Good afternoon comrades.
We have come to the end of our two-day ANC PEC Lekgotla which was characterised by robust engagements and honest reflections on the work we have done since the last Lekgotla and the work we have to do in building from the progress we have made.
Sadly, we started the second day of the Lekgotla on a sombre note as we learnt with shock about the untimely passing of our ANC PEC member and Member of Parliament, Cde Thozama Mantashe, who passed on late last night due to Covid-19 related complications.
This virus has once again robbed us of one of the most dedicated members of our organisation who carried out all tasks given to her by the movement and by institutions where she was deployed. Our PEC, our movement and our country are indeed poorer without comrade Mantashe.
On behalf of the ANC, and the entire liberation movement in our Province, we express our heartfelt condolences to the family, the National Assembly and the people of South Africa which she served diligently till the end. We also convey our condolences to the families of the 76 people who were reported to have succumbed to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. May the souls of the deceased rest in peace.
Let us all honour her memory by renewing our commitment to advance ,deepen and defend our national democratic revolution. Let us all commit ourselves to the implementation of the decisions we have taken here today and do so with great passion and thoroughness, as comrade Thozi would’ve done is she were still alive.
Comrades , on behalf of the ANC PEC, let me express our gratitude and appreciation to all participants that made this Lekgotla a great success. Even though our Lekgotla was virtual hosted for the first time , majority of the comrades that were invited carried out themselves in a disciplined fashion and in a manner that afforded the decorum required for a gathering of this nature. The level of engagements must also be commended as they indeed reflected the calibre of cadres that were invited at this meeting.
We didn’t lament, but provided concrete solutions to the concrete realities faced by our people.
Comrades, we have agreed to dedicate much of our time on the work of growing the provincial economy and transforming it to serve our people. Our Lekgotla has reaffirmed the centrality of the democratic state in growing the economy and driving development.
We have agreed that there needs to be more Public and Private Sector investment in the economy through amongst others, the creation of stimulus funds and use of our prescribed assets for productive purposes.
Strengthening the coordination of key infrastructure projects, including the rollout of the Broadband project and the revival of industrial parks and establishment of Special Economic Zones will be our focal priority for the year ahead.
This Lekgotla has directed government to build the cooperative sector and SMME sector and ensure that rural development and the work of building resilient and sustainable rural and township economies form part of the key pillars of our economic reconstruction and recovery strategies.
Deputy Chairperson, delegates to this Lekgotla have mandated government to ensure that more work is done in the mainstreaming of designated groups in the economy. This includes the work of introducing enabling legislation and implementation of the existing preferential policies and set aside. Lekgotla is unequivocal on the more work to be done in addressing women and youth high unemployment as well as our military veterans.
We have agreed to consolidate all exploration activities in the province and ensure that these contribute to the economy and meaningfully benefit our communities.
Investment in infrastructure and ICT will be used as an enabler and catalyst for economic development.
We have also mandated the provincial government to consolidate the support to small scale business in line with the principles of DDM so as to ensure maximum impact and reach of government interventions.
Our next Lekgotla must receive a report on how we have managed and leverage on our various competitive advantages, including but not limited to the Oceans Economy, Agriculture and Tourism.
On fight against Covid-19 that continues to ravage our lives and our livelihoods, we have agreed to successfully rollout our vaccination programme and ensure that we reach our 3.7 million people target for us to achieve population immunity in the Eastern Cape. We are looking forward to the family meeting as convened by president later today as we anticipate more relaxation on lock down regulation to allow our economy to recover .
As such, our Lekgotla welcomes the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines in our country.
All deployees of the ANC are expected to go all out and make use of all the available communication platforms to address our people’s concerns and fears around the vaccine and provide the clarity that they need in an eloquent, clear, respectful and dignified manner that takes into account the beliefs and value systems of our people.
We have a responsibility to relentlessly wage a war against mis-information, fake news and propaganda meant to undermine our efforts to overcome Covid-19 and decrease its burden on our lives and livelihoods.
This Lekgotla has reaffirmed the use of preventative measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions before, during and post vaccination. We must continue to regularly wash our hands or sanitise, wear our masks in public spaces and maintain physical distance.
Delegates , our Lekgotla has set out clear programs and interventions to intensify our fight against gender-based violence and femicide. We have a responsibility to implement these programmes, including providing support to victims of GBV and campaigning for sterner laws against perpetrators of GBV crimes and femicide.
Our Lekgotla reaffirmed the sentiments expressed by our ANC President that those guilty of GBV and femicide have no place in the organisation and in society. Our national democratic revolution will be incomplete if we lead a society where women live in fear mainly because of men. Our struggle for self-determination will be unfinished if we live in a society that discriminates and violates people based on their sexual orientation and preferences.
Comrades, we have reached consensus that the work outlined above and other resolutions we have taken require a capable , ethical and developmental government as well as a strong, coherent and united organisation that is renewed to carry out its leadership role in society.
Key amongst the things that we will have to do in this regard is restoring the integrity of our government and our movement with the intention to rebuild the confidence and trust of our people. We have thus agreed to expediate the process of conducting lifestyle audits and have resolved that this must be done for the Executive within the 2021/22 financial year.
We also resolved on the implementation of the 54th National Conference resolutions on restoring the integrity of the movement which includes the respect for the rule of law and its institutions by all South African despite their positions in society.
Our Lekgotla reaffirmed the principle that no individual is above the law and the Constitution of the land. Equally, no single member of the ANC is above the organisation.
Our 54th National Conference resolved that “all ANC members and structures should cooperate with the law enforcement agencies…” and that: “the ANC should respect the Constitution of our country and the rule of law…”. The Conference further resolved to: “implement the NEC resolution on state capture, including the expeditious establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry.”
Therefore, any deviation from this and non-cooperation with Commissions of Enquiry as mandated by the 54th National Conference, is not just a defiance of the Constitution but of the ANC as well. The organisation must prevail as our people are looking keenly on how we will deal with the recent developments as how we handle the situation may create a precedence that we do not want to set not only for other members of the ANC but other members of society as well.
Corruption remains a cancer in our society and continues to be a strategic threat in the advancement of our national democratic revolution. The Lekgotla has resolved to work tirelessly to root out this scourge in our society.
We will strengthen the work of capacity building and intervening in distressed municipalities especially those that cannot meet their obligations. This support must include the improvement of municipal audit outcomes, planning and research, own revenue raising strategies and improved disaster management.
Our Lekgotla has directed government to continue rolling out the Small Towns Revitalisation Programme which has created an enabling environment for investments and development to be made in our Small and rural towns in the Province.
We have resolved on the support of amalgamated municipalities and mandated government to explore sustainable funding measures in view of our fiscal constraints.
We agreed to convene a Traditional Leadership Summit in order to engage Traditional Leadership and address all the challenges confronting traditional institutions and those prevalent in traditional affairs.
This Lekgotla has reaffirmed our commitment to work for a decisive victory of the ANC in the upcoming local government elections. In this regard, we have been directed to ensure that only capable comrades with the required skills and knowledge should be deployed. Gatekeeping, manipulation of selection processes and other related similar practices that undermine the credibility and integrity of our election processes will not be tolerated and any one guilty of such acts will be acted on harshly by the organisation.
Unity and cohesion of the alliance and MDM formations will be critical in the reconstruction of the economy, the fight against Covid-19 and GBV, and the road towards a decisive electoral victory in the upcoming local government elections.
Our Lekgotla has clearly outlined the way-forward for this year ahead, our responsibility is to diligently implement what we have been mandated to do.
Let us work tirelessly for the transformation of our society and the building of an Eastern Cape that we want in the year of Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction and the year of Charlotte Maxeke.
Thank you very much.