The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) met in a NEC meeting on the 25th January 2017. This NEC preceded the annual January NEC Lekgotla which was scheduled to take place from the 26th to the 28th January. However due to several NEC members having to attend the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, the Lekgotla completed its business in the evening of the 27th January 2017.
The NEC meeting received a report from the National Working Committee (NWC) which, amongst others, contained the Roadmap to the 54th National Conference of the ANC to be held in December 2017.
The National Conference will be held from the 16th to the 20th December 2017 in Gauteng. In line with the Constitution of the ANC, at least 90% of delegates at Conference shall be from branches, elected at properly constituted branch general meetings (BGM). The NEC was resolute that no person who is a member in good standing at the cut-off date, which is the 30th April 2017 for the purposes of auditing, will be denied the right to participate in the life of the organisation. Membership audits will take place during May and June with audit queries, objections and appeals being dealt within in July and August 2017. A proposed timetable towards Conference has been developed and will be circulated to structures of the organisation. All proposals for the amending of the ANC Constitution will be distributed to structures by September 2017.
Branches will hold their BGMs/ BAGMs during September and October 2017. In line with the 2016 NGC Resolution that the branch is the basic unit of the ANC, that slates must be outlawed and that serious action must be taken to prevent and deal with the practice of slate, the NEC resolved do away with the practice of consolidating nominations for leadership at a regional and provincial level. Branches must be given the right to nomjnate. Cosolidation at other levels tampers with the authority of the branches to nominate. All nominations for leadership from branches will be consolidated nationally by the Electoral Commission.
The NEC Lekgotla was attended by members of the NEC, the Leagues, Alliance Partners and veterans and comrades representing structures of the mass democratic movement as well as comrades deployed in various functions in the state and state institutions. The Lekgotla is called for the ANC to deliberate on and outline the priority programmes for the ANC-led government for the coming year.
Economic growth, accelerated radical socio-economic transformation, land reform and redistribution, the funding of higher education, fighting crime and corruption as well as building the capacity of the state were identified as the key priorities of the ANC in the current year.
Radical socio-economic transformation refers to a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. Our main objective remains the liberation of Blacks in general and Africans in particular. Its components include the creation of jobs, accelerating shared and inclusive growth, transforming the structure of production and ownership of means of production and enabling the talents and productive potential of our people to flourish. At the heart of radical socio-economic transformation is an effective state that is decisive in its pursuit of structural change.
Achieving this requires a fundamental shift from a pure capitalist state to a state-managed developmentalist economy underpinned by a developmental public service. Lekgotla identified the Constitution, legislation and regulations, licensing, BBBEE and transformation charters, the national budget and procurement, State Owned Companies and Development Finance Institutions, as well as government programmes for redistribution as the tools at the disposal of the developmental state to advance radical socio-economic transformation.
Whilst we noted that since 1994, the ANC-led government has recorded numerous successes including:
- Expanding employment (formal and informal) from 9.5 million in 1994 to 16 million at the end of 2015
- Growing a vibrant and successful black middle class and
- Significantly reducing the number of people below the poverty line;
Much more still remains to be done. In pursuit of this objective, the NEC Lekgotla resolved to accelerate radical transformation and disrupt existing patterns of ownership and control by:
On Agriculture and Land Reform
- Pursue industrialization strategies, instead of depending on export of natural resources or raw materials, with declining commodity prices
- Increase investment into infrastructure projects, prioritising townships and rural areas while providing generous subsidies to black industrialists and entrepreneurs to build new factories and businesses in the said areas
- Defend existing jobs and create new ones, by protecting and incentivizing domestic businesses and industries; this includes the developmental state purchasing productive poultry farms currently being sold off in a bid to save jobs and increase food security and production
- Sustain commercial agriculture and increase agricultural contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through the incremental implementation of the Maputo Declaration and increased exports
- Commended the work of the Valuer General, including the R50m saving accrued to government in the first year of this office’s operation. Resolved to complete the Land Audit underway to identify pre-colonial land patterns to inform new legislation on land restitution
On Finance and Banking, Industrialisation, Manufacturing and Beneficiation
- The National Development Plan (NDP) and the Nine Point Plan remain relevant towards achieving radical economic transformation
- Further, the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution has brought about an era of innovation which should be a catalyst for economic growth and development. Science and technology must be at the cutting edge of creating new economic capacity in our country
- Lekgotla has called for government to develop and implement a programme for the transformation and de-racialisation of the highly concentrated financial sector in the interest of vast majority of the country
- Barriers to SMME development must be identified. Legislative and regulatory regimes redesigned to enable SMME market entry and development.
- Legislative amendments to ensure the implementation of the National Minimum Wage must be finalised and such legislation introduced in Parliament within the current calendar year
- Government must drive local procurement and supplier development, enhance monitoring capacity and consequence management for non-compliance
- Fasttrack the licensing of the Post Bank and ensure that it becomes the principal distributor of social grants
- On mining, ANC directs government to consolidate states minerals holdings, promulgate the MPRDA Amendment Act, implement the Mining Phakisa agreements and leverage DFI support for beneficiation. The mining licence regime and charter must be utilised to facilitate BBEEE, local procurement, the development of black industrialists and SMMEs
- Government must review and align DFI mandates with operating and developmental financing models and government strategy to increase lending to SMMEs and black entrepreneurs at developmental lending rates
- Develop a plan for the implementation of the 2015 NGC proposal to implement a Wealth Tax to enable stronger levels of infrastructure investment and skills development
- Government must review trade policy positions in light of global changes to support industrialisaiton imperatives
- Lekgotla called on the Heher Commission to complete its work urgently and on time
- Further called on the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and relevant institutions to address concerns of students who have not obtained results for last year and past years
- Lekgotla directed the ANC to make its own proposals on funding of higher education and submit same to Heher Commission
- Further resolved that the ANC convenes within the first quarter of the year, a Summit on Higher Education and Training with a specific focus on reaching consensus on future model for student funding
- On basic education, Lekgotla resolved to review policies and laws that govern infrastructure delivery and maintenance to enable greater local community and small business participation.
- Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) were identified as a significant contributor to socio-economic development. Consequently, there must be increased investment in research and development. The NDP target of 5000 PhDs per annum by 2030 must remain a focus of the ANC and government
- Colleges and universities must identify core skills that are needed by the economy and set targeted outputs. From this a skills plan must be developed working with the HSRC and CSIR amongst others
- On health, it was agreed on the need to move beyond the pilot phase of National Health Insurance (NHI). This must be part of a massive reorganisation of the current health system through a radical re-design involving public and private health providers.
On Fighting Crime & Corruption
Amongst others, Lekgotla resolved that:
- Government must lead in securing all national key points using our security services.
- Parliament should expedite the passing of the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill to ensure the establishment of a fully-fledged Border Management Agency
- Damage to state property must be categorised as a serious offence punishable by a long-term sentence. There must be increased community awareness and participation to defend constitutional gains on the right to protest and government must implement the resolution to establish the Government Security Agency to ensure that all state infrastructure are secured by the Agency
- Corruption, in both the public and private sectors, undermines governance and the rule of law, as well as the authority and credibility of government institutions. Government must expedite the integrated anti-corruption strategy, enhance the coordination of all anti-corruption agencies and improve the remuneration of corruption fighting personnel
On the Capacity of the State and Local Government
Our interactions during the mobilisation for the January 8 Statement revealed that a substantial number of the concerns communities raised during the elections campaign have still not been addressed. Either, ANC municipalities have done little about these concerns or ANC councillors have not been active in forcing the opposition to attend to the peoples’ needs. This is unacceptable. Lekgotla directed the Commission on the Capacity of the State and Local Government to develop concrete proposals on how municipalities must be strengthened to be more pro-active in addressing peoples’ concerns.
Resolved as follows:
- There is need for a strong overarching institutional center that actively has the power, to not only monitor and evaluate, but to also enforce policy adherence and program implementation in accordance with ANC policy and mandate.
- The state must proactively engage all sectors of business to encourage their participation in industrial expansion, economic growth and job creation
- Review the macro-organisation of the State to reduce mandate overlaps and improve efficiency and effectiveness
- Enforce the constitutional framework of government in terms the structure and configuration of government as a Unitary State in line with section 44 of the constitution
- Government must drive a programme of professionalization of the public service including teaching public servants the philosophy and ethics of the development state
- Government must develop capacity to communicate effectively the mandate of the development state and its delivery programmes
- Called for the aggressive revival of declining secondary towns as key industrial zones. This should include the abandoned industrial sites
- Called for departments and other organs that owe municipalities to pay for the services
Lekgotla has directed that these Jan 2017 Lekgotla Priorities must guide and inform the forthcoming Government Lekgotla. Doing so will ensure that these resolutions move us closer to the realisation of radical socio-economic transformation.
African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa: National Spokesperson
082 330 4910