Social Transformation Committee
- The STC Commission report was premised on the Resolutions of the 53rd National Conference, the Strategy and Tactics as adopted in the 53rd Conference and the 2014 Elections Manifesto. The Commission also took into consideration the decisions of the ANC NEC lekgotlas and the Alliance Summits
- For the past 20yrs we have concentrated on solidarity based policies aimed at reducing abject poverty and reducing inequalities. This social wage which has been described by the World Bank as one of the most effective in reducing poverty and increasing incomes for the poorest.; Access to potable water has grown by 29 percent; 3.7 million houses has been provided and 15 million people now have access to decent shelter.
- This was a necessary basis for building a united state based on the will of all the people, without regard race, sex, belief, language, ethnicity or geographic location and improvement of quality of life among all the people. Now we are entering the Second Phase of our Radical Socio Economic Transformation and our work is to concentrate on work that will help our people to help themselves out of poverty. This approach will create the capacities, environment and the necessary resources that will facilitate peoples active engagement in the process of their own development.
- Many of the recommendations and discussions complemented the issues raised in the report and the presentation made in the Commission and will not be repeated in this report.
- The report therefore describes some of the core issues that need to be taken forward and prioritized
- We have assessed the work done by government and it will provide a good basis on which to develop an electoral platform for the upcoming elections.
- The report deals with the following areas: Social Cohesion, Social Development, Women, Sports, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements.
1. SOCIAL COHESION:
- The discussion on Social Cohesion was framed by the 13 key issues that are in the elections manifesto.
- The following were some of the more salient issues that emerged from the discussions:
- Social transformation is linked to spiritual transformation (Charter positive values). There is a nexus between the two. If this is not done the work on social transformation will be a technical exercise. Therefore, the need to popularize the Charter of Positive Values throughout the structures of the ANC and Society as spearheaded by the Moral Regeneration Movement led by the Deputy President
- Promoting Constitutional values will assist in society accepting and practicing the protection of dignity and rights of others as well as their own rights.
- The Commission supports the newly formed Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) that will build cultural and creative industries. There will also be a requirement of legislative reform such as the intellectual property regimes as it pertains to the cultural and creative industries.
- There is a need to do more in promoting our Indigenous Languages in both public service and the Education System, this shortcoming has led to the misplaced criticism on the introduction of Mandarin in basic education as an optional language
- We should accelerate the idea of local manufacturing and beneficiation (e.g. our Crafts) as the issue of economic well-being cannot be delinked from building social cohesion.
- The media especially TV plays a very important role towards social cohesion and nation building. We must consciously encourage producers to produce progressive productions, esp. productions targeting the youth.
- The ANC needed to be more active in issues of social cohesion especially in relation to ensuring that geographic name changes made by government is based on consultations within the ANC structures as well.
- As part of our heritage work the ANC needs to develop a strategy to deal with the issue of statues and other cultural artifacts that celebrate the heroes of apartheid. We also need to build statues that celebrate our own heroes.
- An issue was raised about social distance within the ANC as well. It was proposed that the practice of differential treatment of people perceived as VVIPs and VIPs should be discouraged. At the same time the ANC branches were encouraged to develop strategies to reduce social distance between itself and communities
REDUCING POVERTY AND INEQUALITY/SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- The Commission supported the recommendation with respect to the transformation of Social Protection and Welfare Services outlined in the report.
- The following issues were raised as matters that needed attention:
- Fast Track the Release of the Comprehensive Social Security Document, which has been with us for almost 20yrs. The document must be tabled at NEDLAC before the end of this year.
- Accelerate the implementing Programs and Policies to reduce Alcohol and Substance Abuse must be overcome given the damage done by alcohol and substance abuse in communities. This includes the proposed measures to limit alcohol advertising and promotion. The commission calls on all our structures and Alliance must have programs on mobilization of communities on alcohol and Substance abuse
- Noting the good work done by government on dealing with poverty and inequality through social grants. The illegal and/or immoral deductions from the pensions by financial service providers must be stopped.
- The DSD needs to examine whether there are mechanisms to ensure that a portion of the grant is used exclusively for the purchase of nutritious food to improve child nutrition.
- The mandate of the Department, which is the socio-economic empowerment of women, promotion of women’s rights and gender equality was supported.
- Preferential Procurement rules need to be amended to make specific allocation to women enterprises including cooperatives.
- The Women’s Empowerment Bill is a step in the right direction and its implementation needs to be prioritized.
- The set aside for women as outlined in the Department of Human Settlements must be done by all government departments as part of a process of engendering the budgeting processes.
- Addressing gender based violence and safety of people from contact crimes is a multi-departmental responsibility and will be coordinated through the Integrated Social Crime Prevention Strategy and through the criminal justice system.
- This includes promoting the rights and safety of the LGBTI community.
- A comprehensive strategy that seeks to deal with patriarchy throughout society should be developed and implemented. This should be led by the ANC working in partnership with relevant civil society organizations.
- Accountability and coordinating measures should be put in place to ensure that all government departments work towards the empowerment of safety of women
- The Department of Women will need to engage the National School of Government and the relevant departmental colleges on this area of work as it consolidates its capacity.
- The Women’s league must set up a Young Women’s League.
- As indicated in previous resolutions the punishment of perpetrators of violence must be to the fullest extent permissible by law. Recent court cases has indicated that the Criminal Justice still too lenient.
- We must be aware of the continuing triple oppression of women. This includes continued class oppression that intersects with racism, particularly for women on farms. We need to work on improving the wages and general working conditions of women workers as part of the women empowerment agenda.
- We need to be committed to the resolutions we made at the last Policy Conference and Elective Conference on stopping the practices of Ukukengenwa and Ukuthwalwa. The Children’s Act and other legislation such as PEPUDA already makes such practices illegal especially in relation to children.
- The 50/50 principle must be implemented in full in the ANC and in government.
- We need to develop programs to address the vulnerabilities of women between the ages 36 – 55. They receive very little services and are often abused single mothers. In many cases the rate of alcohol abuse is quite high. This issue was raised and needs to be researched with a view to developing appropriate programs.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
- Sport is a key tool for social transformation and social cohesion
- Sport funding model in government needs to be completely overhauled so that sports can meet its mandate.
- Therefore needs the necessary levels of investment by all of government, including allocation from ALL provinces from the equitable share.
- Implement the Ring-Fencing of the MIG to fund sports comprehensively
- Consider the implementation of a 2 percent levy on alcohol industry through the proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising.
- The levy on ticketing as proposed was supported.
- The STC emphasized the implementation of compulsory schools sport and for Physical Education as a stand -alone subject. This will require the review and amendment of the Schools Act.
- The speeding up the transformation of all sporting codes was supported.
- To include the boards of all Sports Federations.
- We should consider possible sanctions against corporates that continue to support untransformed codes and federations.
- We must review lease agreements that perpetuate unequal access to Sports and Recreation facilities in all communities
- We should also look measures including funding from local government to ensure the maintenance and protection of existing sporting and recreational facilities.
- The roll-out of outdoor recreation facilities is important and should be adequately funded.
- We need a campaign that breaks down the notion that sports for men is about money and status in an environment that leads to the potential abuse of women.
WATER AND SANITATION
- STC supported the need to review legislation to facilitate the removal of unused and inequitable water rights allocations in order to ensure a more equitable distribution.
- National government will be the custodian of water.
- Water trading will be abolished
- The Department of water will explore conservation initiatives. An example included possible restrictions on the number of golf courses within a particular radius
- Government must develop small dams especially in rural areas as part of water conservation;
- Urgently provide every household with quality, clean water which in the short term may include portable purification tanks and water tanks for rain water harvesting to promote food security
- Bucket Eradication Program to be a priority.
- This does not mean that all solutions will be water based (flushing toilets). Other innovative measures will be utilized.
- There will also be changes to the manner in which government deals with waste water and grey water.
- We must also look at transforming the irrigation boards.
- The ‘War on Leaks’ will be serve to conserve water and provide opportunities for young people who will be centrally involved in.
- The Back to Basics program will serve to improve the abilities of local municipalities to effectively manage water resources and improve water service delivery.
- Grants will only be disbursed to municipalities with proven capacities. The MECs of COCTDA will be empowered to have legal oversight over municipal capacities.
- We must also address corruption where people destroy water infrastructure to advance narrow business interests related to water.
- The ANC government aims to build a non-racial, integrated society through the development of sustainable human settlements and quality housing.
- Programmes and proposals include:
- Collapsing the 3 subsidy band into 1 to enable households earning below R3500 to access a uniform subsidy amount and expansion of the subsidy instrument to medium-income households (earning R3500 to R 7000 p.m.)
- Funding for medium-density Social Housing (state subsidized rental housing in areas where there is a high demand for housing)
- Loss Limit Insurance to allow banks to lend to people who may not qualify for bonds or be able to afford deposits. This will reduce the risk to banks and others lending money.
- Fixed Interest Rates and alternative funding linked to savings/insurance products
- Over the next fifteen years, the Department of Human Settlements will embark on a radical spatial transformation programme aimed at changing the apartheid spatial patterns, through the establishment and building of new post-apartheid cities.
- Promote the housing market by removing barriers to housing trade, ensuring that the supply of state-assisted housing must respond to housing demand in areas where the population is growing, and ensuring that people get access to title deeds in townships
- Informal settlements must be upgraded where possible and integrated into the broader urban plan to overcome spatial, social and economic exclusion
- Attention should also be paid to upgrading of people living in mud houses as they are often of a substandard quality.
- The resale of RDP Houses must be prevented.
- The quality of houses in the Western Cape for example is of huge concern.
- The DA placing its own members ahead in waiting lists.
- The waiting lists must legislated to prevent political abuse
- In the case of people with disabilities we need to build accessible homes.