NEC members present
Members of the PEC
Leadership of our Leagues
Revolutionary greetings comrades and compliments of the new year to all of you. We are glad that all of us are back after a short, but much needed festive season break where we had time to spend with our families and loved ones.
Sadly, not all families in our province had a joyous festive season because they lost loved ones through various incidents. Road accidents alone have claimed 150 lives in our province since the start of the festive season on the 1st of December. We call on motorists to drive with extra care to curb road fatalities as people go back home from various holiday destinations in the next few weeks.
The traditional rite of passage to manhood continues to be tainted by the death of initiates in our province. In the current summer season, 21 young men lost their lives after they underwent the rite of passage to manhood. We extended our condolences to all the families who lost loved ones during this festive season. We commit to reflect on this avoidable mortality and work with our people to curb it.
On the eve of Christmas, the Boksburg gas tanker explosion claimed the lives of about 34 people. We extended our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in that tragic incident.
Comrades, our country is also in mourning following the passing Legendary Xhosa Musician and Cultural Icon ,Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni. Mama Madosini was a national treasure, and we will give her a fitting send off with a Special Provincial Funeral on Saturday, 7th of January in Libode. May her soul rest in peace.
I must hasten to add comrades that disasters are becoming a major challenge in our country, as they claim lives, destroy infrastructure, and displace families. As we speak many families are still without homes from the previous disasters. Roads and bridges are still not repaired as they were washed away by recent heavy rains. This means we must strengthen our disaster response efforts to be agile, while in the long term we must address climate change perennial challenges. Government processes are too slow to deal with disasters currently and this leaves our victims of disasters vulnerable for longer periods.
We have called this Special PEC comrades to prepare ourselves for the conclusion of the 55th National Conference which will be held in hybrid form on January 5th. As the Eastern Cape delegation, we will converge at the EL ICC to participate in the national conference and also be updated on the 111TH anniversary celebrations of the ANC.
I wish to take a moment to reflect briefly on what transpired at the 55th National Conference. On the 11th of December 2022, we held two critical meetings for final preparation for the 55th national conference. The first one was the Special PEC and the second one was the PGC.
In addressing the Special PEC, I outlined a number of tasks that we had to perform as this PEC collective. The first task was to lead and guide the Eastern Cape delegation throughout the conference. The second tasks was to ensure maximum discipline by all Eastern Cape delegates at the conference. The third task was to form a united front to ensure the success of our perspective on policy matters and on the leadership question. This was the popular mandate of Eastern Cape branches which came to the fore through open democratic processes.
Eastern Cape branches mandated us to push for a constitutional amendment to have seven NEC Officials and we delivered on that mandate.
We were mandated to ensure President Cyril Ramaphosa returns as President for the second term, and we delivered on that mandate.
Eastern Cape branches said we must push for a generational mix in the NEC, we did so superbly. Eastern Cape Branches said the Provincial Chairperson must contest the position of Deputy President and this mandate too was carried out but unfortunately it did not succeed and we accept without any reservation. As the ANC we cannot ignore the cry about our inability to elect a collective leadership that is representative of other racial groups, as in appearance, it doesn’t present a good image for an organisation that is non-racial and multiracial in character.
But overall, our branches should be happy with the fact that our perspectives emerged. So, comrades, we are proud of the work we did as this PEC collective to successful carry out the mandate of Eastern Cape branches at the 55th National Conference.
Four PEC members were also elected as NEC members by the 55th National Conference. Let me take this opportunity on your behalf to congratulate Cde Sisisi Tolashe, Cde Andile Lungisa, Cde Stela Ndabeni – Abrahams, Cde Nomakhosazana Methw, and our former Provincial Treasurer, Cde Babalo Madikizela. We wish them all the best in their national responsibility. We also congratulate the youngest NEC member who is from the province, Cde Zuko Godlimpi. These comrades served people of our province with distinction, and we have no doubt that they will add value in the NEC collective. They have been true selfless patriots very committed and dedicated to the revolution. This means four vacancies to this PEC collective and a PGC must soon fill these vacancies as dictated by our constitution. We now release them officially from this PEC collective to go and serve our country at a national level. Those that are deployed in other strategic deployments in the state remain there as their election NEC doesn’t imply that they are relieved of such government responsibilities.
We will thank our branch delegates formally for their discipline and principled stance of not betraying the mandate of EC branches at the conclusion of the 55th National Conference on January 5th at the EL ICC. It will also be important to reflect on the unfortunate incidents where some within the delegation of the Eastern Cape conducted themselves in a manner that is untoward in many respects, including being part of the attempts to disrupt the National Conference and aimless unwarranted attacks at the leadership of the province. Whilst we respect that delegates in their majority were elected in branches, this however did not give anyone a right to conduct themselves in ways that are deviant and in conflict with the discipline expected from members of the organisation. Every delegate had the right to express themselves on any matter before the Conference, but this right carried with it a responsibility to be disciplined and respect the directives given by the NEC and the PEC.
We will also give a report back to our branches as part of a province-wide 111-year celebrations of our movement which we will host in all Regions following the January 8th celebration in Bloemfontein.
The remaining task now comrades is the conclusion of the business of the 55th National Conference which is taking place on January 5th. We must make the final push for the adoption of all policy proposals that we were mandated by Eastern Cape branches.
The leadership outcomes of the conference mean the renewal of the ANC is going to gain momentum. Now our task is to give the newly elected NEC clear resolutions of what renewal means. We have said repeatedly that the step aside resolution must be strengthened to protect brand ANC. We have said renewal is about ending careerism and modernising the ANC to insulate it from factions, gatekeeping, and manipulation and that must reflect on the resolutions we take.
We have said the unity of the ANC is sacrosanct, but it should be principled unity, unity of purpose, not unity of convenience. That means collective decisions are our line of march. We must all respect Party line. The relative stability and unity of our organisation in our Province in the last 3 national and provincial consecutive conferences respectively has been good in protecting the gains we have made and advancing the NDR. As a province we are on a correct revolutionary and progressive trajectory, let us continue with our selfless commitment to the revolution.
We must push the national conference to take firm resolutions on discipline, particulalry on members who passionate defy political instructions by leadership structures.
All those who attempted to disrupt proceedings and cause anarchy during 55th National Conference must face consequences of their conduct. A line must be drawn and a lesson or two must be learnt to nip ill-discipline in the bud.
We must also push the national conference to be firm on disciplining members who abuse their freedom of speech to the detriment of the organisation. We support the comments by the Secretary General that communication on ANC matters would be managed properly going forward to stop the frenzy of NEC members who are acting as self-appointed spokespersons of the ANC in the media.
Policy Implementation :
Now that we have elected a new leadership core and an NEC that looks energetic, we expect no excuses on the implementation of ANC resolutions. We expect better performance and agility in government particulalry on service delivery, economic recovery, and general improvement in the living conditions of our people. With 15 months to go before our nation celebrates 30 years of democracy, we must push the 55th National Conference to give a clear mandate to the ANC led government to implement extra ordinary service delivery programmes that are labour intensive in our communities to address challenges such as potholes, provision of water to needy communities and maintenance of rural roads, to mention a few.
Comrades, we resoundingly delivered on the first mandate of Eastern Cape Branches at the 55th National Conference.
Let us go to finish our task on January 5th at the EL ICC.