'The only choice for KZN'

2008-06-20 00:00

This weekend the ANC will hold its sixth provincial conference. It is a conference that takes place at an exciting time in the life of our democracy. That Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of the province of KwaZulu-Natal since 2004, is hosting the conference is the reaffirmation that indeed this city is a city of choice for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

In the four or so years that the ANC has been leading KwaZulu-Natal, the people of our beautiful province have experienced rapid transformation of their lives for the better. KwaZulu-Natal is a stable province. Those with selective amnesia will want to belittle this achievement of the ANC as if they do not know that at one point the media referred to certain areas of our province as “the killing fields” of KwaZulu-Natal.

If evil breeds more evil, then stability breeds more stability. The ANC is a stable party. It is a party founded on the principle of liberating all the people of our country from poverty, backwardness, injustice and other social ills that afflict them. This is why, therefore, that although there are leadership contests within the ANC, these are conducted with the spirit of furthering the attainment of this vision rather than pursuance of personal glory.

As we converge on Pietermaritzburg, some of the senior leaders of our movement have already indicated that, in so far as day-to-day occupation of official leadership positions is concerned, they feel they have made their contribution and would like to hand over the baton to other leaders. The current chairperson of our movement, an intellectual par excellence and one of the major architects of the stability we enjoy today, Comrade Sibusiso Ndebele, understanding correctly that all of us contribute to the ANC at different levels, has openly declared that he will not be standing for the position of chairperson this time around.

After serving as the treasurer of the illustrious movement, I have also decided that I have made my humble contribution. We do not doubt that the comrades who take over after us will find that a solid foundation has been laid and will take the party to even greater heights.

There are no lifetime presidents, chairpersons, treasurers or secretaries within the ANC. We serve at the behest of the membership of our organisation.

We go to the to Pietermaritzburg conference, against the backdrop of many challenges, to reiterate our commitment to liberating all the people of our province. The key word is all. Pointedly, as leader of government in the province, we have the responsibility to ensure that service delivery and government amenities reach all the people irrespective of who they voted for in the previous election or who they will vote in the coming election.

This political maturity of being able to see beyond party political lines makes the ANC the only party that can take the province of KwaZulu-Natal into the next decade. This has been evidenced by the enormous economic development strides that the province has made under ANC tutelage. The creativity of the agrarian revolution; the boldness of the Dube TradePort development and other local economic development activities; the tenacity of expanding the social welfare net to the nether recesses of our province; the determination of our housing delivery programmes, the ingenuity of restoring traditional leadership to its rightful place; the drive to entrench a culture of education and literacy and the pursuit of excellence in the sphere of arts and culture and heritage. All these have found popular expression within the government led by the ANC.

The ANC is the only option for the people of KwaZulu-Natal. As delegates we understand the responsibility that comes with being a member of this organisation. We cannot afford to disappoint our people. We dare not tarnish the legacy of the giants who have led this movement in difficult and trying times.

It is, therefore, not an option but a must that every delegate has to exercise greater responsibility and maintain the maximum discipline that is synonymous with the oldest people’s movement in Africa.

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