‘ANC must address real issues’

2010-09-21 00:00

ADDRESSING “real” issues raised by its partners is a fundamental requirement for reversing the deteriorating relations within the ANC’s tripartite alliance.

Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said this in a hard-hitting organisational report he presented at a closed session of the national general council in Durban yesterday.

The ANC later released the text of the report.

In the 60-page report, Mantashe said much more needs to be done to improve relations at national and sub-national levels between the ruling party and Cosatu and the SA Communist Party.

“The ease with which the components of the alliance attack each other in public is a source of major concern and an urgent problem that needs to be addressed and eliminated …

“Fundamental to the improvement of alliance relationships is for the ANC to lead in addressing the ­real issues raised by our allies, that is, concerns around job creation and sustainable and decent work, matters surrounding service delivery and the quality thereof,” Mantashe said.

Like President Jacob Zuma during his political report at the same gathering, Mantashe quoted speeches from the late ANC president Oliver Tambo on the significance of the alliance.

Mantashe’s report also revealed that the membership of the ANC is almost a quarter of a million shy of reaching its targeted one million figure by 2012, its centenary anniversary.

Figures indicate that KwaZulu-Natal has overtaken the Eastern Cape as the biggest province since the last national conference in Polokwane in 2007.

KZN now has 192 618 members compared to the 102 742 it had prior to Polokwane, while the Eastern Cape has 161 161 as compared to the 153 164 during Polokwane.

Mantashe said there is a tendency for membership to grow shortly before elective conferences and a sharp decline immediately afterwards.

“Having taken all the provinces through provincial conferences, gate keeping remains a major problem and a source of resentment among members of the ANC. Manipulation of membership statistics to influence outcomes of elective conferences is central to the conflict that has characterised almost all our provincial conferences.”

Tensions within the organisation, which culminate in the formation of factions, were also mentioned

“In more recent incidents, ANC members led mass protests, playing a negative role in the majority of cases. These members seemed to be leading mass protests against the ANC itself, with the aim to position themselves for candidature in the 2011 local government elections …”

Mantashe said the national executive committee has reaffirmed the need to develop guidelines for lobbying “in response to the emerging trend of making lobbying for positions the mainstay of our organisational work”.

“An emerging perception is that daggers are always drawn and there is no political life other than vying for positions in the ANC. This reduces the importance of the political activity of electing leadership to permanent conspiracy and plotting without giving it the necessary political and programmatic content.”

Turning to the debate over nationalisation of mines, an issue raised by the ANC Youth League, Mantashe said it should be expanded to give meaning to the relevant clause in the Freedom Charter.

“The ANC has a responsibility to give it practical expression, given that the ownership of all mineral deposits have reverted back to the state, that private operators pay royalties to the state, and a state-owned mining company has been reactivated. We need to offer concrete proposals as to what more can be done in this sector …”

Last night, the delegates were expected to hear a presentation on preparations for the centenary by national chairperson Baleka Mbete and a gender report by ANC Women’s League president Angie Motshekga.

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