ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says the drastic policy changes proposed by party branches at the last national conference, including the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and land expropriation without compensation, would not form part of the new administration’s priorities in its first 100 days of government.
Instead, said Magashule, a sharper focus would be on responding to the issues raised by voters during the recent general elections — in what appears to be a desperate attempt by the ANC to quickly try to reverse the electoral downslide suffered during last week’s polls when it dropped from 62% to 57% at national level.
Magashule said the upcoming lekgotla, at which the ANC national, provincial and regional structures meet under one roof to determine government policies, was likely to agree that issues of immediate concern were service delivery, including access to water, jobs, poverty and inequality.
“Those things are immediate. People with no water, people with no jobs, unemployment, poverty, inequalities. Those things are key,” he said on the sidelines of the commemoration of ANC stalwart Walter Sisulu at the Waaihoek Methodist Church in Bloemfontein.
He said the implementation of conference resolutions, such as the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and land expropriation without compensation, would be looked at over the full term of five years.
“Those deployed in government will sit down and prioritise what they know are the needs and demands of our people.”
He said some of the national conference resolutions at Nasrec in 2017 were processes “and we have confidence that the elected leadership will implement our resolutions”.
Magashule rallied behind Lindiwe Sisulu, the minister of the department of international relations and cooperation, saying her position on the conflict between Israel and Palestine was correct and in line with ANC resolutions.
Sisulu has been criticised by the Jewish Board of Deputies for her plan to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel.
“She is just implementing the resolution of conference and it is a process. We have said to her that we congratulate you, because you are moving and moving with the collective.”
Magashule said Ramaphosa and the Cabinet shared and supported Sisulu’s views.
Earlier during his Walter Sisulu celebration speech Magashule said that when implementing resolutions of downgrading the Israel embassy, Sisulu should expect to be attacked.
“Stay resolute because you are implementing the decisions of the highest decision-making body of the ANC national conference.”
Sisulu, who had surprisingly been declared a member of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), said she was committed to ensuring that Ramaphosa succeeded in delivering the ANC’s promises.
Citing as an example the work of the ANC integrity committee — formed to clean up the party’s damaged reputation by holding leaders accused of wrongdoing accountable — Sisulu said the party was “putting together these systems and putting a message to society that as the ANC we are determined to move forward united and make sure that we deliver on our promises – and make sure that Ramaphosa succeeds as president”.
Speakers at the commemoration yesterday declared war against the state capture commission of inquiry, journalists and anyone identified as Magashule’s enemy.
The speakers, from the Congress of South African Students, the ANCWL, the ANC Youth League, the Veterans’ League, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and the SA Communist Party – with trade federation Cosatu absent – also declared the implementation of ANC national conference resolutions as non-negotiable.
“We do not want any qualifications to these resolutions,” said the provincial youth league leader, Makalo Mohale.
A local Sanco leader said: “Anyone who wants to touch Ace must start with us in Free State.
“We will crush anyone who tries to muddy his name.”
Magashule warned against singing praise songs for leaders who are still alive, “because they will think they are more important than the ANC itself because the media promotes them”.
He said the ANC was born in the belly of the Free State province and the province would remain the heartbeat of the party.
ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini said the league was not recruiting young women to fight Ramaphosa.