DOCUMENTS

We dip our heads in shame over Covid-19 corruption ? ANC NEC

Govt must urgently establish multi-disciplinary agency to deal with all cases of white-collar crime, says party

ANC statement on the outcomes of the National Executive Committee

4 August 2020

The National Executive Committee of the ANC met in a regular session on 31 July - 2 August 2020 on a virtual platform. This was the third virtual meeting of the NEC held in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.

In paying tribute to Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe Andrew Mlangeni, the last remaining of the Rivonia Trialists, the NEC reflected on the legacy of a humble giant whose life was characterised by courage, unwavering commitment to the people, ethical leadership and the renewal of the ANC.

In this context the NEC engaged in robust reflection on the shameful revelations of corruption in the procurement of essential materials to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The NEC took decisions on fighting corruption and renewing the ANC as an instrument in the hands of the people to radically transform our society and to build a better life for all.

The meeting received detailed reports and assessed the progress made by our country, led by government, in containing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and dealing with its terrible social and economic consequences.

The NEC focused on critical initiatives aimed at ensuring national recovery and reconstruction, with a specific focus on the national infrastructure recovery plan, preparations for the National Taxi Indaba, as well as examining the feasibility of a Basic Income Grant.

These are important components of our overall response to the dire social and economic impact of the pandemic which are exacerbated by the persistent fault lines of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and their racial, gender and spatial dimensions, that characterise South African society.

The NEC observed a moment of reflection for Comrade Andrew Mlangeni and many others who passed on since its last meeting. The ANC has created a virtual memorial site - ancmemorial.org.za — for paying tribute to our comrades under conditions of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In marking the beginning of Women's Month and the 58th anniversary of the Pan-African Women's Organisation, the NEC recommitted the ANC to the emancipation and empowerment of women and the eradication of gender-based violence and femicide.

CORRUPTION — DRAWING A LINE

The ANC is outraged and deeply embarrassed by recent allegations that some, including its own leaders and members, have sought to benefit unlawfully from the devastating suffering and impoverishment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These developments cause us collectively to dip our heads in shame and to humble ourselves before the people. We acknowledge the justifiable public outrage caused by the depravity and heartlessness displayed by some elements in government, our organisation and the private sector.

We unequivocally condemn all forms of corruption, dishonesty and state capture involving the public and private sectors, including collusion, price-fixing, tender fraud, bribery, illicit financial flows, illegal imports and misuse of tax havens. We will comprehensively fight corruption, combining both prevention and punishment. Those who loot public resources must face the might of the law.

Corruption has devastating consequences for our economy and society, impacting on the integrity of our institutions and our leaders and undermining the very moral and ethical basis of our young democracy.

Ethical and moral leadership, in both the public and private sector, will be critical if our collective fight against corruption is to succeed. Leaders and members of the ANC are expected to set an example to society by displaying the highest levels of integrity and revolutionary consciousness.

The moral standing of the ANC has been severely damaged by the conduct of some of its members — who, in fact, do not deserve to be in our ranks. We are committed to draw a clear line between our organisation and those who steal from the people, thereby subverting the very essence and reason for the ANC's existence as a servant of the people.

The meeting recognised that the NEC was clearly mandated at the 54th National Conference to deal decisively with corruption and to restore the integrity and values of the ANC. This is a responsibility it cannot defer, outsource or avoid.

The NEC welcomed the steps taken by ANC structures in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Free State, and commended those implicated for having volunteered to step-aside whilst their cases are expeditiously attended to by the relevant structures.

Consequently, the National Executive Committee, reaffirming the 54th National Conference resolutions on ANC Credibility and Integrity in Dealing with Corruption, decided that:

Pursuant to the resolution that those accused of corruption and other serious crimes against the people, including those charged in courts, may be expected to step aside from their positions or responsibilities, the National Officials be requested immediately to prepare an audited list of cases and submit this list within one month to the NWC and the NEC, with recommendations for action. In executing this task, the National Officials may call upon the assistance of the Integrity Commission or any other members who can be called upon to make a contribution;

All ANC provincial and regional structures be instructed to report forthwith on steps taken against ANC members and public representatives accused of abusing food parcels and other Covid-19 relief measures. The National Officials were requested to report to the next NWC;

The role and capacity of the ANC Disciplinary Committee and Integrity Commission, including its capacity to investigate, will be strengthened in line with National Conference resolutions. The National Officials were tasked with engaging with the Integrity Commission and making recommendations to the NEC;

The codes of ethics that guide public representatives, members of the executive and public servants at all levels be complied with by ANC public representatives, and reviewed to provide clear guidance with regards to family members doing business with government;

The National Officials are to provide an in-depth analysis of the nature and causes of the current manifestations of corruption, including the intersection between business and politics; and make recommendations regarding the strengthening of ethics and revolutionary values within the ANC.

The NEC declared its full support for the decision, announced by President Ramaphosa, to refer all allegations of corruption in the procurement for Covid-19 goods and services to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and for the establishment of a multi-disciplinary law-enforcement team to investigate COVID-19 corruption. It urges this team to move with speed to bring those responsible to book.

The NEC called upon the ANC-led government urgently establish a permanent multi-disciplinary agency to deal with all cases of white-collar crime, organised crime and corruption. Furthermore, the NEC called upon all law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties without fear, favour or prejudice.

The NEC believes that these, and other actions to be led by the National Officials, must show a clear paradigm shift; a sign of determination to rebuild an ethical and people-centred movement, to lead the process of social transformation.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The NEC emphasised the importance of implementing the decisions of the Special NEC on Local Government held on 27 — 28 September 2019.

The NEC called upon ANC structures and government at national, provincial and local to address the root causes of problems in local government identified by the Auditor General, namely: disregard for controls, non-compliance with legislation and assurance providers; inadequate monitoring of internal controls; vacancies in critical positions; continued capacity gap in administration; leadership instability at administration and political level; ineffective governance structures; leadership's inaction and/or inconsistent action to address persistent transgression that creates a culture of non-compliance. These administrative and governance lapses make for very weak accountability and the consequent exposure to abuse of the public purse.

Furthermore, the NEC emphasised the importance of respecting the political-administrative interface and allowing senior leaders in the administration the space to play their statutory role without interference, including the filling of critical vacancies.

The NEC agreed that other matters relating to local government, as well as reform of the electoral system, and preparations for the 2021 local government elections will be discussed at a special NEC within the next two weeks.

THE WAR AGAINST COVID 19

The NEC reflected on the briefings on the Covid-19 pandemic from President Ramaphosa, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize and COGTA Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The NEC once again hailed the bravery, commitment and selfless service by frontline health, emergency services, security and other essential workers

The NEC affirmed the key pillars of our strategy against Covid-19 and commended the good work being done in public health, social relief, economic interventions, support to workers and small businesses, social mobilisation and communications, often in the face of significant challenges.

The NEC welcomed the work by various sectors of society to ensure adherence to the Disaster Management Regulations and reiterated the call: Protect Yourself, Defend Each Other, Let's Do This Together! The NEC calls on everyone in South Africa to wear masks, practice social distancing, and to their wash hands regularly with soap or sanitizes.

The NEC commended the work done by local ANC structures, who over the last few months have been at the forefront of organising and mobilising communities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The NEC urged all ANC structures to redouble their efforts to campaign for behavioural change aimed at slowing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NEC noted the overwhelming outpouring of grief as we mourned the passing of Isithwalandwe Mlangeni and the dignified manner in which South Africans mourned this freedom fighter and supported the family, especially the community of Dube and Soweto.

The ANC regrets and apologises for the incident on 28 July 2020 when, during the arrival of the cortege at the home, difficulties arose with maintaining social distance and keeping the numbers down. We will cooperate with law enforcement structures who are investigating the matter.

WOMEN'S MONTH AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

The NEC noted the upcoming 64th anniversary of the Women's March to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956.

The NEC recommitted the ANC to mobilising all South Africans in the struggle to build a non-sexist South Africa, by confronting patriarchy in all its manifestations, including fighting gender-based violence, reducing the gender pay gap and the economic marginalisation of women, reproductive health and other aspects that maintain women's inequality.

The NEC noted that we celebrate Women's Month as we confront the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. It urged the speedy finalisation of the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill to strengthen the response of the criminal justice system to gender-based violence.

The NEC calls upon ANC structures to campaign alongside all sectors of society against gender-based violence, and to involve men and boys in eradicating the culture of violence and toxic masculinity in order to build a truly non-sexist society.

The NEC committed to honouring the remaining leaders, activists and organisers of the Women's March and other heroines of our struggle, including Comrades Sophie de Bruyn and Gertrude Shope. The NEC also supported the programme leading up to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Charlotte ManyeMaxeke.

The NEC paid tribute to Comrade Victoria Mxenge, who was brutally assassinated by the apartheid regime 35 years ago on 1 August 1985.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AS KEY DRIVER FOR COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND RECONSTRUCTION

The NEC noted the devastating impact of the pandemic on an already struggling economy, with StatsSA reporting that our economy recorded its third consecutive quarter of decline, and with an expected decline in employment of 5.7% in 2020.

The NEC urged govemment to finalise the Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan. including a massive infrastructure programme, localisation and industrial development in key sectors, including the green economy, and the community works programme.

In this context the NEC received a briefing from the Economic Transformation Sub-Committee on implementation plans and funding mechanisms for the National Infrastructure Recovery Programme as a driver of economic recovery and transformation.

The plan emphasises social and economic infrastructure development, meeting basic needs and maintenance of existing infrastructure. It prioritises network industries (water, energy, transport, and ICT Infrastructure) because of their superior multiplier effects and their ability to create efficiency in the economy, and promote spatial justice. The plan also gives special attention to agriculture, agro-processing, and human settlements.

The plan also seeks to advance the objectives of black economic empowerment, development of small businesses and co-operatives, as well as women and youth owned businesses, localisation and industrialisation, spatial planning, local economic development and job creation.

Recognising the pressure on the fiscus, the plan proposes a number of different funding models, including increasing public-private partnerships, infrastructure bonds and impact investments through private equity and pension funds. The NEC emphasised the role of development and finance institutions such as the IDT, NDA and DBSA.

The plan, which has been agreed to by social partners at NEDLAC, is at an advanced stage. The ANC structures will continue to engage at all levels with advancing a Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan, working with Alliance partners, and engaging other sectors of society.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE NATIONAL TAXI INDABA

The NEC received a briefing from Minister of Transport Cde Fikile Mbalula on preparations for the National Taxi Indaba.

The NEC recognised the importance of the taxi industry, both as an important sector in the South African economy as well as a foundation of our public transport system, transporting over 15 million commuters every day. The NEC emphasised the need to build a safe and reliable public transport system, especially for girl learners and women commuters.

The NEC welcomed the development of a regulatory framework aimed at formalisation of the sector and to ensure the empowerment and participation of local black operators and drivers in the entire value chain of the sector. The department will continue to engage all stakeholders on these issues towards the Indaba.

BASIC INCOME GRANT

The NEC received an update on ongoing work by the NEC Social Transformation Sub-Committee regarding the feasibility of a Basic Income Grant, in the context of deepening poverty, inequality, and food insecurity faced by millions of South Africans.

The NEC welcomed the work done to date, and urged the Social Transformation and Economic Transformation committees to meet urgently to conclude the feasibility study and to report to the NEC. A consultation process will also be continued with social partners including NEDLAC to ensure that the engagements also take place within the ambit of the Comprehensive Social Security discussions that have been taking place at NEDLAC.

CONCLUSION

The NEC discussed other organisational matters which will be reported to ANC structures through its NEC Bulletin.

The NEC emerged united and determined to lead the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, to carry out the mandate of the 54th National Conference to unite and renew the ANC and to continue its programme of radical socio-economic transformation.

Issued by Ace Magashule, Secretary General, ANC, 4 August 2020