reconstruct the economic and social fabric of our society.
The launch focused on clean and safe communities. Each month focus on a different issue in communities. The campaign aims to:
- a) Build a Letsema movement for clean, resilient and safe communities, across the country;
- b) Identify and organise regular community activities around issues that contribute to community resilience and safety;
- c) Build a broad front of various stakeholders in communities, towns, rural areas and cities who in their different sectors and working together contribute to the Letsema objectives;
- d) Raise awareness in communities and educate campaign organisers, volunteers, members and all stakeholders on the importance of community development, resilience and social cohesion; and,
- e) Ensure dynamic interaction between government structures and communities around effective basic services and local economic development.
The Letsema campaign also incorporate solidarity with KZN and Eastern Cape flood victims.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE “STEP-ASIDE” RESOLUTION
In February 2021, the NEC adopted Guidelines and Procedures on the Implementation of National Conference Resolutions on ANC Credibility and Integrity: Dealing with Corruption and on Fighting Crime and Corruption that dealt with the implementation of the “step-aside” resolution adopted by the 54th National Conference.
The NEC also adopted proposed terms and conditions regulating the conduct and participation of members, office bearers and public representatives who have stepped aside voluntarily.
The Special NEC noted that neither these documents explicitly regulate whether members who have stepped aside voluntarily can stand for election to executive structures of the organization, such as BEC, REC, PEC or the NEC.
The NEC further noted that a number of members who have been indicted in a court of law, some on very serious charges, accepted nomination for such positions after stepping aside voluntarily, only to step aside again immediately after being elected.
The NEC noted with concern that this has resulted in confusion and serious reputational damage to the organization.
The NEC reiterated the ANC’s position that, as a liberation movement and a governing party, our leaders must be above reproach, and that any misconduct or dishonesty is dealt with in a serious and consistent manner.
The NEC reiterated the call made in Through the Eye of a Needle that: A leader should lead by example. S/he should be above reproach in his or her political and social conduct – as defined by our revolutionary morality. Through force of example, s/he should act as a role model to ANC members and non-members alike. Leading a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the NDR includes not only being free of corrupt practices; it also means actively fighting against corruption.
Accordingly, the NEC agreed that any member who had stepped aside voluntarily following an indictment to appear in a court of law on any charge should not be allowed to stand for a position on a BEC, REC, PEC or NEC.
Likewise, any member who has been suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 following an indictment to appear in a court of law on any charge should also not be allowed to stand for a position on a BEC, REC, PEC or NEC.
The NEC recognized that the implementation of the “step-aside” resolution constitutes an important and groundbreaking element in the renewal and rebuilding of the organization. As such, it will be subject to ongoing improvement and refinement, guided by practice, policy and the provisions of the ANC Constitution. Accordingly, the NEC mandated the National Officials to investigate and make proposals regarding any further amendments required for the effective implementation of the resolution.
ANC WOMEN’S LEAGUE
The NEC received a report from a task team consisting of Comrades Thandi Modise (Convenor), Nathi Mthethwa, and Jenny Schreiner tasked with considering and making recommendations regarding the status of the ANC Women’s League and its NEC. The report followed a process of engagement with the ANCWL NEC.
The report noted that the term of the ANCWL NEC lapsed in August 2020. It further noted the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations on the ability of the ANCWL to prepare for and hold its National Conference.
The NEC commended ANCWL for the fact that it has been able to maintain an impressive public visibility through virtual events, through campaigning and through engagements with various organisations and forums, despite the poor organisational status and numerous challenges facing its structures at all levels.
There was unanimity on the need to ensure the legitimacy of processes leading up to the National Conference of the ANCWL.
Accordingly, the NEC decided that the ANCWL should be disbanded and replaced with a National Task Team (NTT). The NTT must ensure that ANCWL structures are in good standing and that conferences are held in branches, regions and provinces to ensure that the ANCWL National Conference is convened on a solid organisational foundation.
The NEC mandated the National Officials and the NWC to process the composition and terms of reference of the ANCWL National Task Team (ANCWL NTT) and to report to a special NEC meeting in the near future.
COMRADE BATHABILE DLAMINI
The NEC received a report from National Officials on matters arising from the conviction and sentencing of Comrade Bathabile Dlamini. The NEC noted that Comrade Dlamini has agreed to present herself to the ANC Integrity Commission. The NEC will await the report of the Integrity Commission.
STATUS OF INTERIM STRUCTURES AND THEIR PARTICIPATION IN REGIONAL AND PROVINCIAL CONFERENCES
Rule 12.2.4 of the ANC Constitution provides that the NEC must ensure that provincial, regional and branch structures of the ANC and the Leagues function democratically and effectively.
In this regard, the NEC may suspend or dissolve a Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) where necessary. PECs, in turn, are empowered to suspend, dissolve and re-launch Branch Executive Committees (BECs) and Regional Executive Committees (RECs) where necessary.
In terms of the ANC Constitution, such interim structures fulfil the functions of the BEC, REC or PEC, as the case may be. Accordingly, the NEC affirmed the right of members of such interim structures to attend ex-officio as full participants in and as delegates to regional or provincial conferences.
The NEC noted that some provinces followed different approaches to the establishment of such interim structures, and mandated the Secretary General’s Office to develop uniform guidelines regarding their composition.
COMPOSITION OF THE NATIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMITTEE (NDRC)
The NEC agreed that the National Dispute Resolution Committee (NDRC) be reconstituted to avoid any conflicts of interest, or perceptions thereof. Accordingly, those who are actively involved in making decisions that might be the subject of NDRC processes will no longer serve as members, but may be invited to make inputs and give reports.
The NEC agreed to appoint Comrades Sindi Chikunga and Noxolo Kieviet as additional members of the NDRC.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL TREASURER GENERAL PAUL MASHATILE FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE NEC
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