Nationalisation: 'Leave emotions out'

2010-09-11 22:58

Pretoria - The debate and decisions on the nationalisation of the mines should not be based on an ideological emotional feeling, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Saturday.

"The ANC as a government party cannot pretend like we are a resistance movement in the running of the country and the economy....we must run the economy successfully," said Mantashe at the ANC provincial general council meeting in Gauteng.

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has continuously emphasised that the nationalisation of mines was ANC policy which the Youth League wants to become government policy.

Mantashe said there should be a way to ensure that important policy debates like nationalisation of mines were not reduced to lobbying instruments.

"Our success in the organisational leadership renewal will alleviate our policy debate from being a new formality and lobbying instrument to genuine concerns to realise an objective of national democratic revolution," he said. Mantashe said the argument was not about being against nationalisation, but about making the right decisions.

"The argument is that when we take a decision it will be implementable... and not base them on the ideological emotional feeling. We have a responsibility," he said, leading to a roar of laughter from delegates.

He questioned why the focus was on the mining sector only and not about the other sectors like the banking sector.

Mantashe also criticised the "rising" factionalism within the organisation and voting according to "slates", a list of candidates standing for the election, aligned to specific sections.

"The fact that we are a product of slates doesn't make it right," he said, adding that it was wrong for other members, who performed well, to sidelined and ignored because they were in the wrong slates.


ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe had also raised the issue of slates at a recent ANCYL national council saying it was "toxic".

Motlanthe said the nature of voting according to slates needed to be rooted out from the organisation.

The practice saw candidates being voted into specific positions because they were aligned to a specific faction.

At the ANC 2007 Polokwane elective conference there were two slates of candidates, one aligned to ANC president Jacob Zuma and another to former president Thabo Mbeki.

Mantashe and Motlanthe were both elected as part of Zuma's slate.

Earlier Mantashe emphasised that the party was a renewed ANC urging delegates to raise issues of concern within the structure.

"We have moved on. We are a better movement. Even those that defected are coming back."

He was referring to members the Congress of the People, which broke away from the ANC after the Polokwane conference, some of whom have since returned to the party.

Power struggles

Mantashe also spoke of the danger of what he called the "negative tendency" of power struggles. He said although this should not be the case, it will always manifest itself within the structures.

Squabbles were the order of the day with people claiming their turns in office, adding that the upcoming 2011 election will see more of that, he said.

"It's about 'it was your turn last time, it's my turn now'...This negative tendency manifest itself all the time."

Manthashe said being elected to the leadership gives one massive power in government and in business, emphasising that this should not be the so.

Quoting Zuma, Mathashe said the pursuit of power, influence and resource undermines the struggle for a better life for all.

"We should ensure that we focus our energy at the NGC addressing these tendencies" he said.

Criticising symbols of the struggle like songs, t-shirts and posters, which were in the past used to unite and mobilise and educate the party, Mantashe said these were now being used to lobby for individuals.

"We are running a risk...this has reflected negatively on our organisation for a period of time." Malema supporters ridiculed Mantashe in songs at the start of the ANCYL's national general council last month.

They also repeatedly broke out in a song in support of former ANCYL president (now Deputy Police Minister) Fikile Mbalula, who some in the league want to replace Mantashe at the ruling party's 2012 elective conference.

"I'm not dead yet...don't (put) my face to be printed on a t-shirt." But he was quick to say that Zuma being portrayed on t-shirts was "sufficient".

He further stressed that the national general council (NGC) in Durban later this month would only discuss policies of the ANC and would not entertain any leadership debate, and urged members to go meeting prepared to add their voice and do some introspection for the organisation.