My ANC: highs and lows

2012-01-07 08:14

A lack of discipline and community involvement count among the areas in which the ANC can improve, according to members attending the centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein this weekend.

Selinah Ncamane, an ANC member in Bloemfontein, says she misses an ANC that used to be part of the communities.

“Sometimes your family member dies and you can’t afford to bury them. This is where I expect the ANC to help. Things used to happen that way, but not anymore.”

But Ncamane is happy with some of the ANC’s achievements, like the provision of free houses and social grants.

Toetie Dow from the Sarah Baartman branch in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape has been invited as one of the representatives of the Khoi and San people.

He regards this as his proudest moment as an ANC member. “It is the first time in our history that the ANC gives recognition to the Khoi and San people.”

Dow said he does get embarrassed by the ANC’s failures sometimes, but he urged members to know the party so that they can understand why certain things are being done.

“Many people don’t understand the ANC. This party is like a bible, things don’t change in the Bible,” he said.

To young people like Thebe Lebona, a delegate from Lejweleputswa in the Free State, the ANC’s centenary celebrations means that the youth will get to know both the history and the prospective future of the organisation.

“Some parties that were formed after the ANC don’t exist anymore. The ANC persevered during difficult times because we wanted to get the liberation we were fighting for. In 1994 we got that.”

Lebona said he owes his business achievements to the ANC-led government. He was skilled through the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and is today the proud owner of Thebe Copy and Fax in Virginia.

The excitement was evident in Nomahlubi Mthimkhulu’s eyes as she told City Press about her proudest moment as an ANC supporter, at the age of five.

“When Nelson Mandela was released from prison we were wearing white T-shirts with blue doves (signifying peace and unity).

We were waving flags. I didn’t even understand the words of the songs we sang, but that moment stands out,” said Mthimkhulu.

Though she admits that the ANC has made mistakes in its past 100 years – particularly after becoming a ruling party – Mthimkhulu says South Africans are too tough on the party.

“When you look at your cup, don’t look at it half empty, you should look at it half full. The ANC has done a lot as much as it has failed in some places.”

Anthony Khepe, an ANC member who is also an SACP secretary in Virginia, says lack of discipline, particularly in the ANC Youth League, puts the ANC in a negative light.

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