Statement of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress Youth League following the NEC meeting held on the 26th to 28thJanuary at the St George's Hotel, Irene, Gauteng
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress Youth League (ANC Youth League) met in its first ordinary sitting for 2013 on the 26th to the 28th January 2013 at the St. George's Hotel in Irene, Tshwane. The meeting sat as per the constitutional imperative to convene a meeting of the NEC quarterly. The NEC was a thorough and far reaching reflection on the organisation and the critical and challenging questions confronting it.
Of necessity, the NEC engaged in frank, honest and indeed difficult discussions with the sole aim of strengthening the Youth League to remain a strong fighting force at the service of the ANC and the people of South Africa. The NEC reaffirmed its capacity and potential to determinedly and diligently carry out our historical mandate to champion youth interests within the ANC and to mobilise young people behind the vision of the ANC.
Deliberations were robust on developments on the African continent with the National Executive Committee reflecting on upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, hoping that the people of Zimbabwe would go out in their numbers to defend the gains of their struggles recorded since independence. The meeting expressed displeasure at the neo-colonial conquest of Mali by France and understood it to be yet another Western intervention carried out with the intention to recolonize Africa.
Such a view was further supported by a comparison of the West's posture towards Syria where rebels are supported against a democratically elected government. Our call however is for the President of Syria to not to kill his own people and the United Nations to pay urgent attention to the resolution of the conflict in Syria.
The NEC reaffirmed our support for the BRICS objective to eliminate foreign military bases and committed itself to support efforts opposing the recolonisation of the African continent, including paying greater attention to the role and influence of China within the continent.
Protecting jobs and building a better country
We welcomed the strategic retreat of Amplats on the matter of the retrenchments and hope that this is not a temporary reprieve but a genuine commitment to finding a lasting solution to the challenges facing that company and its employees.
On the farmworker's strike, the ANC Youth League supports the struggle for a minimum wage of R150 per day and condemn the abuse by farmworkers. Farm owners must further look into share schemes for their farmworkers to alleviate their plight and improve socio-economic conditions on the farms. The ANC Youth League intends to support the programme of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to ensure that young people are productively engaged in subsistence and commercial farming.
The ANC Youth League has also developed the 2013 Youth Development Proposal, which seeks to declare youth unemployment a national emergency demanding the immediate attention of all sectors of society. The proposal considers several key thematic areas amongst them:
- Expanding and strengthening the post-schools skills development and training system
- Entrepreneurship Development
- A State-centred, state driven and stated led school-to-work transition policy
- Phasing out tenders and building state capacity to directly deliver infrastructure and basic services
- Job Seeker's Grant
- Nationalisation for Industrialisation and the
- National Youth Service.
The Youth Development proposal shall form the basis of our contribution to the ANC Lekgotla. Amongst its proposals is the call for State Owned Enterprises to play a greater role in skills development, focusing on developing artisans and various other scarce skills, particularly bringing on board young people from rural and underdeveloped areas as well as previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
ANC 53rd National Conference
The NEC received and welcomed the report on the outcomes of the 53rdNational Conference of the African National Congress; and committed itself to working with the ANC leadership collective elected and all members of the ANC in the implementation of the resolutions adopted at congress. We are particularly pleased by the resolutions adopted on greater state intervention in the economy, including strategic nationalization, the introduction of a national youth service programme, the scrapping of the willing buyer willing seller principle and the expropriation of land without compensation where such land has been acquired illegally.
We welcome that the centrality of the Freedom Charter has been reaffirmed and that its implementation shall be the cornerstone of the movement's political programme of action. The struggle for Economic Freedom in our Lifetime is far from over; the African National Congress Youth League believes however that bold strides were made in Mangaung towards its attainment.
Relationship with the ANC
The NEC also noted the resolution of the ANC National Conference instructing the incoming NEC of the ANC to intervene to address the situation of the ANC Youth League. The NEC welcomed the meeting with the Officials of the ANC and resolved to subject itself to the guidance of the ANC.
Work has already commenced in earnest to assess the state of the organisation and the NEC continues to grapple with the critical question of the capacity and potential of the Youth League leadership to rebuild the organisation and unite all youth behind the vision of the ANC. The NEC committed itself to strengthening the organisation and undergoing a thorough review of the areas of concern raised by the National Conference and the Officials of the ANC.
Leadership of the ANC Youth League
The African National Congress Youth League National Executive Committee had taken and implemented a resolution to explore and exhaust all internal processes of the African National Congress on the expulsion and suspension of Comrades Julius Malema, Sindiso Magaqa and Floyd Shivambu. The 53rdNational Conference, a highest decision making body of the ANC, was to be the final arbiter in this matter.
The assessment of the National Conference included therefore a recognition that the ANC Youth League had been unsuccessful in its bid to have National Conference uplift the sanctions imposed by the NDC and NDCA. We accept and respect the outcome of the National Conference, thus bringing the matter to finality.
After intense and frank deliberations, the NEC resolved to reinstate the Treasurer-General of the ANC Youth League, Comrade Pule Mabe to his position. The NEC acknowledged that no proper process was followed in the removal of Comrade Pule and resolved therefore to reinstate him to his position unconditionally. The NEC also congratulated Comrade Mabe on his election to the National Executive Committee of the ANC.
Defending the integrity of the ANC and its structures
The NEC further went on to express its support for the Integrity Committee established by resolution of the National Conference and our commitment in this, the Decade of the Cadre, to restore to the African National Congress its history of being comprised of men and women of integrity above reproach in word and deed.
A special resolution was adopted by the NEC to clarify our position with regards to the support members of the organisation may provide to comrades in conflict with the law. The NEC reaffirmed our confidence in the criminal justice system and the institutions for law enforcement created by the democratic government.
While we would continue to fight for their transformation and independence, the ANC Youth League believed that they should continue unhindered to perform their function of brining to book those in conflict with the laws of the Republic. We have therefore resolved and hereby instruct the structures of the ANC Youth League to desist from the unbecoming practice of mobilizing and organizing young people under the banner of the ANC Youth League for court appearances and similar activities of accused persons.
Members are free to offer support to comrades in their personal capacity but never in the name of the African National Congress Youth League. We will also seek to strongly discourage from serving in the leadership of the organisation, any members found guilty of crimes of fraud, money laundering, corruption and similar offences as these erode the trust and confidence of our people in the ANC.
National Youth Development Agency and our commitment to Education
The NEC further considered the state of the National Youth Development Agency, concluding that the absence of the Board for more than 8 months poses major challenges to youth development in South Africa. We resolved to continue to engage government to speedily conclude the process of the appointment of the Board.
The NEC will be calling for a report on the work of the National Youth Development Agency, assessing its capacity and resources to place youth development at the center of the country's agenda. The ANC Youth League shall be making submissions to the revision of the NYDA Act and taking concrete steps to strengthen the institutions of youth development.
The ANCYL will be engaging with the Progressive Youth Alliance (composed of the ANC Youth League, SASCO, COSAS and YCL) on various matters including our cooperation in institutions of higher learning. Our energies must be focused on ensuring easier access to and the transformation of higher education.
The ANC Youth League holds the view that our higher education institutions are the breeding ground for the next generation of intellectuals, and should be imbued with the necessary consciousness to avoid a repeat of misguided commentary that negates the vision of social cohesion as in the recent FNB saga.
We believe also that the ANC is well within its rights to defend itself from attack, especially from a media that still refuses to tell the South African story of reconstruction, development, a stable economy and opportunities to develop the capabilities of people to be their own liberators.
Structures of the ANCYL must not abandon the Right-to-Learn campaign started in January of every year but ensure that it is an ongoing programme of the ANC Youth League throughout the year. This campaign calls on us to vigilantly keep an eye out to make sure that students have the necessary support, resources and textbooks required to learn.
Youth League members must swell the ranks of School Governing Bodies and ensure that our schools meet the norms and standards as published by the Department of Basic Education. Our own members are called upon to utilise any opportunities that may arise to further their studies and contribute to their own development.
State of the organisation and the 2014 elections
The ANC Youth League is now preparing for regional and provincial congress where these are due. Congress guidelines have been developed, deliberated and adopted by the NEC and will be circulated to branches in due course.
The NEC received a report on the incident happened at the Polokwane offices of the ANC during the NWC visit to that province and resolved to take serious action against those involved and charging members where necessary. The NEC viewed the incident in a very serious light and will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of actions that portray the ANC Youth League negatively in society.
A lekgotla of the ANC Youth League will be convened to further strengthen our interventions and to begin preparing to deliver an overwhelming youth vote for the ANC in the 2014 elections.
The NEC has emerged from its 4 day meeting with an even greater resolve to realise our generational mission for Economic Freedom in our Lifetime, understood as the implementation of all Freedom Charter demands. We have renewed our understanding of the role of the ANC Youth League at this juncture of the National Democratic Revolution and remain committed to placing our energies at the service of the ANC and the people of South Africa.
We are resolute to continue to defend our autonomy as a critical body of opinion within the ANC and society. We remain an integral part of the ANC with a historical mission to infuse fresh and fearless thinking within the African National Congress to the benefit of the people of South Africa, and in this we shall not fail.
Statement issued by the African National Congress Youth League, January 28 2013
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