Political Input by Limpopo ANC Chairperson Cde Cassel Mathale during the ANC PEC meeting, Polokwane, Capricorn District

Political Input by Limpopo ANC Chairperson Cde Cassel Mathale during the ANC PEC meeting, Polokwane, Capricorn District

28 May 2012

NEC members
Deputy Chairperson
Provincial Secretary and Deputy Secretary
Provincial Treasurer
PEC members
The Veterans League
The ANC Youth League and the Women`s League
All members of this meeting
Comrades

Good morning!

Our PEC meeting is taking place only days before the National Policy Conference and a day after the adjournment of the Peter Mokaba Regional Conference, which marked the last regional conference in the province prior to our June policy meeting.

We would like to congratulate all comrades who have been given the mandate to lead the movement in the Sekhukhune, Mopani, Vhembe and Peter Mokaba regions. You have an obligation to implement the decisions of the regional conferences and all other directives of the movement. Furthermore, there lays on our shoulders the enormous responsibility to build the African National Congress, which has branches in good standing, which is relevant to communities and which is able to provide answers to the socio-economic difficulties facing our people.

We also have a mammoth task to ensure that we rise above all differences that characterised events prior to the regional conferences. We must continue with our efforts of building a united African National Congress in the province.

The preparation of our Regional Conferences has assisted in enabling us to understand, to a particular extend, the state of the organisation in the province. We must appreciate the fact that although each region has its own dynamics, in most situations the challenges are the same.

We must double our efforts of intensifying political education. Many of our branches only become active during preparations for elective conferences or general elections, in particular local government elections. The fact that some of our branches struggle to reach the required quorum to continue with their meetings and that it takes others the whole day to reach a quorum is a confirmation of the worrying state of our organisation.

A branch that has activities throughout the year cannot struggle to reach a quorum regardless of the size of its membership. We cannot build grounded and effective branches of the movement if we have membership that is not active and grounded politically. The level of discussions in some of our gatherings also exposed our weaknesses. The issues that dominate discussions in our meetings especially elective conferences are another point of reference that confirms the displeasing state of debate in the organisation.

We cannot afford to have gatherings which are supposed to assess the state of the organisation concentrating on peripheral disputes, which have nothing to do with our broader objectives and the electoral mandate given to the movement. As the leadership, we must not fail our members by permitting some of these challenges to become permanent in our ranks.

The method that we are using to determine the state of a branch must be enhanced. A branch must be alive and active throughout with BEC meetings and BGMs being convened regularly. Each member of the ANC must know and understand the objectives of the movement, including historic and present obligations.

Comrades

As mentioned earlier, we are days before our National Policy Conference and we are also fast approaching our 53rd National Conference.
It is very important that as leadership at this level we should commence the process of thinking about the movement going forward after the National Conference, including the type of cadreship that must be at the helm, providing direction and leadership.

We must have a clear understanding on the kind of ANC we seek to have after the National Conference. We should share ideas on the character of leadership that must lead the movement going forward. At this level of political engagement, it is befitting to have such discussions.

Comrades

One of the political responsibilities of the regional leadership is to assist in providing political guidance to municipalities. The guidance we are speaking about has nothing to do with manipulation or interference with the functions of municipalities. Many of our municipalities did not pass the audit scrutiny and require more guidance to correct the situation.

The issues of compliance with audit regulations must not be treated lightly because we promised our people that we will build clean administrations in all spheres of government that also have the capacity to deliver quality services on time. This issue of the audit performance of our municipalities is elevated to this meeting because it requires our collective wisdom and involvement.

We must emphasise in the strongest terms possible that municipalities must be administered by competent officials, with the necessary skills and passion to make a real change in the lives of our people. We must not only use political spectacles to make appointments especially to technical or finance related positions.

We must appoint people who are conscious about our objectives and who are committed to the course of realising them. We should not politicise certain appointments, especially on critical positions which require highly skilled people. We have a joint responsibility to ensure that our municipalities improve their audit compliance and function properly in a manner that enables them to meet the expectations of our people.

Our municipalities must be service delivery centers which are led by competent politicians and administrators. The fact that we now have councillors doing municipal work fulltime must produce positive results.

Comrades

Please allow me to repeat what we said on the 28th of November 2010, in our PEC meeting because that message might still be relevant even today. For comrades who were present in that meeting please pardon me for repeating what you may still remember. We said in that meeting:

"Majority of our people are patiently looking at the African National Congress, not only for a directive, but most importantly for solutions to their problems of unemployment, underdevelopment and all other miseries which they continue to endure in their daily routines. We have a moral obligation to ensure that our people do not despair on account of our failure to meet their legitimate expectations. Our people view the ANC, not as an opposition party, but as the people`s ruling party which is guided by amongst others, the historic desire and ability to make a meaningful change in their lives."

We continued to say: "The continued domination of the movement in the general politics of the country is not inherent and therefore, may not be absolutely permanent. When we made a pledge to the people of South Africa about commencing a comprehensive rural development programme what exactly did we mean? Does the Muyexe pilot project for our comprehensive rural development programme resemble our ideal model for comprehensive rural development? Or does Muyexe represent the opposite of our ideal comprehensive rural development plan?

When we told the people of South Africa that we will improve and expand health care services, what were we referring to? When we told them that we will create economic opportunities which are spread across the length and breadth of the country what was in our mind? Have we concretely commenced the process of meeting these pledges that we have made?

We need to ask ourselves these questions everyday and also asses our respective contribution in finding their answers in this regard. We must do that mindful of the fact that the African National Congress carries on its shoulders the aspirations and hopes of many people. We must divorce ourselves from the things which deny us an opportunity to be frank, open and honest when analyzing the impact we are causing in improving the living conditions of our people."

It is very important that as leadership at this level we should from time to time make an innocent assessment of the ability and potential of our glorious movement to meet the expectations of our masses. We have never promised our people that we will deliver services to them because the courts directed us to do so.

We have never informed our people that before we could deliver books to schools, there must a court order forcing us to implement our obligation and promise. It was never in our minds that we will preside over a government that is unable to provide medicine and food to hospitals. These are some of the questions that were raised, although as statements, in some of our regional conferences.

What must we say as the PEC that is leading government here in Limpopo? Should we say that failure to deliver books to schools is because of the national government? Should we direct the blame to the national government for shortage of medicine and food in some of our health care centers? But the reality is that we all belong to the government of the African National Congress, therefore, it will not be politically correct to pass the blame to another ANC led government.

We have made promises to our people which must be realised. The primary reason why we should assess the level of implementing our decisions and meeting the expectations of our people is that we cannot afford to be regarded as an organisation of empty promises.

Our people are also becoming more worried about the lack of services in their areas. We must accelerate the efforts of delivering services to our people. We are making this plea mindful of the fact that our government is under partial administration.

When we indicated that the decision of the national government to seize control of the provincial government will slow down service delivery and in certain situations halt services completely, others thought we were defending ourselves. We must develop ways and means of ensuring that whatever is happening does not affect our obligation to the people.

At the Polokwane Conference, we said that the ANC is the centre and government must implement the mandate of the ANC. This resolution was not only limited to the NEC, but it was directed to all structures of the movement.

We should have frank and honest discussions about the state of our organisation and our ability as the ANC in government to meet the legitimate expectations of our people.

Thank you!

Amandla!

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