1st National General Council: Declaration
28 August 2010
We, the delegates from branches, regions and provinces of the ANC Youth League across South Africa, gathered for the 1st National General Council of the ANC Youth League in Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg to map out a concrete programme on how we galvanise youth to attain total economic freedom in our lifetime. The National General Council was declared the biggest National Political School of the ANC Youth League and a platform upon which we review our progress since the 23rd National Congress and develop concrete policy positions and programmes to guide us towards the 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League in 2011.
Our National General Council received inspiring and critical messages of support and addresses by our fraternal organisations, and progressive organisations from around Africa. We appreciate the inspiration and agitation that we should never give up on the struggles for economic freedom in our lifetime. The NGC was further graced by the presence of ANC leadership, former leaders of the ANC Youth League and representatives of business, religious sector and traditional leadership. The addresses by the ANC were both inspirational and forward looking with regards to the programme of building a strong African National Congress towards its centenary in 2012.
As we gather here, we salute the massive contribution that the women of South Africa have made in the struggle for political emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular, and their continued commitment to challenge the obstacles that prolong the struggles facing women and society are the inequalities in the economy that must be resolved in order to achieve economic freedom in our lifetime.
We appreciate and applaud the fact that the ANC Youth League continues to qualitatively and quantitatively grow and expand to exert hegemony in our communities. The NGC appreciates that as compared to 2008, the ANC Youth League has more than 560 additional audited branches, meaning that the ANC Youth League now exists in areas it previously never existed.
The National General Council re-affirms the centrality of the Freedom Charter as the strategic goal of the African National Congress and entire national liberation movement, and that everything we do should be directed towards attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives. We therefore commit to ensure that the 53rd National Conference of the ANC in 2012 should re-assert and concretely programmatise the Freedom Charter as focus of the ANC post its centenary celebrations. Our strong conviction is that in the spirit reflective of the founding generation of the ANC Youth League in the 1940s, our generation should do everything in its power to radicalise and re-energise the African National Congress to be a fighting force for people`s political, social and economic freedom.
The National General Council affirms the view expressed in the Political Report that part of re-energising and radicalising the African National Congress will include election of younger, more energetic and militant leadership into senior leadership of the ANC. We therefore call on younger and more energetic members of the ANC with plausible and adequate organisational experience and understanding to lead the ANC at regional, provincial and national level. The 2012 ANC 53rd National Conference should epitomise the programme to re-energise and give new impetus to the African National Congress both with regards to the political programme adopted and leadership elected by that Conference.
The National General Council calls on all members of the Youth League to join the African National Congress and ensure that more than 50% of the 1 million membership of the ANC are young people. This will assist in placing the Youth Development agenda at the forefront of all government programmes, because young people in South Africa are the least beneficiaries of economic opportunities presented by the democratic government. National General Council instructs all structures of the ANC Youth League to build the Progressive Youth Alliance in order to strengthen the revolutionary alliance now and in the future.
The National General Council expresses displeasure with the re-emergence of a political tendency in the ANC of politically accounting in London, a trend that was defeated by the founding generation of the ANC Youth League. South Africa`s sovereignty and independence should never be sacrificed in pursuit of pleasing the narrow interests of investors and imperialists. This notion should altogether be defeated in the African National Congress as it has potential of donating our country to the whims and needs of imperialists.
As delegates, we further express our displeasure with attempts to undermine the autonomy of the ANC Youth League, through amongst other things, the isolation of the President from the organisation. National General Council therefore holds a view that taking the President of the ANC Youth League to Disciplinary Hearing of the ANC for expressing organisational and political views is regrettable and irregular with regards to the ANC Constitutional guidelines. The NGC is convinced that there is nothing wrong that the President of the ANC Youth League did that warranted disciplinary action. The ANC Youth League delegation to the National General Council of the ANC in September 2010 should call for the nullification of the irregular and regrettable disciplinary hearing of ANC Youth League President.
As National General Council, we have noted the emergence of a tendency in the ANC Youth League of taking the organisation to Court for internal organisational matters. We re-affirm the long held principle that any member of the ANC Youth League who takes the organisation to Court will be automatically expelled from the organisation. This helps us to nip in the bud tendencies that have potential to undermine organisational discipline and democracy. National General Council re-asserts the importance of Discipline as a weapon of struggle and transformation, which does not exist for its own sake, but to safeguard the unity of the movement.
It is through discipline, focus and persuasion that the ANC Youth League will triumph in the battle for Nationalisation of Mines. It is the NGC`s conviction that Nationalisation of Mines will happen because the balance of forces in South Africa are in favour of the forces of change. The entire membership of the ANC Youth League will therefore mobilise the whole of society to support nationalisation of Mines, as a component of the struggles to realise economic freedom in our lifetime. Towards the National General Council of the ANC in September 2010, Youth League branches should have convinced all branches, regions and provinces of the ANC to adopt concrete resolutions in support of Nationalisation of Mines. As part of struggles for economic freedom in our lifetime, the ANC Youth League calls for the urgent amendment of Section 25 of South Africa`s Constitution, because it has potential to prevent progressive programmes and interventions by the State to drive redistribute wealth for the benefit of all our people. The State should be empowered to expropriate all property in the justifiable interests of the people of South Africa.
Our overall assessment is that the ANC Youth League is far much stronger and better positioned to lead struggles for social and economic transformation and will intensify in all fronts to ensure that young people have access to better education, healthcare, housing, and many other social needs. Our branches of the ANC Youth League should be at the forefront of the struggles against crime, alcohol abuse and rapid spread of HIV/AIDS. Multi-sexual relationships cannot continue to be fashionable amongst the youth and should be combated.
The ANC Youth League will continue to relate internationally with progressive formations, particularly former liberation movements such as Zanu PF in Zimbabwe, SWAPO in Namibia, Frelimo in Mozambique, Chama Chama Pindudzi in Tanzania, MPLA in Angola, POLASARIO in Western Sahara and many other progressive formations across the world. The ANC Youth League will also campaign for a better world and social justice across the world in the international organisations we participate in, particularly World Federation for Democratic Youth, International Union of Socialist Youth and Pan African Youth Union. As an immediate focus, the ANC Youth League will campaign for social and political justice in Swaziland. We cannot continue to behave like all is well is Swaziland because political parties remain banned and political activists are brutalised and killed by the Monarchy.
As National General Council, we express the ANC Youth League and South Africa`s readiness to host the 17th World Festival for Youth and Students in December this year. The World Festival for Youth and Students, which is organised under the auspices of the World Federation for Democratic Youth (WFDY), will bring thousands of progressive youth formations and organisations from across the world.
The ANC Youth League will continue to be a robust, honest and leading youth formation in South Africa and is now more than determined to fight all battles in the war towards attainment of total economic freedom in our lifetime.