ANC committed to Gender Parity - African National Congress
ANC committed to Gender Parity - African National Congress
ANC Today 1 CONNECT WITH US Connect with ANC Today and be part of the conversation via our social media platforms. Communications@anc1912.org.za 011 376 1000 www.anctoday.org.za Visit our interactive ANC Website www.anc1912.org.za Follow us on @MyANC Follow Us @MyANC Twitter page Follow @myanc_ on Instagram View @MyANC on YouTube VOICE OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 17 - 23 May 2019 2 7 10 SOUTH AFRICA RE A LEBOHA Let us all lend a hand to grow South Africa ANC committed to Gender Parity The Union Buildings: A Tale of Multiple Narratives
ANC Today EDITORIAL ANC committed to Gender Parity The African National Congress convened a Special National Executive committee meeting (NEC) on Monday, the 13th of May 2019 at Irene in Tshwane to discuss the nomination of its Premier candidates.
In arriving at its decision, the NEC was guided by the following principles and approaches: gender parity; unity and stability in ANC structures; youth and inter-generational mix and experience. The NEC received three names per province as recommended by the Provincial Executive Committees in line with national conference resolution of 2007, Polokwane.
The NEC agreed on the following Premier Candidates: · Eastern Cape – Oscar Mabuyane · Free State – Sisi Ntombela · Gauteng – David Makhura · KwaZulu Natal – Sihle Zikalala · Limpopo – Stan Mathabathe · Mpumalanga – Refilwe Mtsweni · Northern Cape - Zamani Saul Pertaining to the North West, the Premier Candidate will be announced in due course following internal engagements. The NEC further agreed that in provinces where Premiers are men, then at least 60% of the Provincial Executive Council must be constituted by women. There was consensus that in instances where the Premier is a woman there shall be at least 50/50 representation in the Provincial Executive Councils.
In all provincial legislatures, speakers shall be women irrespective of whether the Premier is male or female. The NEC further took a decision that young people must be accommodated in the composition of all Executive Councils, 2
ANC Today ANC PREMIER CANDIDATES CDE Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane Oscar Mabuyane is the son of the Eastern Cape whose roots are implanted in the Chris Hani District. Mabuyane has led student and youth struggles from an early age, serving both SASCO as Branch Chairperson and the ANC Youth League as Deputy Chairperson with humility and dedication. His astute leadership in the student movement saw him elected as President of the SRC at the renowned University of Fort Hare. Mabuyane holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is currently pursuing his Masters. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape after serving two terms as the Eastern Cape ANC Provincial Secretary between 2009 and 2017.
The ANC has entrusted him with the responsibility of MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. His leadership in the Ministry has seen many in the Tourism Industry calling him a Champion for Tourism. Ntombela holds certificates in the following fields: teaching, healthcare, skills leadership, social work and ABET. Ntombela has a wealth of knowledge and expertise with both ANC organisational work and in the public sector.
She is currently Premier of the Free State. Prior to that, she held positions of MECs, Mayor and served as an MPL and Chief Whip in the Free State. Ntombela’s political positions included the following: Treasurer and Branch Chairperson; Convenor of Progressive Women’s Movement; ANC National Executive Committee member; Deputy President of the Women’s League and Provincial Treasurer of the ANC in the Free State. CDE Sefora Hixsonia “Sisi” Ntombela EASTERN CAPE FREE STATE PROFILE PROFILE 3
ANC Today CDE David Makhura CDE Sihle Zikalala GAUTENG KWAZULU-NATAL ANC PREMIER CANDIDATES David Makhura is the current Premier of Gauteng and the chairperson of the ANC in Gauteng.
Makhura has served as the provincial secretary (2001 – 2014) and deputy chairperson (2014 – 2018) of the ANC in Gauteng. He is also a trustee of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the David Makhura Charity Fund Trust. Makhura was born in Buysdorp in Limpopo. He has been politically active from his youth. He participated, served and occupied leadership positions in youth and student politics in the Azania Student Movement (AZASM), Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and the South African Youth Congress. During his tenure at University, Makhura has been the secretary general of South African National Students’ Congress (SANSCO), South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) where he was an activist for students.
Prior to our first democratic elections and before the unbanning of the ANC, Makhura was part of the underground network of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP). He was the National Education Secretary and subsequently the Deputy General Secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) between 1997 and 2001. He has also been a member of COSATU’s Central Executive Committee.
Makhura has a wealth of experience in public administration and also holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London. At the 12th Metropolis World Congress held in Canada (2017), Makhura was elected Co-President of the Metropolis, the World Association of the largest metropolitan regions and cities in the globe. Sihle Zikalala was born in Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal. He joined the struggle for liberation at the tender age of 15. After the unbanning of the ANC, he was instrumental in revitalising the ANC and the ANCYL structures in KwaZulu-Natal.
He holds a BA degree in Communication Science and an Honours degree in Business Administration from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) in which he graduated cum laude. Zikalala is currently pursuing a Masters of Commerce degree. He is currently the ANC Chairperson in KwaZulu- Natal. He served as the General Secretary of the ANC Youth League Provincial Secretary of the ANC in Kwa-Zulu Natal. He is the currently the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the province. PROFILE PROFILE 4
ANC Today CDE Chupu Stanley Mathabatha CDE Refilwe Mtsweni LIMPOPO MPUMALANGA ANC PREMIER CANDIDATES Stan Mathabatha grew up within the ranks of the liberation movement and joined MK at a very tender age.
His unwavering commitment to the course of his people saw him rise through the ranks to become part of the lead- ership of Northern Transvaal Youth Congress (NOTYCO). He holds a Pri- mary Teachers Course, a BA Degree from the University of the Western Cape and Masters Degree in Develop- ment (MDev) from the University of Limpopo’s Graduate School of Leader- ship.
From 1992 to 1994, he served as the Regional Treasurer of ANC in the then Northern Transvaal, now Limpopo province. He has since served the ANC in various capacities in Limpopo. In June 2018, Mathabatha was again re-elected the Limpopo Provincial Chairperson. He currently serves as the Premier of Limpopo. Refilwe Mtshweni attended her primary school in Lynnville, Emalahleni and completed her secondary schooling in Atteridgeville, Tshwane. She holds a Human Resources Diploma and has completed a Programme in Management Development and a Certificate in Leadership and Governance.
Cde Refilwe Mtshweni is currently serving as the Premier of Mpumalanga.
She is the province’s first female Premier since 1994. She was previously the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in Mpumalanga. She has held positions as an MPL, Deputy Chief Whip, Chair and Deputy Chair of Committees in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. Mtshweni has been involved in political work across various ANC structures. She has served as a branch chairperson of the Women’s League, branch secretary, member of the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League, Regional Executive Member and Treasurer of the ANC Nkangala region in Mpumalanga.
PROFILE PROFILE 5
ANC Today CDE Dr. Zamani Saul NORTHERN CAPE www.anc1912.org.za ANC PREMIER CANDIDATES Dr Zamani Saul is the ANC premier candidate for the Northern Cape. Dr Saul emerged through the structures of the organisation from Congress of South African Students (COSAS), South African Student Congress (SASCO), ANCYL to various leadership positions in the Northern Cape. He is currently the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape. He holds a B. Proc. two Masters Degrees and a Doctor of Laws. He is currently working on his second Doctorate.
Early in his career, he worked as a candidate attorney and progressed to work as the Regional Head of Social Security in the Department of Social Services, Head of Ministry in the Department of Agriculture and Municipal Manager at the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality. Dr Saul possesses a combination of both theoretical and practical knowledge of public administration.
ANC Today Let us all lend a hand to grow South Africa T he elections have come and gone. Your organization, the African National Congress, placed before the electorate a set of undertakings underpinned by the over-arching message of growing South Africa together. This message, Mr President, resonated strongly with the overwhelming majority of our people. Put simply, the vast majority of our people embraced this message with enthusiasm. Credit must go to you, Mr President, as the face of our election campaign, the entire leadership collective, our alliance partners, members, supporters and volunteers across the length and breadth of the country for sparing neither strength nor effort in your collective determination to achieve a decisive victory.
You criss-crossed the streets and valleys of land to spread a message of an ANC that listens and is determined to champion their aspirations The urgent task that confronts the entire movement immediately following the national elections is to put all hands on deck to held grow South Africa. The socio- economic ills that stubbornly stare all of us in the face remain poverty, unemployment and inequality. The clarion call is for all of us to lend a hand towards building a better South Africa and growing the economy. Our country desperately needs an economy that is capable of creating decent jobs that can improve the quality of people’s lives and help reduce the unacceptably high levels of poverty and unemployment.
Thanks to the visionary leadership of the ANC, we now have a clear plan to grow the economy and create jobs. Informed by the reality that both domestic and foreign investment is needed to boost the economy and create jobs you launched an ambitious investment drive last year during the investment conference. To the chagrin of our detractors, this investment drive is gathering momentum. We are now sitting with real and concrete commitments of around R300 billion. If this trend continues, the target of mobilizing R1.2 trillion over five years is within reach.
Mr President, part of what we need to do to grow the economy and create jobs is to remove unnecessary barriers to work with domestic and foreign business to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa. It is heartening, Mr President, to note that your government is establishing an Infrastructure Fund which will mobilise all government infrastructure resources and draw in extra funding from the private sector. The Fund will draw together a range of expertise to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget and in compliance with good governance principles. Mr President, your government’s interventions to break the back of anti- competitive behavior and the concentration of our economy in monopolies must be applauded.
We shoulder a responsibility, as the ANC, to open up the economy to new black players, to make the economy more competitive and more attractive to investors. In the final analysis, the biggest winners will be ordinary South Africans and consumers as the new job opportunities open up and prices of goods and services becoming more affordable. We remain confident that the lives of South Africans will improve once the investments we are mobilising are fully realised, when our economy starts to grow irreversibly and the pace of job creation gains momentum.
We are heartened to note that the ANC government is creating the necessary enabling environment for domestic and foreign business to invest. We have improved investor confidence and promoted policy certainty and consistency. Thanks Mr President for recognising the centrality of ESKOM in our collective efforts to grow the economy. The stark reality is that should ESKOM fail, our entire economy will fail. As things stand, ESKOM poses both fiscal and economic risks. Reliable energy is critical to the growth and stability of any economy. Thus, central to all our efforts to revitalize the economy must be to bring Eskom to financial sustainability.
Mr President, your government must be applauded for identifying the small business sector as the engine of our economy and the catalyst for massive job creation. The National Development Plan articulates a vision of an economy that is inclusive, equitable and fast growing, with SMME contributing 90% of the jobs by 2030. A healthy SMME sector has the potential to make a massive contribution to the economy by creating more employment opportunities and generating higher production volumes.The vision of the department is to see aradically transformed economy through effective development and increased participation of SMMEs and cooperatives in the mainstream economy.
I am certain many struggling small business owners will embrace your plan to expand the small business incubation programme and set aside more government procurement spend for small businesses. Should this be implement without prevarication or equivocation, this intervention will be a game- changer. The industrial incentive schemes in special economic zones and the black industrialists programme must proceed unabated if we are to realize our goal of expanding the country’s manufacturing sector, which has great capacity for job creation. Mr President, your government has made remarkable progress over the last 25 years to reduce the levels of poverty.
However, the reality is that many South Africans still live in conditions of abject poverty. The prices of basic necessities such as food, transport, fuel and electricity have been devastating to many South African households. While significant progress has been made to uplift our economy, many factors such as the price of oil or the effects of drought are beyond our control. Despite these economic difficulties, your government is doing a lot to reduce the cost of living. You are making the health care system more accessible to many more South Africans; You have expanded free higher education to more needy students; You have increased the number of no-fee schools and expanding public employment programmes.
Yes, Mr President, the economic legacy of apartheid is stubborn and will take many years to be eradicated. But working together, we have the capacity to build, brick by brick, a growing and sustainable inclusive economy for all. Yours in the struggle Pule Mabe National Spokesperson and Head Department of Information and Publicity DEAR MR PRESIDENT: Mr President, your government has made remarkable progress over the last 25 years to reduce the levels of poverty. However, the reality is that many South Africans still live in conditions of abject poverty. The prices of basic necessities such as food, transport, fuel and electricity have been devastating to many South African households.
COMMENTS & ANALYSIS 7
ANC Today 25 years has passed since Madiba completed the long walk to freedom as South Africa received its formal baptism as a democracy in April 1994. Despite the various ceremonies marking the silver jubilee of our acquired freedom, we must remain mindful of the ongoing socio-economic challenges that we still face. The long walk is not yet over to undo the vestiges of the economic structure of racial exclusivity. Much work remains to be done to reduce the widespread poverty, increasing inequality and persistently high unemployment plaguing our country.
Here is a candid quadranscentennial review of some of the significant changes in our economy and well-being, as well as the performance of the government in meeting the challenges as remnants of apartheid since. The goal is to inform and hopefully chart, through introspecting and learning the economic facts of our past, a better future South Africa.
At the dawn of its democracy, South Africa witnessed a golden-era of sustained real economic growth, averaging 3.6 per cent over 60 consecutive quarters (or 15 years), in spite of the disruptions caused on our economy from 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; 9-11th 2001 in the U.S. to the Iraq War in 2003. During this time, our country transformed from a modest nation, into an open, sophisticated economy based in the tertiary sector. Today, the highest majority of South Africa’s GDP is comprised of finance, real estate and business services at 22 per cent, followed by 16 per cent in general government services; 15 per cent in Wholesale, retail and motor trade; catering and accommodation, and 13 per cent in manufacturing (see Figure 1).
The walk beyond the Long Walk – A quadranscentennial review of the post-apartheid South Africa DOMESTIC By Professor Daniel Plaatjies The three key ingredients of economic growth, namely: labour in terms of employment, capital in buildings and machinery and factor productivity as the overall efficiency of production, all contributed to this golden-era of development in South Africa (Figure 2). Most notably is the total factor productivity, which represents, amongst other things: technology, institutions, policies and governance, sustained the momentum of economic progression during the first 15 years of our democracy.
Labour’s contribution to growth, albeit positive, was, however, insufficient to absorb the faster-growing number of new entrants into the labour force. As a result, unemployment remains stubbornly high at over 25 per cent (official definition), as well as inequality as the gap between those who can taste the fruits of development through employment and income, and those who fell out of the mainstream continues to widen. Thus, the poverty trap becomes literal to its meaning in spite of the government’s shift in expenditure towards vulnerable households through social transfers, spending on education and education and widened access to assets and basic services (water, electricity, refuse and sanitation).
Moreover, the government exercised prudent fiscal management and reduced the national debt to its record-low at 25 per cent of GDP in 2008. Capital’s contribution to growth in terms of buildings and machinery remained stable throughout this “golden-era” of economic growth. Figure 2: Contributions to economic growth – Q1 1994 - Q3 2018 Source: Statistics South Africa, Stats SA (2018) and own calculations. Figure 1: gross domestic product by industry at constant 2010 prices (R billion) continues on page 9 8
ANC Today DOMESTIC The walk beyond the Long Walk – A quadranscentennial review of the post-apartheid South Africa However, as capital’s contribution to growth was set to pick up towards the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the onset of the 2008/2009 financial crisis and its contagion effect of the burst bubble in U.S.’s mortgage sector disrupted not just South Africa’s growth trajectory, but also the entire world. Notwithstanding this external shock, mistakes borne in bad politics and self-interests eroded the practice of good governance, undermining the government’s legitimacy and trust of the people.
During the last decade, years of institutional decay combined with incoherent policies and uncertainty have caused significant damages to the structural body on both the demand and supply sides of the economy. As a result, a dark shadow has since been cast over South Africa’s economic prospect as the country’s real, long-term growth decelerated, beleaguered by recessionary scares and negative outlooks. Poverty, inequality and unemployment become exacerbated without tandem economic growth to create employment opportunities to alleviate. The financial, operational and governance crises of critical State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) mired the country in stagnation and investment confidence in depression for capital.
Despite fiscal countercyclical manoeuvres, which amassed national debt to over 50 per cent of GDP in less than a decade, South Africa’s growth remained pedestrian stagnant. In terms of people’s well-being: inflation - which is the increase in the general price level of goods and services - has stayed broadly within the target bandwidth of three to six per cent. However, as economic growth remains muted below one per cent, households’ real purchasing power and thus, welfare becomes diminished. More alarmingly, the decomposition of inflation over the last eight years (Figure 3) shows that core inflation of necessities for the poor, namely: food, non-alcoholic beverages, housing utilities and public transport, health and education, comprised much of the inflationary burden.
Figure 3: Bi-annual inflation contributions in item category, inflation rate (%) 25 years on since Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom, the path ahead remains long and narrow for us to achieve the vision of South Africa as set out in the Constitution: The realities set out in terms of labour dynamics, capital investments and productivity here provided a brief and by no means an exhaustive report of the key constraints affecting the long-run growth in South Africa’s future. While focusing on higher levels of economic growth is critical, the inclusivity of growth in generating sustainable and sufficient quantum of employment matters.
With economic growth lagging, the government will make every effort to stimulate the economy through supporting employment in labour market dynamics; bolstering confidence in capital investments; and restoring governance in public institutions. Our entrusted citizens’ scarce resources shall be used to optimise welfare for its rightful, original owners. To that end, an exercise to improve public sector productivity against the strict set of costing criteria is currently underway to ensure maximum value-for-money of every rand spent.
We have every reason to feel confident about our future. Professor Daniel Plaatjies PhD (Wits); MPhil (UWC); BSocSc Hons (UCT) Chair of the Financial & Fiscal Commission Source: Statistics South Africa, Stats SA (2018) and own calculations. continued from page 8 9
ANC Today DOMESTIC The DA & EFF’s Polit(R)ics of Fear, Lies & (Un)Populism An Analysis Of The Opposition Performance In The 2019 Elections W ith the 2019 e l e c t i o n s having been s u c c e s s f u l l y c o m p l e t e d and the dust slowly settling it is important to not only evaluate the ANCs campaign but to also analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main opposition party campaigns in order for the ANC to strengthen its campaign going forward.
There were 47 political parties that campaigned against the ANC (this included the DA & EFF) of which 29 were new. The majority of these parties targeted the same base areas i.e. historically african working- and middle-class wards that have historically voted for the ANC. The only parties that contested the DA base voters i.e. whites, coloureds and indians were the Freedom Front+, ACDP and the new kid on the block GOOD. The former mainly contested in the historically white base wards and the latter GOOD focused on the historically coloured working class and middle-class urban areas . The ACDP seemed to straddle both.
Of the said 47 parties only 13 Parties managed to get seats in parliament Collectively they took almost 43% of the vote with the EFF, IFP, UDM and COPE, taking about 20% of the support in the african townships and ANC base areas. The DA, and FF+ took more than 90% of the white vote whilst the DA, ACDP and GOOD collectively got the majority of the coloured and indian vote. . This election also saw a plethora of smaller issue and sectoral specific parties such as SRWP, ATA etc. contesting the elections and targeting mainly the african working class and poor i.e. the historical ANC base voter.
The results indicate that the vast majority of them ( other than GOOD and ATM) did not gain sufficient votes to obtain a seat in parliament. Therefore, at face value, viewed individually they are regarded as insignificant but healthy for our democracy and at worse, irritants for the ANC. However, when viewed collectively they took approximately 2-3% of the african working class and poor vote as well as having possibly impacted on a lower voter turnout in the african townships. Thus, there impact must be seen within the context of a broader co- ordinated opposition strategy to chip away at the ANC support base.
When assessing the overall results of the major opposition parties i.e. DA, EFF , IFP, FF+ ACDP etc. the outcome was not surprising. All of the six major polling agencies predicted that the DA support would decrease significantly whilst the EFF would see a surge in support as well as a moderate increase in support for the FF+ and the IFP. The only surprises were that firstly, the EFF growth although having increased by 4% since 2014 only increased by moderate 2% since 2016. Secondly, the DA only dropped by 2% nationally rather than between 4 and 5%. Thirdly the DA only dropped by 4% in the Western Cape when all 6 polls had been consistently predicting that the DA would decrease from the 59% it received in 2014 and 66% it received in 2016 to between 44 and 51% in 2019.
The only rational explanation for this lower than expected drop of 2% nationally is because the drop in the Western Cape which is its base area fell short of the polling targets. More particularly so, since most of the results indicate that the DA experienced a significant drop in the african townships in Gauteng and that if this had been a local government election the ANC would have won back both Tshwane and Johannesburg as reported in the Business day yesterday. Why did the DA support drop ? The answers are well publicized . This included amongst others it’s ideological crisis, its leadership crisis, its governance crisis, its handling of the water crisis in the City of Cape Town , the manner in which it handled the De Lille saga and the numerous corruption and cadre deployment scandals where it governed in Tshwane and Johannesburg.
Most importantly its inability to plan for campaign without former President Zuma and equally to respond to the ‘’Ramaphoria factor‘’. Why then did the DA support not drop lower in the Western Cape as predicted by the 6 key polls, yet it experienced drastic losses in Tshwane and Johannesburg as reported by the CSIR analysis ? It would seem that in the last 3 months prior to the elections the DA partly recovered from its shell-shocked state of political paralysis and purgatory due to the Ramphoria campaign. They realized that they were in danger of losing their base province as many of their working class coloured metro voters were threating to support De Lille’s GOOD party as well as an increase in the coloured metro middle class and rural support for President Ramaphosa .
Similarly, many of its white Afrikaner support base were also threatening to leave for the Freedom Front+ particularly in Gauteng due to the DA’s ideological and policy incoherence as it relates to broad based economic empowerment and affirmative action. Thus, the DA urgently redeployed much of its resources to the Western Cape including reluctantly bringing out there right wing and conservative but popular leaders such as Zille and Leon to campaign in the last 3 weeks. Furthermore, as I predicted in a previous article ‘’ The DA polit(r)ics of Fear’’, the DA out of desperation ran a very powerful and nuanced negative ‘’swart gevaar ‘’campaign in the Western Cape whilst projecting an image of good governance using the Western Cape as an example in the rest of the country.
The ANC election team in the Western Cape unlike in Gauteng, regrettably was unable to effectively counter this narrative nor did it effectively capitalise on the crisis by strategically co ordinating its messaging with other opposition parties such as GOOD and Al Jamaa that were also threatening the DA base areas. The DA was therefore able to effectively invoke its polit(R)ics of fear by telling its historical base voters i.e. the white and coloured voters to keep the ANC and EFF out of the Western Cape. The implicit message was that the ANC was going to be in coalition with the EFF in the Western Cape and that colored and white voters would land and homes would be expropriated as well as the threat of losing their social security benefits.
In a previous article by NEC Sub- committee Head of Communications, Nkenke Kekana he correctly analysed that this message was strategically coordinated with the EFF’s tacit consent. The benefit for the EFF being that by shrewdly implying that they were going into coalition with the ANC which in fact never was the case, they would be able to win over votes from a large sector of potential supporters that were uncomfortable with the EFF’s current alliance with the DA. That the DA was and is in coalition with the EFF in Johannesburg and Tshwane was conveniently not mentioned in the Western Cape.
This message of fear seemed to resonate with the overwhelming majority of white voters and a reduced majority of coloured metro working class who initially indicated that they were not going to support the DA. The EFFs attack on Indians also seemed to be part of a nuanced fear tactic in tandem with the DA. The result was that it was able to retain its working class indian base areas in KZN. The fear factor resulted in a very high voter turnout within these constituencies. However, its xenophobic campaign aimed at african voters seemed to be a dismal failure for now. The opposition in general and the DA fear tactics and EFF populism proved unpopular and were unable to counter the positive effect of President Ramaphosa on the ANC’s electoral performance nationally.
ANC Today L ast Monday I checked in at the Union Buildings where I ply my trade at an unusual hour, 07:30. This was more than an hour early for a late sleeper. I worked until my usual knock off time of 19:00. From the moment I checked in until I logged off, I had to contend with some irritating noise outside, which could only be minimised by closing windows. However, closing windows meant suspending one’s yearning for the fresh Tshwane air we enjoy daily in this rather cold building. It is evident that Herbert Baker never really observed the north-facing building rule when he designed the building, preferring to prioritise the spectacular view over climatic considerations.
The noise came from heavy-duty trucks and dozens of workers toiling outside the building, preparing for the Presidential Inauguration planned for Saturday May 25. The stage, camera and seating pavilions are being installed at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre. At the bottom of the hill, in the gardens, another set of workers are preparing the stage for the concert and the public-viewing area of the inauguration. As this observation unfolds, some rationalisation suddenly appears. Here is a young black man who grew up in the unnavigable hills of Ndwedwe and the shanty town of Inanda gazing through the window of a spectacular 101-year- old building concerned about the morning fresh breeze whose consumption is interrupted by the hustle and bustle of working men and moving rigs.
The moment suddenly turns emotional. The fifth democratic, peaceful and non-racial elections have just happened. Results have been announced. New Parliament begins on 21 May and shortly after the inauguration we will have a new Cabinet responsible for implementing a programme of action premised on the ideal of building a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous South Africa. The emotion intensify as the office driver greets excitedly, sharing the good story that his teenage daughter has been called for assessment by the SA Air Force, where she applied to train as engineer and pilot.
Casting the eye into the past century of this building reminds me that once upon a time a group of men (yes they were men) gathered in the same building to take decisions and make laws that excluded the majority from the body politic of their own country. The same building would house men who – motivated by racial hatred – legalised racism, exclusion and under development. They took decisions to dispossess and kill citizens inside and outside our borders. They fuelled civil wars in Mozambique and Angola. They rationalised racism, sugar-coating it with science and religion. To them, the racial minority that benefited from colonialism and apartheid, the union of English and Afrikaner socio-political interests, the Union Buildings was a symbol of a white man’s triumph in the lands far afield from his European origin.
It was a symbol of modernity, European modernity.
To Dr JL Dube and Pixley ka Isaka Seme who lived near where I grew up, studied and built the same high school where I matriculated (Ohlange High), the Union Buildings was a symbol of white supremacy and African oppression. For our generation it was a war room for state-sponsored violence commanded by the likes of PW Botha and FW de Klerk. And so we sang: “Siyaya ePitol”. We grew up wishing for the destruction of this building, imagining a revolutionary match from all corners of South Africa to dismantle this house of bigoted men brick by brick. We never imagined a radical nationalist like Nelson Mandela being inaugurated here.
Came 1994, Mandela and his leadership collective decide that this very same symbol of racial chauvinism would be the seat of the new democratic government. As a twist of tale, since 1994 in this building, men and women – representing the racial and cultural tapestry of our land – gather to pursue a non-racial and democratic project. They use century-old boardrooms to make decisions to send rescue missions to Mozambique when there are floods; to extend social security to the needy; to build social and economic infrastructure, especially targeting the poor regions of the country like my grandparents’ village of Ndwedwe, thus altering the spatial economy.
These democratically elected leaders gather here to ponder the advancement of a just and equitable world order with Africa taking centre stage.
That is the post-apartheid face of the monument called the Union Buildings, at the hill once used by Mzilikazi as his base for many years before he moved and finally settled in present-day Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. It is a tale of two narratives, a true union of opposites, the then triumph of white supremacy and colonialism, and now the triumph of democracy and the ideal of national unity. It will be too long to narrate all the multiple stories of the meaning and symbolism of the Union Buildings in these limited pages. Safe to say that all readers have to do to appreciate the emotion behind this unmandated reflection is to imagine every other decision of the white minority regime taken here between 1913 and 1993.
Then they might get the picture. Think of where the decision to raid Lesotho was taken; imagine where the decision to stunt the development of black people by destroying their education system was designed in 1948. This is where the judges who sentenced Andrew Zondo and Solomon Mahlangu were appointed; starving our country of talented young men who could have contributed to the socio-cultural and economic life of this country.
Page leap to May 2014, the same building houses a government that extends bursaries to Further Education and Training college students, sends assistance to drought-stricken countries in the continent, deploys peacekeeping missions to central and east Africa where the African Union is intervening. Befitting the new symbolism the building has assumed, a giant statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled on the Day of Reconciliation on 16 December 2013, a mere few days after the entombment of our first democratically elected President. Now thousands of local and international guests visit the Union Buildings to pay tribute and take “selfies” next to the giant monument.
As for those of us privileged to work at the Union Buildings, we now check in and sign out knowing full well that there is a great ancestor looking over us, as if saying: “take care of this democracy and work harder towards the achievement of a better life for all”. We have been freed from the haunting thought of “who might have occupied my office” during the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 or as late as during the Shobashobane carnage in 1995. “What role did he play in those genocidal acts.” Suddenly, this affirming thought deafens the irritating noise of offloading rigs. I reopen the window, wave at the men in red overalls, return to converse with the colleague speculating that perhaps by the time of the inauguration of the sixth democratic government, his daughter would be navigating one of the Air Force jets that will fly-past the Union Buildings with another democratically elected President in salute.
This is the story of multiple narratives, the South African story of change and continuity, of the present as history and history as the future. Thus we say Happy 20th Anniversary to liberated South Africa! Congratulations to all South Africans who made democracy a living reality by voting on 7 May! Importantly, best wishes to all the political parties that contested and won representation in our fifth democratic elections. To the re-elected African National Congress, may efforts to create the national democratic society prosper!
The Union Buildings: A Tale of Multiple Narratives OPINION Article first appeared in The Star, 18 May 2014 Views contained in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent official positions or policy of the ANC.
By Busani Ngcaweni 11
ANC Today O n the evening of the 11th of May 2019, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared the 2019 general elections free and fair whilst also acknowledging some of the challenges experienced during the voting process. Indeed, with more than 40 political parties contesting these elections, it was not going to be an easy ride for the IEC. The African National Congress (ANC) was declared the winner with almost 57% of the total vote. Many commentators and pollsters predicted that the ANC will win the elections but with a reduced majority. In general, the ANC has dropped 12% since the 2009 elections.
This raises the question of whether the ANC has been moving away from being the trusted instrument or vehicle for the people of South Africa to resolve their on-going challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. If this significant drop and recent electoral results are anything to go by, the evidence suggests that this may be the case – the ANC is no longer the trusted custodian of the aspirations of the people of South Africa. The outcomes of the 2019 elections also represent what many argue to be the last opportunity given to the ANC by the people to continue building a national democratic society.
The message the electorate is sending to the ANC needs to be heeded and taken seriously especially by those who have been propagating for “generational take-over” if they still have an interest of taking over the ANC in the next five years. This new generation of ANC leaders should define its own mission by taking back the ANC to the people. The first and most important thing to do in this regard is to listen to what the people are saying. The arrogance and time of telling the people that: “Conference has elected me or elected certain people” must be understood in the context of an ANC which is contesting political power and not in the context of ANC members being the ultimate people who elect a political party into power.
The fundamental question remains, for those who want to take over the ANC, how would they strike the balance between their ANC constitutionally elected positions and listening to the electorate going forward? The arrogance of always referring to being elected by ANC branches should give way to the art of listening to the electorate or else the ANC will be history in the next local and national general elections. The outcome of the recent elections is an indication that despite being elected by branches, those branches will not elect you into power but the people of South Africa many of whom love the ANC but are not part of the branches.
It is the broader South African public that has the final say on who should govern South Africa.
These ordinary South Africans are looking forward to a better future; where corruption and the many get rich quick schemes that turned some ANC friends and their cronies into “instant millionaires” are a thing of the past. They are yearning for better service delivery, better governance and a growing economy that creates more jobs. The people are saying to the ANC we need competent people to lead us, they are saying we need people that have the capability to catapult and change the current situation to a better one, hence the ANC’s notion of a better life for all, not for those in leadership.
More people are saying we need honest and ethical leaders, who will not devour state resources for personal gains.
The problem, however, is that the internal electoral process of the ANC makes assumptions that those that are elected in the structures will resonate with the people. This must be changed. The people must be brought into this process at an early stage because whilst they do not have membership cards of the ANC; the ANC also belongs to them since it is their votes that by and large determine who governs. This is important because there are a couple of examples where we have seen leaders of the ANC speaking out of tune with the people, including taking policy decisions that do not appeal nor address the ongoing problems of the people.
The ANC should concern itself with what the people think of its choices and decisions. What society thinks about those the ANC puts forward to lead, in government and in society, matters a great deal. At all times the ANC must be on the side of the people and never against them. It is not enough to consider exclusively the views only of ANC members and its fraternal structures. We must listen to the people, including to the smallest of voices if we are to continue to make the ANC the best and most reliable vehicle at the disposal of the people to resolve their ongoing challenges.
This is the only way we can restore the hard-earned leadership of the South Africa society and together we can build a South Africa of our dreams.
Let’s not take the people of South Africa for granted! OPINION Oliver Tambo Views contained in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent official positions or policy of the ANC. By Mduduzi Mbada And Fezile Ngqobe “The true facts are not always obvious. They often have to be looked for”. 12
ANC Today I n the wake of the election outcomes of 09 May 2019 which saw the ANC losing another 5%, it is pertinent to ask questions about the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and the role it played during this elections campaign. To answer this question, we must examine the past, present and future role of the ANCYL. Most pertinently, what was the mission of its successive generations in the course of the struggle? Did these generations fulfil or betrayed their missions? And is the current generation ANCYL leaders able to emulate the verve, acumen and tenacity of their predecessors? The ANC Youth League’s mission – 1944-1994 When the ANCYL founders who included Anton Lembede, AP Mda, OR Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Congress Mbatha, Jordan Ngubane and Mxolisi Majombozi congregated at the Bantu Social Centre in Johannesburg in 1944, their mission was to step up the fight against racial segregation and radicalized the struggle for national liberation.
They vowed to galvanize the ANC - “a body of gentlemen with clean hands” - and they became the brain trust and power station of the spirit of African nationalism. As such, by 1949, they had persuaded the ANC to adopt a militant program of defiance, including mass action by strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience and other tactics. They led from the front in the Defiance Campaign as volunteers. The next generation of Youth Leaguers in the 1960s discovered its mission by swelling the ranks of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), as pioneers in defense of the people, their future and freedom. The story of this generation, known as the Luthuli Detachment is laced with discipline, bravery, unshakable determination and political clarity.
It is a story filled with blood, sweat and tears, a story filled with dreams, hopes and fears.
The Luthuli detachment was followed by the June 16 detachment, a generation that joined MK after leading the 1976 student uprisings. They were a breed of freedom fighters who were brave and determined, and ready to confirm their part in the battle for freedom and to offer examples of unprecedented self-sacrifice. Cadres such as Ting Ting Masango, Solomon Mahlangu, Barney Molokwane and Andrew Zondo are the core of that generation. Their names are indelibly imprinted in the annals of history. When the trumpet summons the young lions to come forward in the 1980s, its troop marshal, Peter Mokaba pooled the youth of our land together to intensify the struggle for freedom.
The generation of the young lions responded to Comrade OR Tambo’s call “to render apartheid unworkable and the country ungovernable.” They executed their mission with precision and became a dynamo of militancy and activism to galvanize and defend the unity of the people until freedom was won in 1994.
From 1944 to 1994, the ANC Youth League generations paid supreme prizes and sacrificed to bring freedom in our land. They had an abiding love of their country and believed in the fundamental rights of every person to equality, dignity and justice. The post-apartheid era presented an opportunity for the ANCYL to redefine and rediscover itself. This era constituted a radical departure from defeating apartheid to reconstruction and development. In building that future for young people, it was expected to confront and be a champion of issues such as unemployment, HIV/AIDS, education, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, child abuse and rape, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and violence, obesity and immoral values.
Does the current generation have the capacity to build on this legacy? In the light of this rich history and the challenges facing the youth and the country, does the current generation of leaders have the capacity to build on this legacy? Sadly, it has in fact failed to fulfill it, let alone to discover it. It seems that since the dawn of a new constitutional era in 1994, its unique character of militancy has begun to slowly erode and in the last few years, the intensity of the erosion is disturbing. The 2019 general election results have shown that a sort of creeping paralysis afflicts the ANCYL and could soon become terminal unless treated with utmost urgency.
It is not only on the sliding side of morality but its counterpart and rival, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has outmaneuvered it in all respects.
Instead of being the voice for young people and a champion for their pressing needs, many Youth Leaguers do more harm to its image, its rich history and its legacy by failing to maturely engage in public discourse and to mobilize young people for the overwhelming victory of the ANC. The only conspicuously visible structure during the elections was Amayanga-yanga under the tutelage of the ANC Women’s League. Unfortunately, most of the ANCYL leaders are notorious for their undigested articulations, for pouring venom towards adults and employing stunts to label their detractors.
During the #FeesMustFall crisis which largely affected its constituency, the ANCYL was conspicuous by its absence.
It became more silent when young women like Karabo Mokoena, Thembisile Yende and many other young women were cold-bloodedly murdered. It is sad that the intellectual capital within the current leaders has shrunk considerably and if not arrested now, the ANCYL will head towards self-liquidation. What makes it more sad is that its leaders have develop functional blindness on their own defects and can’t see the crisis it is facing. To compound its problems, most of its structures including its National Executive Committee are operating beyond the terms of their offices which have long expired and the ages of some of its leaders surpass the acceptable limits of being called youth.
Their equivalents are leading political parties such as the EFF and DA, and daily hurl insults and direct vitriolic attacks against ANC leaders with no responses from the ANCYL.
The ANCYL leaders have failed to wake up, to put on their thinking caps and to stop playing irresponsible games fraught with politics of the belly, conspicuous consumption, factional battles and insulting elders. Under Julius Malema, Ronald Lamola and the late Sindiso Magaxa, the ANCYL at least adopted a slogan “Economic Freedom in our life time”, which it championed relentlessly albeit recklessly until it was dissolved and its leaders were either suspended or expelled. To this day, the ANCYL still calls itself young lions. It is my assertion that the young lions generation fulfilled its mission before 1994.
The current generation is nameless, signifying lack of creativity and innovation.
The ANCYL members must take this criticism to the heart and use it as a lucid and witty guide to resolve its troubling paradoxes. ANC Youth Leaguers and their mission today OPINION Views contained in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent official positions or policy of the ANC. By China Dodovu 13