African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape held an extended Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting on Sunday, 04 September 2017 at East London, Osner Hotel.
The Extended PEC meeting, was preceded by a special PEC meeting to consider the state of readiness for the 8th Provincial Conference.
8th ANC Provincial Conference:
The special PEC meeting appreciated the progress made in handling branch appeals by the ANC NEC Team, the progress on Branch General Meeting (BGM) verification, and the efforts by regions to convene BGMs for the few remaining branches. In this regard, the PEC decided to extend the deadline for all remaining BGMs to Sunday 10th September 2017.
This extension is to accommodate mostly those branches that are to reconvene their BGMs based on outcomes of the appeals process, those that failed BGM Verification, and a last chance for branches that have to date failed to convene succesful BGMs.
The PEC confirmed that no further extensions will be granted for BGMs, as such branches should take full advantage of this extension knowing it’s the last.
The PEC strongly condemned the reported acts of intimidation of the ANC NEC during the appeals process and it committed to act on any involved individuals once the complete report from the NEC team has been submitted.
The PEC also noted the court papers which amongst other things seek to interdict the upcoming Provincial Conference and urged the ANC legal team to handle the matter speedily to ensure it does not affect the holding of the Provincial Conference.
The PEC further acknowledged the right of ANC members to approach the courts but urged members to exhaust internal dispute resolution processes before resorting to courts.
The 8th Provincial Conference will be held just months before the 54th National Conference and as such a number of Provinces are already facilitating discussions on the political approach to the National Conference.
The PEC mandated the Provincial Working Committee not to wait for upcoming Provincial Conference but to participate in these discussions as time is of the essence. In this regarding the ANC Eastern Cape PWC will therefore also be having bilateral meetings with other Provinces and partaking in the ongoing discussions with an aim of consolidating unity, reclaiming lost ground, as we drive our second and more radical phase of transformation.
Based on the overall reports received, the PEC is quite happy with the progress made and thus confident that the set date of the 28 September – 01 October 2017 for the Provincial Conference will be met, as such no further postponement of Conference are anticipated.
Outcomes of the Extended PEC meeting:
The Extended PEC meeting was attended by delegates from our Alliance partners, ANC Leagues, components of the Mass Democratic Movement, members of the ANC in Parliament, and other ANC members deployed to strategic areas of Governance.
The meeting received a comprehensive report from the ANC Provincial Chairperson and Premier Cde Pumulo Masualle, which detailed progress made in implementing key ANC priorities in Government.
The meeting noted the fiscal outlook of the country and the credit rating downgrades particularly the constraints they impose on the economic growth outlook of the Province. The recently released Stats SA poverty index again confirmed that the Eastern Cape remains one of the poorest provinces with embeded structural poverty and underdevelopment.
The Extended PEC meeting further noted that the Eastern Cape is well endowed in terms of natural resources potential but most of this remains untapped as the land remains fallow, untapped oceans economy potential, forestry and other agricultural potential that is not fully utilised. The meeting thus urged the Premier and our Provincial Government to focus on unlocking the potential of Agriculture and the Oceans economy as a long term solution to the underdevelopment of the Province.
The extended PEC evaluated the progress of our Provincial Government in implementing our 2014 Provincial Medium Term Strategic Framework (PMTSF) which included promoting quality education and skills development, improved health profile of the province, stimulating rural development, land reform and food security.
Promoting Quality Education and Skills Development:
The meeting noted the number of challenges confronting Basic and Higher Education in the Province, particularly on the need to improve the matric pass rate and the infrastructure, such as the total eradication of mud schools, and provisions for water, sanitation and electricity. It further noted the current crisis in the Walter Sisulu and Fort Hare Universities.
The Extended PEC resolved on to request the Presidency to extend the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) in order to ensure the total eradication of mud schools in the Province. The meeting further called for the acceleration of the decision to build Boarding Schools which will alleviate transport costs currently being utilized and create a far more conducive environment for learning.
The Provincial Government should embark on a process to establish whether a case exists for the establishment of a Provincial Department of Higher Education and Training, so as to be able to deal with the challenges in the sector.
The Extended PEC called for an immediate holistic investigation into irregularities of National Students Financial Aid Scheme, particularly after the reported incident of an over allocation of food allowance to one student of the Walter Sisulu University (WSU).
On the student protests in WSU and the University of Fort Hare, the meeting called for the resumption of academic program and that a process be established to harmonise the relations between University Management and Student bodies.
Improved Health Profile in the Province:
The Extended PEC noted on the need to fast track the reengineering of Primary Health Care and a comprehensive Universal Health Care System, which given our poverty and the structural inequalities that are prevalent, is much needed for improvement of the health profile in the Province. The meeting further noted that such would require improvement of capacity, especially at lower levels. It is for this reason that the ANC will work on an absorption strategy for the students that are sent to Cuba for training, particularly on areas of specialisation.
The Department should intensify the development of Infrastructure and Personnel, especially Community Health Workers that should be integrated into the system. It should further deal with the challenges that lead to the high rates of litigation against the Department and should make use of the Shared Legal Services in the Office of the Premier, in order to reduce the costs of litigation incurred by department.
Stimulating Rural Development, Land Reform and Food Security:
The meeting noted that a total of 195 000 hectares were cultivated, yielding 72 200 tonnes of yellow maize in the 2014/15 financial year, despite the devastating drought. Only 21 064 hectares were realized due to drought during 2015/2016 out of 42 500 hectares targeted. An estimated 23 000 households have been supported with production inputs to promote household food security over the term
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should increase its efforts to develop and provide support for support for small holder farmers. This remains key to unleash the potential of agriculture at all level subsistence local production to the commercial production. It should further develop multi-sectoral linkages which is critical to increase agricultural productivity. Lastly the meeting called for the strengthening of our efforts to mitigate the adverse challenges of drought.
This statement must be attributed to the ANC EC Provincial Secretary, Comrade Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane.
For more information please contact :
The ANC EC Acting Communications Officer:
Mobile Number 073 117 6194 / 063 687 8267