Let us Unite and Renew the ANC and The ANCVL to advance the National Democratic Revolution

Good morning Cdes

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the provincial conference of the ANCVL in the Western Cape.

Let me greet and welcome the leadership of the ANC in the Western Cape-Cdes Nompulelo Hani,James Ngcule,Ernest Theron,Sakina Hoosein and Clarence Johnson..

It also, as we start this meeting to remember fallen comrades.

I want to start by extending my thanks and appreciation to the members of the Western Cape PTT who have worked tirelessly to set up six branches in this Province.

As we all should know that our constitution requires that  95% of delegates must be from properly constituted branches.  Congratulations on achieving this.

State of our country sz

Cdes we are meeting at a time when we face high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Out of a population of 60.6 million, 18 million of our people rely on social grants and the youth unemployment rate is 51.52 per cent. Cdes as many as 22% of children go to bed without food in our country. This is a ticking time bomb and this situation is not sustainable.

The levels of inequality are nowhere starker than in the Western Cape – if you compare the Waterfront with Khayelitsha, Constantia with Atlantis, and Gardens with Mitchell’s Plain.  The scars of the forced removals from District Six and other places remain – most visibly in the destruction of families and opportunities and the rise in gangsterism and drug use.

We just have to turn the economy around and ensure that more jobs are created especially for the youth. In the Western Cape, there are opportunities for young people in agriculture and the tourism sector but these sectors are not growing as much as they should due to constraints in the freight system taking our fruit and vegetables to international markets and the high cost and lack of availability of electricity. This is an unfortunate situation that all levels of government  and SOEs especially Transnet need to address

We have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic which impacted negatively on every member of society. We must commend our government for working with social partners in handling of the Covid pandemic and ensuring that lives have been saved.

We just came back from the 55th ANC National Conference where we agreed that while our policies are world-class, we do not succeed in implementation.  Key to turning around our economy and society is the deployment of committed and action-orientated patriots in government and in opposition benches to hold government to account to deliver quality service and not tolerate corrupt individuals in our government.

The Role of the Veteran’s League

July is Mandela Month – a month where we remember the legacy of our great leader and commit to volunteerism to improve the lives of people in our communities.  Volunteering to be part of the VL should be part of contributing to Mandela Month – and in fact 365 days of the year.

What are our tasks as veterans?

  • We should actively support and reinforce the ANC in the attainment of the goals and objectives of the National Democratic Revolution.
  • We should make a full and rich contribution to the work of the ANC, the movement and the life of the nation.
  • We should campaign for the ANC during elections at all levels.

Cdes,  at the ANC’s 55th National Conference in 2022 we tabled a motion that the movement should adopt a programme of action. We were resolute that without fixing the dysfunctional municipalities we will not be able to convince society to give us another chance to govern on their behalf. We must support honest and willing comrades to improve the delivery of basic services and ensure that infrastructure is maintained. As Veterans of the movement, we should play a role in monitoring and evaluating ANC’s structures.

We should advocate for monthly branch reports on the state of delivery of basic services and maintenance of infrastructure in each ward, as part of branch functionality.

We should ensure that there is visible intervention aimed at addressing municipalities that have operationally collapsed as well as wards and areas that the DA government does not service.

Our branch leaders and councillors must deal with a lack of electricity supply, crime and violence, sewage spills, water restrictions, uncollected rubbish, potholes, collapsed bridges and inaccurate billing.

Cdes as veterans of the movement we must work tirelessly to renew the organisation, continue pursuing its historical mission of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) in line with the tenets of the Freedom Charter and ensure that it is repositioned as a leader of society again

On Renewal of the ANC,   the NTT of the ANCVL has made many proposals that we will discuss at our National Conference at the end of July.  It includes that our movement must tighten the ANC membership criteria. The current rule 4 of the constitution is broad and does not allow the membership of the ANC to be restricted. People who have committed crimes should not be allowed to become ANC members and ANC members who are convicted should have their membership immediately revoked.

Because the last ANC National Conference was not able to consider all the constitutional amendments, we are proposing that an NEC resolution be passed that introduces criteria which automatically exclude membership or aspirant members who have criminal records.

We also want the NEC to pass a resolution that requires potential members to successfully complete an induction course before becoming accepted as members of this glorious movement of ours.

As veterans, we have a critical role to play in respect of political education. We have to devise and implement an ongoing political education programme in each province.

I call upon each province to get a collective of our finest veteran leaders to do the training. From the VL side, we should get buy-in from the ANC that political education be conducted by the VL working with comrades identified by the respective PECs.

This year we are celebrating forty years since the formation of the United Democratic Front. Many veterans were involved in this  movement and their 40 years of unbroken service include time serving in the affiliates of the UDF such as civics, education and youth structures.

When we remember and commemorate the UDF, we remember the values and ethos of non-racialism and non-sexism. We remember the approach to community-based work which included, building street committees, going door to door and so on. And we remember the discipline and dedication that many comrades had to exercise to fight the brutal apartheid state and the many sacrifices that they had to endure. 

As we build the VL at a branch, regional, provincial and national level, let us incorporate these values and approaches. Let us lead the way and demonstrate by example our commitments to non-racialism and non-sexism.

It is also the 100th anniversary of Langa township. A township from which many comrades emerged and have a special place in the history of the struggle. As VL we should be leading in the commemorations.

Cdes as the Convenor of the ANCVLNTT, I am sure that the delegates gathered here today have a clarity of thought and an unshaken commitment to unite, renew and rebuild the ANC and the ANCVL.

Cdes it is also important that when we leave here at the end of the Conference, we should have passed resolutions and elected leadership which reinforces that we believe in meritocracy, pragmatism and honesty. Let us continue the rich tradition that our predecessors such as Dulcie September, Oscar Mphetha and Dullah Omar built.