The African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary Caucus met for its first Lekgotla in the 6th Parliament from 06 to 08 September 2019. The Lekgotla was attended by members of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, ANC Provincial Secretaries (PS), representatives from ANC provincial caucuses and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
The objective of the Lekgotla was to put in place a five-year programme of action that will guide all deployed ANC members of parliament (MPs), in executing the mandate of the governing party. The five-year programme will has made a commitment to improve the manner in which the ANC in Parliament conducts oversight; does constituency work, and passes legislation.
The Lekgotla acknowledged the passing of former Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The ANC Parliamentary Caucus sent heartfelt condolences to the Mugabe family and his countrymen; and expressed great appreciation and gratitude for his contribution to South Africa’s Liberation Struggle against apartheid and colonialism.
Our country is still in shock following the tragic events of the past week. The ANC Parliamentary Caucus was moved by the outpouring of grief by all South Africans, over the recent acts of brutality against women and children. Together with the people of our country, the ANC Parliamentary Caucus says, “Enough is enough!”
In the course of last week, we have witnessed unprecedented levels of public violence and looting of businesses owned by South Africans and foreign nationals. These events have had a negative impact on our economy and have damaged South Africa’s reputation on our continent and the world. The Lekgotla condemned the violence, wanton destruction of property and loss of life as a result of recent protests. The ANC Parliamentary Caucus calls on the law enforcement agencies to act against the perpetrators of crime, regardless of nationality. We call on our people to embrace the values of Ubuntu which define us as Africans.
SUPPORT FOR INITIATIVES LED BY THE PRESIDENT
The Lekgotla was honoured to be addressed by the President of the ANC and the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa. The President reflected on the mood in our communities following recent incidents GBV, which are of great concern to our people. We support the call that on our communities need to be active participants in stemming the tide against Gender-based violence (GBV). The ANC in Parliament will lead from the front in the fight against GBV. We will initiate programmes to raise consciousness in society about the safety of women and children; champion the national dialogue on GBV and lead campaigns that aim to eradicate the surge of violence in our communities.
The ANC Parliamentary Caucus supports the President’s call to review laws on domestic violence and sexual offences. With this in mind, the ANC in Parliament will work with other political parties, to expedite the making of laws that will impose harsher sentences for all crimes against women and children. The ANC Parliamentary Caucus supports calls that additional measures be implemented immediately to halt acts of GBV, these include:
• Declaring Gender-based violence a national emergency and further dedicating time and necessary resources to eradicate it;
• For the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO) to be made public;
• The tagging of those convicted of sexual offences,
• Life sentences with no possibility of granting parole and no bail for perpetrators;
• The change of mind-set of members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) on dealing with victims.
• Rape and paediatric kits must be available at all police stations.
ECONOMY AND JOBS
The Lekgotla welcomed the initiative by government to start a national conversation on how to boost the South African economy in the short term. The Economic Transformation Cluster (ETC) will lead this national conversation as it affects all South Africans. Furthermore, we call on all South Africans to contribute to this very important discussion. The Lekgotla welcomed the policy certainty by government; in particular, the release of the policy direction for the licensing of the High Demand Spectrum, which was approved by Cabinet. The Lekgotla noted concerns about the implementation of reforms in Visa regulations, which are crucial for boosting the tourism sector in our country The Lekgotla acknowledged that the South African economy has stagnated. The Lekgotla resolved that the ANC in Parliament will move with greater vigour to ensure that government implements decisive policy measures, to reignite inclusive growth and create jobs.
The ANC in Parliament is committed to accelerate the building of a capable and responsive developmental state. The Lekgotla supports the district project management approach being introduced by government, as we believe that it will strengthen coordination and capacity at local government level. The ANC in parliament is committed to achieve universal health coverage in our country, through National Health Insurance (NHI).
The ANC in Parliament will strengthen the ethics rules to include compulsory and regular ethics training for all members of Parliament. As the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, we believe that our focus on raising the standards of ethical conduct from public representatives, will go a long way in our efforts to fight against corruption and state capture.
APPROACH OF ANC CAUCUS IN THE 6TH PARLIAMENT
In this 6th Parliament, the ANC Parliamentary Caucus will dedicate itself primarily serving the people of South Africa. ANC MPs will be visible in all our constituencies and we will partner with civil society organisations to address the challenges faced by our communities in the spirit of Thuma Mina and Khawuleza. Parliamentary Constituency Offices (PCO’s) will follow up on the challenges raised by communities, working together with local government. The ANC in Parliament resolved to strengthen oversight over the government, and for the restructuring of some State-owned Enterprises (SOEs), to ensure good returns on public funds invested into SOEs.
A BETTER SOUTH AFRICA, AFRICA AND WORLD
The Lekgotla affirmed the African and internationalist outlook of the ANC. The ANC Parliamentary Caucus will seek to revitalise programmes that will demonstrate South Africa’s commitment to African unity, integration; whilst advancing the agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and other multi-national organisations.
ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ANC CHIEF WHIP, COMRADE PEMMY MAJODINA
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