ANC launches 2017 policy documents

Johannesburg - Widespread corruption, poor performance in government and abuse of organisational processes for personal gain will, if unchecked, lead to the ANC's demise, the ruling party has said.

The party on Sunday officially launched its policy documents for discussion ahead of its policy conference in June.

ANC head of policy and minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe gave an overview of the nine documents, touching on organisational renewal, economic and social transformation and legislature and governance.

The policy proposals will only be adopted at its elective policy conference after the branches have engaged with the documents.

'Losing the trust of the people'

The ANC has admitted that there has been growing special distance between leaders and members.

"The discussion document recognises that the ANC is increasingly losing the trust of the people as illustrated by declining electoral performance and intense public criticism," Radebe said.

Amidst a heated contest for new leadership, the party is proposing open contestation.

It also proposes an electoral commission that will vet people nominated for positions ahead of elections, to rid the electoral system of gate-keeping and manipulation.

However, it will only come into effect if adopted at the December conference.

The party also proposes that the size of the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) be reduced and more of its leaders must become full-time party functionaries.

"The paper proposes that the size of the NEC should be reduced and that the organisation must limit the number of NEC members that serve in government (65%) and ensuring that ANC leaders are spread throughout all sectors of society," Radebe said.

Radical economic transformation

On economic transformation, the ANC has again reiterated the National Development Plan, which is the blueprint for the country, as the core plan to drive radical social economic transformation.

"At the heart of the discussion document remains the ANC's call for the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution that requires a more intense focus on the full radical economic transformation of our democracy," Radebe said.

The ANC acknowledges that it has not done enough to reduce unemployment and poverty and said there is a need for increased wages and broad based ownership and control of the economy.

Some of its proposals include:

- Better regulation of the private sector to avoid price fixing, unfair competition and unfair labour practices;

- Returning the land to people and supporting land reform by codifying the constitutional requirements of just and equitable compensation for the acquisition of land;

- A targeted programme to assist black entrepreneurs in setting up small business and co-operatives;

- Stamping out corruption.

The ANC has also proposed that the South African Revenue Services (SARS) should be used to recover some of the funds from previous beneficiaries of National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

"SARS processes should be implemented to recover the loan portion of funding provided to working class and middle strata students by 2023," said the ANC.

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