17 March 2008

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) held its second ordinary meeting of the year on 14-17 March 2008 in Ekurhuleni.


The NEC has decided to initiate a period of renewal of the values, character and organisational practices of the movement.

This decision is based on the evaluation made in the Organisational Report to the Polokwane Conference on the state of the organisation, and an analysis of the key challenges that the organisation faces.

Discussion on this matter was led by ANC President Jacob Zuma in the presentation of his political overview, in which he highlighted some of the practices that have manifested themselves within the organisation in recent times.

Some of these practices relate to the leadership contest that took place in advance and during Polokwane. Others have far deeper roots in the conditions under which the organisation has operated following the advent of democracy.

The meeting said the immediate task in this regard was to consolidate the leadership of this movement at all levels. If the organisation is to successfully implement its Conference decisions, it needs to harness the experience, energies, skills and knowledge of all its leaders.

This period of renewal will necessarily involve a thorough report back to our structures on the deliberations and outcomes of the Polokwane Conference, which has already begun at a provincial and regional level.

The ANC will put in place, as a matter of urgency, a nationwide political education programme that focuses on the politics and values of the ANC, and which priorities a proper induction for all new members and for all executive committees.

The organisation will undertake the implementation of the mass campaigns agreed upon at the NEC lekgotla in January, based on the understanding that the best way to develop political consciousness is to engage members in political work. These campaigns are education, health, crime, electricity and rural development.

All leaders and members of the ANC must lead the call to action and engage in mass work with determination to advance the agenda of the National Democratic Revolution and in particular the eradication of poverty.

As President Zuma said: "The period of renewal is not a period of reflection. It is a period of action."

In all its work, the ANC is the strategic political centre.

It is where policy is determined and from where all those members deployed in the executive, parliament, provincial governments and local councils derive their mandate.


The NEC noted that preparations are at an advanced stage for the ANC Youth League and Women's League national congresses. These processes must be used to build the leagues and the ANC, and conscious efforts must be made to prevent any divisive tendencies or disruptive activities.

As an incubator for the future leadership of the ANC, the Youth League is a vital part of the movement. The NEC will therefore provide whatever support it can to ensure the success of the congress.

The NEC discussed the need to encourage all women in the ANC to join the Women's League, identifying this as an essential part of the work being done to further build the league as a powerful voice within the ANC, and a leader of the struggle for women's emancipation in society.


The ANC will be embarking on a campaign of 'Quality Education for All', which will be taken up at a local level. The campaign will mobilise all sectors - department officials, teachers, learners, parents and community members - to adopt and adhere to a 'Code for Quality Education'. This code describes the responsibilities that each of these sectors has in advancing the struggle for quality education.

Alongside this campaign, the ANC will be engaging its Alliance partners and other sectors in a thorough review of the education system, to identify areas of weakness and concern. This will complement the work being done by the Department of Education to improve access to quality education at all levels. This would include questions of teacher training, the impact of the merging of institutions of higher learning, and others.


The other priority campaign for this period is the 'Make Health Your Business' campaign, which will galvanise ANC branches to take the lead in mobilising communities and sectors of society to promote healthy lifestyles, improve community involvement in managing health care provision, and provide support to individuals and families in distress.

In particular, ANC branches will take the lead in promoting responsible sexual behaviour and regular voluntary testing and counselling, and eliminating stigma attached to HIV and AIDS. They will mobilise communities in the campaign against tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse. The ANC supports government efforts to curb the increasing costs of medicines and health care.

In the context of improving the quality of health care, and development of appropriate skills, the ANC welcomes the reopening of nursing training colleges.


The ANC will be honouring stalwarts of the liberation struggle over the next few months.

These will coincide with the anniversaries of the deaths of some remarkable leaders and cadres of our movement, as follows:

  • 30th Anniversary of the death of Moses Kotane
  • 15th Anniversary of the death of Oliver Tambo
  • 15th Anniversary of the death of Chris Hani

A number of other cadres will also be commemorated during the course of the year. Announcements will be made on specific activities in due course.

The NEC unanimously agreed to posthumously award the highest honour of our movement, Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe, to the late Chris Thembisile Hani. In being bestowed this honour, Chris Hani joins the pantheon of people's heroes who have been so recognised for their life-long and outstanding contribution to the cause of freedom.


In the wake of recent reports of the rape of a taxi user and the public harassment of a woman at a Johannesburg taxi rank, the NEC expressed its strong condemnation of all acts of gender-based violence. These incidents highlight a severe problem that continues to plague our society, and which contributes to the oppression of South Africa's women.

The ANC calls on men in particular to join the struggle to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence.

The NEC welcomed the firm position that the overwhelming majority of South Africans - black and white - in condemning the racist incidents that were recently uncovered at the University of the Free State. It called for united action to expose and combat racism in all its manifestations.


The NEC extended its best wishes to the people of Angola, Cuba, Namibia and South Africa on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, which took place in Angola in 1988. The victory of Angolan and Cuban troops in that battle marked a turning point in the war of aggression against the Angolan people, laying the basis for the independence of Namibia and contributing to the eventual commencement of negotiations in our country.

As part of the commemoration of this important historical event, ANC President Jacob Zuma will be leading an ANC delegation to Angola this week. The NEC paid tribute to the many thousands of Angolans, Cubans, Namibians and South Africans who lost their lives in the fight against the forces of apartheid and imperialism in the protracted Angolan war.


The NEC also extended its best wishes to the people of Zimbabwe as they go to elections later this month. It expressed its hope that the elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner, and that it will contribute to the resolution of the political and economic crisis facing the country.

The ANC urges all institutions of state in Zimbabwe, and in particular the security forces, to remain non-partisan and to respect the outcome of the elections.


The meeting expressed concern at the quality and bias of media coverage of the ANC's leaders and activities. This has been demonstrated in recent reporting on statements made by the ANC President and other leaders, and by a number of wholly inaccurate reports on the deliberations of meetings of the NEC.
The NEC noted a report in a Sunday newspaper claiming that NEC member Tokyo Sexwale had made statements in this meeting about President Thabo Mbeki in relation to the arms deal.

The ANC wants to place on record that the statements contained in the newspaper reports do not reflect what was actually said. In fact, Sexwale alerted the NEC about claims that had been published in the German press, and had asked that the leadership monitor coverage of this issue.

President Mbeki was not summoned to attend the meeting. Nor has any call been made by the NEC for President Mbeki to "come clean" on any aspect of the arms deal.

The NEC endorsed the decision for the establishment of an ANC newspaper alongside the development of other ANC media platforms. The NEC Communications Committee will be seized with this task.


The ANC will join all South Africans in celebrating Human Rights Day on Friday, 21 March, recalling the protracted struggle over many years to achieve the recognition of the rights of our people, and reaffirming our determination to make every effort to protect, safeguard and nurture these rights.

Issued by: National Executive Committee, African National Congress

More information: Jessie Duarte 079 506 6756


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