Political Overview by the ANC Provincial Chair at PEC Meeting

Deputy Chairperson, Cde Mlungisi Mvoko,
NEC Deployees present,
Members of the Provincial Executive Committee.

Allow me to bring you revolutionary greetings and welcome you to the first day of our Ordinary Provincial Executive Committee meeting.

This is our last ordinary PEC meeting for the year 2019 which means amongst other things we should use this PEC meeting to reflect on our work during the year. We must have an honest and frank discussions on whether or not we were able to carry out our duties and functions as the highest organ of the ANC in the Province. We should reflect on whether or not we were able to provide adequate, coherent and strong leadership over society and whether we were able to build a united, non racial, non sexist ,strong, active and vibrant organisation at all levels in the province for our people’s prosperity.

The above reflection must be used to guide our decisions and approach in carrying out our responsibility to lead the organisation in the province. This year marked two years since we were elected into office which therefore means that we should be able to measure our work as we prepare to report to the mid term Provincial General Council .

We meet here today two days after we laid to rest the late His Majesty King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu who was honoured by our President by declaring a Special Official Funeral Category 1 with military ceremonial elements.

King Zwelonke Sigcawu became the King of AmaXhosa in 2006 and was the first King in South Africa to be coronated in 2015 following the democratic recognition of traditional leadership. He led his people selflessly and tirelessly until his passing on the 14 November 2019. We once again send condolences to the King’s family, the AmaXhosa kingdom, the House of Traditional Leadership and the people of the Eastern Cape.

Deputy Chairperson, we must welcome the signing into law of the Traditional and Khoi-San Bill into law which seeks to transform traditional and Khoi-San institutions in line with the constitutional imperatives. The efforts of restoring the integrity and legitimacy of traditional institutions is an appropriate way to honour the legacy of King Zwelonke Sigcawu.

It is also important that we use this meeting to applaud the victory by the Springboks which was captained by one of ow own sons in the Province, Siya Kholisi. We take pride in the fact that our own sons in the province, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi played a vital role in the victory by scoring the first ever try of the Springboks in a world cup final. We are also proud of our daughter, uZozibini Tunzi who was crowned as Ms South Africa this year. We wish her well for her Ms Universe competition that she is currently partaking in. I also wish to congratulate our son from the province, uLukhanyo Kondlo who was crowned as the world draughts champion as well as uLuyolo Yiba who scooped the Idols SA season 15 crown. These and many other victories are a true testimony that that the Eastern Cape is indeed a province and home of legends.

Deputy Chairperson, let us also take this opportunity to wish our Provincial Secretary, Cde Lulama Ngcukayitobi a happy belated birthday. We appreciate the fact that he celebrated his birthday with Sange Child and Care centre in East London where he donated 60 blankets, soccer and netball kits to the centre.

Comrades, today is the World Aids day which is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS scourge . The World Aids day coincides with the NCOP public hearings on the NHI bill, a Bill which all of us who believe in the provision of universal health care should support. We are also still in the Disability Rights Awareness month which our country commemorates annually between the 3 Novembers and 3 December. We need to do more in meeting the targets of employing people with disabilities in government and provide support to those that are having their own initiatives such as cooperatives and SMMEs.

Struggle against Gender Based Violence and Patriarchy

Comrades, as we all know we are meeting here in the month of the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children. This year we launched the campaign on the theme: be an active participant in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children. We continue to call on all particularly men to be counted in, in the struggle to build a non-violent South Africa that we want. Once again let’s congratulate our Provincial Secretary and anc staff for the sustained Friday campaigns

It is unfortunate that on the very same day that we launched this campaign, at the very same area at Emalahleni Local Municipality, an 84-year old woman was raped and brutally murdered. Something has deeply gone wrong in our society and indeed something has to give. We must provide leadership over these violent crimes directed mainly on women by men. As such we must applaud the police and the community for swiftly acting on the matter which led to an arrest on the following day.

Women and children live in fear of the rising crime scourge everyday on our streets and our homes. Women are not even safe in places in public institutions such as the incident we witnessed not so long ago at the Post Office. This is something that ought to make all of us to rise up and say, enough is enough. We cannot continue with business as usual when the statistics show that there has not been a significant decrease in cases of sexual assault wherein the statistician general explained that women-headed homes are most likely to be attacked and that 43% women reporting to be feeling unsafe. I understand this is much probably much higher but it should shock us all that in a democracy which was fought for through sacrifice you have some within our society who feel unsafe.

It should not be the case that a vast majority of women feel unsafe of walking alone at night in their own neighbourhoods. According to the latest police crime statistics which were released in September show that murders rose from 20 336 in the 2017/2018 financial year to 21 022 in the 2018/2019 period, with 41 583 rapes recorded among the 52 420 reported sexual offences. This is totally unacceptable; our government interventions should see these crimes being reduced and not the contrary. We must pass a series of laws increasing the punishment on rape as a practical response to this ever-rising problem.

We must applaud all South Africans that have taken to streets in their thousands to protest against the scourge of gender-based violence directed mainly on women. We must also welcome the calls for an emergency response by government on the scourge of GBV and femicide. We agree that there is an urgent need that requires concerted, focused and results-oriented interventions at all levels of society that will see the number of horrific incidents of murder, rape and maiming of women and children decrease.

As the PEC let us also welcome the R1.6 billion announced by the President which is set aside for the emergency action plan. We must also welcome the national intervention to Fast-track and clear all backlog at forensic laboratories and setting up of a DNA laboratory in Eastern Cape and procuring evidence-collection kits.

I wish to inform the PEC that in line with the national initiative we are also establishing a Provincial GBVF Steering Committee which will be a multi-sectoral body located in the Office of the Premier. The Committee will undertake coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the provincial response to GBVF. Let us declare war to perpetrators of these heinous crimes and make the campaign of no violence against women and children a 365-day, sustained & persistent multi-media campaign to prevent & condemn GBVF.

The struggle against violence on women and femicide should be linked with the fight to overcome patriarchal relations of power, which is the fundamental objective of our national democratic revolution.

Addressing the Party Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1896, Clara Zetkin explained that: “the granting of political equality to women does not change the actual balance of power. The proletarian woman ends up in the proletarian, the bourgeois woman in the bourgeois camp. We must not let ourselves be fooled by Socialist trends in the bourgeois women’s movement which last only as long as bourgeois women feel oppressed.”

It is for this reason that although Black men and women in the main were oppressed by the colonial and apartheid regime, Black women suffered the most oppression, commonly known as triple oppression. Even in the democratic order which has seen the lives of many Black people lifted from conditions of poverty, unemployment and inequality, women are still less privileged. It is for this reason that we must dedicate most of our efforts in transforming the unequal gender relations in society. We must transform unequal gender relations in the workplace, in the movement, in the religious and traditional institutions and in the household.

Our constitution is the most supreme document in the land and all beliefs, practises, cultures and traditions must be within the confines of the constitution and our national democratic revolution. We cannot allow the exploitative and discriminative practises to take place under the guise of religion, culture, traditions and so on. We must not rest until men and women who perform similar work earn similar pay. As explained by Zetkin: “new barriers need to be erected against the exploitation of the proletarian woman. Her rights as wife and mother need to be restored and permanently secured.”

International Environment

Deputy Chairperson, as meet here for our two-day PEC it is important that we develop an analysis of the developments in the global environment, a task that is extremely important in a world that is increasingly interconnected and interdependent and our efforts of integrating differently into the global economy post 1994.

We continue to observe, however uneven, and as affirmed by our previous National Conferences that the global balance of forces is shifting in favour of the forces of social change and a humane global order. It is however the case, and this is important to understand, that the global system is still largely characterised by primary unipolarity and secondary multipolar features.

We say it is important to understand this reality because one of our fundamental global and strategic objectives is to achieve a multipolar order which will realise nation’s sovereignty and reduce dependency on global financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank who often impose structural adjustments to developing nations in general and countries in the global south in particular.

Our 2017 Strategy and Tactics explained that: “one of the major manifestations of unipolarity in the recent period has been the assertion of unilateralism by the US and its allies, especially with regard to regime change and in the fight against terrorism. From drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, to military operations in Libya, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire and the interventions in the Middle East, the US and its allies have developed a narrative and concomitant conduct that seem to worsen rather than alleviate the tensions.”
This observation is still largely accurate and relevant especially when one considers the latest action by the United States to unilaterally recognise the Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine land as legal. This act by the US is a violation of the UN Security Council resolution 2334 which affirmed that the Israel’s establishment of settlements on Palestinian land occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity”, and constitute a “flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders”.

We must join the UN in condemning this act by the US and continue to express our solidarity with the people of Palestine. We must also applaud our ambassador to the UN who has consistently and accurately articulated our positions on the Israeli – Palestine situation.

We are delighted that the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the illegal and unjust US economic embargo of Cuba for the 28th year. We are equally pleased that the General Assembly also rejected US criticism of human rights violations in Cuba and criticized the Trump administration’s increasingly tough enforcement measures.

Cuba played a critical role in the liberation of many African countries such as Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. In South Africa, the Cubans deployed their military army which led to the defeat of the US-supported proxy force of the South African apartheid army and Angolan “rebels in 1976 and 1988. Such is the solidarity that the Cubans have given to many oppressed nations, and we must ask ourselves whether we are doing enough to express our solidarity for the people of Cuba who for more than 28 years have been victims of US illegal sanctions.

The struggle for a multipolar order is more relevant now more than ever, especially and in light of the actions of the US and its allies. We need to intensify our efforts to build more progressive economic blocks, especially within and among the global south. We continue to stress that the emergence of China as a world power, the rise of Asia and building of cross-regional partnerships such as BRICS, present an opportunity for a shift in the balance of forces in favour of social change and a humane global order.

The convening of the 11th BRICS summit that was held in Brazil on the 13 – 14 November 2019 under the theme, “BRICS: Economic Growth for an Innovative Future” must seen as a right step towards a progressive direction .The convening of this summit is important for us as a country and the province especially when one considers the new areas of cooperation which are the strengthening of cooperation on science, technology and innovation, on the digital economy, the fight against transnational crime, money laundering and drug trafficking, and the work towards the reconciliation between the New Development Bank and the BRICS Business Council.

Deputy Chairperson, we will continue to stress that we need to make use of the number of opportunities that are open to us as a country in terms of twinning agreements. We have not truly exploited the twinning agreements that we have with other countries, and this is something we have been saying for quite a while now. We have a huge potential of improving our exports in the Province and thus creating jobs and growing our constrained economy.

The PEC must ensure that Provincial Government improves its efforts to benefit from the twining agreements we have with the Provinces of Cordoba in Argentina, Lower Saxony in Germany, Zhejiang in China and Chungcheongnam-do in South Korea. All of these agreements are targeted at assisting our province in the key areas such as agriculture, commercial & Industrial fields, mutual exchange in the field of Education, Science and Technology, Tourism, Sports and Culture.

Promoting Unity and Cooperation in Africa

Deputy Chairperson, the characterisation of our challenges that are facing our continent as mainly being macroeconomic management, low economic growth, governance decay and corruption is still accurate and relevant. Africa needs to rise and we must be the generation that turns that dream into a reality.

This is why we must applaud the efforts that we are seeing of strengthen our ties with African continent. The Africa Investment Forum held in Johannesburg which was aimed at redefining and unpacking the continent’s investment opportunities must be commended. We are delighted that the investment forum was a huge success and that it secured investment interests for deals worth approximately $40.1 billion compared to the $38.7 billion last year.

Indeed, there is no better time to invest in Africa than now, and as our President stated, “the time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities.” We must also make use of the Africa Free Trade Agreement that was entered into this year and improve intra-trade within our continent.

Deputy Chairperson, We must once again wish to condemn the violence that was directed on foreign owned shops in the country. We must not allow ourselves to turn against each other, no matter how frustrated we are at the problems faced by our nations. We must applaud the work that has been done by the President in assuring the continent that what took place is regrettable and will happen again. This violence had a potential of undermining the work of uniting and promoting cooperation within Africa.

we must strengthen our ties with African continent. Last week we hosted the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg which was aimed at redefining and unpacking the continent’s investment opportunities. We are delighted that the investment forum was a huge success and that it secured investment interests for deals worth approximately $40.1 billion compared to the $38.7 billion last year.

Domestic Balance of Forces

In our last National Conference we agreed that having captured the beach-head in 1994, our movement indeed sought to transform the state at the same time utilised its capacities to change society. Meaningful progress has been achieved in this regard which has kept a variety of motive forces behind our vision to build a united, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Our victory on the 08th May 2019 in the national general elections confirmed this fact, as our people gave the ANC headed alliance another chance to forge ahead with the national democratic revolution.

In the Eastern Cape we still enjoy an overwhelming confidence of our communities which is why we received more than a million of votes in the last election. We should not take this for granted, and already our inability to significantly develop our province leads to perceptions and narratives that we are taking the confidence people have in us for granted. It is up to us to change such narratives by being fully and truly committed to transforming the bimodal character of the economy of the Eastern Cape and build the Province that we all want, that will see each individual living in harmony and peace and reaching their full potential. We must be concern about leisure’s fair approach on development in our country, lack of political Will to integrate EC to the economy of the country , attitude of SoE not to show appetite to drive strategic developmental initiatives in our Province . Our Provincial Government must continue to engage National Government for the implementation of our catalytic projects, perhaps that time has arrived again to ask for Bilateral with National officials on these matters.

Yes Our economy is still not performing at the desired rate and the fiscal resources of ur country are depleted. National debt has exceeded R3 trillion and is growing at unsustainable levels. Our economy, especially in the province is not growing enough to create jobs which is leading to a constrained tax base which in our case is made worse by the outmigration of our population to other provinces resulting in a decrease of our equitable share.

Nobhala, according to the Marxist theory the base determines society’s other relationships and ideas to constitute its superstructure, including its culture, institutions, roles, rituals and the state. In his contribution to the critique of the political economy Marx explains that the changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole, immense superstructure.

I thought it is important to remind each other about this because it clearly states that if we want to achieve our seven priorities, we must focus on the task of growing and transforming the economy.

It means that everyone in the upper echelons of leadership in the Eastern Cape should be focusing all their energies, time and minds on how to grow and transform the economy of the province.

We should be preoccupied with the question of the economy to an extent where we start thinking on how even our events like Berlin November etc , and institutional days can contribute to the growth of the economy. Obe hirishe imbiza to cater makaphele enazo imbiza kwi asset register yakhe, obehirishe intente abenayo intente emveni kokba ebhataliwe and organizers of these events should take keen interest in that.

We must ensure that SMMEs that benefit from our government programmes use that opportunity to grow their businesses, because the growth of SMMEs means the increase in the number of jobs and improvement of the living conditions of the toiling masses. As our National Chairperson, Cde Gwede Mantshe explained, “SMME is not a destination, but a start.”
We need more people especially at higher levels of management and leadership to be focused on the strategic direction that the Eastern Cape must take. Time fly’s, five years is nothing. Every quarter we must know which of our sectors performed well which haven’t, how many jobs created how many lost, how do we get to the desired growth rate, this is not the job of economists, theirs is to give the data, ours is to use that data to assess whether we are making any dent to economy of the Eastern Cape.

We should make use of the partnerships that the UIF has entered into with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, Universities & Universities of Technology, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and Public Entities listed in the PFMA. Recently we were informed that the UIF has about a billion of rands for their partnership agreements which is meant to target 23 907 learners in the Eastern Cape.

State of governance
The state of governance in the Eastern Cape as we know is not pleasing at all, and a simple and scientific measure of this is the poor audit findings that our provincial government departments and municipalities continue to receive.

On Tuesday we convened the Premier’s Coordinating Forum, which is a platform for the Premier to engage with all Mayors in the Province. This PCF was extended to Municipal Managers, SALGA, HOT, national departments and entities in the province. We did this with the aim of moving away from the silo mentality of operation in line with the new District Development Model.

Unfortunately, we received very disturbing facts on the performance of our municipalities which more than anything is a reflection on our leadership as the PEC of the ANC in the province.

For example, the total outstanding debt from top 10 municipalities with the highest outstanding debt amounts to R1.2 billion or 63.2% of the total debt owed to Eskom of R1.9 billion. Enoch Mgijima and Raymond Mhlaba LM’s have PAJA Notice, while disconnections are being scheduled for Umzimvubu LM. You can just imagine the impact this will have on ordinary people, some of whom pay for services they receive.

Fourteen municipalities adopted 2019/20 unfunded budgets, five of these municipalities adopted Unfunded Budgets consecutively for four years. A number of municipalities are not spending their capital grants which leads to funds being taken and sent to other provinces. This is an indictment especially that these capital grants are meant for basic services such as water and electricity which our communities so desperately need given the huge infrastructure backlog our province has.
As the PEC we will have to start taking decisive action against municipalities that are not performing especially on basic things that are within the power and authority of the municipality.

We have to work harder to improve the state of governance in the Eastern Cape, and this we must do with the aim of ensuring that we transform the lives of the people of the Eastern Cape by lifting them from poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Eastern Cape hard hit by drought
Comrades, our province has been hard hit by drought as our dams are drying up leaving many communities without water. We need to urgently attend to this problem as it affects the poorest communities in our province as well as farmers that are struggling to produce as a result of water scarcity. I am however pleased at the number of people and companies that have come forward to try and assist the situation, such as Vodacom that has committed an amount of R3.5 million as a donation towards government interventions meant to mitigate the drought crisis in the province. We have directed that the money be used to drill boreholes in the areas that are hard hit by the drought. We also have a interdepartmental team that is coordinating the drought relief interventions in the province.

State of ANC Leagues in the Province

The State of ANC Leagues in the province comrades is extremely concerning and disheartening. The state of the leagues in as much as it is within the authority of its leadership and membership is also our responsibility as the PEC. We cannot keep quite while our leagues are liquidated in front of us because we fear being seen interfering with their autonomy. The existence of the leagues is derived from the ANC constitution and as such their autonomy must be understood in that that context. The state of the leagues directly impacts on the life of the ANC and its relations with the motive forces in which these leagues organise.

The report on the state of the organisation will give a more detailed account on the state of ANC leagues in the province, however it is important to stress our concern on the state of the ANC Women’s League and ANC Youth League in particular. Young people in the province are organising themselves outside congress formations. Unemployed graduates, interns, unemployed youth are organising themselves and taking on struggles faced by the youth while we have thousands of ANC members that are young and that can be leading youth struggles through the ANC Youth League.

Women in the province are also organising themselves to fight against the various issues affecting women, especially the incidents of gender-based violence directed on women. You do not find a coherent and strong voice of the ANC Women’s league despite of the number of social ills and incidents of GBVF that are taking place in the province. The weakening of the ANC Women’s League is an indictment on the legacy of uMam’ Charlotte Maxeke, umam’ uAlbertina Sisulu, umam’ uWinnie Mandela and many other strong women heroines that dedicated their lives build a strong and vibrant women’s movement.

On the Alliance
Deputy Chairperson, the task of growing the Eastern Cape will be difficult without a strong, functioning, united and coherent Alliance in the Province. Although we can agree that there is relative progress in the Province in this regard, much work is needed at a regional, sub regional and at a branch level. Unity and coherence of the alliance at a Provincial level will not mean much if little has changed at a regional and branch level.

Outside of the election work, there hasn’t been much programmes that we have jointly held as the revolutionary alliance in the province. We have not implemented a number of resolutions taken at various alliance meetings, and this is something we must take responsibility in line with our leadership role in the alliance.

Our electoral victory, the fight against corruption and state capture, demonstrated the importance of working together for the attainment of the same objectives. Our alliance is a history of struggle, it is not an event, and as OR Tambo explained, it is not a paper alliance. It is an alliance of a shared history of struggle, a struggle for the total liberation of our people from the fundamental contradictions of racial oppression, class super exploitation and patriarchal relations of power. We have a shared national democratic revolution, which should be the basis of uniting the alliance and developing a common programme for action.

Next year will mark 100 years of existence of Oom Ray and uTat’ uVuyisile Mini if they were still alive. As the revolutionary we should work together to make the centenary of both struggle veterans a resounding success and ensure that their memories are appropriately honoured.

On the fight against corruption

Deputy Chairperson we must intensify the fight against corruption and root out corruption within the movement and the public service. We must wage a relentless war against corruption both in the public and in the private sector. We must strengthen the role of the integrity commission and applaud the work it has done in ensuring that it protects the image of our movement.

Deputy Chairperson, let me state it clearly that there is nothing that will deter us from the fight against corruption, we are sending this to everyone who dares to listen and even those outside the province that, that there is nothing that will deter us from the fight against corruption! There is nothing that will deter us from the fight to renew the ANC, from the struggle to unite the ANC, and from the programme to purge our movement from wrong elements that have brought the image of our organisation into disrepute.

The fight against corruption and corporate capture of the state must be fought until it is won. We must equally condemn the use of state institutions to fight internal political battles.

Conclusion :

This PEC has been discharged with the responsibility to lead this Province to greater heights. The overwhelming majority that placed their confidence in the ANC in the Province must not regret their decision, we must ensure that we translate that confidence to meaningful change in their lives and in communities where they live.

Let us come out of the PEC meeting more determined to carry out the work of the organisation. Let us serve the people selflessly without expectation of material gain. Let us be the generation that will change the fortunes of our Province and leave a lasting legacy that will be enjoyed by many who will come after us.

Let a thousand flowers blossom!

Thank you very much!

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