Disappointment at Manuel’s decision to quit

2012-12-16 16:25

Some ANC leaders are not happy about the news that Planning Minister Trevor Manuel is quitting the ANC national executive committee – the highest decision-making body in the party between conferences.

Manuel’s announcement did not come as a shock to his comrades as he’d been discussing it with them for the past few months.

Said one NEC member who is also a government minister: “I’m very disappointed. I understand his reasons, but I don’t agree with his decision. I tried to convince him otherwise, we spent lots of time talking about it, but it was clear that he had made up his mind, it’s not working for him anymore.”

Another NEC member from the Eastern Cape told City Press this was a loss for the country.

“I understand that it might be good for him as a person, but it is not good for the ANC and for the country.”

Manuel told City Press the competition in the ANC has robbed the party of skilled people.

“If everything is a competition, you destroy values.”

He added that in the world of politics “logic doesn’t always reign supreme”.

In his political report delivered at the opening of the ANC’s Mangaung congress in Bloemfontein this morning, Zuma lavished praise on the National Development Plan and took ownership of it.

He urged delegates at the congress to discuss it and come up with a “plan about the plan” and how to implement it.

He described the plan as “ground-breaking”.

“We now have a plan that has been welcomed by all sectors of society and not just government and the ruling party alone,” he said.

He said he launched the National Planning Commission in 2009 and emphasised that it was an idea that came from the ANC but involved the whole government.

Manuel was appointed minister in charge of planning but the ANC’s leftist ally, Cosatu, criticised this move, saying it would in effect make Manuel a “prime minster” and steer government policy in a neoliberal direction.

In June the party was criticised for not discussing the NDP at its policy conference, but at this week’s conference it is on the programme to be discussed.

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