The Chairperson of the session
National Executive Committee Members present here,
PEC Members and REC’s Reps
Premier and all ANC Deployees. ( Ministers , MECs , MP, MPLs and Troikas)
DG , all HODs and MMs
All MDM and Civil Society present here,
Prof. Somadoda Fikeni and all special Guests
Let me commence by bringing to you greetings on this day where we have brought together the highest echelons of leadership in our Province and ask this meeting to rise for a moment of silence in honor of the recently departed struggle veterans such as mama u Sobukwe, Tatu Plam , Ntshona and Gawe, whom their funerals were all deservedly declared Provincial special funerals by President.
This important Lekgotla is preceded by the National Lekgotla with a completely different approach than the conventional method, only focusing on economic development, social transformation and State capacity or Governance. The 8th PEC induction that took place yesterday on the 18th August 2018, as the 1st political class for this collective, also preceded this gathering and it served the purpose and now it’s up to the PEC to unite and lead our Province to another level. We have come a long way to be where are today in terms of our unity and cohesion since the last regrettable incident that characterized our last Provincial conference. We all belong to this great movement, we must be cdes in the literal sense of word “cde”, bury our ugly past and move on to advance the NDR as instructed by both 8th Provincial conference and 54th National conference.
We are gathered here to assess the performance of government in delivering ANC Policy commitments and priorities. This Lekgotla is important like all other Makgotla for the application of our S&T to advance the NDR, but is necessary to highlight that this Lekgotla takes place a few weeks before the government Cabinet Lekgotla in the Province and few months before the end of the fifth administration. Our Strategy and Tactics explain that at the core of the second phase should be a concerted drive to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We therefore have a huge task before us, we need to be frank and honest about our performance as this is the only way we can find solutions to the problems that hinder us from delivering services to our communities and implementing our Manifesto Commitments.
As we all know, 2018 is the year where we celebrate 100 years of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, the year of Renewal, Unity and Jobs. This Lekgotla must give a practical meaning to this theme and this must translate to our programme of action. This is not a talk show, it is not a place to lament about our problems or point fingers, but rather a platform to have a shared understanding about what needs to be done.
Comrade Malamlela, on Thursday the nation remembered the tragedy of Marikana where 34 striking miners and 10 other employees were killed. It is true that majority of the workers that were killed are from the Eastern Cape. Indeed, we join all those who say that this is a tragedy that should have never happened.
It was a wage dispute between the employer and the employee that got out control. As the ANC stated in its statement released on the 16th August 2018, “there is no doubt about our commitment in ensuring that never again should such a tragedy befall our nation, and no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that measures are in place to achieve this.”
Our government must come out in the public, account about the progress made in Implementing the Judge Farlam findings and remedial actions. We have been told that 100 million has been paid for victims to certain trust accounts of Lawyers, of which 67% of it is said to have been disbursed, if to who that’s what we are interested on. We know school, clinics and houses were built for our people, the question is have all these given to the real beneficiaries who most of them are based here in EC. We demand to know from our government .
We note the opportunistic and political desperate ICC call by DA and its cronies. What is sad though, is the death of workers in South Africa that is being turned into a political campaign against the African National Congress, particular its President, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa.
The death of workers striking for better wages and working conditions should not be used as an election campaign but rather an unfortunate event that should remind us of our historic mission to overcome class super-exploitation in South Africa and throughout the world.
It should be a painful reminder that our struggle was not just about the electoral participation of all citizens in our democracy, but also the far-reaching democratisation of the social, gender, and economic relations. We call on the National Union of Mineworkers to wake up and re-organise workers out of those parasites in Marikana, for workers best interests .
Chairperson, at our last PEC Lekgotla in February we acknowledged that substantive gains have been made, especially with regards restoration of rights and dignity, and access to social protection for the poor and vulnerable.
The Lekgotla also appreciated that the Macro-economic stabilization and re-integration of South Africa into global economy is a success, and we have created a solid institutional architecture of public service including wall to wall municipalities. Furthermore, it noted that we must now be preoccupy with the micro economic dynamics for the realization of the radical socio-economic transformation.
All of these positive achievements notwithstanding, the Lekgotla appreciated the challenges that our country and the province is still facing. These challenges include the fact that there is less progress made on economic transformation. Inequality, unemployment and access to productive assets are still a major challenge hence the radical socio-economic transformation and building inclusive economy is at the top of the policy agenda.
We also noted that spatial inequity is still a major concern after 25 years, with growth still overly concentrated in certain geo-economies of the country. This is made worse by our inability to meaningfully drive industrialisation and infrastructure development in spatial areas.
Comrades, we need to radically change the face of the Eastern Cape which is currently the least performing Province in almost every performance indicator. We cannot accept and live with the fact that the Eastern Cape is the least performing Province be it in strategic planning, Education, job creation, economic growth , IGR coordination and alignment of budget allocated to performance targets. We also cannot bask in some former glory of the contribution we have made in the attainment of our freedom, we this generation, need to show that we are indeed a Province and home of Legends.
We must find ways to curb the out migration of skills by diversifying the Provincial economic potential. We have a potential to be food basket of the country if we exploit Agriculture and Agro-processing, we have shores that can attract the huge investments into the Oceans economy, the entertainment or film industry. Let’s use the introduction SEZ development approach to robustly create a conducive environment for industrialization, manufacturing and implementation of Agri Parks with out being destructive on the good progressive work done our IDZs.
It is simply a matter of will and commitment to our people and not ourselves for self-enrichment. It is imperative that we address serious Government inefficiencies, like the lack of coherent and effective support to Provincial based SMMEs across the economic spectrum and we must lead private sector by example.
We must tirelessly engage national government and national leadership on our catalytic projects like Mzimvubu, Mthombo, Manganese, oil gas/ fracking, Biofuel and Nuclea. We are glad that you have honoured our invitation Cde Ebrahim Patel and we look forward to engaging with your presentation.
To resolve the ongoing challenge of government proper and habitable offices in Bisho, we must come out of this Lekgotla Cde Pemmy with an understanding that Bisho precinct development commences before the end of this financial year.
Roads in the Eastern Cape are a major problem. There is no way that we can attract investment in the Province with the current state of our roads. Again, it can’t be correct that we are arguably the leading Province in terms of incomplete roads and high rates per kilometre.
We must come out of this Lekgotla with a clear directive of what we must do in government to deal with the on-going problem on non-payment of service providers within the 30-day regulation. Perhaps it is time, that accounting officers in Departments and Municipalities are held individually liable for non-payment of service providers on time, which is a major contributor to delayed and incomplete projects.
We must crush corruption with every fibre of our being. Like the Chinese say: “we must hunt the tiger and swat the fly” to show our determination to fight corruption. This means we must eliminate corrupt individuals within our ranks, be it politicians, government senior and junior officials or the willing corrupters in the private sector. It is painful to imagine how much could have been achieved in resolving the problems we face if we used the millions spent on “kick-backs” or the so called facilitation fees to improve the infrastructure in our schools, renovate stalls for hawkers, improve facilities in our public health institutions and so on.
We currently have in place a Thuma Mina campaign that is based on the ANC reconnecting with the people through activities that improve people’s lives and resolves problems that they face.
We must ride the wave of positivity in our province which has come in the form of massive investments facilitated by our President Cyril Ramaphosa. As you would know President Cyril Ramaphosa has become a locksmith, he is opening all the right doors to attract massive investments for our country.
To date, over R265 billion has been pledged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Interestingly, these countries want to invest largely in the energy and tourism sectors, respectively, with Saudi Arabia keen on building a refinery in South Africa. As you would know comrades these sectors feature strongly in our economic development and job creation agenda.
These investments are an addition to the R10 billion investment by Mercedes Benz SA into the expansion of the East London Plant and the R1billion rand investment by Kulani Techonologies who are currently operating in high-tech factory at the East London SEZ employing 1000 people, the majority of which are young people.
I am citing these positive news comrades to indicate that it is possible to change the developmental trajectory of our province. On Tuesday last week I called a roundtable to discuss the Ocean Economy in Nelson Mandela University. Someone reminded us of the words of our National Chairperson comrade Gwede Mantashe uMqwati when he says: “Ingxaki yenu eEastern Cape yeyoba niyathanda usebeza xa nifuna into. Ezinye I provinces aziyenzi lonto ziyakhwaza zona xa zifuna into.”
We need to make a loud noise in every platform we get about the economic development trajectory we want for our province. We must start by putting our hand up to get a share of the investments by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. If they want to invest in Tourism, we are the Home of Legends and have the best products they must come here. If they want to build a refinery we are ready, we have been ready ever since we were promised Project Mthombo. This is the posture we must drive collectively and mobilize our alliance partners, business, labour, academia and civil society around this agenda.
Stats SA Quarter 2 results indicate that our province is one of only four provinces that have shown a decrease in unemployment rate, with a reduction of -1.4 %. This should spur us on to implement more radical and bolder programmes that would lead to job creation for our people.
Yes, the global economy has not fully recovered and we continue to witness low global demand for commodities such as the cars that we manufacture in our province. The decline of the mining industry also continues to have an effect on the manufacturing industry. This will result in job losses in the mining industry, as you would know that Implats announced their rushed decision to offlay 2500 workers.
As the Eastern Cape Province, we should be worried when the mining industry is not doing well. We are one of the major labour suppliers for the mining industry. The decline of that industry will negatively affect our rural households including their local economies.
But comrades there are things that we have control over which we should use to drive our agenda. These include the provincial public purse. It is no use to call for investments from national government when year after year our government forfeits millions of rands that were not spent on infrastructure projects among others.
Over and above that the AG will indicate to us in a few months a shocking picture of financial mismanagement in some of government departments where irregular expenditure is seemingly a norm.We must at same time congratulate , appreciate and commend those have done well in properly accounting for for public goods . All of these issues call on this PEC Lekgotla to provide leadership and ensure accountability to all its deployees in the provincial and local sphere of government. Let’s also condem the poor performance, negligence, instability, lack of integration and coordination, as it sometimes leads to unexpenditure of infrastructure grants like MIG . The modus operandi of laxity and sluggish approach we display in the State should be frowned upon and to avoid authorizing our demise
Only that way would we be able to speed up growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihood in our province.
All cadres of the ANC are expected to be Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu volunteers, and emulate the values and legacies left by these two icons of our liberation struggle.
We must emulate the selfless service to all South Africans and humanity at large uMam’ uSisulu gave, her generosity of spirit and teaching the nation humility, respect for human dignity and compassion for the weak, the poor and the downtrodden.
Conferences or not, we are working towards a decisive victory in the upcoming national general elections. That will require that we all pull efforts together with one goal and objective to win back the confidence and trust of our people.
Let us all redouble our effort in working towards the unity and renewal of the ANC in our Province and recommit ourselves to the struggle for total liberation of human kind. The upcoming Regional Conferences must not reverse the progress we have made in building unity of the ANC post the 8th Provincial Conference. No one has birth right entitlement to leadership positions, we therefore do not expect any member of the ANC to disrupt the unity of the organisation merely because their wishes did not find expression.
On behalf of the ANC Provincial Executive Committee I accordingly invite all present here today to make meaningful contributions at this Lekgotla.
Thank you very much!