ANC aims to create confidence in SA

2012-10-30 00:00

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants the Mangaung conference to be known not so much for who gets elected, but for the ground-breaking decisions to be taken there to steer the country forward.

This emerged yesterday when provincial leaders and their provincial counterparts yesterday held an economic transformation workshop at a Durban hotel as part of preparations for the national conference in December.

The workshop, held behind closed doors, was convened to discuss some policy issues the province has identified for consideration at the upcoming conference.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, his deputy Nhlanhla Nene and former Reserve governor Tito Mboweni were among those who attended.

Speaking to the media, KwaZulu-Natal Premier and ANC provincial chair Zweli Mkhize said they wanted to ensure that the delegation from KwaZulu-Natal played an important role in strengthening the outcomes of the conference.

“We want to ensure that the ANC discusses issues and when we get to the conference we participate in making the ANC strong and more united.

“All of us want to avoid getting carried away by the discussion on who gets elected as opposed to what impact the conference will be in ensuring ANC emerges stronger, more united and more focused in guiding the country in terms of political decisions as well as economic issues,” Mkhize said.

Apart from taking policy decisions, the Mangaung conference is expected to elect new leadership. The leadership race is already underway with some wanting deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to take over the top job from President Jacob Zuma.

But, Mkhize said the conference should not be remembered merely for leadership contest. “The conference must be known more for ground-breaking decisions that helped to focus the country in a particular direction.”

According to Mkhize, the critical issue in the country was the high level of poverty, high rate of unemployment — especially for the youth — and inequality that created a sense of despair.

“We as the leadership must identify policies we think work well and need to be strengthened or relooked at,” he said.

Mkhize also said everybody at the workshop was concerned about the global economic situation which impacted on South Africa.

“We say on the second phase of transition certain things need to be done with a lot of vigour.”

He added that while the country was downgraded in terms of ratings, it was still better than other countries when it came to debt and budget deficits.

“We need to make sure we take certain decisions so that we don’t get worse.”

However, Mkhize said there were certain things that needed to be discussed.

“We raised how we solve the negative impression of BEE that needs to be given attention, how to create confidence in the country where there is too much concentration of power in, for example, four big banks”.

On skills development, Mkhize said the question was whether the country had the institutions to increase skills at different levels.

He said the ANC was challenged to strengthen the national development plan and ensure it was implemented.

Referring to nationalisation, Mkhize said the ANC had taken a position on a mixed economy rather than nationalisation in 1993.

“We are sticking to that policy of a mixed economy,” Mkhize said, adding that nationalisation became a problem when the ANC Youth League turned it into a campaign tool.

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