ANCYL to push for autonomy

2012-06-27 10:31

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) will push for greater autonomy at the ANC’s policy conference today.

League deputy president Ronald Lamola told journalists outside the gathering halls in the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand: “From where we stand the youth league still exists as an autonomous structure of the ANC.”

A league delegate told City Press that it’s all in the constitution of the ANC, but it is a matter of interpretation.

He said the matter would be raised during discussions in conference commissions on organisational renewal of the ANC.

Before Lamola addressed an impromptu media scrum under a tree, he was seen talking to ANC national executive committee member Enoch Godongwana, who is on the ANC’s economic transformation committee that will be discussing the nationalisation of the mines.

Godongwana earlier told City Press measures would be put in place to avoid the league flooding the committee the way it did during the party’s national general council in 2010.

The league has been pushing for the wholesale nationalisation of mines, but a league delegate said there has been talk of them softening their stance.

However, ANCYL national spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said the league was “firm behind the resolutions” taken at the youth league’s national congress last year.

Key among the league’s call is the nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation as part of economic transformation.

“The positions formulated for discussion through our discussion documents and consequent resolutions have reaffirmed that economic freedom in our lifetime must be realised and that at no point in our history will we fail the mandate of young people in the country,” said Moonsamy.

At the party’s national general council in 2010 the youth league successfully lobbied for nationalisation of mines to at least be accepted on the ANC’s agenda, with the party commissioning a study to look at best practices in other countries. Though the state intervention into the mining sector (SIMS) report fell short of recommending an outright nationalisation, the report proposed a range of to ensure the state benefits from the country’s mineral resources.

But the youth league is not planning to give up, buoyed by support from provinces such as Limpopo that have given nationalisation a thumbs up.

Said Moonsamy: “We will use this opportunity to strengthen our policy positions and exchange of useful political and ideological issues that define the kind of society we are living in and want to live in.”

The ANCYL said more attention should be given to “the hasty implementation of the Freedom Charter” to bridge the divide of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“The policy conference comes at a very critical time when we find that there is a deepening crisis in the economy that affects the quality of life promised to our people.”

The youth league called for conference debates to take place in “a robust spirit” and said no policy position of the ANC should be seen as “an alignment of any interest except the broader interests of the majority of our people”.

The league is recognised as a province at ANC national conferences and it takes part in commission debates.

With its 35 official delegates, the league is relying on its members who came to the conference as part of their branches to help push its priority policy proposals.

Unlike during the 2010 meeting, the league was relatively quiet during the opening session of the conference yesterday.

Zuma in his speech said the ANC should guide the league because it is the incubator of future leaders.

Expelled league leader Julius Malema is not allowed to attend the conference and he hasn’t been spotted at the Gallagher Convention Centre complex, where security has been strict.

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