Ruling party plans to build its own school of politics

2012-04-28 17:07

Details of the ANC’s plans to build its own leadership university have emerged for the first time. The political school will be compulsory for all the party’s elected officials.

In its national working committee (NWC) report presented to the national executive committee (NEC) on March 23 and 24, the ruling party said “political education must be institutionalised”.

The school will be modelled on the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (Celap), a Shanghai-based leadership and governance institution established by the Communist Party of China.

The school, which will apparently be called the ANC Political School and Policy Institute, will be built on a farm at Vredefort in the Free State.

Jackson Mthembu, the party’s spokesperson, said the building plan was approved at an NEC meeting last year, but construction would only start once the relevant departments had approved the plan.

“Because it’s a World Heritage Site, we’ve approached government so that we’re not in contravention of the country’s laws,” Mthembu said.

He confirmed that the ANCwas still raising funds for the project. All elected individuals – from branch leaders to ministers – are expected to attend courses.

Said the NEC member: “There will be modules produced for lessons, which will differ according to your position in the party or in government.

“The ANC plans to get professional tutors to provide lessons and academics who are ANC members to teach on a voluntary basis.”

And for those who bunk school – like those at the first NEC political school held at St George’s Hotel in March – the ANC will get tough.

“Until there are consequences when we fail to execute what is within our scope of responsibility, this trend will continue,” said the party in its NWC report.

While that school “whetted our appetite”, according to the report, less than 50% of the NEC members sat through the three days and some “made an appearance now and then”.

“At the end, only 36 members were present.”

At the new school, members will be required to stay at the institution for the duration of the course.

The institution will have, among other things, accommodation, a swimming pool, halls, a fitness centre, a pharmacy and a small shopping centre.

Training provided by China’s Celap, which the ANC uses as an example, is extended in China to senior government leaders and top executives from the business community.

Celap’s core focus is social improvement and economic development to meet China’s rapidly growing society and economy.

The ANC last had a physical political school at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania.

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