Zuma tackles key issues in speech

2010-09-21 08:24

In his political report, ANC president Jacob Zuma outlined a series of crucial issues facing the party and the country which needed to be addressed at the NGC. Among them were:

Organisational discipline

Zuma has challenged the delegates to refuse to be manipulated by party members and leaders wanting to buy their support and use them for their own personal gain.

“Some branches contain members who belong to other members.

“That means some members of the ANC influence other members to support them for their own personal interests, and by doing so make them loyal to them and not the organisation.

“This certainly corrupts the democratic process of the ANC.

“A new dangerous method of lobbying has emerged, where comrades use money to buy support.

“We should not allow a situation where those who have money turn members of the ANC into commodities.

“It is clear the time has come for the organisation to act.

“We must take a decision that those who engage in such activities are in fact undermining the organisation and its work and, at worst, are undermining the unity of the organisation. Action must be taken against them.”

The economy

Zuma will call a special Cabinet meeting after the NGC to discuss and urgently finalise an economic growth path to try to fast-track job creation initiatives in the face of increasing unemployment sparked by the global economic downturn.

“The economic downturn saw the loss of over a million jobs in our country and job losses were continuing in the first six months of this year despite the return of economic growth.

“This has worsened what is an unacceptable situation of high rates of joblessness among our people.

“The new growth path must start with the recognition that on the one hand, we have had economic growth for a sustained period since the advent of democracy, with particularly high growth since the early 2000s and net job creation.

“On the other hand, poverty remains high, inequalities have remained the same or even grown worse, while some of the jobs created often brought low wages and poor conditions.

“The anticipated measures (to spark economic growth) include appropriate fiscal and monetary policy measures that are actively directed to promoting larger numbers of jobs.

“These should be linked with measures to control inflation and improve efficiency across the economy, including through a more competitive and stable exchange rate.”

Local government

Zuma says the ANC leadership wants to push ahead with new legislation which will prevent senior municipal officials from being office bearers of political parties to ensure that the quality of local government improves.

“Among the matters that must be attended to, is the problematic relationship between municipal officials, elected representatives and political parties.

“We reiterate the view that senior municipal officials should not hold full-time leadership positions in political parties as this causes tensions that hinder service delivery.

“The fundamental principle is that we must remain truthful to our people at all times, even when we have not met their expectations.

“We must tell them the difficulties we come across including the reality that resources are not limitless.

“Last year we experienced protests in various areas in the country, which were said to be linked to service delivery.

“These protests were also accompanied by unacceptable activities such as violence and destruction of property.

“While we appreciate the frustration and impatience, it is puzzling why people burn a clinic to demonstrate to government that they need a school.”
Corruption

Zuma has called for a crackdown on tender corruption, including stricter penalties for those caught.

“We must implement the provisions of our election manifesto which states that politicians should not tamper with the adjudication of tenders. Basically we must not allow tenders to destroy the ANC.

“Various preventive policy measures can be explored.

“These include the centralisation of major contracts and procurement of major items, stricter penalties for service providers who obtain contracts illegally, to increase transparency and accountability in the tender processes, as well as to improve the protection of whistleblowers.”

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