Letter from the President

Towards a decisive victory for the ANC in honour of Madiba

The fifth democratic local government elections will take place less than a month from now on the 03rd of August and our campaign trail is in full swing.

Our movement will participate in these elections with the sole intention to win all municipalities in order to further our progressive agenda to transform South Africa and improve our people’s lives in line with the vision of our father, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The ANC will contest elections in all the wards across the length and breadth of our country in order to retain the municipalities it currently governs and also to win the few currently in the hands of other parties. Indeed Madiba dedicated his entire adult life to the revolutionary struggle of the South African people led by the ANC, believing then as we do now that the ANC is the most effective instrument at our disposal to bring about social change, political freedom as well as total emancipation from economic bondage. The ANC today remains highly committed to these revolutionary ideals espoused by the Mandela generation and will take advantage of the elections period to mobilise South Africans from all walks of life behind the vision of Madiba.

Working together with our communities, the ANC will use municipalities as a critical site of power and layer of government to accelerate the advance towards the achievement of all the ideals for which Madiba was prepared to die. In short, a victory for the ANC on the 3rd of August will be a victory for the ideals of Nelson Mandela.

Needless to say, local government is an important component of our democratic governance system and it occupies a critical place in the delivery chain of services aimed at improving the quality of life for all our people. It is precisely owing to this fact therefore that our people must be wary of entrusting this important sphere of government in the hands of inexperienced parties and career politicians who will still have to spend time learning how government works rather than focusing solely on the task at hand; thus undermining the principle of an uninterrupted and smooth transition from one administration to another.

It is common knowledge that the ANC is the only organization with a proven track record in all spheres of government. We will use this unmatched experience of the ANC to deepen intergovernmental relations and ensure that there is absolute cohesion among all the three spheres of government.

Cohesion among all spheres of government is indeed critical for service delivery and can unfortunately be undermined by the undesirable situation in which different spheres are occupied by different political parties, all pursuing their programmes which are at times contradictory. In such a situation, a lot of time is wasted negotiating whose programme must take primacy and on this basis, service delivery is compromised. The ANC is therefore from both political and administrative perspectives the only organization best placed to run our municipalities.

As we enter the Siyanqoba phase of our campaign in this Mandela month, we must embrace the values that defined the life of President Nelson Mandela and emulate his exemplary spirit of volunteerism and sacrifice. Like him, we must never become weary when we go from door to door intensifying our contact with voters and convincing them to renew the contract they have signed with their movement to create a better life for all. Indeed this is a contract signed by the blood, sweat and tears of too many of our people who made untold sacrifices in the hope of a better tomorrow.

In everything we do during this phase of our campaign, we must be reminded of the words of Madiba when he wrote to the Kabwe conference of the ANC in 1985. He wrote:

“Unity is the rock on which the African National Congress was founded.”

He went further:

“In the course of its history, the ANC has survived countless storms and risen to eminence partly because of the sterling qualities of its membership, and partly because each member has regarded himself or herself as the principal guardian of that unity. All discussions, contributions and criticism have generally been balanced and constructive and, above all, they have been invariably subjected to the over-riding principle of maximum unity. To lose sight of this basic principle is to sell our birthright, to betray those who paid the highest price so that the ANC should flourish and triumph.”

In our conduct, we dare not betray those who paid the highest price for our movement to flourish and triumph. We must all double our efforts to build the unity and cohesion of our organization. We must collectively frown upon anything that undermines our unity and take harsh action against extremes such as the destruction of property and the killing of our comrades aimed at furthering political ends. We cannot overemphasize that there is no grievance too big that it cannot be addressed through the established democratic channels both within the ANC and the state.

In honour of Madiba, a united ANC must decisively win the August 3rd elections and continue to advance people’s power in every community.

Victory is certain! Sizonqoba! Asinavalo!



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