19 June 2017

South Africa: Veterans Must Be Immune From Factional Battles - Northern Cape ANC

African National Congress veterans, who have recently criticised President Jacob Zuma, should be "immune from the factional politics that precede leadership elections".

This is according to the ANC in the Northern Cape, which held its policy conference in Kimberley over the weekend.

"The province proposes that current modalities on the nature and work of the veterans must be revisited," reads the statement from provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga.

"The veterans should be above ordinary party politics and the current arrangement of having the veterans league as an ANC league dilutes the political role of the ANC veterans.

"The province proposes a Council of Veterans that will serve as living conscience of the ANC. To a certain degree, the Council should be immune from the factional politics that precede the leadership elections."

The ANC in the Northern Cape also wants to restructure the ANC's organisational design.

The province has proposed that the national executive committee's (NEC) additional members be reduced from 80 to 40.

"We believe that the current size of the NEC has an adverse impact on the nature of engagements and the quality of discussions that should be taking place in the NEC," said Ngxanga.

Revolutionary Council

The NEC is the highest decision-making structure between national conferences and needed to thoroughly interrogate issues tabled for discussions, and the current heavy structure of the ANC did not allow for such in-depth engagements, he said.

Secondly, the province proposed that the current national working committee (NWC) be replaced by a Revolutionary Council.

It viewed the current structure of the NWC, which dates back to the 1940s when Dr Alfred Xuma was the ANC's president, as "of no great assistance in the functioning" of the NEC, provincial and regional executive committees.

"The province is of the view that the Xuma-styled working committee does not add real value in the functioning of the NEC, PEC or RECs, as the working committee does not have real powers to take decisions and the working committee members are not tasked-assigned.

"The province proposes for the establishment of a Revolutionary Council within the context of the work and powers of the NEC, PECs and RECs. The Revolutionary Council must have powers to take decisions, collectively with the office of the Secretary-General, implement decisions from meetings of structures and conferences."

The proposal says that the Revolutionary Council should consist of nine task-assigned members, as opposed the NWC's current six members - the president, deputy president, national chairperson, secretary general, deputy secretary general, and treasurer general.

'Demanding politics'

The proposal calls for another deputy president, and two further deputy secretary generals.

One deputy president would be tasked with planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the other with international relations.

In their proposed committee there would be a deputy secretary general tasked with campaigns, elections and membership; one tasked with cadre development and discipline and one tasked with communications and the battle of ideas.

"Central to our task of constructing a developmental state is planning, monitoring and evaluation function. The province is of the view that it is fair to elevate this function to the Presidency," reads the statement.

"The 21st-century global politics are more demanding and the country interface with the globe is a critical task of our revolution, hence the proposal to elevate the pillar of international work to the presidency."

The province further proposed that the Revolutionary Council report to the NEC on a quarterly basis.

Source: News24

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