ANC promises: South Africans demand action
With the ANC in government, implementation of these resolutions should start now.
President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on 26 June 2019. Picture: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais
The ANC will not die. That was the sentiment of ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile during a church service as part of the party’s 111th anniversary celebrations in Mangaung on Sunday.
But he forgot to mention that only if the party keeps its promises.
Mashatile’s confidence must have been emboldened by the adopted ANC conference resolutions which President Cyril Ramaphosa also highlighted during the January 8 Statement.
SA now demands action
Good as these resolutions may be, South Africans now demand action. With the ANC in government, implementation of these resolutions should start now. The resolutions call on to an ANC leadership that is decisive and unshaken.
As service delivery becomes a great concern, Ramaphosa said the ANC plans to address this issue before it becomes a pandemic on its own.
Prioritise research and development investment
The party has recommitted itself to prioritise research and development investment into service delivery improvement, professionalise the public service and make it a point that underperforming government deployees are removed and replaced with efficient officials.
With ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the motion to scrap the department of public enterprises to allow for SOEs to receive direct attention from relevant government departments, seems to be on the cards. The situation is dire as Transnet is begging for its first bailout of R2.8 billion; Sanral needs R6 billion, the Post Office needs a R2.4 billion bailout; while South African Airways is still waiting for its R3.5 billion bailout.
It has been proposed that the SABC prioritises education. Eskom’s debt and load shedding will be addressed urgently, due to the terrible implication these problems have on the country. The ANC also seeks to turn Post Bank into a state-owned bank so that the majority of South Africans can play a role in the financial sector.
South African Reserve Bank into state ownership
The ANC has not backed down from moving the South African Reserve Bank into state ownership and allowing it to broaden its mandate to job creation.
To address poverty and unemployment, the ANC plans to cut red tape for small business enterprises by allowing them to access funding from financial institutions. Secondary to that, ways to fund township and rural economies for them to be centres of economic growth will be devised.
Youth must not be left behind
And once more, the youth is not left behind. The ANC government vows to prioritise working with various youth formations to expand innovation, encourage the youth to acquire skills that are needed for the economy and do away with the requirement for youth experience prior to employment that is disadvantaging the youth in being active participants in the economy.
To make free education a reality, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) will be resourced and strengthened to fund a large pool of students who can’t afford higher education.
When it comes to land, the ANC seeks to establish an agency that will help government identify unused land, leading to land expropriation.
Prioritise job creation not grants
Once again, a promise to protect social grants from inflation pressures and to continue providing the R350 social relief grants until the basic income grant is rolled out, has been made. But the ANC should not get too comfortable with increasing the number of social grant recipients. The party in government must prioritise job creation.
Harsher jail sentences for GBV perpetrators
To end gender-based violence and racism, plans for the implementation of harsher jail sentences for the perpetrators of these act will be set in motion.
To remedy the problem of crime and corruption, the ANC has decided to establish a national government anti-corruption body that will systematically deal with crime and corruption in an effective way.
This is in addition to the increased police visibility and set up specialised units trained to deal with specific crimes. Lifestyle audits will also be implemented to combat corruption.
If the ANC does as it says, that will translate its promises to tangible results that change people’s lives. Hopefully, the party will restore its political standing and trust that was getting lost.
-Mthembu is News24’s Young Mandela 2022 winner in the leadership category