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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

ANC ‘boosted’ by Ramaphosa’s victory at conference

The ANC, which tomorrow marks its 111th anniversary, adopted a conference declaration, presented to delegates by secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.

In what has been seen as a move to regain public trust ahead of next year’s national polls, the ANC has reaffirmed the step-aside rule affecting its members facing criminal charges – among key resolutions adopted at its 55th national conference, which ended in the Free State yesterday.

With its electoral support on a decline, confirmed by major losses it suffered in the 2021 municipal elections, the party has taken flak from the public for deploying cadres facing criminal charges to government.

Ramaphosa boost

University of Johannesburg associate professor of political science Dr David Monyae said the ANC’s sprucing up of its image to regain trust and legitimacy, “comes against the backdrop of what promises to be tough national elections”.

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“The party appears to be boosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s electoral victory at the recent party gathering.

“What I also found to be a major policy decision was the call to reshuffle the Cabinet, bringing in young and dynamic ministers who are able to carry out the party’s mandate,” said Monyae.

Resolutions adopted by ANC conference include:

  • A call for an increase in the budget allocation for political parties in parliament.
  • South Africa using its position as 2023 chair of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) group of nations to push for the admission of new members from major emerging markets.
  • Use by deployed cadres of party founding documents – its constitution, Through the Eye of the Needle rules and codes of conduct – as a guide in ensuring ethical behaviour.
  • The NEC appointing a permanent electoral committee, composed of individuals not aspiring to hold any leadership position in the ANC or showing conflict of interest.
  • A proposal for lifestyle audits of ANC members to be conducted by the electoral committee.
  • Establishment of an office of chief national presenter, supported by people with forensic and investigation skills.
  • The deputy secretary-general to ensure efficient and effective consequence management administrative machinery.

The ANC, which tomorrow marks its 111th anniversary, adopted a conference declaration, presented to delegates by secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.

It charged the newly-elected NEC with a task “to act with demonstrable urgency in addressing the shortcomings, setbacks and reversals that threaten to undermine and erode the democratic gains”.

Read the declaration: “These include chronic poor economic performance and the resultant high rate of unemployment, poverty and inequalities; rising lawlessness, criminality and violence.

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“The ANC-led government must move decisively to implement conference resolutions to end load shedding and stabilise electricity supply. Priority must be given to speeding up the resolution of the energy crisis.”

On the economy, it said: “We must transform and grow the economy so it creates jobs and empowers Africans in particular and blacks in general, particularly youth, women and people who live in townships and rural areas…

Land for employment

“We call on government to prioritise unlocking the potential of the country’s land for employment, rural development, food security and economic development. We must do more to bring underutilised land into production and enable the state to acquire agricultural land for distribution to previously disadvantaged persons.”

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Social support, said the declaration, provided a safety net for communities in poverty. “Conference, therefore supported the continuation of the social relief of distress grant, while government investigates the affordability of the basic income grant.”

– brians@citizen.co.za

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