ANC faces unprecedented challenges
Radebe deplores ‘alien’ conduct
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.”
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.