The seven sins the ANC must fix to survive

2016-09-25 06:03
Nceba Faku

Nceba Faku

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Johannesburg - ANC veteran Nceba Faku has proposed far-reaching changes to ANC operations in a bid to overhaul the organisation and make it attractive to all age groups, amid calls from some party stalwarts and branches to kick out the entire top national leadership.

In his document titled ANC Turnaround Plan (see graphic), Faku has set out to rectify “seven sins”, which include poor leadership within the party, arguing that there were bigger problems that needed to be seriously tackled than just the removal of President Jacob Zuma.

“The popular [case] about the removal or resignation of Zuma is well made. It cannot be argued that this is not one of our sins. Both the ANC, its partners in the [tripartite] alliance and ... society at large need to move on to address other sins.

“Ignoring them or pretending that Zuma is our only sin would be disingenuous and a failure to see the bigger challenge,” Faku said.

Under a subheading “What is the real reason of ANC decline, the substance of our crisis?”, Faku bemoaned the organisation’s conservative machinery and systems, the juniorisation of leaders and corruption. He fingered the party’s inability to convincingly deal with unemployment and to curb rampant criminality. He also identified the ever-increasing prices on basic foods and services.

Nceba Faku's turnaround plan for the ANC

Faku, who was the first mayor of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Bay metro) in the democratic era, said the document, Through the Eye of the Needle, which was drafted during Thabo Mbeki’s presidency, should be at the forefront of what he called organisational re-engineering. That document had called for new members to undergo a compulsory political induction programme – for example, a 10-part programme – before they were deployed to party leadership or in government.

His input was in response to the party’s dismal performance in the local government elections in August, where the ANC lost power in many of the country’s major cities, including Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg.

He said most urban areas had indicated their unhappiness with the governing party, given the social and economic dynamics that existed, which then informed their attitude towards the ANC, which included the Nkandla saga, but not in isolation.

Some of Faku’s radical remedial proposals include a call that ANC deployees contribute 50% of their monthly income to the party and for full-time provincial chairpersons, saying chairpersons should not be considered as premiers in order to focus on building strong party structures.

“Deployment is not employment. Therefore, the income you get from deployment is not a salary or wages, it is remuneration. It’s an expression of appreciation by the organisation for the time you spent in pursuit of its cause,” Faku said.

He also wants all voting processes to be done by secret ballot and for credible disciplinary enforcement procedures to be reinstated, with serious consequences for transgressions, “irrespective of who”
has done wrong.

He advocated a re-evaluation of the Constitution and proposed a national referendum on land and property rights, as well as the death penalty, as a response to the high rate of violent crimes in the country.

“Open up to a public process that would put our Constitution to public scrutiny and assessment. Our current Constitution is the product of a negotiated settlement and it has survived the first 20 years.

“There are legal, moral, social and economic constraints that require being put in an open, national discourse outside boardrooms, courts and parliamentary offices,” he said.

He had hoped that his document would be distributed among party members in the branches, and up to policy and national conferences.

When asked about Faku’s proposal, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “The ANC is a democratic organisation and it allows plurality of voices.”

He said when somebody presented a paper, it did not mean his assertions were necessarily shared by the general membership. “We are an internal democracy ... It does not mean the organisation must respond to everybody who expresses his or her views in public.”


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Read more on:    anc  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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