Shift gears for Mangaung: Zuma

2012-06-29 22:41

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has called for the party to shift gears as it heads to its national conference in Mangaung in December.

“After Mangaung we have got to change gears because our gears have been wobbling,” Zuma said to loud applause at the conclusion of the ANC's four-day policy conference in Midrand.

The conference had endorsed the need for a radical economic and transformation programme to dismantle the apartheid structure of the economy, he said.

“The branches of the ANC in their wisdom have declared that we are in a continuing transition from apartheid colonialism to a national democratic society.”

The conference rejected the notion of a second transition – a phrase that has become associated with Zuma's reported bid for a second term as president – but endorsed the idea of a second phase in the transition to a state where everyone has political, economic and social emancipation.

Zuma said that although the ANC had many successes in the last 18 years, the "challenges" of poverty, inequality and employment persisted.

One of the problems South Africa still needed to correct was the skewed ownership and management of the economy.

Zuma said the conference had agreed that state intervention in the minerals and mining sector was "urgently required", but he made no mention of a proposed super tax on mining.

"At the forefront of this intervention should be strengthening of the recently created state mining company by consolidating state mining assets into a single institution."

Police service

Delegates had resolved to establish a single police service integrating various municipal police departments under the control of the SA Police Service.

Delegates also resolved that street committees would be set up.

"Street committees should be established and controlled by the ANC," said Zuma.

Zuma clearly set out the principle of the separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

"The branches of the state are equal parties entrusted with distinct Constitutional powers," he said.

"No branch is superior to others."

Youth subsidy

The youth wage subsidy had been rejected during the talks and Zuma said the proposals to address youth unemployment now included a tax credit to incentivise youth employment, the provision of training subsidies and a youth work-seekers grant linked to skills development.

“All these proposals aim to bring new entrants into the workplace, while still protecting the jobs and conditions of existing workers.”

He called for a discussion on youth unemployment between government, the private sector, youth organisations and labour, given the gravity of the situation.

Leading up to the conference there had been many calls to scrap the willing buyer, willing seller approach to land redistribution.

Zuma affirmed that this approach would be replaced but was vague on the details.

Land reform

“Conference also affirmed the proposal to replace willing buyer willing seller with the 'Just and equitable' principle in the Constitution, immediately where the state is acquiring land for land reform purposes,” he said.

Later, land commission member Tina Joemat-Petterson told media this would not entail any change to the Constitution.

Zuma's speech was delayed by apparent in-fighting among delegates, but Zuma said members had behaved very well.

Recommendations made at the policy conference would be taken back to ANC branches for further discussion and input.

They would be presented at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung in December where they could be adopted as official policy.

This would then inform government legislation and policies.



- SAPA

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics
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