Closing remarks to the ANC KZN PEC Lekgotla delivered by the ANC Provincial Chairperson, Cde Sihle Zikalala on the 1st February 2016
Comrade Chairperson of the session
We have come to the end of an important session of our glorious movement which gave us the opportunity to plan, determine and indeed develop a program of action for the next twelve months. This was, undoubtedly, a great occasion for us as a collective leadership of our province to take a stock on how far we have traversed in our quest to build a national democratic society.
We are highly encouraged by the level of debates in various commissions which were both passionately critical, but also responsibly measured. I also know that I speak on behalf of all us gathered here, when I say that despite many challenges we face such as draught, poverty, unemployment and inequality, this cadreship gathered here has refused to descend into the mood of pessimism and despair, we have refused to lose sight of the immensely positive development potential for our province.
The central message that emerge from all our commissions is that we are pursuing our struggle within an environment of not our own creation, and therefore it remains imperative that we seize every moment to consolidate our journey to a national democratic society. This means that the ANC and its government must strengthen its resolve to lead all our people to a better life. We are emerging here with clear programmes on all areas that affect our people in the province.
A clear and unambiguous message from this Lekgotla is that changing economic ownership patterns in favor of the majority remains a fundamental task. We have to do things differently, otherwise all that we stand for as a liberation movement will soon be completely eroded. When we closed the ANC 8th Provincial Conference in November last year while reflecting on the challenges facing young people, we said then, that “we re-affirm the decision of the ANC that each department must have a Youth Directorate whose primary task is to coordinate programmes of youth development in our province”.
As this Lekgotla we agreed to intensify the engagement with the private sector to do more on investment to grow the economy and strengthen social cohesion.
- We have equally agreed that we will intensify the programme focusing on uplifting and integrating our people through SMMEs and Cooperatives.
- We have agreed to fast-track the transfer of land to people and further ensure that once such land is transferred it is utilized effectively for production
- We have agreed to continue advocate for high tariffs on imported goods and product that are resulting from the raw material produced in the country. This will go a long way to stimulate the textile and agricultural industries.
- We have agreed to focus on social cohesion and promote non-racialism and democracy.
- We have pledged to intensify organizational renewal with intensive political education to equip all of us to advance and defend policy positions of the ANC.
- We agreed to intensify recruitment and further ensure that ANC branches take full responsibility of societal issues affecting their localities.
These are few among many decisions we have taken over the last three days. These decisions will only be meaningful to the people we serve if we ensure their full implementation.
On behalf of this collective leadership gathered here, we assert that all decisions we have taken should and must be implemented by all departments and municipalities within the set timeframes. It is not only essential but an obligation that we implement decisions of the ANC.
The ANC, as an agent of change in our country and our province in particular, must remain a centre of power which directs the work of all our organs power and deployed cadres to various spheres of the state and government. As we depart from this Lekgotla, all of us, individually and collectively, must pursue our work in line with the outcomes of our work determined over the past three days.
Comrades, making effective changes in the lives of our people will not be possible unless we also enhance the capacity of the state to deliver on its tasks. I think all of us have understood the prevailing weaknesses, including the employment of people who do not have requisite skills and a rapid-turnover of senior officials and administrators.
We must stop the emerging tendency where some comrades flout and circumvent ANC binding principles of cadre deployment. It is necessary that we remind all us of the role of the ANC on deployment on strategic positions in all department and municipalities. This equal means all of us deployed in legislature and municipalities are deployed and supervised by the ANC. This, therefore, means that both the political and administrative cadres are individually and jointly accountable to the African National Congress.
This matter is so vital to the unity of the ANC and the future of our revolution and therefore we must be forgiven if our frankness in articulating it, takes precedence over etiquette. We are of the firm view that the ANC must speak straight and say what it means directly; rather speaking in tongues and conveying ambiguous messages.
We must also be mindful of financial constrains facing our country. It implies that we must all act with great sense of responsibility and use government funds effectively. It is does not augur well to buy expensive cars for deployees while there are not resources for service delivery.
Comrades, during this “The Year of Advancing People’s Power: Local Government in your Hands”, the leadership and entire membership of our movement must be inspired to act with the greatest vigor and determination in serving and advancing the cause our people. This must find expression in the entirety of our movement in our province.
Comrades in the last week we saw unbecoming incidents of violence in Intshanga, were a BEC member was shot and killed. Another two people, including one attending an SACP meeting and security guard were also killed. These incidents must be stopped. The matter is taken up by the police. The ANC and SACP will be meeting shortly to deal with what is prevailing as a public spat and differences between the two organizations.
Let us all roll our sleeves and make a contribution in advancing the unity of purpose within the ANC as a leader of the Alliance and within and among Alliance partners.
The coming months will be characterized by intense elections campaign. Our processes for the selection of candidates for Local Government Elections has thrown up many challenges which require firm, objective and decisive leadership. For its part, the ANC will refuse to be sidetracked or provoked to peripheral issues during this phase of our elections preparations.
We all must communicate a message of hope to the electorate – both in our actions and articulations. Our minds and energy must be singularly fixed on the determination to deliver a resounding victory of the ANC.
The ANC through its elections structures should be all over leading the campaign. As we said at the beginning the main focus will be on door to door, listening to our people and together with them searching for solutions. At a government level, the provincial departments must compliment local municipalities in pushing the outstanding services that are needed by communities. The two must work together and complement each other. We must all be determined and strive for an overwhelming victory for the ANC.
Our work is on course and we must draw strength from the NDP – Our Vison 2030 when it says, “Ours is a story of unfolding learning. Even when we flounder, we remain hopeful. In this story we always arrive and depart”.
I sincerely trust that all of us depart from this Lekgotla fully understanding the imperatives of the tasks we have defined for ourselves.
I thank you