Declaration of the National Consultative Conference of the African National Congress 17 – 19 November 2017
SAVING THE ANC FOR THE SAKE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FUTURE
WE HAVE COME TOGETHER IN THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE
As national representatives of Stalwarts and Veterans of the African National Congress and MK Council together with our fraternal organisations, SANCO, COSATU, SACP and ANC Veterans League as well as our allies from the Strategic Dialogue Group and taking into account the concerns from Civil Society, are all united by our love and concerns for our country South Africa and the African National Congress.
We are profoundly committed to the ANC, proud of its role in the achievement of our democracy and in the progress towards meeting our people’s aspirations as embodied in the Freedom Charter.
We are deeply troubled by the abandonment of the ANC’s historic values and principles, which has undermined popular confidence in government, parliament, state owned entities and other public institutions. This is an unprecedented political crisis.
We are also deeply hurt by what we regard to be a betrayal of our people’s long-standing support and trust in the ANC.
We observe that the current elected leadership of the ANC is paralysed and unable to deal with ill-discipline, incompetence and corruption that point directly to the highest office in the land.
We further observe that parliament and the executive, led by the President has been found to have failed in their constitutional obligations by the highest court of the land.
We are deeply disturbed by the leadership’s disdain for co-operation with relevant community-based organisations, thus relinquishing the ANC’s leadership of society.
The mismanagement of our economy has led to unprecedented unemployment rates. This has exacerbated the levels of poverty amongst the masses of our people. Women, the marginalised in our society, in particular the youth have suffered immensely from the full brunt of the leadership’s reckless decisions and indecisiveness.
The appalling state of the nation’s education system at all levels continues to promote marginalization of significant sections of our society especially our youth, which is destroying the lives of future generations.
The increased crime rates and the deplorable insecurity within our vulnerable communities in the background of the corrupted and dysfunctional policing and prosecution services together with unrelenting and dehumanizing gender violence, leaves a sore eye to witness.
We are witness to the moral degeneration in society that is overseen by a self-centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a vision for the future.
WE HAVE SEEN THE LEADERSHIP CRISIS IN THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CAUSE IMMENSE DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY, AS A RESULT OF:
- The systematic looting of public resources by elected representatives and public servants to the detriment of social cohesion.
- The unparalleled capture of state institutions for factional and corrupt purposes.
- The marginalisation of many competent and honest leaders and officials who sought to protect the country from such dishonourable practices.
- Many deplorable instances of assassinations and other forms of violence relating to political infighting and acts of criminality;
- The systematic erosion of the State’s ability to carry out its constitutional mandate of delivering services to our people;
- The failure to implement the transformative social and economic programmes aimed at improving the lives of our people.
- Diminishing the stature and reputation of South Africa and the African National Congress in the eyes of our people, the sister peoples on the African continent and the world at large.
WE HAVE SEEN THE CRISIS IN THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS WEAKEN OUR MOVEMENT AND PROMOTE DIVISIONS:
- The ANC leadership has fallen prey to forces who seek to advance their own selfish and corrupt interests which is inconsistent with the values, policy positions and ethos in the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution;
- Membership of the ANC has come to be seen by some as a path to positions, personal power, privilege and licence to plunder the state resources.
- In government, some members of the ANC have failed to resist and combat actions that subvert the democratic state.
- The ANC-led Alliance is polarised, divided and weakened.
- The social distance between elected representatives and the people has widened and support for the ANC has declined in recent elections.
- As many ANC branches have fallen prey to gate keeping, as a result of factions seeking political office to plunder public resources rather than to serve the people.
- Members who raise their voices in protest against the downward spiral of the ANC have often been threatened and marginalised.
- Our parliamentary caucus has been divided over mechanisms of enforcing accountability and for restoring the credibility of parliament.
In short, the ANC has relinquished its leadership of society and plunged itself into an untenable political crisis. This development represents a danger to all South Africans who love justice and who desire rapid progress towards a better life for all.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CAN AND MUST BE SAVED
We feel the pain of our people whose enthusiasm, trust and love for the ANC has been dampened.
We acknowledge that our failure to address these issues timeously has contributed towards the grave reputational damage, political and moral crisis facing our organisation and country.
We are however convinced that our movement, with a rigorous, serious and genuine introspection can self-correct and be rescued from its current crisis.
THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE RECOGNISES THAT
- Turning the ANC from its present destructive path will not be a simple matter.
- A programme of self-correction must build on the ANC’s historic values of service, selflessness and integrity.
Self-correction will require sustained introspection, critical analysis and concerted action to restore the ANC’s credibility as a leader of society and a humble listening organization that is rooted amongst the masses of our people it seeks to lead.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE TO SAVE THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND SOUTH AFRICA
We are determined to work with many partners who share the historic vision of the ANC to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous nation.
We will not allow the ANC to die under our watch.
We believe, with our many years of commitment and contribution, we carry the wishes and authority of ordinary members of the ANC as well as the millions of our people.
We strongly affirm our belief that this historic National Consultative Conference can help to heal the ills currently afflicting the African National Congress.
We pledge to spread the message of this National Consultative Conference to our ANC branches its higher structures, the country and the world at large.
WE THEREFORE COMMIT TO CALL FOR THE FOLLOWING
A. THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS NEEDS ORGANIZATIONAL RENEWAL
1. The ANC Conference in December 2017, in accordance with rule 11.5 of the ANC Constitution, establishes a committee to design and develop a renewal document, For the Sake of our Future including a plan of action and oversee a thorough renewal of the ANC structures including the branches as follows amongst others:
- To assess and scrutinise the suitability of the elected leadership at all levels in line with the adopted documents, in particular “Through the Eye of the Needle”,
- Takes urgent and practical steps to professionalise and modernise the ANC with priority being given to the membership system;
- take full advantage of the advances in the information, communication technology and management sciences to continue to put in place a better membership system;
- communicate effectively with its membership, core constituency and society in general;
- introduce progressive management methods in the running of the ANC;
- supervise the formulation of practical strategies to ensure that the ANC develops both human and material resources to fulfill its historic task to lead the continuing struggle for the all-round victory of the Democratic Revolution;
- promote a value system that obliges its members and those of its members who are in the State apparatus to serve in the interest of the people of South Africa;
- oppose all corrupt practices, including the abuse of power by all its members in the organization and all institutions of State to enrich themselves or individuals and/or corporations;
- must defeat the establishment of cliques and factions which subvert our united national effort to achieve the inclusive democratic transformation of South Africa in the realisation of the goals of shared prosperity, poverty eradication and reduction of inequality in a growing economy;
- work together with society for the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society;
- respect for and the strengthening of the institutions of the democratic State;
- continuous respect for and strengthening of democratic practices and therefore the rule of law;
2. The Integrity Commission must be an independent constitutional structure within the ANC with the capacity to act independently from and without the influence of the ANC NEC or any official, including the president of the organization. Implementation of its recommendations of the integrity commission. The integrity commission must submit its report directly to the NEC.
3. There must be a one member one vote for a direct election of NEC.
4. The number of deployed NEC members in government must be capped.
5. The Tripartite Alliance must be revitalized, strengthened and respected.
B. THE REVITALIZATION OF THE ECONOMY IS AN IMPERATIVE
1. Corruption must be rooted out from all levels of government and state owned companies – Eskom, SAA and SARS in particular.
2. A judicial enquiry must be urgently set up to investigate state capture and corruption that has served to undermine ANC and the culprits must be apprehended and prosecuted without unnecessary delays.
3. Ill-gotten monies must be confiscated back to fund developmental projects.
4. Hope and confidence in the South African economy must be restored by stakeholder engagement and embarking in an investment pact with business, labour, communities and government.
5. Youth unemployment and job creation must be prioritized
C. OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY MUST BE DEFENDED
1. We must work with the Civil Society to defend the constitution and rights of all our citizens.
2. The constitution of the ANC must be aligned with that of our country.
3. The president must be directly elected and her/his powers be moderated in line with the prescripts of our country’s constitution.
D. THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM NEEDS REVIEW
1. An Electoral Review Commission must be established for the regular reviews of our electoral system and take into account a hybrid system of a constituency and proportional representation system;
2. The Independent Electoral Commission must handle our elections.
3. The ANC president and chairpersons at various levels must be directly elected by one member one vote.
E. BUILDING A NON-RACIAL SOCIETY REMAINS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE
1. Retrogressive tendencies of ethnicity, tribalism, racism and all forms of discrimination must be outlawed and resisted.
2. Education and economic equity must be ensured as they restore dignity and respect and enhance racial harmony.
3. ANC as a progressive organization must promote, enrich and educate all sectors of our society on non-racialism.
F. CIVIL SOCIETY IS AN ALLY
1. The ANC must view and treat Civil Society as a natural ally for the enhancement of nation building and service delivery.
2. Civil Society is partner in development, on policy and its implementation.
3. Together with Civil Society corruption and current attempts to acquire nuclear power must be rejected and resisted.
THIS NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE FURTHERMORE
1. Calls on all women and men of honour and integrity within the ANC and government to stand up against all forms of corruption, expose, reject and isolate the dishonest elements that seek to undermine and destroy our organisation, government and our reputation.
2. Calls for an open and fair election of the new ANC national leadership at the forthcoming December 2017 elective conference that will be committed to stamping out corruption and state capture with immediate effect.
3. A principled new leadership will be expected to heed a call for an urgent, all- inclusive conference that will get a process underway of correcting the wrongs within the ANC through an intense and fundamental organisational renewal into a truly modern organisation that will be adequately fit for purpose and responsive to the challenges of our times.
4. Calls upon President Zuma, for the sake of our future, to resign with immediate effect as State President and as President of the ANC because he has let the ANC, our people and country down. He has brought the ANC into disrepute and violated our South African Constitution.
Issued via the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, 21 November 2017