STATEMENT BY THE ALLIANCE SECRETARIAT AFTER THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE ALLIANCE POLITICAL COUNCIL HELD AT THE ANC HEADQUARTERS CHIEF ALBERT LUTHULI FROM THE 8th- 9th OF JULY 2018.
10 July 2018
The Alliance Political Council met for the first time after the ANC‘s 54th National Conference from the 8th – 9th July 2018. The meeting reaffirmed the perspectives to drive our National Democratic Revolution into a new trajectory for radical socio economic transformation.
The political council took place against the backdrop of events of much political significance in the country and the world. The revolutionary alliance headed by the ANC is part of the contingent of progressive forces to make the world a better place for humanity.
In this regard the meeting received a delegation from the Bolivarian Republic of Venuezela led by the Foreign Minister Cde Jorge Arreaza and the deputy minister for the African affairs Cde Pimentel Yuri. The meeting expressed solidarity with the people of Venezuela against the US led aggression which seeks to undermine her sovereignty.
The meeting agreed to foster relations with the socialist party of Venezuela and other progressives forces of the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The purpose is to foster our common efforts of solidarity and internationalism to bring the unity of the struggles of our two people.
The meeting observed a moment of silence in memory of the passing on of comrade Petrus Mashishi, the founding president of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). The council conveyed its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives including the whole progressive movement.
The unfolding discussions took place in a comradely atmosphere characterised by a robust, frank and honest assessment and evaluation of the state of the National Democratic Revolution. The meeting discussed a wide range of issues of far reaching political and socio –economic importance with the primary objective of consolidating the unity of our revolutionary Alliance at all levels.
The revolutionary alliance took cognisance of the balance of forces in the world and its influence on the direction and the pace of our Revolution. This amongst others included the analysis of the heightening offensive by the USA led right wing triumphalism and its adverse consequences on the stability of the world economy.
The Political Council further noted the necessity to strengthen South – South relations and with the other progressives forces in the world to restore the prosperity of the world economy to serve the needs of humanity. In this context the meeting reconfirmed the need to strengthen BRICS community of nations.
The Council raised concerns about the socio-economic challenges confronting our country which include job losses and the rise in the cost of living. In this context the meeting resolved to do everything to cushion ordinary people against the impact of the deepening economic crisis, part of this will include a need to work with the economic cluster on finding ways to introduce relief measures against the VAT and fuel price increases. Part of this work will be integrated into the preparations towards the jobs and financial sector summits.
The Council also took place during an important historic year marking the centenary anniversary celebrations of two of our most outstanding revolutionary iconic figures, comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. Through their exemplary life we have learnt the importance of unity of purpose and unity of action.
Discussions were characterised by a commitment from all components of the Alliance to strategically map out a programme towards the effective functioning of the alliance and therefore consolidating the strategic objectives of our revolution.
The meeting also appreciated the growing confidence and the mood of the vast majority of the people of our country towards the ANC and the progressive movement in general. In this regard the meeting focused more on the centrality and the importance of the unity and cohesion of our movement, the alliance partners and our people. Therefore, the meeting resolved that moving forward the priority should be the mobilisation of the motive forces of our revolution and taking the importance of the contribution of the people of our country towards the building of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous society.
In this context, the following political issues constituted the agenda of the meeting:
1. RECONFIGURATION OF THE ALLIANCE
The meeting received a presentation from the SACP on the proposals regarding the reconfiguration of the Alliance. It was agreed that an Alliance Secretariat led task team be established to work on modalities and seek to modernise the practical working mechanisms in the alliance. The task team is charged with developing a common approach for debate in all structures of each alliance component.
A discussion document will be developed which will be made available to all the structures across the spectra of our revolutionary Alliance formations. This will be part of the broader work which will culminate into an Alliance Summit to be convened by the end of October this year.
2. TOWARDS THE ALLIANCE ECONOMIC SUMMIT
Subsequent to the agreement to hold the Alliance Summit by the end of October 2018, the meeting agreed to prepare towards the convening of an Alliance Economic Summit. The focus of this Summit will be to discuss the economic policy trajectory of our country. This will among others focus on the following:
a) Proposals regarding the economic and labour market sections of the NDP
b) State Craft , Planning, Coordination of Government and size of government
c) Preparing towards the Jobs and Financial Sector Summit
d) Public Transport in particular the passenger rail transport
e) Taxation focusing on VAT, zero rated goods and fuel
f) Energy Security: energy mix
g) Health system: Implementation of the NHI
h) Fuel price increases and the general rise in the cost of living
i) The Mining Charter and the Mine Safety Matters
j) Land Redistribution
k) The Fourth Revolution and its impact on the future of work.
3. THE 2019 ANC LED ELECTION CAMPAIGN
The meeting agreed on the importance of the participation of the revolutionary Alliance to ensure massive victory of the ANC in the coming 2019 general election. In this regard all alliance formations shall without fail participate in the national and provincial list committees: Also taking into account matters that would arise from the Alliance Summit
The meeting also appreciated a report regarding the Thuma Mina Campaign and agreed that this campaign needs to include getting government to act decisively on matters raised by communities. A clear message has to be communicated to our people that even if they have the right to raise their concerns about the challenges of service delivery, they must at the same time, not abuse their right of peaceful protest as an instrument to destroy property and therefore undermining the security of our people.
4. ON THE NON – TRADING HOLIDAYS
The meeting noted that South Africa has 13 public Holidays and that only May Day, Freedom Day and Election Day should be non - trading holidays.
5. HEALTH SYSTEM: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
a) The meeting received a presentation on the NHI Bill by the minister of health. All in the meeting expressed broad support for the NHI Bill and it was agreed that there will be an alliance campaign to popularise the benefits of the NHI.
b) The Alliance will support all programmes related to the implementation of NHI.
6. CUBAN PROGRAMME
The meeting received progress report with regard to the South Africa – Cuba Medical exchange programme – commonly known as the Cdes Castro Mandela Programme. The meeting was indeed encouraged by the completion of more than 700 medical students studying in Cuba and noted that they will be arriving in groups in the coming weeks. This historic and strategic programme stands to cement our long standing friendly relations between South Africa and the Republic of Cuba, whose contribution to our liberation struggle is unequalled.
The programme also stands to benefit the overwhelming majority of our people, particularly the urban and the rural poor. Moving forward, it was agreed that the programme has to be taken to the higher levels through coordination by national government. The meeting agreed to conduct an audit of all South African students on scholarship programmes throughout the world with a view to reassert their skill requisite and their contribution towards the improvement of the living conditions of our people. This task should be coordinated by the Alliance Secretariat.
7. ENERGY SECURITY
The meeting received a report on IPPs and its also discussed the future of power stations whose life span had come to an end.
The meeting agreed on the need for further, detailed and comprehensive discussion on energy security. The meeting also discussed the reported possible future closure of power stations, affordability of energy and its impact on the economy and jobs in particular.
8. ALLIANCE PROGRAMME OF ACTION
The Secretariat will from this meeting identify issues which will be part of an Alliance Programme of Action. These will include on amongst others the following:
a) A programme to tackle corruption and to dismantle the parasitic networks which have captured some sections of the state.
b) Addressing issues that militate against the unity of the Alliance and the movement as a whole.
c) Implementation of the National Health Insurance System.
d) Violence against women and children
9. THE ROLE OF THE SOES AND THEIR DEVELOPMENTAL MANDATE
The meeting received a report on the state of SOEs and this included the state of the country’s finances which also include details on tax and revenue policy.
The meeting noted with concern about allegations of corruption in our SOEs and agreed on the need to enhance their administrative capacity to confront such challenges.
10. LAND REDISTRIBUTION WITHOUT COMPENSATION
The meeting encouraged our people to participate in the current parliamentary public hearings on the expropriation of land without compensation. It further acknowledged the Cabinet Committee to engage with traditional leaders in this regard and meetings already held between the ANC and the leadership of CONTRALESA. The Alliance Political Council also received a report about the cordial and friendly meeting between Cde President Ramaphosa and King Goodwill Zwelithini. The meeting further support the statement by the President of our country that government has no intentions to expropriate land held in trust by traditional leaders on behalf of communities.
11. NEXT ALLIANCE POLITICAL COUNCIL MEETING
The meeting agreed that the next Alliance Political Council meeting will be held on the 15th and 16th July 2018. This meeting will on amongst others discuss the State Owned Enterprises and the Finances of the state.
Statement issued by ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO, 10 July 2018