ANC faces un­prece­dented chal­lenges

Radebe de­plores ‘alien’ con­duct

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TE­BOGO MONAMA

THE ANC and its tri­par­tite al­liance part­ners SACP and Cosatu are fac­ing un­prece­dented chal­lenges caused by “alien” con­duct such as factionalism, mem­ber­ship-buy­ing and cor­rup­tion, ANC head of pol­icy Jeff Radebe says.

In an ar­ti­cle writ­ten for The Star (see Page 11), Radebe said the party’s pol­icy con­fer­ence, which ends to­day, had to find so­lu­tions to the prob­lems.

“Ours is to draw fun­da­men­tal lessons from th­ese con­tra­dic­tions which at times may be brought about by a healthy in­ter­face of dif­fer­ent view­points but at times by alien con­duct such as factionalism, mem­ber­ship-buy­ing and cor­rup­tion,” he said.

“Pres­i­dent Zuma re­asserted the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s un­equiv­o­cal com­mit­ment to up­root­ing th­ese evils, which he dubbed a can­cer that is eat­ing away at the moral fi­bre of the ANC. In this way, he has set a strong tone for the con­fer­ence to rise to the oc­ca­sion and find ef­fec­tive and last­ing so­lu­tions to th­ese ills.”

Radebe said the ANC ac­knowl­edged the set­backs suf­fered in the Au­gust 2016 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions, in which the party lost three met­ros.

But it would bounce back and self-cor­rect.

“Oth­ers have been quick to sug­gest that we have lost our­selves and for­saken the found­ing val­ues of our move­ment. We have no doubt that this pol­icy con­fer­ence not only pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for re­newal, it also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to re­assert the ANC’s role as a po­lit­i­cal home that car­ries the hopes, dreams and as­pi­ra­tions of all South Africans.”

Radebe said eco­nomic pol­icy was at the top of the con­fer­ence agenda. He in­sisted the goals set out in the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan (NDP) are achiev­able and a ma­jor part of rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

Speak­ing at the pro­gres­sive busi­ness fo­rum in the morn­ing, Radebe said the gov­ern­ment and ANC were se­ri­ous about im­ple­ment­ing the NDP goals.

Rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion was part of the NDP and a big fac­tor in re­duc­ing un­em­ploy­ment and grow­ing the econ­omy to ben­e­fit all. The goals of the NDP in­cluded cre­at­ing 11 mil­lion jobs and in­creas­ing GDP growth to 5% by 2022.

Through the plan adopted at the Man­gaung con­fer­ence in 2012, the party aims to de­crease in­equal­ity and re­duce poverty.

“The NDP pro­poses a holis­tic and co-or­di­nated ap­proach to solve prob­lems. It is im­por­tant to reach the long-term goals of 2030,” Radebe added.

To achieve the goals, the state and busi­nesses needed bet­ter co-op­er­a­tion.

“The NDP will yield greater suc­cess if we hold one an­other ac­count­able. The NDP is a clar­ion call for ac­tion.”

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­fes­sor Su­san Booy­sen said Radebe’s of­fice in the Pres­i­dency had to im­prove mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion in or­der to reach the 2030 goals.

“His of­fice has all the power he needs to im­ple­ment the NDP. Mon­i­tor­ing has to be done more ef­fi­ciently.

“Right now we are fall­ing short on growth and the econ­omy, and those are the key in­di­ca­tors we need to reach the goals. Judg­ing from the past, it will be a big mir­a­cle if the goals are achieved,” she said.

But Radebe is op­ti­mistic.

“South Africa has to be a bet­ter place to live in in 2030. We need to put in place mark­ers and ig­nore the fake nar­ra­tive that the ANC and gov­ern­ment are not se­ri­ous about the NDP.”

Re­leas­ing em­ploy­ment fig­ures re­cently, statis­ti­cian-gen­eral Pali Le­hohla said the goal of cut­ting un­em­ploy­ment to 14% by 2020 would be hard to achieve.

Un­em­ploy­ment was cur­rently at a 14-year high. South Africa’s un­em­ploy­ment in the first quar­ter of 2017 in­creased by 1.2 of a per­cent­age point to 27.7%, mak­ing it the high­est fig­ure since Septem­ber 2003.

Booy­sen said: “His au­di­ence when he was speak­ing was busi­ness peo­ple. It was just a mar­ket­ing drive. I see it more as a mo­ti­va­tion speech.”

PIC­TURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH

BRIEF­ING: Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe speaks dur­ing the Pro­gres­sive Busi­ness Fo­rum’s break­fast brief­ing at the ANC’s pol­icy con­fer­ence in Nas­rec, Soweto. Seated are ANC Pro­gres­sive Busi­ness Con­vener Daryl Swanepoel, left, ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize and Investec CEO Stephen Kos­eff.

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