Zululand Observer - Weekender
ANC gears up for critical elections
THE 2019 National General Elections will be most critical for the ANC, owing to the challenges that the party and government faces.
These challenges emanate from the perceptions that the ANC is no longer representing the aspirations of the people.
This viewpoint was shared by the ANC Musa Dladla Regional Chairperson Mdu Mhlongo, speaking during the ANC’s public manifesto proposals collection meeting held on Tuesday at Empangeni Civic Centre.
The Manifesto Assembly was aimed at allowing communities to make inputs in the drafting of the 2019 Elections Manifesto.
‘The challenge we have is to change the mindset of those who feel that this is not the ANC of the old and that this is not the party you can trust.
‘The reality is that we are faced with global economic recession. There are few companies, employing our people. ‘In fact, the majority of our people are employed by government,’ said Mhlongo.
‘This is happening despite the fact that the government’s main objective is not to employ people, but to create a climate conducive to attract investments.
‘It is a reality also that our sluggish economic growth coupled with VAT and fuel price increase is affecting our people in a big way and that is a challenge facing us.
‘We also need to do an introspection in asking: ‘can we create a vibrant ANC campaign under this mood of attacking one another?’.
‘It should also worry us that at times as comrades we no longer see deployments as an opportunity to serve, but we see it as an employment agency.
‘We need to remind ourselves that we are a movement committed to the service of the people,’ he said.
Change of heart
Mhlongo’s sentiments were echoed by ANC Provincial Executive Committee member, Solomon Mkhombo who said the ANC needed a change of heart in approaching issues of national interest. ‘We welcome the opportunity of this People’s Assembly where we are expected to formulate people’s ideas and aspirations which should better inform our January 8 statement, to be presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa in this province on January 12 next year at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. ‘Education, health - particularly the National Health Insurance (NHI), economic growth, crime and job creation are some of the issues that dominated the Musa Dladla Manifesto Assembly.
The assembly was attended by members from organised labour, academics from University of Zululand and Umfolozi TVET College, student leaders, Progressive Professionals Forum, business associations and civil society formations.