The ANC subcommittee on Organisational Renewal, in its assessment of the current state of the ANC as an organisation reaffirmed its confidence that ANC remains the leader in the processes for social change as demonstrated by our delivery of service since 1994.
Presenting the outcomes of commission discussions on the renewal of the organisation, the sub-committee Chair on Organisational Renewal, Cadre Fikile Mbalula emphasised the organisation’s dual character as a liberation movement and a political party. He further stated that this in itself requires the organisation to readjust its organisational machinery to be more responsive to the new demands arising from our current political epoch.
According to Mbalula, the sub-committee accepts and is introspective about the dangers that have creeped into the movement and believe restoration begins with acceptance of ones failures and underperformance.
The central thesis of the organisation’s analysis is that the subjective weaknesses of our movement are not unrelated to the influence of a neo-liberal ideological paradigm. Neo-liberalism sought to weaken both the ANC’s progressive outlook and the capacity of the developmental state to carry out a thoroughgoing transformation agenda, Mbalula said.
He also pointed out ‘the silent shift from transformative politics to palace politics wherein internal strife and factional battles over power and resources define the political life of the movement’. The tendency of other comrades nowadays who ‘use mainstream media outlets to let out their political ambitions within the movement and find fame within enemy agents hoping that our people would not decipher the political venom of their “poisonous tongues” must be condemned, Mbalula emphasized.
With regard to policy proposals, the Subcommittee proposed a maximum target of 65% National Executive Committee members be allowed to serve in the country’s Cabinet. This proposal, he said, will allow the organisation to have an objective view and influence developments in government, civil society, the economy and international arena.
There was also a proposal on the establishment of the Revolutionary Electoral Commission. “This process must be guided by the Through the Eye of the Needle policy document, he said, in order to ensure that the ANC structures prepares, produce and present to South Africa the best cadres from its ranks.”
The Subcommittee also proposed that the Internal lobbying of ANC members, leaders or structures to have specific internal arrangements to enable ethics and code of conduct regulations to prevent ANC work from being conducted in dark corners. This will also prevent corruption.
“A one stop ANC portal infrastructure should be rolled out to reconnect ANC to the people and membership” Mbalula said. This was another proposal. This portal would contain all relevant policy and other documents. It should have a page where members, cadres and supporters can advise or express their views on various matters.
The Subcommittee also concluded on the type and quality of cadres the ANC required. The new cadre should be able to understand and appreciate the ideological orientation, policies and political programmes of the African National Congress, Mbalula added. This new cadre should be able, at all times, to understand, and interpret the changing nature of global balance of forces, social and economic trends in society and have a strategic and farsighted approach to challenges of “modern day” society.