Deputy Chairperson, Cde Mlungisi Mvoko
Members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC
Members the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC
Leadership of the Alliance,
Leadership of the Mass Democratic Movement (MD),
Deployed Cadres of the ANC
Senior Government Officials and Support Staff
Comrades and Friends:
In opening this PEC Lekgotla yesterday, we outlined two strategic considerations for convening the session here in the Nelson Mandela Region. We said the decision was to ensure the visibility of the ANC on the ground herein order to give confidence and hope to our Local Leadership structures.
Secondly, we said the Nelson Mandela Metro is undoubtedly a Battle Ground Metro in the Province and therefore we must show our political strength to the political and ideological opponents of the ANC.
In closing the Lekgotla, we wish to reaffirm the correctness of these considerations. However, we must add two more considerations necessary for us to sustain the momentum.
This is to say: the regional leadership of the Nelson Mandela Metro, working together with PEC deployees, have a duty to galvanise our structures in this region behind a militant programme of action them takes the battle straight to the communities. We must see an active ANC that showcases a vibrant relationship with community struggles.
Furthermore, the confidence required in the Nelson Mandela Region is true for all other regions. All of us must leave this Lekgotla with a renewed sense of urgency to galvanise branches across the province to give all their energy to the elections campaign. There must be a surge in door-to-door campaigns, community meetings, sectoral mobilisation of traditional leaders, intellectuals, faith-based organisations and the churches.
The ANC Youth League and ANC Women’s League must up the tempo in engaging their constituencies and canvassing the perspectives of the ANC in bringing solutions to their problems. We also need the Veteran’s League and the uMkhonto WeSizwe Liberation War Veterans to come together in responding to the challenge of demoralised ex-combatants of our revolutionary armed wing, uMkhonto Wesizwe, and work to retain them within the fold of the ANC-led alliance. We must rescucitate our progressive business forums. This is the time for all motive forces to stand up to defend and advance NDR.
We close this PEC lekgotla on 11 February 2024. 34 years ago to this day, President Nelson Mandela walked out of Viktor Vorster prison as a free man for the first time since his incarceration in the early 60s. Symbolically, his release marked the victory of a centuries long dream of freedom for the oppressed national majority and also marked the beginning of another dream that the people could now build a country of their dream with their own hands.
As we gear ourselves up for a gruelling elections campaign, we must recall the promise of 11 February 1990 and do our best to reconnect the image of the ANC with that moment in the popular imagination of the people. We must work to regenerate a belief that the ANC remains the only reliable political force capable of leading progressive social transformation and that it still serves as a campion of the people’s cause.
The experience of the two periods of open voter registration have proven quite instructive. Our voting base and the electorate at large have unequivocally reaffirmed their positive affinity towards the ANC but have categorically warned us to improve our delivery of services and build an economy that improves the material well-being of all. In a sense, we were reminded that the true test for the success of the national democratic revolution is in actively providing the people with the means to survive.
We are closing this PEC lekgotla after what I think was a focused and robust mood in commissions yesterday. All comrades appeared to grasp the urgency of the moment and the importance of single-mindedly thinking about how to best improve the public mood in the province in the remaining months before elections.
It is going to be critical that we return to our regions and areas of deployment carrying this spirit. The test before us must be written in the remaining three months. That test requires diligence not in planning and theorisation but diligence in project execution. We must improve the delivery and maintenance of roads and water infrastructure as our best shot at turning the tide of service delivery and employment creation in the short term. We must be unequivocal about vandalism of public facilities.
It is crucial that we raise with concern the low turnout of our municipal Troikas, Municipal Managers and some MDM formations in this Lekgotla. This is worrying because it is strategical deployed who must be the frontline troops in translating the resolutions of this Lekgotla into a viable action plan on the ground. Comrades at that level have to take the work of the ANC seriously and discharge themselves with the requisite commitment.
Furthering further NDP and PDP goals , we have advanced the consolidation of social compact through mobilisation of social formations across society we have convened a first ever successful Development Convention that emerged with concrete declaration on core creation of shared vision, governance, driving investment promotion, accelerate transformation in the agricultural economy, strengthen smme sector, promotion of safer communities, advancing youth development, skills , education and training, sustainable development and anti poverty programes
Last night our national football team, Bafana Bafana, completed their AFCON 2024 campaign by clinching a Bronze Medal as third place winners after beating the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our province’s son, Ronwen Williams, once more proved himself a national hero with a stellar performance protecting South Africa;s goalposts.
This 3rd place position is an important confidence booster for our national team. It is a remarkable performance considering the low base from which the national team comes from, and it has reignited the belief of resilience and perseverance in all our people that there is progress as we celebrate 30 years of freedom in our country, and we can once again compete at the highest level. Sport doesn’t only now provide careers in our children but plays an important role in social cohesion and nation building.
Similarly, the Sunrises cricket team from the Eastern Cape won the T20 for the second time in a row. This bodes well for the growth of professional sports in the province. We must do our utmost best as government to coordinate a multistakeholder ecosystem to support grassroots sports development in the province.
As we celebrate these sporting achievements, we must also not lose sight of other negative developments that we are confronted with. Across the Atlantic, in Washington, a bipartisan Bill seeking to isolate South Africa and the ANC over our stance on the Israeli war on Palestine was brought before the United States Congress.
The bipartisan Bill, brought by both the Republicans and Democrats, seeks to compel President Joe Biden to review the relationship between South Africa and the United States. It charges that we are colluding with enemies of the United States and should therefore be treated as such.
President Cyril Ramaphosa did warn us about these developments when he closed the NEC Lekgotla last week. He called on us to be vigilant and note that our principled stance in the international arena will provoke a counter offensive, including the possibility for internal destabilisation. This US Congress Bill must be understood in that very context.
Accordingly, we are now called upon by history to stand out ground and defend the ideological and political survival of the ANC. This moment needs us to raise the bar ideologically and be vigilant politically to protect both the country and the ANC. The battles ahead are much bigger than we may be thinking currently but a united ANC is much more vital for our country’s future. Cadres of high moral stamina and intellectual rigour are required.
As we leave here today, we wish to communicate to you that the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape has learnt with shock the passing on of Comrade Dr Bongani Noruka on the 7th of February 2024 after a brief illness. Comrade Bongani was a gallant revolutionary, who served excellently in the freedom struggle and joined the armed struggle as a combatant of uMkhonto WeSizwe. In the same vain I want to this opportunity to join our president in extending in our message of condolences to people of Nambia for the passing on and their loss of their president , his excellency , cde Hage Geingob. He was a Swapo president, our sister party and comrades in arms.
Cde Noruga was a consummate intellectual who took his professional work as a medical doctor as part of the broader revolutionary effort to bring the values of the national democratic revolution into reality. In him we have lost a dedicated cadre – someone who was always ready to roll up his sleeves and work in the interest of the people of South Africa. We send our condolences to his family, relatives, and friends.
As you leave cdes, you must know that Exco commences with its own lekgotla from tomorrow on a clear mandate with clarity from this mandatory lekgotla of the governing party. We are emboldened by the work 6th term has done, building on the foundation laid laid by previous terms. We are ready with confidence to face our people to report back on the progress we have achieved over the 30years with clear testimonies. “It always seems impossible until is done”. President Mandela. Kubo!!!!! Forward ever backward never !!! Eastern cape will never be the same again, slowly but surely, we are moving towards Eastern cape want.