SHOOT­ING OFF The ANC’s big sell ...


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS - Eric Naki – er­icn@cit­i­

‘We are open and will­ing to lis­ten and en­gage on key is­sues, says elec­tion head Mbalula.

The ANC plans to con­tinue sell­ing it­self on the ticket of be­ing a party of the poor, a cham­pion of women and youth and a leader of so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, with job cre­ation a pri­or­ity.

The party has vowed to re­new and strengthen state in­sti­tu­tions and pro­pel the econ­omy to­wards a higher growth tra­jec­tory.

It will lean on the stim­u­lus and re­cov­ery plan an­nounced by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and the Frame­work Agree­ment reached at the re­cent Jobs Sum­mit.

This emerged yes­ter­day as ANC head of elec­tions Fik­ile Mbalula un­veiled a coun­try­wide con­sul­ta­tion process into the draft­ing of its Ramaphosa-led “Peo­ple’s Man­i­festo” that will fo­cus on so­ci­etal chal­lenges.

Mbalula said the doc­u­ment would en­liven the party’s 54th na­tional con­fer­ence res­o­lu­tions. An ob­jec­tive was to broaden and deepen par­tic­i­pa­tion in the man­i­festo process by what he termed “strate­gic sec­tors of so­ci­ety”.

He said they would “demon­strate that the ANC was open and will­ing to lis­ten and en­gage on key is­sues af­fect­ing the coun­try and de­velop rel­e­vant po­lit­i­cal and so­cio-eco­nomic poli­cies to address them”.

Ac­cord­ing to Mbalula, the man­i­festo will be of­fi­cially launched at the ANC’s 107th an­niver­sary rally on Jan­uary 8.

It will aim to de­velop com­mon un­der­stand­ing and iden­tify pos­si­ble solutions to cur­rent chal­lenges, con­tra­dic­tions and con­straints South Africans faced.

“The 54th Na­tional Con­fer­ence urged us to re­new our com­mit­ment to rad­i­cal so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion so we deepen the process of change. Our con­fer­ence also en­trusted us with the tasks of cham­pi­oning the is­sues con­cern­ing women and youth,” he said.

They will pri­ori­tise women’s em­pow­er­ment be­cause women con­sti­tuted more than half of the pop­u­la­tion, while young peo­ple, as the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion, must be­come the “driv­ers of our trans­for­ma­tion agenda”.

Through its man­i­festo con­sul­ta­tion process, which be­gan in June, var­i­ous stake­hold­ers voiced con­fi­dence in the party, but the youth in­sisted the ANC must be de­ci­sive in deal­ing with the neg­a­tives that had char­ac­terised it re­cently. “Young peo­ple have also spo­ken loudly and want to see the ANC in­fus­ing dy­namism to its char­ac­ter,” Mbalula said

Ramaphosa in­sisted the man­i­festo must be based on the needs of the peo­ple and be gleaned from their views at grass­roots level.

He said the “Peo­ple’s Man­i­festo” must give ef­fect to the view that South Africans were ac­tive agents of their own lib­er­a­tion.

The ANC plan came at a time when the gov­ern­ment faced crit­i­cism for fail­ing to de­liver ser­vices to the peo­ple and over ram­pant cor­rup­tion in pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions.

“This jour­ney has not been with­out its chal­lenges,” Mbalula said “We would be the first to ad­mit that the ANC found it­self mired by sins of in­cum­bency, dis­tance from its so­cial base, at times per­ceived as ar­ro­gant, and not al­ways re­spon­sive to the chal­lenges con­fronting our peo­ple.”

This jour­ney has not been with­out its chal­lenges

Pic­ture: AFP

A gi­ant in­flat­able tank bear­ing the head of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is dis­played out­side an ex­hi­bi­tion by anony­mous artist Saint Hoax at the Dome City Cen­tre known as ‘The Egg’ in down­town Beirut.

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