NPC OUTCOMES MUST SHOW ANC IS A LISTENING ORGANISATION – MBETE

balekaStaff Reporter

National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Comrade Baleka Mbete, has set the tone of the 5th National Policy Conference currently underway at the Nasrec Expo Centre in the south of Johannesburg. Speaking during the opening session of Conference, Mbete reminded delegates that the Conference is held during the year the ANC has dedicated to the memory of liberation giant and former President General Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo and that this should serve to urge delegates to deepen unity within the organisation.

 

‘I call upon all of us comrades, as we go in and out of here, as we go up and down the precinct, to remember that we must unite in how we conduct ourselves as cadres of the movement. Even in the songs that we sing we must unite our movement’, Mbete said.

 

Mbete further called on the delegates to remember the voice of the people. ‘We have heard our people. Bakhulumile abantu. Abantu bakhuluma ngokusithanda, bakhuluma nangentukuthelo (the people have spoken. They have spoken of their love for us but they have also spoken of their irritation with us)”, Mbete said.

 

She asked that ‘in everything comrades do in this conference they must remember the sound of the voices of the people. Outcomes of this conference must show that we are a listening organisation, Mbete emphasized. ‘This is an organisation of Oliver Tambo who taught us how to love one another, to be humble, while being steadfast in our convictions and beliefs in the values of the organisation’.

In her remarks the National Chairperson emphasized the importance of ensuring that the ANC emerges from the conference united.

“The movement must be united to make our former leaders like Oliver Tambo and those that came before us proud. We must be disciplined throughout this conference and delegates must desist from singing divisive songs. Unity is very important for the ANC” said National Chairperson, Ms Baleka Mbete.

 

The ANC National Policy Conference is being attended by delegates from ANC branches from all nine provinces across the country.  The conference is taking place from 30 June to 5 July 2017.

 

President Jacob Zuma in his opening address further emphasized unity and appealed to delegates to discuss the issues frankly and help the ANC to dicisively address them to accelerate the people’s struggle.

 

 

COSATU CALLS ON NPC TO DISCUSS POLICIES THAT EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS TRIPLE CHALLENGE OF POVERTY, INEQUALITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT

SDStaff Reporter

COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini says the trade union federation is looking for policies to emerge from the ANC’s National Policy Conference that will take forward the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution: namely radical economic transformation.

President Jacob Zuma in his opening address to the NPC late Friday said the ANC had to return to its core values of unity and selflessness. Comrade Dlamini concurred with the President’s words, saying COSATU regarded the unity of the organization as paramount.

“He (President) was very firm on the unity of the Alliance and the Unity of the ANC and we really appreciate that because it will guide the delegates” says Dlamini.

“We are looking towards policies from an ANC that are uniting.”

To adequately address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, says Dlamini, “we have to drum up ways and means so that the policies we come up with help us decisively deal with this problem.”

On matters of organizational renewal, he said: “The ANC has got to think hard whilst we can keep the tradition, we have to say how do we go forward in keeping with modern trends.”

Comrade Dlamini posited the question: “Are we going to be the ANC that was there in 1985? I don’t think so. Time dictates we must do things differently.. including how issues of leadership are handled”

On strengthening the Alliance, he said: “the ANC is the leader of society: what should be the character of the ANC that leads the Alliance: this is going to be key.”

On what the ANC needs to do to accelerate radical economic transformation, he said the transformation of land ownership was a priority, considering that “the majority of land still resides with a few white males.” The transformation of the financial sector was also key, because “the financial sector is still controlled by a few culprits” making it impenetrable.

“We have got to drum up policies that change course in that space” he said. Within this context an examination of the role of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) would also be critical.

The issue of workers in the country was a priority for COSATU he said, adding that the issue of the use of labour brokers was still contentious despite attempts at sectoral reform.

“The crisis in the mining sector has got to be at the center of our discussions – and what do we do with the threat of retrenchments from a number of mining companies” said Dlamini.

That the country was in the midst of a recession was actually an opportunity, Dlamini says. “It (the recession) can be turned into an opportunity to come up with means to do things better.”

Ultimately, he says, unity is paramount.

“We have no choice, unity, unity, unity..cohesion is what has got to be at the center of all that we do.”

ANC TREASURER-GENERAL HAILS STUDENTS AS THE VANGUARDS OF TRANSFORMATION

Zweli Mkhize 2
ANC Treasurer-General Dr. Zweli Mkhize has affirmed the organization’s support for the call by students for the transformation of higher education, and for broadening access to tertiary study for indigent students in particular.

He was speaking at the annual National Conference of the South African Union of Students (SAUS) in Mpumalanga late last week.

In his keynote address, titled: “Organize and Unite the Student’s Voice for The Advancement of People’s Education for People’s Power”, Mkhize said the ANC supported government in its quest to find a lasting solution to the problem of funding for higher education.

At the same time, he lauded the current generation of students for their mobilization around the issue, saying they had “defied all the pundits and analysts who decried the level of political consciousness and activism of the current youth.”

Quoting the famous dictum by Franz Fanon: that “each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative obscurity,” the Treasurer-General noted that there would be a strong delegation of student leaders attending the upcoming National Policy Conference (NPC).

He told delegates: “We need to you to articulate these concerns you have on the model linked to the banks… leadership will be there to listen to the concerns and the proposals you wish to emphasize, including the welcome debate on the financial contribution we need the private sector to make in building the country’s human capital.”

In his keynote address the Treasurer-General located the issue of the Radical Transformation of Higher Education in South Africa within the broader terrain of struggle for the radical transformation of the country. The transformation of higher education, he said, “needs to be understood through the lenses of the overall political economy terrain of the South African development discourse.”

He said that the ANC was acutely aware of the shortcomings of the state in funding higher education, but was even more acutely aware of the difficulties faced by students in accessing higher education. He cited unexpected living expenses, high costs of accommodation, as well as book and other academic fees as contributing to shortfalls that make it difficult for full-time students to survive on financial aid provided by the likes of NSFAS.

These were all “barriers of entry to education for many students especially those from low income households and retards our program for socio-economic transformation.”

He cited the example of having on the election campaign trail met an Engineering student who was lodging in an informal dwelling in a hostel in Johannesburg. Moved by the student’s plight, he said the ANC had to assist to raise funds for his accommodation.

“Children from poor households should not be prejudiced by their poor circumstances from obtaining education. This message coming from students has been loud and clear,” Mkhize said

The Treasurer-General said the ANC looked forward to the Heher Commmission concluding its tasks and speedily tabling the findings to create the basis for a permanent and sustainable solution to the funding of higher education.

At the same time, he noted that we needed to “put into context all the matters beyond the provisions of the model that was meant to address the missing middle and families with multiple students at university” as well as the issue of well resourced parents who are capable of educating their children.

On curriculum reform, Mkhize noted that there was an urgent need for review of the university curriculum, saying it was “incomprehensible” that we still can produce unemployed or unemployable graduates in a modern economy when adequate research should be available to train our youth on the skills that the economy needs and will absorb.

He said critical questions needed to be asked on the way in which our institutions of higher learning impact on communities around them; but also on the way in which our university curricular are adequately preparing young people for the kind of jobs needed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We need an innovation fund to assist youth to experiment on new solutions and create businesses which did didn’t exist before and we need to change mind-sets to look at what ventures even institutions can participate and stimulate students to be more creative,” said Mkhize.

Addressing SAUS directly, he described them as ‘leaders of students’; and made a plea for “a culture of patience and tolerance.”

He called on the student leadership to come up with a mechanism to limit protests to peaceful marches, pickets and demonstrations – that does not involve the destruction of critical infrastructure.

“How,” he asked, “do we create a culture of dialogue and put more pressure to authorities without destroying investments made to guarantee us a better future?”

 

In conclusion he made a rallying call to students in the words of Anton Lembede, who said: “We need young men and women of high moral stamina and integrity, of courage and vision. In short, we need warriors. This means we have to develop a new type of youth, not the pleasure-loving, frivolous, dissolute, light-minded type, but youth of stoical discipline, trained to endure suffering and difficulties.”

CHAMBER OF MINES SEEKS INTERVENTION ON MINING CHARTER

The African National Congress has met with the Chamber of Mines following concerns raised by the Chamber about the revised Mining Charter announced by Mineral Resources Minister, Comrade Mosebenzi Zwane last week. The meeting attended by ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe, Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize and members of the Economic Transformation Subcommittee led by Chairperson Enoch Godongwane was held at Luthuli House yesterday.

The Chamber of Mines is the mining industry employer organization representing 67 companies which are responsible for the production of 90% of South Africa’s mineral production. It defines its key role as “the facilitation of interaction among mining employers to examine policy issues and other matters of mutual concern to crystallise and define desirable industry standpoints.” The Chamber met with the ANC to voice its dissatisfaction with the “flawed process”, the content and the “continuing consequences” of the Mining Charter.

In the meeting representatives of the mining industry called on the ANC to intervene and mediate in the impasse between the industry and the Department of Mineral Resources. “We want to go back to the negotiating table with government in order to emerge with a solution that must work for both parties. Through thorough negotiation, as we had in the development of the first and second Mining Charters,  we are confident that we may come up with an outcome that responds to the urgent national imperative of transformation whilst retaining the vision of a globally competitive mining industry” said the industry.

In particular the Chamber decries what it has called a lack of consultation on the amendments in the mining charter claiming that the new Charter is “fundamentally different from the draft Charter published in April last year.” According to the Chamber, “the content proposed has very draconian measures most of which are brand new ideas which being parachuted into the new Charter after extensive discussions had already been held.”

The Chamber also laments the break down of trust between itself and the Department of Mineral Resources and has committed to participating in any type of mediated process to restore trust between the parties.

Substantive issues that the Chamber of Mines objects in the new charter include the directive to distribute 1% of turnover amongst BEE partners before any distribution to shareholders. The inclusion of naturalized citizens as beneficiaries of that Charter was likened to the act of “feeding the neighbour’s children before you are able to feed your own”, arguing that South Africa has not yet manage to empower its own citizens yet now proposes extending these minimal opportunities to naturalized citizens.

ANC Secretary General Cde Gwede Mantashe has committed to raise the issues brought forward by the Mining Chamber within the organization and with its deployees in government.

Mantashe emphasized the need to accelerate the pace of change in the mining sector, warning however of adopting a reckless approach to enforcing transformation. “We have a responsibility to mitigate between a conservative and adventurous approach to the economy. Yes there are problems and transformation in the mining industry is not happening at an acceptable pace.When there are problems populism comes to the fore and in the process destroy what is already there” says Mantashe.

The Chamber has called on the ANC to ensure policy certainty and work with the industry restore investor confidence. “Through a process of co-creation..” government and industry must “embrace imperatives of transformation on one hand within a framework that can make the industry attractive and investable”. The Chamber impressed upon the ANC to intervene calling for the “political leadership of the country to prevail upon government to suspend the application of charter and send the parties back to table for a mediated discussion. Through such negotiations we can craft an outcome where the Charter can be owned, defended and implemented by all stakeholders.”

NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE TO PROCEED AS PLANNED

Staff Reporter

The African National Congress will hold its 5th National Policy Conference from the 30th of June until the 5th of July 2017 at the Nasrec Expo Centre, Gauteng Province.

Speaking in an interview with ANC Today, the ANC Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte assured South Africans that the National Policy Conference scheduled for this month will proceed as planned.

“We offered the veterans and stalwarts of our movement coordinated in a grouping called ‘101’ two days (30 June until 01 July 2017), attached to our policy conference, in which they would participate fully in whatever manner they wish to, to raise issues that they wanted to raise. They have declined. It is not us, the ANC, who called it off. They declined to participate with our branches in a discussion” Duarte said.

Asked about the next steps the organisation will follow in relation to the two days which had initially been set aside for the discussion with the stalwarts, Duarte said  “We were obliged to continue with the debate and discussion. We have kept the two days unchanged and there will be very robust discussions about challenges facing the organisation. There is no cancellation, we will continue as planned”.

“During these two days, Conference will receive a Diagnostic Report from the Secretary General then discuss this together with presentations on the progress in implementing the National Development Plan (NDP), the Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, as well as the Organisational Renewal document.

“We are hoping that out of the discussions on organisational renewal and strategy and tactics, we will be able to emerge, after seven days, with clarity on how we deal with challenges that face our organisation. We will also look at our successes and the extent to which ANC  policies have been impactful to change for the better the lives of the people of South Africa”

Asked about challenges facing ANC, the Deputy Secretary General spoke at length about gatekeeping, use of money to influence members and the narrative of weak leadership.

“Each generation has its own challenges and finds its own solutions. The organisational renewal document encompasses all the views that have been expressed by all, including; people in the group called ‘101’, even independent people who have spoken about their own feelings” Duarte said.

On gatekeeping, Duarte said “We are going to look at our organisation. It is not a general condition in the ANC that every branch is in a crisis, or every region is in a crisis. There are problems about gatekeeping in some areas, that must be dealt with”

On the so-called use of brown envelopes (buying of votes), the Deputy Secretary General cautioned against generalisation and had a stern warning on those who use money to influence the thinking of members and/or delegates.

“That is another generalisation that we must deal with. Yes, there are people who go around with money to try and influence thinking of people. That is criminal offence, as far as we are concerned. Where this is happening, we want to start charging people criminally. It is not really our constitution that must enable to do so, but it is in fact the laws of the country, because that is fraudulent behavior”

On the narrative of weak leadership, Duarte said “That is a judgement call. One would have to analyse that and look at how previous NECs have performed. We must analyse our achievements. We want an atmosphere of productive criticism, self-criticism, and out of this develop a productive programme of action, so that we move forward”

The Deputy Secretary General expects that Radical Economic Transformation and Land restitution and redistribution will be at the heart of discussions. “‘Our focus is on giving practical expression to the program of Radical Economic Transformation and the resolution of the land question. That will occupy the minds of people in terms of wanting to see resolutions that give effect to the need to accelerated resolution of these challenges” Duarte said.

“We have prepared our delegates very well. People have been having political discussions in branches, regions, and provinces, robustly so. We are expecting productive engagements” Duarte added.

“Throughout the Policy Conference there will be a variety of views and all of these are welcomed. As part of the 4300 strong delegation there will be people who are not, technically, branch delegates. We have invited amongst others former NEC members, Churches, Trade Unions, NGOs” Duarte concluded.

ANC MUST TAKE UP THE FIGHT AGAINST FEMICIDE

A man should have self-respect, respect for women and be disciplined.

This was the stern advice ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe issued to men at a Youth Month Rally, organized by the ANC OR Tambo Region, in Libode.

“We will never be free until we reclaim our streets and when girls are able to walk at night without fear of being hurt” Mantashe said; adding: “people who are in a better position to solve this problem are men. A man should have self respect, respect for women and be disciplined”.

“It must be our role as the ANC to fight against the rape and the killing of women. These brutal acts can’t happen in our communities” Mantashe said.

In recent weeks, the country has been faced with a number of reports relating to the abduction and killing of young women. The cases of amongst others, Karabo Mokoena and Thembisile Yende made national headlines.

Speaking on what needs to be done to deal with such killings, Mantashe called on the youth and communities to take up an active role in the fight against femicide.

“Let us convene anti-crime street communities.. we must take responsibility for our streets and communities” Mantashe said.

The Secretary-General also used the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Youth Month, the successes of the 1944 ANC Youth League (ANCYL) generation and the role of young people today.

“When we celebrate the heroism of the youth, we shouldn’t only trace them from 1976, but from 1944, when the ANCYL was formed. The youth league of 1944 led us for 5 decades from 1944 until 1994” Mantashe told supporters.

He expanded on the role the 1944 youth generation played in the struggle against the apartheid regime.

“In 1961, when the ANC was banned, young people took an initiative to form Umkhonto weSizwe, they swelled its ranks and led the movement until 1994″ Mantashe said.

On the generation of 1976 Mantashe said “The youth of ’76 fought against the imposition of Afrikaans. They succeeded. That is the role of young people who have a purpose. Young people should have a purpose at all times, because they are the future, present and past”

On the #FeesMustFall student protests, he said: ”When young people demand that #FeesMustFall, we must not be afraid and disown them. We must know that it is a duty of a young person to be bold and adventurous. Being bold is about fulfilling their youthfulness”

Mantashe emphasized the need to explain the successes of the ANC government to the youth.

“When there are protests regarding education, ANC becomes a victim of its own success. When ANC took charge of this government, black students at universities were 150 000, they are now over 850 000 today”.

“There are many black and young people who have now joined the so-called ‘middle class’ stratum. That is a product of the success of ANC policies” Mantashe added.

“Young intellectuals are critical and analytical. They protest against e-tolls, not because they don’t want development, but, because they add to their cost structure. There is nothing wrong with fighting that”

On the role of young people in the ANC today, Mantashe called on young people to choose between being part of factions and/or to be part of the solutions to ANC problems.

“Young people of today, must choose the role they want to play. They can choose to be part of a muddy faction, going around criticizing people they don’t agree with, or position themselves to be part of the solution to the problems facing the ANC”.

With regards to discussing names of potential ANC leaders, the Secretary-General called on young people to assess the track record, strengths and weaknesses of their potential candidates.

“We must ensure that we avoid accidental leadership succession. Accidental leadership succession is a product of corruption and factionalism”

“If we don’t do that the movement will decline. Decline of an organization is not just numbers. It doesn’t start there. Numbers are an indication and symptom. Decline starts on our ethical behavior. If our behavior is unethical, we don’t have revolutionary morality, the movement will decline” Mantashe said; adding that unethical behavior dented the values of the ANC, broke the traditions of the movement and would lead to its irreversible decline.

“The December Conference is going to be a critical cog in saving the organization. Let us be serious and send out a clear message, that we are in a muddy situation and we want out of it. Unity of the ANC is important. Unity of the ANC and Alliance will take us out of the problems we are facing” Mantashe said.

“We have a responsibility to unify the ANC and restore the people’s confidence in their movement,” he concluded.

ANC DELIVERS MESSAGE OF SUPPORT AT RPF CONGRESS

ednaStaff Reporter

The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed its solidarity with the ruling party of Rwanda, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) at the party’s Extraordinary National Congress held last weekend in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

The chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Subcommittee, Comrade Edna Molewa congratulated Rwandan President Paul Kagame for his country’s significant achievements under the leadership of the RPF. The the RPF’s Nine-Point Political Programme bears similarity to the ANC Strategy and Tactics.

The relatively small country has managed to achieve consistently high economic growth rates and is widely regarded as one of the strongest economies on the continent. Rwanda also consistently ranks high on a number of human development indices.

The ANC and the RPF enjoy longstanding fraternal ties. The peoples of the two countries also share ‘a shared birthday’, having experienced political rebirth in 1994. President Kagame visited South Africa in 2001 where he was warmly received by the ANC and President Mandela.

The RPF like the ANC was founded on the premise of forging unity amongst the people of Rwanda following a devastating and bloody history that sought to tear the nation apart. The RPF like the ANC faces the task of nation-building whilst simultaneously addressing a legacy of skewed development that advantaged certain groups over others.

Rwandans will go to the polls in August to elect a new President, and the ANC expressed its support for President Kagame, saying the party would ‘always continue to nurture and build bridges as well as build friendship and solidarity with the people of Rwanda.’

Comrade Molewa noted that South Africa and Rwanda “shared mutual experiences and struggles from a social point of view, economically, culturally, and also people to people,” adding that this was “within the context of the sovereignty of our respective countries.”

She reiterated that South Africa would continue to work with President Kagame and the leadership of the RPF in building a unified Africa. She added that the ANC recognized the role played by the RPF in the growing prosperity of the people of Rwanda.

“You are really making us proud,” Comrade Molewa told the Congress delegates.

She told delegates that the ANC would soon go to a National Policy Conference, followed by a National Conference; and that the ANC would be at both conferences making the point that South Africa is an integral part of Africa.

“If Africa fails, South Africa will fail…if South Africa fails, Africa will fail.. if Rwanda fails, Africa will fail, she said to resounding applause.

The subcommittee chairperson told the Congress the ANC looked forward to working together with Rwanda in implementing Agenda 2063 of the African Union. “We will work together to silence the guns on our continent, and we will work together to bring about prosperity of our nations,” she said.

Molewa conveyed the message from the leadership of the ANC that the organization remained committed to working with the RPF, and congratulated the RPF on the hosting of a successful and well-run Congress.

WHY ONLY 100 BLACK INDUSTRIALISTS? – ANC TG MKHIZE

zweliStaff Reporter

Why is government planning on developing and supporting only 100 black industrialists? This is the question put by the Treasurer General (TG) of the African National Congress (ANC), Comrade Zweli Mkhize put to the Presidential Advisory Council on Black Economic Empowerment in a meeting held in Johannesburg this past week. The meeting was held as part of the stakeholder engagement processes ahead of the ANC’s National Policy Conference to be held in Johannesburg from the 30th June 2017.

The Presidential Council is established in terms of the BBBEE Act and met with the ANC Treasurer-General to provide an update on work done in the implementation of the Charters, identify areas for policy review and exchange ideas on how to accelerate inclusive economic growth and job creation.

The Council has established work streams to coordinate its work being a focus on the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA), the Black Industrialists Programme and Radical Economic Transformation amongst others.

The Black Industrialist Program was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to catalyze the participation of black (African, Indian and Coloured) people in the “origination, creation, significant ownership, management and operation of industrial enterprises that derive value from the manufacturing of goods and services at a large scale”. According to the DTI, the program would shift the demographic composition of South Africa’s industrial sector to allow the country to take advantage of its resources and diversity as a nation.

At its inception the DTI committed to work with entrepreneurs to create 100 black industrialists by March 2018. Reasons cited for this ceiling were available resources, and the need to manage government’s ambitions within the reality of what is feasible. Once take up and interest from entrepreneurs had been established, government would then seek additional funding to drive this program.

“Much more must be done to effect fundamental and radical change in the economy; 100 industrialists just isn’t enough” say Mkhize. “In 2017, unlike in 1994, there are thousands of black professionals, technicians and entrepreneurs who have the requisite set of complex skills and industry experience as well as track record of outstanding achievements to be trusted to become competent industrialists”.

According to Mkhize, “Many more entrepreneurs have proven themselves in operations, and financial institutions. Investors should show confidence by supporting them to be industrialists. This will bring about the inclusivity that will deracialise the ownership patterns and bring in more new players from disadvantaged communities into the real economy.”

The meeting also agreed that the Black Industrialist program must also support and be integrated into other government programs to expand manufacturing capacity for employment creation. There should also be discussions on the key tenets of the programme, including the need to expand the sectors supported through the program.

Members of the Council decried the R15m cap for financial support and committed themselves to continue engagement with government in this regard. Black professionals and black businesses stand ready to assist government in the implementation of the programme.

Amongst other issues discussed for input into the ANC NEC Economic Transformation Subcommittee towards the Policy Conference include the review of the Preferential Procurement  Policy Framework Act (PPPFA). Specially the need to call on government to withdraw Practice Note Number SCM 2 of 2006 which prohibits set asides.

“We have a progressive constitution that allows for redress and addressing the historical injustice. We must make sure that our regulations allow scope to achieve transformation and use of state levers, such as preferential procurement to bring black people, especially women, youth and the rural poor into the economy” says Mkhize. “This is not a new matter and we commit to resolve it speedily.”

The African National Congress will hold its 5th National Policy Conference from the 30th June to the 5th July 2017 where all these matters are expected to be discussed to develop recommendations towards the National Conference in December.

ANC LEADS CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR UNCLE KATHY IN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Staff Reporter

The Chief Whip of the African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament, Comrade Jackson Mthembu, along with ANC Senior MP Comrade Charles Nqakula led a condolence motion in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The condolence motion was in memory of ANC Stalwart, Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada, former political prisoner, anti-apartheid activist and icon of our hard won democracy. Uncle Kathy, as he is fondly known, passed away in March this year.

Uncle Kathy left an indelible foot print that will never be erased. He was a source of wisdom, a lesson in humility, tolerance and resilience, Mthembu told the Assembly. He then offered his condolences to Uncle Kathy’s wife, Comrade Barbara Hogan, the Kathrada family, the ANC family and the country.

We must preserve the memory of Uncle Kathy as a mirror for ourselves, as members of the ANC in this parliament, to see whether we are succeeding in emulating his values, beseeched ANC MP Charles Nqakula. Uncle Kathy worked with Nelson Mandela and together with other comrades like Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu to create a new nation with new values, he added.

Nqakula also paid tribute to many South Africans who have lost their lives in the recent past.

The brazen murder of young women and children and brazen criminality, required our collective wisdom, said Nqakula, calling for the public’s full support for the police, who cannot do their work without the support of communities.

Nqakula also asked MP’s to use their constituency resources to educate communities and stop the carnage.

He condemned the tendency to seek to ‘airbrush’ our past because it sits uncomfortable with some.

He singled out the painful history of Indians in this country in our struggle for liberation.

Uncle Kathy’s courage and that of many other comrades gave impetus to the Youth of 1976.

Nqakula said it was also important to know that the racist Nationalist Party government used divide and rule to separate uncle Kathy from other comrades but Uncle Kathy refused. As accused number 5 in the so-called Rivonia Trial, the lawyers had told him that the state had an option to release him but Uncle Kathy chose his comrades and gave 26 years of his life.

The struggle for liberation has been long and hard, Nqakula said.

Uncle Kathy understood organisational discipline at all times. If the organisation had taken a decision Uncle Kathy would abide by that decision. He was a man of action and adhered to all requests by ANC leaders.

“You would have to force him to lead, he was not a man who wanted positions for himself,” Nqakula said.

Towards the end of his life, Uncle Kathy expressed misgivings about the direction the ANC was heading towards. He wanted the ANC to destroy corruption, which was destroying our moral values as an organization and destroying our country.

He raised his concerns openly and without fear, and it remained a painful experience to have to go public with his criticism of the ANC and its leaders, Nqakula said.

Nqakula received Uncle Kathy’s message as simple, ‘Guard our precious movement’.

This was a similar message that comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo had given to the generation of Uncle Kathy in the early 90’s.

Other Members of Parliament also gave Tribute to Uncle Kathy. The Democratic Alliance acknowledged him as an activist and a humanitarian to the core.

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi also paid tribute to uncle Kathy, calling him his friend and expressed gratitude for his contribution to the liberation of our country.

BROADCASTING INDUSTRY CALLS FOR FUTURISTIC VISIONARY OUTLOOK ON ICT POLICY

mthembujStaff Reporter

The development of premium local content, the protection of Free-To-Air broadcasters, a renewed focus on youth, and the furtherance of a visionary futuristic outlook.

These were some of the issues raised by members of the broadcasting industry in an engagement session on the governing party’s Communications discussion document ahead of the party’s policy conference. The engagement session was held at the Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown, and takes place ahead of the ANC’s National Policy Conference to be held from the 30th June to 5 July 2017.

The meeting was convened by the ANC NEC subcommittee on Communications, led by Chief Whip and NEC Member Comrade Jackson Mthembu.

Also in attendance were ANC NEC Subcommittee Members including Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister, Siyabonga Cwele, Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu and ANC National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

From the industry were, amongst others, representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South African Communications Forum (SACF), ENCA, the Universal Service and Access Agency (USAASA), Multichoice, ETV, Sentech, Nemisa, the Media Diversity and Development Agency (MDDA), and a number of community radio stations.

The Document titled “Towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Enabling economic growth, an inclusive society and balanced public discourse” was launched by the governing party in March 2017 to guide discussions between members of the organization and society at large on policy amendments in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and related industries.

It set outs amongst others the need for the strengthening of free-to-air broadcasting services, greater support to community media and the creation of the regulatory framework of Over the Top (OTT) products such as Showmax and Netflix.

“We cannot allow outflows of our much needed resources through these OTTs to remain unchecked. We must learn from best practice from amongst others the European Union in this regard”, says subcommittee Chairperson Mthembu.

Speaking to inform the governing party’s broadcasting policies, delegates spoke about missed opportunities as a result of the delays in the roll out of digital migration. But most importantly the impact this has had with regards to South Africa remaining “in the dark ages” whilst the world embraces the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The meeting called for the accelerated implementation of ANC resolutions in this regard, and that ANC deployees in government have to implement ANC policy with urgency.

“This is a long outstanding issue in which we have not moved. You cannot speak of the Fourth Industrial Revolution when you have not even digitized,” said Mthembu.

He added that there was agreement on this matter between the ANC and comrades in government. “For every single day’s delay, South Africa is the loser,” continued Mthembu.

Participants strongly recommended that the Broadcasting Bill be withdrawn from Parliament; that focus should be on fast tracking the review of the Broadcasting Policy; and that there should be integration into the Integrated ICT White Paper.

Meeting Chairperson Lindiwe Zulu called on the many comrades of the ANC active in the ICT sector to contribute to and strengthen the work of the subcommittee.

“These discussions must transcend the necessity created by the Policy Conference to be a standing practice of the ANC towards policy creation and implementation” said Zulu.

“The ANC will always need specialists in the area and 23 years down the line we have created many of them… we must be able to draw all these people back into the organization and work with the new and developing cadreship in the sector”, continued Zulu.

Subcommittee Chairperson Comrade Jackson Mthembu committed to ensure the the views expressed by the meeting find popular expression in the recommendations of the National Policy Conference- towards the National Conference in December. The National Conference is the highest decision making body in the ANC and will then consider for adoption all recommendations made.