Closing Remarks by the ANC Provincial Chairperson at ANC PEC Lekgotla

Comrades,

This morning we welcomed home our world champion on the international moot court schools competition that took place in Poland , these 4 learners are Mihlali Stofile, Ondela Bede, Lizalise Dlomo and Okhela Sigwela who are grade 12 pupils are from 2 schools , Holy Cross and Hudson park SSS respectively. The have indeed made us proud as they join the league of Legends . This weekend we are also welcoming home Miss Unirvese , Zozibini from another big achievement. Also this morning we had a meeting with Standard Bank and Yekani company to find amicable solutions to get the operations to assist a process of a business rescue.

Today marks 30 years since unbanning of the ANC, the SACP and other liberation organisations. On the 2nd February 1990, the regime finally caught up with a new reality, imposed on them and their government by the people of South Africa. In his address, President Nelson Mandela to rally at the end of ANC National Consultative Conference in December 1990, Madiba declared that:

“Our discussion on Strategy and Tactics began by recognising that the ANC and the De Klerk government approach the issue of negotiations with opposed agendas. The government’s aim is to reform the apartheid system out of existence while carrying over into the future the accumulated privileges and advantages the white monopoly on power. On the other hand the ANC seeks to attain the total eradication of apartheid and to overcome as quickly as possible the consequences of its ravages on our people. Ours is a perspective of the radical overhauling of every aspect of South African life so that the people are empowered and can become the masters of their own destiny.”

The two-day Lekgotla managed to translate these aspirations and clearly outline the plan and programmes of the ANC-led government 6th administration and ANC tasks for the year radical overhauling of every aspect of South African life.

Furthermore, it is true that if we are to be clear of the tasks of the moment, we must first and foremost draw inspiration from our past, in this regard we must as the ANC and its government ensure that we mainstream the commemoration of the gallant freedom fighter’s centenaries to mention few within our province the likes as Vuyisile Mini; Raymond Mhlaba and Robert Resha. Equally important is never to forget that South Africans in the fight for a better life for all made the ultimate sacrifice, this year we must commemorate the 60th anniversary since the Pondo Revolt and 35th anniversary since the Uitenhage Massacre.

We gathered here to discharge our responsibilities as the leadership of the ANC and the Alliance, which amongst others, is to provide guidance over our society. The input of the NEC Lekgotla, which was followed by governance performance reports portrayed a story of the province, whose socio-economic structural make up has not drastically changed.

The Stats-SA report, in particular, showed the persistently high levels of poverty and joblessness among our people in particular within young people. A central theme in the story of our demographic profile is the continued out-migration of working people and the disruption of the family unit, we have relatively higher numbers of youth and older persons who are mainly reliant on social protection grants. As we depart here today we are officially marking the beginning of the 6th Term of Government, and the lekgotla has consolidated our marching orders, ours now is to go and implement.

Comrades, in changing the socio-economic face of our Province we are also faced by challenges that are being worsened by natural disasters such as the severe draught that we have experienced as the Province and the tornados that has affected our communities such as in the Alice and Cala areas. It is therefore important that we build resilience capacity among our communities to adapt after these disasters for their lives to continue.

We are also 10 years to the end of the NDP timeframe and thus the need to ensure the realisation of vision 2030 and our own Provincial Development Plan. We are also approaching the last financial year of the 4th term of local government. This context tells us clearly that we don’t have time, we can no longer afford to lament about weaknesses in the implementation of our policies and decisions, the lament that we have good policies but we lack in implementation ends today.

The Eastern Cape is viewed by many as a Province of under-performance, corruption and lazy people batsho abantu xa bethetha ngathi, “bathi singamanqenerha acikozayo aneminwe emide”. We can’t be proud of this image or perception, we have got to turn around our Province, the improvement in the 2019 matric results is great to start in turning around the negative image of our province, we must consolidate and improve on this achievement.

Corruption now has become a strategic threat to the entire National Democratic Revolution, the idea of a capable state cannot exist alongside systemic corruption, corruption weakens the capacity of the state to deliver. The way our people have lost confidence in us ‘kuthwa’ even the drought that is engulfing the province is just an excuse yokutya imali because ANC people own water carting trucks. This is a painful perception, unfortunate and tragic because it says the ANC is so corrupt that it even seeks to profit from the misery of the people.

We cannot continue like this, we can no longer afford to be soft or pay lip service to the question of corruption. The 6th administration must be characterised by a robust anti-corruption posture, our resolutions on building a capable, ethical state must be implemented to the letter and speedily. As a conscious and a deliberate effort our deliberations both in commissions and in the plenary reflected a movement that is trying to turn the corner towards a more developmental path. The organisation and the 6th administration is therefore tasked to emphatically be pre-occupied with strengthening all our mobilisation machinery to ensure that capable force for economic and social development. In this regard, we have identified that part of our weakness is galvanizing structured relations and engagements to ensure that both the private sector and civil society is central in the realization of the PDP goals.

We are going into the EXCO Lekgotla with a clear mandate from the ANC, a mandate to translate the people’s manifesto into action and use our resolutions to guide and inform our State of Province Address and departmental policy speeches. The Lekgotla in line with the ANC January 8th has instructed to carry out the following tasks:
1. Building a capable state that serves all the people
2. Building a united and cohesive society
3. Investment, jobs and inclusive growth
4. An effective land reform programme
5. Eradicating poverty and improving people’s lives
6. Education and skills for a changing world
7. Social cohesion and safe communities
Equally, the January 8th has outlined the following tasks for ANC structures:
1. Renew the ANC as the most effective force for social change.
2. Build a movement united in action.
3. Prepare for a decisive local government mandate.
4. Mobilise all social partners to grow and transform the economy.
5. Strengthen governance and tackle corruption.
6. Work to end gender-based violence and femicide.
7. Work for peace, integration and development in Africa.

Flowing from the decisions we have taken here, ours comrades now are to ensure that we translate these decisions into all our programmes of action. In this regard, the District Development Model (DDM) is our vehicle to integrate planning, coordination and budgeting across all three spheres of government to drive local development. Central to the District coordination, we must work closely with the traditional leadership in particular on the issue of land to ensure that the land is returned and optimally used as production asset and as principal means of production and a better life for all.

The work does not end here, we have a more significant responsibility to follow up on the decisions taken at this Lekgotla. In this regard, the work of PEC Subcommittees will be extremely crucial in ensuring on-going monitoring and evaluation of the work of deployees in government.

We are working hard to ensure that by the 1 of April 2020, the Province has the Director-General to ensure all the decisions of this Lekgotla are miticulously implemented. We are also attending to the problems surrounding the appointment of the HOD in the department of DRDAR following the legal guidance. We intend to an HOD in the department by 1st of April 2020 as well.

If we are to take anything away from this Lekgotla, it must be implementation, and the fight against corruption sivana ngalonto lets go implement our decisions and policies and let’s go fight corruption. Comrades, it is no doubt that all this work requires a strong organisation, and as such, we need to revive and activate ANC branches, leagues from a branch level.

Thank you very much, have a safe journey home.

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