NORTHERN CAPE ANC SET FOR A BUSINESSLIKE CHARGE AFTER LEKGOTLA
Kimberley – It is all systems go for the ANC in the Northern Cape in its quest to cling onto its control of the provincial government. Provincial chairperson Dr Zamani Saul fired the first salvo by stating that sharp focus is to be given to issues of governance and the party inculcating the values that have made it attractive to the electorate over the years. The ANC in the province is currently holding its one-day Lekgotla aimed at realigning its governance and making it responsive towards the resolutions of the ANC’s 54th National Conference held in December 2017. Dr Saul’s 45-minute political overview was heavily punctuated with honest reflections on the party’s internal shortcomings. He decried the state’s failure in the implementation of ANC resolutions. “We need to strengthen the implementation capacity of the state, it cannot be a norm for decisions to be taken without implementation,” asserted Dr Saul in an auditorium full of government technocrats and ANC alliance partner panjandrum.
Dr Saul indicated that the ANC’s election build-up kicks off next month with the launching of the foundation phase – voter registration. He urged delegates to “bring the ANC closer to the people and build branches,” citing the branches as the “biggest asset” of the ANC. “We need election structures that no other party can have,” said a firm and diplomatic Dr Saul. He spelt out the key issues that the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) will be preoccupied with towards next year’s general elections. “We shall be refocusing the ANC in the Northern Cape on unity. A united ANC is a strong, vibrant and dynamic ANC. Unity is not an event but a process.” Dr Saul added that the interface between the ANC and government shall be strengthened; “there shall be no two centres of power.” Alliance partners and in particular, COSATU and the SACP that were perceived to have been treated like “polecats” by former president Jacob Zuma, were embraced as Dr Saul asserted their role; “the broad alliance is the strategic centre of power,” signaling that there shall be consultation on a range of issues.
He also highlighted corruption, calling on the delegates to “wage a fight against corruption,” which he dubbed to be “counter-revolutionary,” also saying it “robs the poor.” “The 2019 national election depends on our commitment and the concrete steps to fight corruption in order to enhance organisational integrity.” Dr Saul’s consistent self-introspection charge also led to him castigating belligerent ANC leaders that “sow disunity, are corrupt and arrogant.”
On the economic front, the province’s worrisome slow growth and land redistribution also became much of talking points in Dr Saul’s address. “We need an economic recovery plan. Our biggest challenge is that of job creation. We at 27 percent unemployment which is the highest amongst all provinces. And from that 60 to 70 percent of our young people are unemployed. This is pandemic. This should concern all of us. We cannot rest on our laurels when young people are unemployed.” He urged the Lekgotla to resolve on tangible plans in thwarting what he called “the province’s dormant economy.” The Lekgotla will break into commissions to discuss; economic and social transformation, legislature and governance and organizational building.