NEWS & ANALYSIS

ANC releases NGC discussion documents

These discuss whether NDR is still on track, balance of forces, national question etc.

ANC STATEMENT ON THE RELEASE OF NGC DISCUSSION DOCUMENTS

The African National Congress (ANC) is officially releasing its discussion documents for the forthcoming National General Council (NGC). These documents are intended to trigger discussions and debates around a broad range of issues that confront the country and the movement. We invite all South Africans to engage with these documents as part of sharpening policy positions, implementation and enriching public discourse on the building of a more inclusive, safe and just society.

The Constitution of the ANC (2017) mandates the NEC to convene a National General Council not later than 30 (thirty) months after the National Conference. This means that the NEC should have convened the NGC by no later than June 2020. With the onset of the COVID pandemic the NGC preparations had to be reviewed, and the NEC took the view that the NGC could not take place within the prescribed timeframe.

In the context of the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic, the NEC is reflecting on the format of the NGC, while ensuring that we realise its objectives and content. The NGC is a platform for the mid-term review of the performance of the organization, and an assessment of progress and challenges in implementing its policies and programmes adopted and re-affirmed at the 54th National Conference. The NGC will also perform a review of the National Development Plan, a decade ahead of its completion. It further seeks to assess the balance of forces as it prevails, and their impact on the fundamental objective of creating a better life for all South Africans.

Over the years, the ANC National General Council has proved to be the biggest political school of the ANC. With nation-wide and sectoral discussions of NGC papers taking place, this provides an opportunity for members and branches, including those that have no direct delegations to the NGC, to engage with implementation of policy and assess progress with transformation. This process sets the tone for the fruitful discussions at the NGC, enhance the quality of debates in the various commissions and empower delegates to express their views with a greater degree of clarity and depth.

The Leagues, Alliance and broader Mass Democratic Movement are been involved in this process. Furthermore, sub-committees will continue to engage stakeholders such as the religious sector, professionals, intelligentsia, artists, business, sports and cultural communities, the LGBTQI+ community and as broad a range of civil society as possible. The timeous finalisation of discussion papers was adversely affected by the pandemic. It was however, a blessing in disguise as it provided an opportunity for greater reflection in the development of the discussion papers and consideration of the challenges and opportunities that have arisen due to the pandemic. The NEC Policy Sub-Committee and relevant sub¬committees have been meeting on virtual platforms since April 2020 to review and enhance the drafts of proposed discussion papers.

We are pleased to announce that after months of hard-work and a robust drafting process, the 10 discussion papers are being released for public discussion, as a Special Edition of Umrabulo, that will be released online today.

The NGC discussion documents are as follows:

1.Transformation and a Prosperous South Africa - Is the NDR still on track?

2.Social cohesion, and the National and Gender Question:

3.Balance of Forces

4.Young People Today: Mission, Challenges and Tasks

5.Building a Non-Sexist Society

6.Culture and Heritage: Strengthening linkages in ANC Policy and Strategic Repositioning in the Post-Apartheid Era

7.Review of Through the Eye of the Needle 8. Organisational Renewal and Unity 9.Developing our Human Capabilities 10.SA's Electoral System

11.Towards a Reconfigured Alliance

The discussion documents will also contribute towards enriching the content of the 2021 Local Government Elections Manifesto of the ANC.

The novel Coronavirus (Covid 19) is still very much part of our local and global reality. We will therefore have to continue to keep our communities, ourselves and each other safe through social distancing, wearing masks and abiding by the Disaster Regulations. The format of engagements on these documents will therefore be different, with as much decentralization and virtual engagements as possible.

Slides together with the simplified versions will be made available to branches via the ANC's internal communication system, including the ANC Cloud. ANC branches will be requested to set up mechanisms to discuss the papers, involving all members and other local community and civil society structures. A mechanism for proposals and contributions from branches, members and the public have been developed to receive feedback.

ANC NEC Sub-Committees will convene virtual sectoral seminars with relevant stakeholders on discussion papers as well media briefings. They will also engage with the Alliance and MDM structures on all discussion papers. ANC Provincial and Regional structures will also meet virtually for discussions on the documents.

We thank you

Statement issued by Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Jessie Duarte, on behalf of the ANC NEC, 20 November 2020