ANC and alliance partners call for unity

2017-01-18 06:02
 Photo: Makhosandile Zulu South African gospel artist Hlengiwe Mhlaba performs alongside the party’s national, provincial and regional leaders at the ANC’s 105th anniversary celebrations at the Kwa-Dukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday.

Photo: Makhosandile Zulu South African gospel artist Hlengiwe Mhlaba performs alongside the party’s national, provincial and regional leaders at the ANC’s 105th anniversary celebrations at the Kwa-Dukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday.

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The ANC held its one hundred and fifth anniversary celebrations at the KwaDukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday.

The event was attended by the party’s national, provincial and regional leadership as well as thousands of party members, supporters and followers from throughout the province.

President Jacob Zuma made an unexpected appearance at the anniversary celebrations.

KZN ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala delivered the keynote addressed in which he called for unity within the party, an accelerated land redistribution programme and the growth of black industrialists and the revitalisation of the township economy, among other things.

“The task of cementing unity within the ANC and unity among our people is more important and urgent than ever before least we become another failed revolution,” Zikalala said.

He called on the party’s structures from branches to regions to fight for unity within the organisation.

He said the party’s policy conference scheduled for June 2017 and its fifty-fourth national conference to be held later this year in December will afford the organisation the opportunity to assess its progress in developing the lives of South Africans, and these conferences will be an opportunity for the party to discuss and plan for future development initiatives.

“We have to be cognizant of the fact that ANC conferences are not about whom we are going to elect but that they are about answering this question: where are we taking the struggle of the people? It is our firm conviction and singular determination that the fifty-fourth national conference must and will produce a strong and a united leadership to lead our movement to the third decade of freedom. Only a united African National Congress has the ability to achieve the strategic objective encapsulated in our programmes of the National Democratic Revolution,” he said.

He said the ANC was established to unite and lead the people of South Africa in the quest for freedom and not for serving leaders and the material personal gain of members or leaders of the party.

He said the party’s members and leaders must conscious of the fact that their behaviour and conduct is what attracts people to or repels them from the organisation.

“If we are arrogant, if we do not respect people, people will not see the need for becoming members of the ANC,” Zikalala said.

He called on the party’s cadres, councillors, ministers, mayors and members of parliament to not only be politically educated and ideologically developed but to be academically educated as well.

He said this year the ANC will commemorate 50 years since Chief Albert Luthuli passed on in a mystery accident.

Zikalala said the ANC should confront various forms of discrimination including racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.

“The government of the ANC must speedily criminalise racism, all racists and anyone who perpetuates racism must be arrested and serve a sentence,” he said.

He urged the party’s branches which are located on farms to launch campaigns opposed to the discrimination of farm workers.

He said the party should produce decisive resolutions on economic transformation and land redistribution at its upcoming national policy conference.

“The ANC’s 2014 manifesto stated that at least 70% of all goods purchased by the government must be purchased from cooperatives and SMMEs [Small Medium Macro Enterprises.]. So we are saying to the government at the municipal level and its various departments and at the national level, the ANC’s government must ensure that all goods it purchases are purchased from black-owned businesses. As of February this year, we as the provincial government will launch a programme of radical agrarian socio-economic transformation which will benefit many businesses we will purchase from,” Zikalala said.

He said the province should aim to get above 70% matric pass rate for the year 2017.

“History informs us that the best gift we can bestow on Oliver Tambo as a way of paying homage to his legacy is to allow women to lead the congress because the time is ripe for them to do so. They must be given the opportunity to lead because we all agree that they [women] were oppressed, we all agree that they were not afforded their rightful place, but congress fought so that women could be incapacitated. Women have all the leadership qualities that are required, why then do we seem to be reluctant when it comes to making women our leaders? We must support them [women] and we must be behind them, but the name of a specific female candidate will only emerge once we officially start our discussions on the leadership succession issue,” ANC Greater KwaDukuza Region chairperson Ricardo Mthembu said regarding the leadership succession issue.

The ANC Women’s League in KwaZulu-Natal said it agrees with the chairperson of the Greater KwaDukuza Region that women are ready to take up leadership positions in the party.

“In 105 years, we are ready to lead, we are ready to lead in the ANC, we are ready to lead branches of the ANC, [and we are ready to lead in the] regions, provinces and even in the national executive committee, and we are ready to lead the country in South Africa,” KZN ANC Women's League secretary Nonhlanhla Khoza said.

Speaking on behalf of Cosatu, the federation’s president S’dumo Dlamini said Cosatu supports the party’s efforts of building unity within its fold. He urged Zikalala as KZN MEC for Economic Development to reopen factories that were shut down in this province.

“We require that those industries in which women can sew be reopened in KwaZulu-Natal so that people can see development with their own eyes. As Cosatu, we will assist you [Sihle Zikalala], we will work with you in all structures,” Dlamini said.

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