STATEMENT ON THE OUTCOMES OF THE INAUGURAL SOUTH AFRICA INVESTMENT CONFERENCE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the success of the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference – which has generated announcements of investment of R290 billion – as the beginning of a new narrative on investment in South Africa.

In his closing statement to the conference in Sandton, Johannesburg, President Ramaphosa said the breadth of case studies presented on the performance of current investments and the range of announcements relating to new and expanded investments affirmed that South Africa was a diversified economy that presented great opportunities.
 
The conference heard investment announcements from companies in mining, forestry, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, energy, agro-processing, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, financial services, energy, ICT and water.
 
Prominent among these were the themes of value addition, beneficiation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
 
President Ramaphosa has also expressed his satisfaction that most of the investments announced during the conference have originated from South African enterprises and entities or multinationals based in the country. This reflected renewed investor confidence in and commitment to South Africa after a period of uncertainty and a slowdown in investment.
 
The Inter-Ministerial Committee which hosted the South Africa Investment Conference also commended the conference for setting South Africa on a path of economic renewal and inclusive growth.
 
The conference was an opportunity for both domestic and international investors to identify opportunities in the country.

The South Africa Investment Conference was convened under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Growth by Building Partnerships”, and was attended by leaders in government and business, members of the diplomatic corps, fund managers and entrepreneurs.
 
The IMC has expressed government’s deep appreciation for the spirit and focus with which investors responded to government’s invitation to the private sector to help the country achieve investment of $100 billion over the next five years.
 
“We are humbled and inspired by the significant investment pledges that have been made by South African and international investors who consider themselves as partners in our economic renewal and in the development of our society.  Government will work with all sectors of society to ensure that we repay the confidence expressed in our economy by supporting these investments with our talents, energy and productivity.  We are poised for exciting new possibilities in our economy that will unlock opportunities for citizens, communities and businesses, and which will raise the living standards of large numbers of South Africans who have historically been marginalised from meaningful economic participation”.
 
The announced total of R290 billion in new investments complements the more than US$ 28 billion in investment pledges that have resulted from engagements between the President and the President’s Investment Envoys in recent months.
 
The South African Investment Conference is part of government’s broad and targeted strategy of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs. The three catalysts driving the broader strategy in the immediate term are the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan, the Jobs Summit and the Investment Conference.
 
President Ramaphosa will tomorrow, Saturday 27 October 2018, lead conference delegates on a walk in Soweto to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of township economies and enable interaction between investors and the communities who will support and benefit from the anticipated investments.

By The Presidency

MAMA SISULU’S BEST HONOR IS TO DEFEAT PATRIARCHY AND ALL IT’S MANIFESTATIONS

Dear Mr. President,

Mama Sisulu’s Best Honor is to Defeat Patriarchy and all it’s Manifestations

The African National Congress (ANC) and indeed all South Africans laud you and the government you lead for the countrywide public tributes to the life of Mama Albertina Sisulu during this the year of her centenary.
 
You  had planned to visit Mama’s gravesite on her birthday, the 21st of October but were unable to attend owing to conflicting commitments. Nevertheless the gesture was poignant and appreciated.

We recognize and are ever mindful that declaring 2018 to be the year of both Tata Madiba and Mama Sisulu was deliberate. It is testament to the ANC’s commitment to gender equality that we commemorate both of these global icons who had immense stature both inside our country and beyond.

This year we also mark the centenary of South Africa’s oldest women’s organisation, the Bantu Women’s League, which was formed in 1918 under the leadership of another icon, Dr Charlotte Maxeke.

Mr President, I am certain that referring to Mama Albertina Sisulu as a Woman of fortitude is a sentiment shared by all of our people. We therefore have a collective and shared responsibility to use Mam Sisulu’s year long centennial celebration as a platform to refocus the attention of the nation on the plight and rights of women and to assess the progress we have made towards women empowerment and gender equality since 1994.
 
 We mark the birth of Mama Sisulu in the face of a scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa; and worrying instances of women being deprived their Constitutionally-given rights in the workplace, in their homes , in their communities, in their places of worship and even on the streets.
 
This causes one to give pause and wonder if Mama Sisulu were alive today, what would her impression be of what our country’s girls and women have to endure on a near daily basis?

One imagines her exclaiming in that carefree but firm voice that commanded so much respect: “Hey wena Mongameli, what is wrong with the men of this country? Are your egos so fragile that you have to oppress and hurt us women?”
 
There is no doubt she would be disgusted with what she saw; the stubborn prevalence of patriarchy in traditional and modern communities; the harassment and objectification of women in the media; rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls ; the humiliation and ‘slut shaming’ of young women on social media platforms; and the pulling down of successful and independent women.
 
I imagine her looking you straight in the eye and demanding: “Speak up and speak out, comrade President ! Remind our men, and our women that the issue of women’s oppression isn’t a discussion for Women’s Day or the 16 Days of Activism.”
 
Mama Sisulu, would remind you of the ANC’s founding values and its commitment to advancing gender equality. She would remind you that women have served our movement as cadres, as fighters, as leaders and as activists; and that she expects all women to enjoy the freedom she experienced in the ANC-led liberation movement!
 
She would lament the dearth of radical feminism inside the ANC; one that is not obsessed with representation, but in advancing de facto equality between men and women – by ostracising and punish patriarchal, sexist and boorish behaviour even within our own ranks. She would be saddened to see that when called upon to support women, especially women who may have accused ANC men of inappropriate behaviour and even abuse, the ANC has been found to be unsure, hesitant and wanting.
 
The western hemisphere anti-sexual harassment campaign, the #MeToo campaign has ensured that the fight for gender equality is not a peripheral matter.  In South Africa, in the #FeesMustFall movement, the women activists have been consistent in their call for men to stop dominating the space.  
 
It opened a Pandora’s Box on levels of sexual harassment within the movement. An example is the media expose of alleged sexual harassment and attempted cover-ups within the non-governmental organisation Equal Education.
 
Mr President,
 
Patriarchy is common across all sectors of society, and the ANC is no exception. It is a system that serves to cultivate fear of feminism, legitimise inequality and chauvinism, and dilute opposition towards patriarchy.    
 
The ANC must never come across as unwilling to face the demon of patriarchy within its own ranks, its stunt must always be clear and unequivocal

Society’s tolerance for sexual misconduct has reached a breaking point.  
 
Certain forms of inappropriate behaviour towards women (that includes workplace harassment) that were tolerated in the 1980’s and early 90’s are not acceptable anymore and the ANC must embrace this new culture of gender equality at the centre of all its work.  
 
We need the men of the ANC to unlearn old behaviour and advocate for women’s leadership at all levels of the organisation. The bar for individual behaviour of members and leaders must be set much higher. Good moral conduct is supposed to be obvious and mandatory

Mr President,
 
Mama Sisulu would tell you to not hesitate to raise your voice about the behaviour, actions and attitudes of men within the movement insofar as it relates to antiquated attitudes to women.
 
She would say that the young women organized under the banner of the ANCWL Young Women’s Desk and such progressive formations of women are your allies in the fight for a South Africa free from patriarchy, sexism, racism, and inequality.  
 
She would tell you that all progressive people, especially the women, in South Africa have your back on this matter, and to not fear those chauvinists who may want to claim cultural relativism, or create fear that the feminist movement is anti-men!
 
At the end of her conversation with you Mr. President, she would tell you one last time to tell the men of South Africa, to “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”  
 
At times, the deep-seated attitude of society can exacerbate gender-based violence. Mr President, our collective call to action must be to work relentlessly towards women empowerment and gender equality. This is the best tribute we can pay to Mama Sisulu and the 1956 generation.

In conclusion, I once again thank you for choosing to acknowledge Mama Sisulu alongside Tata Mandela. The best honor to Mama Sisulu will be to defeat patriarchy and all its manifestations!

Malibongwe

Comradely Yours
Pule Mabe
ANC National Spokesperson
twitter: @pulemabe

MA SISULU – A WOMAN WHO HELD UP HALF THE SKY

It was on a biting cold pre-dawn morning in August 1956 that thousands of women, among them young mothers with children on their backs, and grandmothers, their backs steeped with old age, waited in queues at bus and train stations around South Africa for their transportation. Some travelled in groups, while others journeyed alone. Those with means had provisions for the long journey, while others could not afford a meal. Many of these women travelled by foot, some – like Mme Rebecca Kotane – walked all the way from Alexandra township in Johannesburg to the capital.

The women were from vastly different backgrounds, spoke different languages and many were strangers to each other. But they were united in their sense of common purpose, to march to the Union Buildings, the seat of Nationalist Party power, and deliver their demands to then Prime Minister JG Strijdom.

Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu started this historic day at Phefeni Station in Soweto at 2am handing out train tickets to the many women who were determined to march to Pretoria. Mama Sisulu drew a powerful image. This young woman – a nurse, a wife, a mother, an activist – already awake and active while South Africa slept, urging her countrywomen to get on the trains. Many would have undoubtedly had misgivings, or been scared of what they were about to do, and it would have been words of encouragement from Mama Sisulu that would have convinced them of the necessity of their course of action.

Few things better embody the spirit of Thuma Mina – of saying yes, send me – than the image of Mama Sisulu at the train station that morning at 2am in 1956. It speaks to the spirit of selflessness, of wanting to be part of a greater cause, and of wanting to be part of a broader movement to transform one’s community and society.

Mama Sisulu’s life is a chronicle of service to her fellow people, and bears witness to the fact that small actions of activism hold equal weight to bigger ones. She led the Women’s March in 1956, but she also undertook smaller actions of protest that carried heavy weight, such as withdrawing her children from a local government school in 1955 in protest against Bantu Education. Together with her husband Tata Sisulu they opened up their home to provide ‘alternative schooling’ for the children of families who had also taken their children out of the apartheid education system.

After the liberation movements were banned and most of its leaders imprisoned or forced into exile, Mama Sisulu was one of the few brave women who kept the fires of liberation burning within the country. They continued to organise and mobilise under the most difficult of conditions at great personal cost. Their tireless work in organising grassroots struggles laid the basis for the revival of the black trade union movement and the emergence of the mass democratic movement.

During the rent boycotts in the 1980s she was among the women who formed street committees to educate their communities about the need to maintain their stance against the apartheid municipalities. Of this she said: “Women are the people who are going to relieve us from all this oppression and depression. The rent boycott that is happening in Soweto now is alive because of the women.”

Among the many roles she played within the ranks of the liberation movement, she actively campaigned and lobbied to ensure that no discussion on the future South Africa would be complete without giving due regard to the position and status of women.

As a trained nurse and professional, she had in the course of her work come into direct contact with the realities of the lives of black women of South Africa under apartheid. The triple burden of women on account of gender, race and class was stark. It was black women who bore the brunt of deprivation, who couldn’t access quality health care for themselves and their children and whose infants had a higher risk of mortality.

She saw then that unless women could have equal access to opportunities that would enable them to make a better life for themselves and their families, South African society would not flourish. Those who had the privilege of interacting with her in various forums both before and after our liberation will attest to the fact that she was always committed to advancing the gender struggle. It is significant that together with non-racialism, building a South African society based on non-sexism is a central objective of the ANC; and we have Mama Sisulu and her peers to thank for this.

The actions the women of today undertake in furtherance of gender equality is the continuation of a long tradition that was given momentum through a series of events; among them the formation of the Bantu Women’s League in 1918, the formation of the Federation of South African Women in 1954, the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955, the formation of the National Women’s Coalition in 1992 and ultimately, the adoption of a new democratic South African Constitution in 1996.

Mama Sisulu was among the women who founded FEDSAW and was part of the drafting team for the Freedom Charter, a document that explicitly and unequivocally stated that women’s rights were human rights, and included women’s right to the franchise as a core principle.

Today, 24 years since the advent of democracy, we have come a long way in the struggle for women’s liberation. At the same time, we acknowledge that we need to do more to stamp out the evils of patriarchy, of gender-based violence, of unequal pay for equal work and of discrimination against women.

Government, led by the ANC has a concerted programme of action to give expression to the provisions of the Bill of Rights insofar as this relates to women. Educating and empowering the girl child is the first step towards undoing the insidious effects of centuries of patriarchy. Women have to take a stand against discrimination in society. The have to organise, mobilise and assert their rights and be unafraid to speak out when these are trampled upon.

Our women must follow in the footsteps of Mama Sisulu, who was concerned not just with her own emancipation, but with that of all the country’s women. Women must be their own liberators, for it is women who are the bedrock of our families, of our communities and of society. It is women, as Mao Zedong famously said, who ‘hold up half the sky’.

The Thuma Mina campaign aims to galvanise South African society towards a transformative vision; but we should never lose sight that its essence is about giving due recognition to big actions as well as small. There may be those among us who wonder whether their small action carries any weight. Mama Sisulu’s example shows just what is possible when small actions turn into a trickling stream, and lead to a flood.

The actions of the women of 1956, of Mama Albertina Sisulu and of other activists of her generation inculcated a tradition of gender activism of which South Africa can be justifiably proud. Today, we see it in the young women mobilising their fellow students on campuses against tuition fee increases. We see it in the women, young and old, who led a day of total shutdown in protest against gender-based violence. We see it in the crowds of women who gather outside our courthouses to support victims of sexual violence.

The forerunner of these brave heroines is Mama Albertina Sisulu. As we mark the centenary of her birth this week, the most fitting legacy we bequeath her is the implicit recognition that she blazed a trail for today’s women activists. To uphold her legacy, it is up to today’s women and men to assume the mantle of struggle.

 By President  Cyril Ramaphosa

MAMA SISULU IS THE EMBODIMENT OF THUMA MINA

This year we celebrate the centenary anniversary of the life of Mama Sisulu who took on the mantle of leadership during our darkest hours and remained a selfless servant of the people throughout her life.

There are many remarkable men and women upon whose shoulders our nation has been built. Their powerful contributions to our struggle for freedom, charted the way for a country that belongs to all South Africans.

Among these revolutionary giants was stalwart Albertina Sisulu who played a formative role in the opposition to apartheid and in building a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.

For her bold role in the fight for freedom, she suffered immensely at the hands of the apartheid regime. She was jailed several times for her political activities and constantly harassed by the apartheid’s security police.

Mama Sisulu became one of the first women to be arrested under the General Laws Amendment Act that gave the security police the power to hold suspects in detention for 90 days without charging them.

She was also placed in “solitary confinement incommunicado” when she refused to give information about her husband and fellow comrade, Walter Sisulu who had gone underground as part of the resistance movement activities.

As a result of constant persecution from police, the Sisulu family faced many difficulties including financial struggles. Her financial woes continued throughout the 1960s as she struggled to afford her children’s schooling in Swaziland.

To help meet her family’s needs Mama Sisulu sewed dresses and knitted jerseys, and baby clothes to sell for extra money when she was not working as a nursing sister. She also bought items wholesale to sell them for small profit to meet her family’s needs.

During these times of hardship she could easily have succumbed to the onslaught of pressure from the apartheid state but did not relent and forged ahead in the fight for the emancipation of black people.

Sisulu’s life and legacy teaches us that nothing is impossible when we remain true to our ideals. While she and countless others of her generation faced overwhelming obstacles, they remained steadfast and triumphed.

As a nation that is still reeling from our horrific apartheid past we would do well to allow her teachings and deeds to permeate us as we work together to build a non-sexist, non-racial and democratic country.

Our ideals as a nation are reflected in our world acclaimed Constitution which reminds us that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

As our founding charter it provides the basis for genuine democracy, the rule of law and the enjoyment of fundamental rights.  It explains our obligations to each other and encourages us to express our honest opinion on any issue and have vigorous debates. The same Constitution outlines the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights to all South Africans.

Moreover, we can follow in the footsteps of Mama Sisulu by getting involved in building the country we envisioned through the Thuma Mina movement inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address.

It is a call for self-sacrifice, individual responsibility and the importance of personal change in mind-sets to serve the nation and influence the country’s political landscape. It is a new era where we as individuals make it our personal responsibility to confront our challenges and accelerate progress in building a prosperous society.

All South Africans as individuals, groups or communities must roll up their sleeves and work towards our future. We are motivated by the legacy of Albertina Sisulu who throughout her life worked for betterment of all South Africans.

She had a passion for community development, advocacy and the mobilisation of community structures. While working as a doctor’s nurse she provided much needed help to people in the poorest communities.

For example at McDonald’s Farm informal settlement in Soweto where people at the time were living in abandoned cars,  Mama Sisulu set up a surgery and installed 20 toilets that were shared by 150 people. She also made space for a crèche and a feeding scheme was introduced that fed approximately 80 children twice a week.

Albertina Sisulu continued to work for South Africans as a member of Parliament under the new transitional government in 1994. She retired from Parliament and politics in 1999, but still continued to support many social causes.

The selflessness of Mama Sisulu links directly with our National Development Plan’s (NDP) objective of “Building an Active Citizenry”. The NDP emphasises the need for South Africans to unite around a common goal, ensure citizens are active in their own development, and build a capable and developmental state.

It foretells a country where through our collective efforts we have eliminated the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment and enabled all South Africans to achieve a decent standard of living.

We will remain forever indebted to Mama Albertina Sisulu and her generation of freedom fighters. It is now in the hands of our generation to carry the legacy of our struggle heroes and move our country forward.

By-Comrade Pinky Kekana ANC, ANCWL NEC, Secretary General of the Pan African Women’s Organisation. She currently serves the Republic of South Africa as the Deputy Minister of Communications.

A FREE PRESS IS VITAL, BUT MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY IS KEY

Dear President,

We gather that on Friday, 19 October 2018 you will be meeting with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), the leaders of our media fraternity.  

There may be some who regard the traditional media instruments being less important, with the increasing access to social media.  
Cde President, you presided over the drafting of our Constitution and are therefore well versed with the underlying values that place press freedom at the centre of our emancipation as a nation.
We can assure you, Mr. President, that the African National Congress (ANC) and the overwhelming majority of South Africans regard a free and just press as a necessary ingredient for a vibrant and active democracy.

We are happy that you will be meeting with SANEF, a couple of days after the country would have observed Black Wednesday, recalling Wednesday 19 October 1977, when the apartheid government banned The World, Weekend World and Pro Veritate for being the voice of the voiceless. These newspapers fearlessly exposed the harsh reality of apartheid and served as a medium for the expression of the aspirations of millions of South Africans.

In our struggle against apartheid, a handful of activists and freedom fighters were members of the fourth estate, like Sol Plaatjie, Beyers Naude, Ruth First, Percy Qoboza, Sam Mabe, Mono Badela, Can Themba, Sam Nzima, Aggrey Klaaste and many others.

In the 1980s the apartheid state tried to suppress the media, whilst monopoly capital tried to dominate it.  A plethora of civic, youth, student, religious and sporting structures were established within the United Democratic Front (UDF). These local organisations published a number of newsletters, information leaflets and pamphlets, graphic art and posters at a grassroots level.
Mr. President, the seeds of a free and just press culture was cultivated within the bosom of the ANC-led liberation movement.  The remarkably high standards of reporting, analysis, investigative journalism, and editorial practices were established in the independent media of the ANC-led liberation movement.  Many a journalist would talk about the influence of the ANC’s Radio Freedom, as well as its publications like Staffrider, Sechaba, and Grassroots.  

Mr. President, the ANC’s history reveals that a free and just press is a principled belief and not a tactical one.  It is the ANC that insisted that our country’s Constitution entrenches and protects the media.  

We hope that when you meet with SANEF, Mr President, you will remind them of this proud history and assure them that if press freedom is ever under attack, they can be assured that the ANC will join the media at the battlefront to burn down the barricades of suppression.  
But we must be careful as we recall history that we do not put forward a narrative that belies the current reality.  We must openly acknowledge that relations between the ANC and the media are not as positive as it should be.  Quite often it seems that we are talking past each other.
There must always be a critical relationship between the governing party and the media.    It cannot and should not be a collusive one.  Otherwise that would defeat the aims and objectives of the principle of a free and just media.  
A critical relationship is required not a hostile one.  Too often it seems like the media are trained to believe that all politicians only know how to lie and steal.  Whilst the perception within political circles, is that the media is only interested in setting traps so that they can embarrass politicians, rather than being a platform for diverse opinion and reporting the news.  This is not a healthy environment.
Mr. President, the ANC is aware that party activists who do wrong and risk exposure by the media, will very often try to deflect and make the media the problem not their ill-discipline.  We must be wise to this, and not allow a perspective that wishes to blame difficulties experienced within the party on the media.  And as the ANC, we will openly admit that there have been times where we have exercised a little too much caution in our engagements with the media.  Therefore, please pass on the message to our friends in SANEF that we will try not to be too cagey and hesitant in our future engagements with them.
I am sure you would agree with the ANC, Mr. President, that our country needs a strongly independent media.  There may be some who support some type of Orwellian Big Brother world and want to control the media, but the ANC is not one of them.  A ruling party and a government must be held to account.  The media is an effective instrument to hold them accountable.  This is a very important responsibility placed on the shoulders of the media.  There is a fine line between attempting to hold the ruling party and government to account and on the other hand, being a pawn of political and commercial interests.  
Media practitioners with a rudimentary understanding of independence will not detect this fine line and the responsibility to not breach it.  
We are worried that too often the commercial interests of the media trump all other objectives.  

Far too often, reportage by the mass media has veered off the path of objectivity and into the realm of speculation and gossip-mongering.
 
The media play a critical role in society, and are key to driving our programme of societal transformation.
 
If this important vehicle for advancing democracy is misused or abused, it morphs from being a platform for diverse opinion and reporting the news, into a toxic tool for waging political battles by proxy. This is not a healthy environment.

We are worried, Mr. President, about the fairness and ethics of the actual journalistic process within our media. As we write to you the rain clouds gather over our nation following the apology from the country’s largest weekend newspaper, the dependence on anonymous sources as the main (and sometimes only) for stories has serious pitfalls. The three-source rule cannot easily be verified, allowing exploitation of the media for sinister intentions.

Mr President,

Accountability of government is a cornerstone of democracy; likewise, the Fourth Estate should hold its own to account when excesses and breaches of ethics have been committed.
 
Commensurate with the growing calls for lifestyle audits for politicians and those holding public office: organizations such as SANEF should remain vigilant in the face of what may appear to be journalists and media practitioners abusing their journalistic privileges and access to privileged information for personal gain.
Perhaps it is time that SANEF seriously considers instituting lifestyle audits as a mechanism to increase accountability and ethics within the media fraternity.

Finally, Mr. President we wish you fruitful and productive engagements with our friends in SANEF.

Comradely Yours
Pule Mabe
ANC National Spokesperson
twitter: @pulemabe

PERESTROIKA, PARTY RENEWAL & REVOLUTIONARY MORALITY

Of the epoch-making events in our country’s history, President Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock in the 1964 Rivonia trial is widely accepted to be amongst the finest examples of political oratory of the 20th century. 
 
Although its powerful denouement, “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die” is most widely cited, it is at the very beginning that he outlines his motivation for becoming involved in the struggle for his country’s liberation. 
 
Paying homage to South Africa’s illustrious ancestors, he called on the names of Bambata, of Hintsa, of Sekhukhuni, and proclaimed: “I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people – and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle… this is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me..”
 
Serving his people with humility was a hallmark of the revolutionary morality exhibited by one of the greatest revolutionaries of our time; a man who despite his immense stature, was guided not by a quest for recognition, nor for material gain – but by wanting to do his small part.  
 
As we mark the centenary of the birth of this great leader, the African National Congress and indeed the country, is at another epoch in our history. 
 
Africa’s oldest liberation movement has embarked upon a new path of unity, organizational renewal and accelerated socio-economic transformation. 
 
It has at its core a recommitment to the founding values of our glorious movement; to being a party rooted among the people, representing their interests, concerns and aspirations, transforming society and developing every community. 
 
This necessitates, as we said at the 54th National Conference, ‘a readiness and willingness of our members to serve, and make sacrifices in pursuit of the cause of the people as a whole.’
 
This moral ideal – that sublimates self-interest to the pursuit of the greater good, does not apply only to the leadership of our movement, but to each and every member in each and every community. 
 
It is a powerful and transformative impetus that sees every member of our movement as an active force for change. It is the driving force in our struggle to transform society. 
 
Without embracing a revolutionary morality, we cannot rightfully claim our place as the leader of society. In a 1963 interview with L’Express magazine, Cuban leader Che Guevara said: “I’m not interested in economic socialism without communist morality; we are struggling against poverty, but we are also struggling against alienation…if communism is dissociated from consciousness, it may be a method of distribution, but it is no longer a revolutionary morality.” 
 
The ANC is at a crossroads. We must painfully acknowledge that the decline in the ethics, values and traditions of the movement have led to a growing alienation between us and South African society. 
 
The social compact formed with our people in 1994 has come to be severely tested by the emergence of a host of ills that have beset our movement. Many of these have been manifest in a very public manner, leading to what the then Secretary-General of the ANC Comrade Gwede Mantashe described in his 2017 Organizational Diagnostic report to the National Conference as ‘a growing trust deficit’ between the ANC and the people. 
 
The pernicious influences of corruption, of factionalism, of arrogant leadership and of collapse of party discipline have contributed to the ANC being perceived as a vehicle for self-enrichment. This can no longer and will no longer continue.
 
Contemporary events in South Africa have thrust into the spotlight the pervasive influence of greed and self-accumulation at the expense of our people. The VBS Bank scandal is but one instance of the withering away of our society’s moral fiber, as a small minority enriched themselves with utterly no regard for the destitution and destruction they created in the lives of honest, hardworking South Africans. 
 
Similarly, testimonies at the Zondo Commission of Enquiry paint a bleak picture of hidden handspurportedly manipulating key institutions and offices of State, abusing political patronage in a web of deceipt.
 
History bears witness to the fate that has befallen revolutionary movements who fail to heed the signs of decline. 
 
Endemic corruption and the abuse of state and party resources for private gain precipitated a spectacular loss of fortunes for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1970’s during the Brezhnev years. It was ironically a scenario Lenin himself predicted decades earlier when he spoke of a scenario where institutions were ‘captured’ by ‘unscrupulous and malevolent men’, who ‘manipulated them to cover-up or condone their own abuses of power.’ Failure to stem the tide of corruption led to the unravelling of not just the Party but the entire Soviet system, as it fed into a general disillusionment that became impossible to contain. 
 
If the ANC is to reassert its position as leader of society in the face of a growing disillusionment by our people, we need, indeed we have to exhibit – not with words, but with actions, that we are committed to addressing and correcting our weaknesses, and to stamping out the vices that have divided our movement. 
 
The contemporary renewal of the ANC is the perestroika of our time; and must be led from the front.
 
It requires leaders of principle, of revolutionary morality, and of humility. 
 
We owe our position to an overwhelming public mandate given to us in successive polls since the dawn of democracy – but is not something we should take for granted. 
 
Maintaining and securing our compact with society calls for leaders and cadres who are both ethical and altruistic, and who make no distinction between how they conduct themselves in private, and as members of the ANC. 
 
For ultimately if they falter, they are not judged as individuals, but as members and leaders of the ANC. 
 
Assuming the mantle of leadership of society confers with it great responsibility, and this is inextricably tied to accountability. 
 
Where there has been abuse of political office for personal gain; where there have been acts of illegality and criminality; and where public office bearers, ANC leaders or members are found to have otherwise conducted themselves contra bonos mores – there must be consequences. 
 
In as much as our law-enforcement authorities must act in this regard without fear or favour, so too we as the ANC must strengthen our internal accountability mechanisms, such as the Integrity Commission. For such structures to have credibility, consequence management must be both swift and tangible.
 
The task before us is a momentous one. 
 
At the same time, we have within our means the opportunity to chart a new course for our movement, while we still retain a large measure of public goodwill. 
 
The ANC has an established track-record for service delivery and for advancing programmes and policies that benefit our society’s most disadvantaged. 
 
It is up to us to draw on our strengths, to correct our weaknesses, and above all, to remain united. The ideals for which the likes of Tata Madiba stood, and for which he was prepared to die, should serve as inspiration to each of us as we move together, with a renewed sense of purpose and optimism, into the future.
 
Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa is the President of the African National Congress

PLACING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AT THE CENTRE OF OUR DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

It is now more than twenty years since the adoption of the 1996 White Paper on Science and Technology. Though the country has shown good progress in the implementation of the 1996 White Paper, however, South Africa has yet to fully realise the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to advance the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP). The gains realised in the period since 1996 include the expansion of the STI, a three-fold increase in publications, significant growth in the participation of black people and women in the research and development workforce, and a rise in doctoral graduation rates. However, challenges remain. The National System of Innovation (NSI) is still not fully inclusive, and since 1996 South Africa’s innovation performance (measured in patents and products) has been relatively flat.

According to recent reviews, the main factors constraining NSI performance are the inadequate and non-collaborative means of STI agenda setting for the country, insufficient policy coherence and coordination, weak partnerships between NSI actors (particularly the insufficient involvement of business and civil society), inadequate monitoring and evaluation, inadequate high-level science, engineering and technical skills for the economy, a too small research system, a poor environment for innovation, and significant levels of underfunding.

As the department of science and technology, we are responsible for ensuring that the NSI improves its performance. This means that together with all the stakeholders we have to confound all the constraints that are limiting our NSI performance. It is against this background that we are finalising a new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation, and have commissioned the National Advisory Council on Innovation to work on a framework for a new decadal plan. The premise of our new White Paper is that science, technology and innovation are central to inclusive and sustainable development for shaping a different South Africa. But most importantly, the White Paper recognises that inclusivity is central to the national system of innovation, in terms of promoting social justice, sparking economic growth and fostering a system in which creativity and learning can flourish.

The world, driven by science, technology and innovation, is changing rapidly and fundamentally. The main drivers of this global change include socio-economic and geopolitical (demographic shifts, urbanisation, rising inequality and youth unemployment, and the rise of China and India as economic powers), scientific and technological (for instance the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) revolution and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) blurring the lines between the physical and digital spheres), and environmental (with climate change having serious consequences for the world’s most vulnerable people). This is the world that South Africans must strive to make sense of.

The technologies associated with the 4IR will revolutionize all the spheres of our lives. In this new era, the World Economic Forum estimated that by the year 2020, more than 7.1 million jobs will be displaced, and by 2050 half of the jobs that currently exist will have disappeared. It is also estimated that 65% of the children that are entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that do not currently exist.
The report further estimated that 90 per cent of future jobs will require ICT skills, and millions of new jobs will be created in the computer, mathematical, architecture and engineering fields. In the era of the fourth Industrial revolution, technical and ICT-related skills across industries also need to be supplemented by broader, stronger collaborative and social skills – such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and the ability to learn and teach others.

Evidently, these changes will require a skills revolution, not only in South Africa but across the globe. With a burgeoning youth population, South Africa is either sitting in a ticking time bomb or a demographic dividend. How well South Africa responds to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, not leaving people behind through technological progress, will depend on our success in exploiting the pivotal role of ICT and harnessing the potential of big data. Among other things, these developments mean that our country must step up efforts to develop mathematics and science education at the foundational level of basic education in order to maximise the role of science and technology in the promotion of growth and development to improve the quality of the lives of South Africans.

The fourth industrial revolution will consist in technological advancement that will lead to increased productivity however, with greatly reduced human labour absorption in repetitive mechanical tasks and some of the cognitive tasks. These machines will spawn new industries. Humans will be left with performing complex and innovative tasks. This means that the introduction of machines for the time being may not be to eliminate jobs, but redefine them, changing the tasks and the skills needed to perform them. “The argument isn’t that automation always increases jobs”, argues economist James Bessen, “but that it can and often does” citing the example of the introduction ATMs which led to fewer tellers but more bank branches. Could the same thing be said about the introduction of autonomous machines?

The White Paper has also proposed the intensification of inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge production which is increasingly becoming important, as research is becoming increasingly data-driven, requiring an Open Science approach to allow greater access to the benefits of science. The new White Paper is a proposal for a shift to a new paradigm for Science, Technology and Innovation in South Africa.

As part of the white paper process we will be convening a summit on 09 November 2018 that will bring together, government, business, academia and labour. The purpose of the summit will be to share ideas on how to ensure that there is coordination across the various stakeholders on how we carry forward our national system of innovation.

By Comrade Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. ANC NEC member and the Minister of Science and Technology in South Africa

OUR REVAMPED WEBSITE – www.anc1912.org.za IS INNOVATIVE AND FRESH WITH A NEW LOOK

While addressing the first conference the of the African National Congress Department of Information and Publicity on the 5th of July 1983 in Lusaka,  the longest serving President of the African National Congress, comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo observed that:

“Given that our movement is a uniting force, an organiser, a mobiliser, an educator and leader of the widest sections of our people, the Department of Information and Publicity (DIP) must of necessity be a finely tuned specialist instrument that clearly and comprehensively grasps the overall task of the ANC and its role and place in the struggle of our people for their national rights in particular, and the general struggle of humanity for a just, peaceful and prosperous world”.

The relaunch of the revamped and innovative website brought to live yet again the words of President Tambo.

Our movements ability to disseminate information to the widest and broadest section of society is consistent with our role as true leader of society.

The revamped web platform promises to make interactions more exciting for both the young and old alike.

It is interactive in many aspects and allows communities both here at home and abroad to pick up our organizations “current affairs”.
A new public info portal has been added, this is work in progress and will give members of the public the benefit to search for jobs, know about new skills and enterprise development initiatives deepening citizen empowerment.

Our dynamic and trendy animation platform – Batsumy’ will give visitors to the site an easy way to emancipation and to continuously engage with our political programs.

This web platform aims to address knowledge deficit about the programmes of the movement, create an ANC popular culture and make the ANC way of life.
Through Batsumy loosely translated to mean the Hunters of solution to societal challenges – the conversation has begun.

The platform will also provide easy access to the progressive Online Broadcast Platform – Radio 1912 – which will henceforth become a consistent audio feeder on current affairs and press statements in a podcast format.

The online-podcast feeder will spare the media the logistical headache of that one big demand: “Soundbite – creating ease and comfort for the download of voice clips.
Furthermore, we have created a self-help portal allowing media outlets and individuals alike to be able to enroll their details on our ANC media mailing  list to receive statements and news feed at the click of a button.
Registration on our online platform will include automatic addition on the ANC WhatsApp media group for ongoing media updates.

The new web platform aims to display our pride and for all to see that the ANC is our life, our heritage and our Future.

At the outset, the ANC apologise to the entire membership and the South African public at large for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the website, which lasted for about two weeks.

However, we have now fulfilled the promise with the unveiling of our newly revamped website which is definitely ground breaking and an improved interactive digital platform promising to be exciting.

It is friendly and easy to use, even on mobile devices, allowing for easy navigation through a wide range of content including upcoming events, speeches, archives, our constitution and all other important organisational documents.

ANC is now available online everyday 24/7 on www.ANC1912.org.za – connect now.
This is work in progress and that over the next few months we will be introducing new features to increase the security of the site and further make the site more dynamic and exciting.

Comrade Pule Mabe is the National Spokesperson of the African National Congress

ANC CONGRATULATES CDE FASIHA HASSAN AS THE 11TH LAUREATE OF THE STUDENT PEACE PRIZE

The African National Congress extends its heartfelt congratulations to comrade Fasiha Hassan, who is a youth activist and an ANC Communicator, on her achievement as the 2019 laureate of the Student Peace Prize. 
 
Comrade Fasiha joins the ranks as the 11th laureate to be bestowed this prestigious international award. Her name was announced at Wergelandsalen in Oslo, Norway on 9 October 2018. 
 
This award is in recognition of the contribution of all students who became a propelling force behind the #FeesMustFall movement. Comrade Fasiha has emphasized that the Student Peace Prize“… [B]elongs to every single person who put their bodies, their degrees and their futures on the line in the fight for free, quality and decolonized education. The Student Peace Prize is an accolade for the #FeesMustFall movement itself.”
 
It is equally about an appreciation that leadership carries responsibility to ensure protests are conducted in a peaceful manner that does not trample or undermine the rights of others. Comrade Fasiha is being acknowledged for her role in finding constructive and non-violent solutions to the higher education crisis.
 
The Student Peace Prize was established in 1999, an initiative from volunteers at the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT). It is awarded every two years to students or student organizations working to promote peace, human rights and democracy. The Prize is awarded on behalf of all students in Norway, while an independent Student Peace Prize Committee makes the selection itself. The election happens through the independent committee for the Students Peace Prize, while the award itself, takes place during ISFiT’s own award ceremony.
 
“The Student Peace Prize represents the acknowledgement of the work of #FeesMustFall on a global scale where students across the world are fighting against the privatization of higher education. It also serves as an affirming stance for the work of so many young people in galvanizing behind this cause,” said Cde Fasiha said when asked about the importance of the prize.
 
As the 11th laureate, Cde Fasiha joins the ranks of ten students and student organizations from Libya, Burma, East Timor, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Thailand/Burma, Western Sahara, Croatia, Iran and Bahrain who have previously received the prize. It will be awarded in February 2019 at the end of the International Student Festival in Norway.
 
Comrade Fasiha Hassan hopes “… [T]hat this event will inspire more and more young people to take up a collective cause that will positively benefit the lives of our people. And to continue fighting even when the situation appears bleak. The Student Peace Prize is an illustration of what can happen when young people put their minds to something.”

BUILDING A SOCIAL COMPACT FOR JOBS

A historic milestone in the partnership between government, labour, business and community has yielded a broad range of measures to create and protect jobs – and bring hope and opportunity to South Africans who need it the most.

This past week’s Presidential Jobs Summit, convened under the auspices of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), was the platform from which our nation’s social partners answered the call of the people of South Africa for decent work.

Our response took the form of a framework agreement that will confront the greatest challenge facing our country at this moment in its history: unemployment.

We should therefore all take heart from the estimate that the initiatives agreed by the social partners will create approximately 275,000 jobs a year – over and above the jobs that would have been created without these interventions, which was on average about 300,000 a year over the past four years.

The extreme unemployment in this country is the product of an economy that for several decades has been starved of any meaningful investment in its human capital, where most people have been denied the opportunity to own assets or develop skills.

The structure of the economy, which was built on the extraction of minerals, where ownership and control are highly concentrated, remains largely untransformed.

Low levels of growth in recent years has further undermined our efforts to overcome the economic legacy of apartheid.

Our economic performance has also been undermined by state capture and corruption in both public institutions and private companies.

Since the announcement of the Jobs Summit in the State of the Nation Address in February, all social partners have been engaged in intensive discussions to craft an ambitious and realisable agreement to begin to address this crisis.

As a critical starting point, our focus is on both creating new jobs and retaining existing ones.

There is agreement that all possible alternatives and opportunities need to be explored before retrenchment is considered, including executive salary sacrifices and the foregoing of dividends.

For the economy to grow and for jobs to be created, it is essential that there is a substantial increase in domestic demand.

This means that South African companies, government and consumers must buy local.

The most direct way for South Africans and South African companies to create jobs is to buy only South African products.

Government has undertaken to simplify and speed up the process for the designation of products for local procurement, and organised labour, in partnership with Proudly SA, will proactively identify opportunities for new designations.

While promoting local demand, social partners have also identified the need to more aggressively promote South African exports.

We will embark on an export drive that prioritises manufactured and processed goods, ensuring that we derive the full employment benefit of our mineral and agricultural resources.

We will seize the opportunities presented by regional integration and the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area to produce more goods for other African markets.

Through this framework agreement, we will be mobilising finance on a far greater scale, ensuring that it is focused on building our manufacturing capacity.

The financial sector, as part of its transformation code, will invest R100 billion over five years in black-owned industrial enterprises.

The social partners have agreed on strategic interventions in economic sectors that have great potential for growth and even more potential for employment creation.

The agriculture and agro-processing value chain, as set out in the NDP and the nine-point plan, is one area that has significant potential.

It is estimated that global demand for fresh produce could increase South Africa’s horticultural trade from R54 billion to R90 billion by 2030.

Through our programme of accelerated land reform, we will expand the area of land under cultivation, substantially increase the number of people productively working the land and provide rural dwellers with the ownership and tenure rights needed to unlock the economic potential of their land.

In the metals, mining and machinery sector, government has agreed to expeditiously finalise an export tax on scrap metal and ensure better access to incentives like the Downstream Steel Industry Competitiveness Fund.

Other value chains that are receiving focused attention include sub sectors of the manufacturing industry in clothing, textiles, leather and footwear, furniture and the automotive industry.

One of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the deliberations that led up to the Jobs Summit is that organised labour, through one of its member unions, plans to open a union-owned clothing factory in the Eastern Cape within the next two years.

This innovative and welcome initiative will create around 100 jobs initially and aims to contribute to the re-industrialisation of a province which suffers from widespread poverty and unemployment.

One of the country’s greatest potential strengths is our young population, whose capabilities and talents the social partners are committed to develop as a matter of priority.

A specific area of focus is the development of the technical skills that are required in the industrial economy.

Mechanisms are being put in place to enable companies to form partnerships with nearby TVET colleges, where the colleges offer the theoretical component of the programme and companies offer the practical and workplace components.

The outcomes of the Jobs Summit and the actions set out recently in our stimulus and recovery plan for the economy give us renewed hope in our ability, as South Africans working together, to develop solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

The Jobs Summit was the beginning of a process that brings all South Africans together to cooperate and to work together for a common vision – a growing economy in which the benefits are shared by everyone.

 

By President Cyril Ramaphosa