Gosebo Mathope
4 minute read
13 Dec 2017
12:00 pm

#ANCConference2017: Economic resolutions from previous four conferences

Gosebo Mathope

Resolutions from the past conferences show the matter was dealt through a framework without modalities and some previous resolutions tweaked and in some instances repeated.

African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson and Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete (left) and Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, at the ANCs 5th national policy conference in Johannesburg. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela told SA FM this week that “radical economic transformation” was nothing but political sloganeering. She said ANC leaders themselves were aware that was political rhetoric devoid of parameters.

Both leading presidential hopefuls, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, have called for the economy to be radically transformed in their campaign speeches, but Madonsela said it rang hollow.

This weekend’s elective conference will be the fifth elective conference since the dawn of democracy. We look back at resolutions taken on the issue, starting with the 1994 49th conference held in Bloemfontein.

The 1994 conference resolutions affirmed: “[…] The main content of this phase remains the all-round political, economic and social emancipation of the historically oppressed majority of our country. This majority continues to be characterised as the black majority, and the African people in particular.”

On the transformation of the economy, it was resolved that “black economic empowerment is central to reconstruction and development, and should be aimed at empowering communities rather than being directed at a limited number of individuals”.

The 50th conference held in Mahikeng in December 1997 had an economic transformation commission that noted that “our [ANC] economic policies should be geared towards a redistribution of wealth, income and opportunities in favour of the poor and the historically disadvantaged”.

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The conference resolved that to pursue this mammoth task, “emphasis will be on four critical areas of work”, namely “the promotion of investment for sustainable job creation”, to “ensure the continuous link between growth and development”, to “ensure that we establish new social and economic relations that empower the black community in general and African people in particular” and integration “of all components of the economy urban/rural, women/youth and families into sustainable and meaningful economic activity”.

Thabo Mbeki, Paul Mashatile and Jacob Zuma at Polokwane Conference. Supplied.

Thabo Mbeki, Paul Mashatile and Jacob Zuma. Supplied.

The “economic transformation” resolutions of the 51st conference held in December 2002 in Stellenbosch reaffirmed the “economics resolution” taken at Mahikeng and proposed “additions and refinements in various areas”.

To achieve this vision, the conference stated it would require substantial growth in small and micro enterprises, based in large part on land reform as well as improved access to finance, infrastructure and marketing, as well as the diversification of the economy to enhance local value added “both to meet the basic needs of all our people” and to increase export revenues.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, and ANCYL president Collen Maine and treasurer Reggie Nkabinde at the league's conference in Johannesburg. Photo: ANA

Gwede Mantashe, Collen Maine and Reggie Nkabinde a in Johannesburg. Photo: ANA

The watershed 52nd conference held in Polokwane in 2007 believed: “Our [ANC’s] vision of the economic transformation takes as its starting point the Freedom Charter’s clarion call that the People Shall Share in the Country’s Wealth!” It resolved, among other things, to transform “the structures of production and ownership”.

National Executive member in the ANC Nathi Mthethwa on the left speaking to newly elected provincial chairperson of the ANC youth league in KwaZulu-Natal Thami Ngubane at the provincial conference held in the Ugu sports and leasure in Port Shepstone south coast of KZN Picture Phumlani Thabethe Date 07 June 2015

ANC NEC member Nathi Mthethwa  speaking to newly elected provincial chairperson of the ANCYL inKwaZulu-Natal Thami Ngubane, June 7 2015
Picture Phumlani Thabethe

To achieve this, the conference resolved to have an “active and well-resourced industrial and trade policy, BEE aimed at broadening and deracialising the ownership and control of productive assets by black people, women and youth, promoting new black enterprises that are engaged in the production of goods and services, building the skills required by the economy and advancing employment equity in every area of work and economic endeavour”.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) speaks to journalists at a news conference after meeting with leaders of opposition parties at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Tuesday, 18 November 2014. (DoC)/SAPA

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa journalists at a news conference after meeting with leaders of opposition parties at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Tuesday, 18 November 2014. (DoC)/SAPA

The 53rd conference held in Mangaung in 2012 acknowledged that because of failure to meet society’s expectations on economic transformation the party will, “over the next five years … take decisive and resolute action to overcome the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which are at the heart of South Africa’s socioeconomic challenges” through the National Development Plan (NDP).


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