Zuma likely to speak unity at ANC anniversary bash

2010-01-07 11:16

THE ANC kicks off the year with an anniversary celebration in

Kimberley on Saturday to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma.

The party’s annual January statement, to be delivered by Zuma at

the GKW Stadium to an expected audience of 50?000, maps the party’s way forward

for the year.

Zuma’s address is likely to be a unifying one, says director of the

University of Johannesburg’s Centre for the Study of Democracy, Steven

Friedman.

He says Zuma is likely to speak about the ANC’s review of local

government, expected to be released early this year.

The ANC’s national general council (NGC) to take place this year

will thrash out policy issues, which Friedman believes Zuma will steer clear

of.

“The NGC will look at policy issues ... I wouldn’t expect him to

say anything remarkable on that front.”

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande, Cosatu general

secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) leaders are

expected to give messages of support, as are the ANC Women’s League, Youth

League and newly-formed Veterans’ League.

The past year saw South Africa’s official jobless rate increasing

to 24.5% of the labour force in the third quarter, from 23.6% in the second

quarter.

The government fell short of creating its 500?000 jobs through the

expanded public works programme by December, as Zuma had promised in his

inaugural state of the nation address.

The post-Polokwane conference honeymoon ended abruptly for the

ruling alliance – the ANC, the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco – with battles between

ministers over control of the economy’s trajectory.

At the SACP’s conference in December, ANCYL president Julius Malema

and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Billy Masetlha were booed as

they took their seats.

The league believed this was because it did not support Nzimande’s

alleged desire to become ANC deputy president in 2012.

The ANCYL criticised SACP leaders for failing to act when the

incident occurred.

The ANC and the SACP were expected to discuss the matter at a

bilateral meeting early this year.


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