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Declaration of the ANC Gauteng Second Provincial General Council

25-26 June 2011

We, delegates to this Second Provincial General Council met over two days on 25-26th June 2011 at St George’s Hotel in Tshwane to review progress made in the implementation of the 52nd National Conference and 11th Provincial Conference.

We gathered representing the Branches, the regions, the Provincial Executive Committees of the Leagues, MKMVA, Alliance and formations of the broad democratic movement and progressive business in Gauteng.

We observed a moment of silence in honour of the recently departed stalwarts of our movement – Bertha Gxowa, Henry Makgothi, Albertina Sisulu and Kader Asmal. As delegates, we draw immense inspiration from the collective legacy of this generation and shall strive to continue upholding the values and principles of the ANC.

On the Political Overview and Organisational Report

The PGC received comprehensive reports from the Provincial Chairperson and Secretary on the political overview as well as the state of organisation and governance over the past twelve months since the 11th Provincial Conference of 06-08th May 2010.

After extensive discussions, the PGC adopted the PEC’s Organisational Report and further endorsed all the decisions taken by the PEC since 11th Provincial Conference as well as the recommendations on the way forward.

While tremendous progress has been made on many resolutions, the PGC expressed its disappointment with the limited progress on the allocation of resources to branches and the continuing problems with our membership system, especially when it comes to the timeous issuing of membership cards to members. The PEC was mandated to take urgent steps to address these two matters affecting the basic unit of our organisation.

Local government elections

Having assessed the ANC’s performance in the recent local government elections, the delegates commended the structures of the entire movement - ANC, the Leagues, the Alliance and student formations - for their sterling work during this extra-ordinarily difficult election campaign.

The PGC further appreciated the cohesive and united role of the Alliance in all the phases of the campaign, including during the deployment of cadres into various positions of responsibility after the elections. This augurs well for our province.

The PGC conveyed its deep gratitude to the people of our province for having given the ANC an overwhelming mandate to continue with the agenda for socio-economic transformation in order to build better communities.

The delegates welcomed the decision of the PEC to start preparing for the 2014 elections immediately and ensure that all election structures and volunteers are permanent. The PGC mandated the PEC to review the performance of election structures at all levels in order to ensure that the coordinators who failed to meet the expectations of the organisation are replaced.

The delegates assessed the list process and came overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the selection of candidates was managed well in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the NEC. In this regard, The PGC took a unanimous decision that there is no need to re-open the list process in our province because most of the newly-elected councilors received popular endorsement from the communities during the nomination process. The focus of the ANC must be to assist all the councilors to go back to their communities and attend to issues raised during elections with utmost urgency.

Building better communities

As delegates, we are conscious that the overwhelming majority of those who voted for the ANC are Africans, women, workers and the poor who live in appalling conditions. We want to move with great speed in addressing the development and service delivery backlogs highlighted by communities during the recent elections.

The ANC-led municipalities and government will continue to prioritise under-developed areas and poorest communities because the ANC is their only hope for the better future. This we will do because our mandate for the next five years is to work with our people to build better communities.

Youth Month

Taking place during the Youth Month, the PGC paid tribute to the youth of 1976 for the supreme sacrifices they made to secure the freedom that we enjoy today. As we celebrate the contribution of the youth in our Freedom and Democracy, we specifically renew our commitment to advance youth development as an integral part of our transformation agenda. This we must do because many of our youth are unemployed and many more lack the requisite skills to participate productively in the economy and development of society.

Organisation-building and renewal

The PGC reaffirmed the continuing relevance of the discussion documents developed by our province around organisational renewal. These documents should be revisited in the run-up to the Regional Conferences and Centenary. Practical step need to taken to respond to the challenges of renewal as raised in those documents.

One of the goals Gauteng has set itself is to be the most organised province of the ANC at the historic Centenary Conference, in terms of membership quantity and quality. The PGC reaffirms this goal and further calls upon all structures of the movement in our province to strengthen efforts to further increase and grow membership and deepen political education.

At a qualitative level, we recommit to build the kind of organisation that is underpinned by progressive values of non-racialism, non-sexism, unity, selfless service, collective leadership, internal debates, democratic centralism, humility, honesty, hard work, constructive criticism and self criticism, discipline and mutual respect. These values will continue to guide our work after centenary of our movement.

As part of deepening the quality of debate, the PGC mandated the PEC to develop discussion documents that will cover political, ideological, organisational, international and governance issues in the run-up to the Regional Conferences and Provincial Conference of the ANCWL and MKMVA due to take place in August-September 2011.

The PGC agreed that conferences should always be utilized as platforms to strengthen the capacity of our movement to serve our people better. In addition, the PGC further agreed that the PEC should ensure that all the regions build unity in the ranks and maintain political stability of local government in order to focus on development and service delivery.

Further, the PGC called for a disciplined debate to be opened on the challenges and tasks we are facing as we move to the Centenary and the type of organisation and calibre of cadres we need to respond to these challenges. Debate on specific leaders and specific positions must be preceded by a disciplined discourse on where we want to take our country and movement in the first decade of the centenary. The ANC members cannot be spectators on issues affecting the future of their organisation. Accordingly, the PGC mandates the PEC to draft the discussion paper to facilitate such a disciplined debate in our province.

Strengthening the capacity of the state and governance

The PGC expressed serious concern on the failure by big departments in the Gauteng Provincial Government to spend allocated budgets. The PGC hereby sends an unequivocal message that all those politicians and civil servants who are failing in their responsibility to implement the ANC’s electoral mandate must face consequences.

Further, the PGC endorsed the PEC decision to convene the Governance Lekgotla to make an assessment of government work in implementing the 2009 manifesto and the decisions of the 2010 PEC Review.

As the ANC we remain firmly committed to the goal of building a developmental state that is people centred and driven in its approach, has the required technical capacity and sustained development based on high growth rates, restructuring of the economy and socio-economic inclusion.

Gauteng Vision 2055

The PGC believes the development of Gauteng Vision 2055 is an opportunity to capture the imagination of society on our strategic objective of building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society. We see the Global City-Region (GCR) as the vehicle towards realising our long term vision.

Meeting during the weekend that coincides with the 56th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the PGC called on the PEC and branches to take a lead in the discussion on Gauteng Vision 2055.

The capacity of the GCR Academy should be enhanced so that it can work in partnership with institutions of higher learning to produce the calibre of civil service that has the requisite skills required by the developmental state. There should be ongoing training for public servants on strategic, programme and project management, engineering skills and financial management.

The ultimate goal is to produce knowledgeable (human capital development) managers and public servants of the developmental state as a conscious effort. We call for dedicated focus on the training and development political and administrative cadres.

Whilst we are embarking on long term plans, the ANC Governance Committee must assess the implementation of the five key priorities of the 2009 ANC Manifesto as we plan for 2014.

Social transformation

The PGC reviewed progress we have made in implementing social transformation resolutions of Polokwane, the 11th Provincial Conference and the 3rd National General Council. We reaffirmed our primary commitment to the creation of inclusive, non-racial integrated, socially cohesive, safe and sustainable communities where human development takes priority.

Having reaffirmed that access to quality education and healthcare remain the priority for the overwhelming majority of our people, we re-commit ourselves to the need to intensify campaigns focusing on health and education including the healthy lifestyles campaign and the campaign to promote voluntary testing and counselling for HIV/Aids, the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign and the campaign to combat the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

As part of addressing structural unemployment among the youth, more needs to be done to ensure that many young people have opportunities to acquire skills through further education and training as well as higher education institutions. In this regard, the transformation of these sectors and funding of students from poor family backgrounds should be speeded up.

The PGC committed itself to intensify societal efforts to ensure that we actively involve communities and individuals in their own social development.

Economic transformation

As delegates, we note the ongoing interventions aimed at transforming our economy. However, we remain concerned that we will get to the second decade of freedom with an economy that is still dominated by monopoly capital and benefits only a fraction of our society.

The PGC believes that economic transformation should be the central focus of the current phase of the NDR, hence we support the slogan “Economic Freedom in our Lifetime”. However, the PGC calls for a rational debate in order to unpack and giving progressive meaning to this slogan. Our goal remains that of building a mixed economy that grows, creates employment and is inclusive of the Africans and Black people as participants in the mainstream economy.

International Relations

Having received a briefing on the current international situation, the PGC reaffirmed the need for the ANC, as a disciplined force of the left, to work vigorously with other progressive forces in Africa and the world in order to safeguard peace, development, democracy and human rights. As delegates, we will continue to strengthen our solidarity work with the people of Swaziland, Western Sahara, Palestine and Southern Sudan.

With regard to the debate on the international balance of forces and Africa’s place in the world, the PGC noted that there are advances that Africa and South Africa has made since the 2007 Polokwane Conference. However, there are also recent indications that show that Africa’s influence in the United Nations is getting eroded. The PGC called on the ANC and the South Africa government to vigorously defend the sovereignity of African states and the legitimacy of the African Union.

As part of deepening political debate, the PGC called for a discussion on the international balance of forces and Africa’s position in the world. In this regard, the PGC mandated the PEC to develop a discussion document that will stimulate debates in the branches and regions as we prepare for Regional Conferences in August-September and the Centenary.

Conclusion

Finally, the PGC adopted the Programme of Action and the Guidelines for Regional Conferences that will guide our work in the run-up to the Centenary of the ANC.

As delegates to this Second Provincial General Council, we emerge from this important gathering more rejuvenated and inspired to focus on the preparations for the Centenary of the ANC in 2012.

We are ready, willing and able to play our role in speeding up socio-economic transformation of our province and country and contribute effectively to the struggle for a better Africa and better world.

ANC lives, ANC leads!
Forward to the Centenary!