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Second National Consultative Conference: Report of the Commission on Education, Health and Culture

June 1985

  1. Health

Introduction

Noted that our Commission consisted of sixteen comrades, three of whom are
deployed in the Health Department. The meagre number of participants is
attributable to the fact that our area of concern pertains to rear base
activities and the majority of delegates are more attracted to discussions on
forward bases and internal. Decided that our discussions will be based on the
Secretary General`s report, recommendations and assessments of documents on
structures, functioning and problems raised at the regional conferences. The
following therefore represents deliberations incorporating the substance of
these documents as well as our recommendations, which we present to
Conference.

Structure:

The discussion centred around the composition of the Health Secretariat,
its administration and control of personnel, its efficiency in discharging its
tasks of keeping the Movement`s cadres in good health. (A2, pl7). At the
moment the Department has a Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Administrative
Secretary and an undetermined number of members in its Secretariat. (BIA, p
6,16,18)

The various regions are served by health teams who are divided into
sub-sections to serve particular constituents as dictated by the needs of each
area. Thus, while there is a single Health Team serving Lusaka, in East Africa
there are three units serving Mazimbu, Dakawa and Dar es Salaam. It was argued
that there are enough comrades in the Secretariat, but that they needed to be
based in Lusaka to discharge their duties effectively.

In the case of Secretariat members already based in other regional Health
Teams, it was considered counter-productive to recall them to Lusaka, although
the East African region has recommended that all members of the Health
Secretariat be based in Lusaka. It is pertinent to note in addition that the
Heath Secretariat is perceived as inadequate and that some measures have to be
taken urgently to alter this perception.

Due to the absence of Secretariat members, our deliberations were bogged
down by a lack of reliable information and documentation that would have given
a perspective on all the problems. It is, however, noted that in his report
the Secretary General refers to a joint meeting with leading personnel of the
Department to sort out and eliminate some problems characterised as `basically
problems of growth`. (A2/18).

We have no documentation as to the decisions and recommendations of that
meeting, nor whether any implementation of the aforementioned has commenced.
We are persuaded that the feelings on the question of Health Headquarters are
so strong that the issue should be thrown open to Conference for discussion.

Achievements of the Health Department

The ANC Holland Solidarity Hospital, which was opened in May 1984 (See
A3/17).

Screening of patients for TB, Malaria in the West

General check-ups of all comrades in the West has been completed.

The second phase is presently under way.

The West has embarked on a programme for the medical treatment of malaria,
as a result the morbidity and mortality rates have tremendously decreased. The
Commission also noted that since the establishment of the Department of
Manpower Development, many doctors who have qualified have been successfully
deployed, an improvement on the previous situation.

Problems

  1. Noted that `it is no longer possible for the army to function without
    complete control and authority over the medical teams in the military
    regions`. (D3/llalp3).
  2. The urgent need for specialists in the following fields:
  • Psychiatric doctors and nurses
  • Public health personnel
  • Theatre nurses
  • Paediatric doctors and nurses

It was further noted that our inability to open wards at the ANC Holland
Solidarity Hospital at Mazimbu is attributable to this lack of specialists.

  1. The effective head of the Health Secretariat is not based at
    Headquarters.
  2. The `self-deployment` of qualified doctors (A2/ 17)
  3. Guidelines for the functioning of the departments are not available
    IA2118).

The Commission registers its regret that the leaders of the Health
Department are not present at Conference. Their absence made the work of the
Commission difficult, since we lacked documentation.

Recommendations on Health

  1. The Health Department should maintain dynamic contact with all medical
    students to orientate them towards service to the ANC on qualifying, and
    to give them guidance on a continuing basis.
  2. Guidelines for the Department must be submitted as soon as possible to
    the NEC and these should be urgently processed for implementation.
  3. There should be a commission of inquiry into the Health Department with
    a view to removing the glaring discrepancies in its functioning. (During
    discussion in Plenary Session, there was the strong feeling that the
    entire secretariat should be dismissed).
  4. The present structure of the Health Department should be reviewed in
    order to improve it.
  5. Conference directs, as a matter of urgency, that all members of the
    Health Department Secretariat be based in Lusaka. These do not necessarily
    have to be medical practitioners.
  6. Conference recommends that the Health Department be headed by a member
    of the NEC.
  7. In view of the special circumstances applying to medical personnel in
    the military, they should function as requested in Document 3/lla, i.e.
    under the jurisdiction of the military in order to overcome the problems
    currently faced by the army under the present arrangements. But the army
    should take immediate steps to train medical personnel to service the army
    in a manner fitting for their special needs. However, Conference deems it
    necessary that lines of communication, where possible, should be
    maintained between military structures and the Health Department.
  8. Health Council meetings should be held on a regular basis and follow up
    should be facilitated to enhance control.
  9. Noting the importance of striking a balance between doctors and nurses
    we recommend that the Movement take urgent steps to persuade individuals
    to come to the assistance of the ANC. (In plenary session there was an
    appeal made to the doctors to see it as their national duty to serve in
    the ranks of the national liberation movement without any expectations of
    monetary remuneration).
  10. Recommended that further study, training, workshops, conferences,
    including refresher courses be ensured, depending on the needs of the
    Movement and the availability of personnel.
  11. Opportunities of exchange with other members of the profession and peers
    should be open to all medical personnel on an equal footing. These are
    important for the self-esteem of the workers and helps him/her to feel on
    a par with their counterparts.
  12. The Health Department should develop a programme for the proper
    rehabilitation of mental patients.
  13. There should be a regular medical check up of all members, especially
    screening against mental illness, TB and malaria.
  1. Culture

Conference resolved that the first, theoretical portion of the Commission
report be temporarily withdrawn for further and deeper discussion throughout
the ranks of the Movement, but that the recommendations be discussed and,
after necessary amendments, be adopted.

Recommendations on Culture

  1. Regarding cultural policy, Conference calls on the Department of Arts
    and Culture to work on guidelines to be submitted to the NEC for
    endorsement, so that culture can become an integral part of the political,
    ideological programme of the ANC.
  2. On the question of indigenous languages, coordination between the
    Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Education should be
    speeded up to ensure implementation of an integrated programme in this
    regard.
  3. Conference calls on the NEC to reaffirm the importance and
    meaningfulness of serving the organisation in all areas.
  4. It is recommended that the Department of Arts and Culture be headed by a
    member of the NEC so that the Department may have direct input in all the
    higher councils of the Movement.
  5. It is recommended that Regional Cultural Committees be formed.
  6. Conference directs the Department of Arts and Culture to make a direct
    input into internal structures. (A recommendation was made during the
    discussion of the Internal Commission Report that there should be a
    cultural specialist attached to the Political Committee of the PMC).
  7. Since the scope of Arnandla has broadened and present arrangements do
    not provide infrastructure services to run Arnandla`s affairs effectively,
    (e.g. in public relations, legal representation, artistic, educational and
    political development), the Movement must consider this urgent question.
    We have not exploited Arnandla sufficiently to promote our culture and to
    assist in mobilising against the racist regime or to generate much-needed
    funds for the Movement. Amandla can achieve all this and more if proper
    financial and other instruments are put into it.
  8. Conference endorses the project for a Cultural Centre at the ANC
    Development Centre Dakawa with the object of promoting traditional and
    modern arts and crafts; the performing arts; fine arts; graphic arts;
    entertainment and recreation both for the community and the ANC at large.
  9. We must ensure dynamic contact with the development of cultural streams
    at home through access to books, journals, poetry, films, video, records,
    tapes etc. at all levels of the Movement. In this regard the question of
    the cultural boycott should be clarified: progressive South African
    artists should be acceptable abroad.
  10. Cultural exchanges with progressive cultural formations should be
    encouraged and promoted by the Department .
  11. The Movement should support the modest achievements of the Department of
    Arts and Culture. the ANC Cultural Journal Rixaka, to ensure its proper
    dissemination.
  12. Our missions abroad should pay more attention to the need of isolating
    racist academics, scientists, cultural workers etc.
  13. Conference calls for the holding of National Cultural Council meetings
    on a more regular basis.
  14. The arts should be included in the curriculum at Somafco.
  15. The Department of Arts and Culture should be assisted in organising a
    cultural conference so as to draw up a programme of action.
  16. There should be a blanket ban on all foreign artists entering South
    Africa.
  17. Artists who have refused to perform in South Africa should be
    deliberately encouraged to perform in the Front Line States.
  1. Education Policy

Conference endorses the Education Policy as enunciated in Document F/7 -
Extracts of the National Education Council, 1983. The senior organ of the
Education Department is the National Education Council, which consists of the
various education committees. It meets once in two years. Between meetings the
highest organ in the Education Department is the Secretariat.

Structure of the Education Department

  1. Head
  2. Deputy Head
  3. Administrative Secretary
  4. Members of the Secretariat

On the basis of practical experience and in order to meet the immediate
needs of the Department, Conference approves the practice of an Education
Secretariat comprising personnel with functional responsibilities. These are
defined as follows:

  1. Secretary
  2. Assistant secretary for regional committees and deputy head
  3. Assistant secretary for administration
  4. Assistant secretary for internal education and research
  5. Assistant secretary for curriculum development
  6. Assistant secretary for scholarships
  7. Assistant secretary for Somafco
  8. Representative of the Youth Secretariat as an ex-officio member

Somafco

Conference endorses recommendations contained in Document F/7 (referred to
above)

Additional Recommendations

  • Conference recommends that the Education Department should recruit and
    train specialists in career guidance, educational statistics, educational
    planning etc, to strengthen the department.
  • Conference recommends that in line with the principles of ANC Education
    Policy, to ensure the full creative and democratic participation of
    students, teachers and the community in educational activity, a seminar be
    convened at Somafco to discuss the democratisation of education at
    Somafco.
  • Conference recommends that a programme of adult education should be
    drawn up to improve the skills of older comrades in all relevant fields.
  • Conference advises that academic upgrading should not be left to
    individuals to decide, but that the Education Department should embark on
    a programme to improve the skills and qualifications of all adults who
    have not had the opportunity to continue their education in exile.
  • Conference calls for a commission of inquiry into the allegation
    contained in Document Cl/P7 (NPC Composite Report)
  • Conference instructs the Education Department to retain a proportion of
    permanent staff at Somafco, avoid high staff turnover and promote
    continuity. Students should be advised when members of staff terminate
    their contracts for one reason or another