Reflections on the ANC NGC

Chelsea Lotz says the party's council offered a refreshing and honest approach to the state of affairs in SA

The ANC has gone at length to show its seriousness in improving the organization, through the commitment to combat corruption, improve schooling and bring in National Health Insurance, but in outlining how these objectives can be achieved, whilst putting strategic measures, committees and new policies in place to ensure the effective carrying out of these new targets.

Immediately after the NGC, the ANC Western Cape suspended councillor Siseko Mabidiza for incompetence and negligence, and also expelled comrade Jonton Syman from the ANC for money laundering and corruption. Both comrades have been active in the ANC for at least a decade, which illustrates that the ANC has a no-nonsense approach in its endeavour to root out corruption.

In a resolve to address the root cause of corruption from comrades within the ANC, the NGC has spoken of a stronger implementation of the Integrity Commission, in which a committee will closely monitor all employees of the ANC, to ensure that ethical behaviour is concurrent throughout the ANC.

The vetting process includes, “civil servants including those in the security cluster should be periodically rotated from one employment site to another so as to circumvent growth of unprofessional and frequently corrupt relations with clients, service providers and other persons they interact with and/or are responsible for”, as well as “government should conduct lifestyle audits for all employees of the state and its related entities", and “the vetting process should be expedited for government employees and its related entities".

The ANC, has shown a long-standing and serious commitment to gender equality. The NGC states that a 50/50 ratio of men and women in the ANC is to be implemented, not only in Parliament, but also throughout the entire structure. At present 49% of ANC leaders in Parliament are female.

The ANC’s commitment towards gender equality proves to remain uncontested against other political parties. At present, the ANC has some of the best policies globally when it comes to the protection of women and children, whereas other countries such as the U.K, still have a long way to go in comparison.

The ANC acknowledged that whilst crime remains a serious issue, crime has statistically decreased, however that will not hinder the fight against crime. The ANC stated “Rates of violent crime remain stubbornly high despite the initiatives aimed at crimes such as murder and armed robbery. We call on all our people to join hands in the fight against crime. We shall take particular steps to combat the killing of police. Gender based violence and safety of people from contact crimes is a societal responsibility that we must address. Government must move with speed on an integrated response through the criminal justice system".

Although the ANC has chosen to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the ANC has stated that the “prevention of genocide and promotion of human rights remains on the forefront of the agenda”, and that “South Africa still holds the flag of human rights”. The ANC believes that the ICC has strayed from its original principals. Furthermore, the ICC does not have mandate to interfere with AU matters, such as Al Bashir at a conference on African soil, when the ICC is not a part of the AU. For this reason, the ANC is withdrawing from the ICC, to protect itself from imperialist forces.

Funding from the ANC, to the National Students Financial Aid, has increased from 441 million rand to 9.5 billion rand in 2015. The ANC will continue to increase its support so that students may have the opportunity to study, despite coming from impoverished backgrounds. At the NGC, the ANC stated that inspectors will be re-introduced back into schools, to ensure that teachers arrive at work on time and teach for 7 hours a day. The inspectors will also be there to monitor schools systems, thus aiming to eradicate corruption in schools.

By far the most promising outcome of the NGC, aside from the commitment to root out corruption, is the decision to fast track the implementation of National Health Insurance. The ANC stated that the treasury will strongly review and evaluate how funds can be re-distributed to National Health Insurance. The implementation of a NHI, would bring South Africa up the ranks, towards providing for civil society in such a way that can contend with first world countries, such as the U.K, USA and Russia.

Other promising fast–tracking measures of the ANC, is that on the issue of land reform, as well as the set-up of a presidential commission to start doing research into the measures and actions needed, to evaluate the possibility of fewer provinces. The ANC stated that “nearly eighty thousand land claims, totalling 3.4 million hectares, have been settled and 1.8 million people have benefited” and that “nearly 5,000 farms, comprising 4.2 million hectares that have been transferred to black people, benefiting over 200,000 families”. 

The drive towards farm worker rights will continue, with the proposal that farmers are to give 50% of equity to the workers, thus replacing the previous “willing buyer, willing seller" land distribution policy.

The ANC has shown its commitment towards the core values, which are unity, selflessness, sacrifice, collective leadership, humility, honesty, discipline, hard work, internal debates, constructive criticism, self-criticism and mutual respect. The ANC has stated that "the ANC will not tolerate ill-discipline, hooliganism, violence and other negative behaviour. The recent expulsion and suspensions of members who engage in such activities has demonstrated that the movement will not hesitate to act to protect its integrity".

Over all, the ANC offered a refreshing and honest approach to the state of affairs in South Africa. Whilst confronting the reality that the ANC has lost support and that GDP growth has slowed down, the ANC has shown serious commitment by not only saying how they aim to improve South African governance, but also the measures, changes and new policies that will be implemented to ensure that South Africa can be a safe and prosperous country for all, free of corruption, inequality, poverty and crime.