Economic transformation at heart of NGC proceedings

Delegates at the ANC national general council (NGC) have broken into eight commissions to discuss a series of critical issues ranging from the media tribunal to nationalisation of the mines on the third day of its landmark mid-term review conference.

While they are doing so, ANC President Jacob Zuma has gone on a walkabout to meet the various corporates who have paid serious money to set up stands at the ANC NGC, which ends on Friday.

The most contentious of the discussions today will focus on economic transformation, in which the ANCYL call for the mines to be nationalised will be the foremost issue.

Many of the ANC provinces took a more measured approach to the issue in their discussions during the run-up to the Durban meeting, opting instead for a milder “state intervention” in certain sectors of the economy which they said needed to be discussed more intensively to look at the form it should take and to set timeframes for policy change.

The media tribunal proposals will be discussed in a commission on media diversity and communications.

Support for the idea is both widespread and strong among ANC provincial structures and its leagues, and the NGC is expected to back external regulation for media houses.

The issue of the government’s cadre deployment bill, which will stop party officer bearers from holding senior local government posts, is also set to be a thorny one.

The proposals also balance political interests with professional competence in a bid to stabilise poorly performing municipalities around the country by ensuring that appointments are made on the basis of skill and not comradeship.

The ANC provinces are split over the issue, with regions with these provincial structures also disagreeing with the move, which will cost ANC regional and branch leaders around the country their livelihoods.

Other commissions will look at issues including social transformation, education, health, peace and stability and international relations.

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