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ANC National Working Committee statement following its meeting held on the 20th January 2014

21 January 2014

The National Working Committee of the African National Congress met in its ordinary meeting on the 20th January 2014 at Chief Albert Luthuli House, Johannesburg; the Headquarters of the ANC. The meeting received a briefing from Comrade Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, on the Draft National Intellectual Property (IP) Policy Framework. The NWC is in full agreement with the policy as proposed and the outcomes intended with this policy namely, the lowering of the exorbitant cost of medicine in our country and as a consequence ensuring access by millions of our people to an efficient and accessible health care system. The National IP Policy will also advance our stated goal of ensuring that the public purse is also able to provide these crucial drugs for people living with HIV and AIDS and other prevalent diseases such as cancer and TB.

The National Working Committee condemned the attempted subverting of this IP Policy by certain pharmaceutical companies and their lobby group from America. It is the view of the NWC that the lobby group and its cohorts are only interested in maximizing their profits at the expense of quality and affordable healthcare for all our people both in the private and public sector. Their attempted blockade of this National IP Policy has no interest whatsoever in the people living with HIV and AIDS and other prevalent diseases in our country and the developing world as a whole. The NWC of the ANC therefore calls upon all South Africans to equally reject these American-inspired lobby pronouncements and campaigns against this progressive policy of our government. The National Working Committee will report on this matter to the forthcoming meeting of the National Executive Committee.

The National Working Committee further discussed the ongoing protest in Madibeng relating to the non-availability of water in that area. Whilst we agree and uphold the right of all citizens to protest, the NWC condemns any destruction of both public and private assets by protestors, as this does not add any value to their grievance, instead merely distracts from these grievances in Madibeng or anywhere else. The NWC has decried the prevalent violent protests, which have become a norm in our democratic South Africa; we believe all South Africans, including organised labour and political formations, should come together to stem this tide. The NWC equally condemns the actions of the SA Police Service that resulted in 4 protesters being killed during these protests in Madibeng. It is our held view that the actions of the police, in whatever situation, should not culminate in people losing their lives. We thus welcome the investigation being undertake n by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) into this matter.

The National Working Committee is convinced that if the Final Report of Ministerial Task Team on Madibeng commissioned by the former Minister of the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Comrade Richard Baloyi, was implemented by the Municipality last year; the service delivery protest and the unfortunate loss of life in Madibeng would have been averted. The ANC will be taking stern action against the relevant authorities in view of this failure; we will also want to ensure that the resultant instability and paralysis in the Municipality which is caused by deep seated factionalism in the Council and the Administration is speedily addressed.

The National Working Committee has thus directed the Council and its leadership to implement, with immediate effect, the COGTA Ministerial Task Team Report that amongst others calls for disciplinary action and criminal prosecution against implicated administrative heads in the Municipality. The NWC has further called for urgent investigation on allegations of impropriety relating to the ownership of water tanks used for delivery of water in that Council and allegations that water supply is being deliberately sabotaged to the benefit of fraudulent service providers.

Issued by
Gwede Mantashe
African National Congress

Jackson Mthembu 082 370 8401