Heat turns up at NGC

2010-09-23 08:35

Delegates have poured into Durban’s Exhibition Centre for the fourth and penultimate – and perhaps most important – day of the ANC’s national general council (NGC).

Today will see the commissions which have hammered out positions on a variety of contentious issues from nationalisation of mines to the creation of a media tribunal in a plenary session at which final recommendations to the ANC’s policy conference in 2012 will be adopted tomorrow morning.

Delegates from all nine provinces were remarkably upbeat, considering the bruising debates in the commissions on economic transformation and organisations renewal which took place on Tuesday and yesterday.

Yesterday, Commission 5, which was loaded with members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and ANC business magnates like Tokyo Sexwale, was the scene of a fierce battle over nationalisation.

Scribe Trevor Manuel was replaced by Enoch Godongwana after delegates, including ANCYL president Julius Malema, challenged Manuel’s interpretation of their discussions.

Today is set to see a heated discussion on the matter in plenary: despite the commission backing full-on nationalisation, all nine ANC provinces have backed state intervention in the economy, but are in favour of longer-term discussions on its form and time frames for implementation.

Other commissions will report back on media transformation, with the issue of the tribunal at the forefront, along with proposals on the ownership of media institutions.

Other issues which is expected to create heat will be that of cadre deployment, as the provinces are split over the proposals to stop party office bearers occupying top jobs in municipalities and moves to make skill, and not political allegiance, the major criterion in appointments to key positions.

The ANC’s proposals for a National Health Insurance scheme are set to be backed unanimously, as are proposals on gender equality, including a bid to legislate anti-sexist laws which will make gender discrimination a criminal offence.

Today’s plenary sessions are set to continue till early tomorrow, after which the conference will issue a declaration which, at his stage, looks set to authorise the party’s national executive committee to crack down on “corruption, ill-discipline and immoral behaviour” between now and the 2012 ANC national conference in Mangaung, Free State.

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