The PEC of the ANC in the Western Cape met on its regular monthly meeting on the 28 April to reflect on the current state of affairs in our province and the progress in respect of the implementation of the ANC program of action.
The ANC has had a very successful few weeks in the Western Cape. The renewed commitment to unity and cohesion by the leadership and members has seen;
- A huge increase in votes for the ANC in the recent Hessequa by election-50%.
- The successful Freedom Day commemoration in the Good Hope Centre, where the theme was to Commemorate the Hero’s and Heroines of the ANC who Gave us our Freedom. In this regard, we successfully showed that the ANC has no need to borrow any hero’s or heroines from any other political parties-it has more than enough of its own. The failed, cynical attempt by the DA to appropriate the ANC leaders and rebrand them as their own has made them the laughing stock of all of South Africa.
The PEC congratulated the structures for holding these successful events held to celebrate the 19th Anniversary of Freedom Day. It particularly thanked the different generations and sectors that contributed to the dismantling of apartheid government it also noted the setbacks experience in the Western Cape in 2009. Events where held in Knysna a Memorial Lecture for former ANC Secretary General Duma Nokwe, in Cederberg Farmworkers Summit was held and the provincial event at Goodhope Centre to celebrate our liberation heritage and launch the Chris Hani 5000 Volunteer Corp.
The PEC takes a dim view of the intransigent stance taken by the MEC of Education who wants to single handedly destroy the lives of the poor working class children. His obsession with closure of schools has led to the predictable decision of the Constitutional Court to reject his petition. This amounts to fruitless and wasteful expenditure that could have gone to resourcing and delivering quality education for the poor. The PEC resolved to intensify the Save Our School campaign with other stakeholders in the interests of ensuring access to education that the DA is denying the poor.
The PEC rejected the recently adopted community safety bill passed by the legislature and fully supports the decision of the Minister of Police to legally challenge the provincial government.
The issue of fires, flooding and the lack of services in informal settlements reflects the failure of the provincial government to deliver basic services and ensure decent human settlement. The lack of planning and infrastructure further exacerbates this poor situation. The response of DA led municipalities has been appalling because they don’t treat victims of these disasters with the respect and dignity they deserve. National government has had to intervene continuously to make up for the DA failures. The PEC has resolved to lead a campaign to highlight the challenges faced by different communities from informal settlements, backyarders who had been put on the back burner for too long and the disabled who can’t access their homes without assistance.
The land issue remains one of the most contentious issues the ANC Western Cape has successfully lobbied the Mangaung Conference to resolve that land claims must be reopened to pre-1913 and give a second bite to those who missed the 1998 deadline. This will enable many communities, in particular the Griqua, Khoi and the San people to reclaim their land. The PEC demands an audit of land that must be used to integrate communities and break the apartheid spatial arrangements still in place and bring workers closer to their place of work.
The issue of economic freedom in our lifetime remains a rallying call to the dispossessed. The ANC will convene a provincial economic summit to assess progress made in the Western Cape in empowering the historically disadvantage. The PEC has also congratulated the Ministry of Higher education for launching R10 million skills development program in Bredarsdorp in honour and memory of Anene Booysen.
The Minister has further committed the Department as part of skills revolution to launch further skills initiatives, which will go a long way in diverting youth from drugs and gangsterism to being productive members of society. The scourge of drugs and gangsterism, cynically approached by the DA as a populist issue to be dealt with, can only be tackled by sustained interventions along these lines. The PEC is calling on the national Minister of Social Development to intervene in supporting NGO and NPO involved in drug and substance abuse and gangsterism.
The plight of farm workers remains a blight on rural communities, as farmers are refusing to implement the minimum wage dispensation. The ANC working with FAWU, Bawusi and other stakeholders will monitor the implementation of this progressive development in defence of the farm workers.
The ANC has resolved to develop a coherent approach to the issue of tolling of N2 and N1. The DA is taking an unprincipled posture of trying to divert attention away from its service delivery record by highlighting this issue. Through engagement with comrades in the Ministry it’s clear this issue has been in the making for the last couple of years.
The issue of main concern is the financial burden that tolling will have on the workers and the cost of production, as this will increase cost of goods and services in the province. The ANC is calling for all possible ways of financing the improvement and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure to be considered. It will engage all stakeholders on this issue and provide a coherent, realistic, sustainable solution to the challenge of infrastructure, as the DA clearly has no interest in doing so.
The PEC notes the contentious issue of the implementation of equity employment within the Department of Correctional Service. The department’s interpretation of the law on national versus provincial demographics is mechanical as it pits Coloureds against Africans in the labour market. This has led to a group of Coloured employees taking the department to court and is the stirring up of racial antagonism between Africans and Coloureds.
The DA through Solidarity will be the prime beneficiary of such a backward initiative, as it did last local government elections when media ran a false story that Government wanted to retrench 1million Coloured people in the Western Cape and distribute them throughout the county as they are over represented in the Western Cape. The ANC condemns the DA and Solidarity for their attack on employment equity and for fostering racial antagonism.
In the first instance the intention of the law is to empower the historically disadvantaged groups therefore both qualify for affirmative action. Secondly the employment equity act is very clear that both national and provincial demographics must be considered in setting employment equity targets. The PEC is unequivocal, calling on the Ministry of Correctional Service not to be hoodwinked by officials who are advancing narrow sectarian interests at the expense of building non-racialism and unity of the oppressed.
Statement issued by ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile, April 29 2013