ANC and alliance partners call for unity

2017-01-18 06:01
The ANC held its anniversary celebration at the KwaDukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday which was attended by President Jacob Zuma, the party's NEC and PEC members as well as regional leaders and party members from throughout the province. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

The ANC held its anniversary celebration at the KwaDukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday which was attended by President Jacob Zuma, the party's NEC and PEC members as well as regional leaders and party members from throughout the province. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

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THE ANC held its 105th anniversary celebrations at the KwaDukuza Recreational Grounds on Sunday.

The event was attended by the party­’s national, provincial and regional leadership as well as thousands of party members, supporters and followers­ from throughout the province.

President Jacob Zuma made an unexpected appearance there.

KZN ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala delivered the keynote address in which he called for unity within the party, the accelerated expropriation of land, the growth of black industrialists and the revitalisation of the township economy, among other things.

“The task of cementing unity within the ANC and unity among our people is more important and urgent than ever­ before least we become another failed revolution,” Zikalala said.

He said the party’s policy conference­ is scheduled for June and its 54th national conference in December will afford the organisation the opportunity to assess its progress in developing the lives of South Africans, and that these conferences will be an opportunity for the party to discuss and plan for future development initiatives.

“We have to be cognisant of the fact that ANC conferences are not about who we are going to elect, they are about answering this question - where are we taking the struggle of the people?” he said.

He said the ANC was not established to serve serving leaders and the material personal gain of members or leaders of the party.

He said the party’s members and leaders must be conscious of the fact that their behaviour and conduct is what attracts people to or repels them from the organisation.

He called on the party’s cadres, councillors, ministers, mayors and MPs to not only be politically educated and ideologically developed, but to be academically educated as well.

Zikalala called on the government to criminalise racism and on the party to confront various forms of discrimination including sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.

He urged the party’s branches on farms to launch campaigns opposed to the discrimination of farm workers.

He said the party should produce decisive resolutions on economic transformation at its upcoming national policy conference.

“The ANC’s 2014 manifesto stated that at least 70% of all goods purchased by the government must be purchased from co-operatives and SMMEs.

“So we are saying to the government at the municipal level, its various departments and at the national level, the ANC’s government must ensure that all goods it purchases are purchased from black-owned businesses.

“As of February this year, we as the provincial government will launch a programme of radical agrarian socioeconomic­ transformation that will benefit the many businesses we will purchase from,” Zikalala said.

He said the province should aim to get above 70% matric pass rate this year.

“History informs us that the best gift we can bestow on Oliver Tambo as a way of paying homage to his legacy is to allow women to lead the congress because the time is ripe for them to do so.

“They must be given the opportunity to lead because we all agree that they [women] were oppressed, we agree they were not afforded their rightful place, but congress fought so that women could be incapacitated.

“Women have all the leadership qualities that are required, why then do we seem to be reluctant when it comes to making women our leaders?

“We must support them and we must be behind them, but the name of a specific female candidate will only emerge once we officially start our discussions on the leadership succession issue,” ANC Greater Kwa-Dukuza Region chairperson Ricardo Mthembu said regarding the leadership succession issue.

The KZN ANC Women’s League secretary Nonhlanhla Khoza said the league agrees with Mthembu that women are ready to take up leadership positions in the party.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the trade union supports the party­’s efforts of building unity in its fold.

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