Comrades and Friends, People of South Africa,
It is exactly 50 years since Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe President OR Tambo delivered a January 8th Statement commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the ANC. Framed under the theme, “The Building of a Nation”, the January 8th Statement of 1972 reminded us that this date is not merely the birthday of the ANC, but also a date of great significance and hope for the South African people, especially the oppressed and marginalised. This assertion must continue to resonate in both our words and actions as we lead the ongoing national effort to build a united, non-racial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous nation.
This anniversary takes place just a few days after a devastating fire swept through our Parliament in Cape Town. The entire country has been shocked and saddened by the destruction, underlining how important the institution of Parliament is to our democracy and to our people. For 28 years, this has been a site of transformation, empowerment and redress as we have worked together to overcome the legacy of our apartheid past. There is still much to be done to assess the extent of the damage, to determine the cause of the fire, and to make alternative arrangements so that the work of Parliament can continue. Although the buildings of Parliament have been extensively damaged, Parliament as an institution remains intact and will continue to express and give effect to the will of the people of South Africa, ensuring that: “The People Shall Govern!”
- South Africa and the ANC in 2022
On this occasion of the 110th anniversary of the formation of the ANC, we need to engage in a frank assessment of how far we have gone during the past year in meeting the core mandate defined by the 54th National Conference. In doing so, we need to understand the domestic and global environment in which we operate. There are many developments that characterise this environment and which inform our programme for the year ahead. The first element of this current situation is Covid-19, a pandemic unlike any other the world has seen in more than a century. The world, our country and our organisation continue to traverse an extremely complex and challenging period, which has brought into stark relief many of the fundamental social, economic, political and psycho-social challenges and fault lines in our society.
In South Africa, more than 92,000 lives have been lost to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. Combined with the rigours and deprivation arising from four waves of the pandemic and the intermittent periods of restrictions, this has been a profoundly painful and traumatic period in our national life, challenging us to give reassurance, leadership, inspiration and hope for the future. Our economy has been severely damaged; millions are without work and rely on social support for survival. The rate of economic recovery, while better than anticipated, has not been optimal, and the resources needed to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality have been inadequate. Women and young people, in particular, have borne the brunt of this adversity. At the same time, this experience has also highlighted the sense of social solidarity in our society, and, more critically, the need for all social partners and all South Africans to join hands in a social compact to revive the economy and improve the quality of life of especially the poor. The pandemic has highlighted the need to address the three interrelated antagonistic contradictions of class, race and patriarchal relations of power that continue to characterise our society.
The second element characterising the current situation is that the pandemic struck as we were launching concerted efforts to rebuild the democratic state after years of state capture. Not only was state capture a systematic attempt at siphoning off public resources; it also had the effect of undermining our democratic state and threatening our programme of social and economic transformation. As expected, the renewal that we have embarked on is being assailed at various levels by acts of institutional and social disruption. Let us from the outset make it clear that these desperate efforts will fail in the face of a united people resolved to protect South Africa’s democratic gains.
The third element of the current situation relates to challenges facing the ANC as an organisation. We must be forthright in recognising, and deal decisively with, the reality that ANC structures are in a poor state. Many of them are focused on internal organisational conflicts, factionalism and furthering the self-interest of individual leaders rather than the aspirations of communities they are meant to serve. Consequently, political formations with divergent ideologies and agendas have found common cause in an effort to defeat the ANC and, more substantively, to disrupt pro-poor programmes of social and economic transformation. These objective and subjective weaknesses were reflected in the results of the Local Government Elections in November 2021. While the ANC received a clear mandate to govern in the overwhelming majority of municipalities, our overall share of the national vote fell below 50% for the first time since the advent of democracy, in elections characterised by very low voter turnout. Many citizens demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the ANC and its performance by staying away from the polls. The movement must, therefore, undergo a fundamental and lasting process of renewal and rebuilding if it is to remain the effective and trusted agent of change on whose behalf Comrade Oliver Tambo was speaking when he delivered the January 8th Statement in 1972. This change must find particular resonance in how we muster the capacities of the state to improve people’s quality of life; how we unite all social partners in pursuit of economic reconstruction and recovery; and how ANC deployees in government creatively, consistently and with integrity address the needs and aspirations of the nation.
Our mission has always been to serve the people of this great nation and to ensure that a better life for all steadily but surely becomes a lived reality. Even in this difficult environment, we can and must do more, better and faster. We must therefore intensify our work to restore the relevance, capability and credibility of the ANC so that it continues to be an effective force for transformation. The lodestars of our journey of social transformation are to be found in the Freedom Charter and our country’s Constitution and the plans developed over the years to attain the lofty ideals they espouse. That is what defines the movement’s unique relevance in the current age.
However, our capability and credibility depend on whether we lead the process of change and are seen by society practically pursuing these ideals. This requires that we improve our work at the same time as we uncompromisingly eradicate negative and deviant practices from within our organisation. We must act unflinchingly and with urgency to renew the movement. As we do so, we must be clear that this will be a painful and protracted process. Like the collective leadership of Comrade OR Tambo’s generation, we must give no quarter in pursuing what is ethically right and socially just. No resistance, even from within our ranks, can force us to abandon the cause of truly being the ANC of the people.
- Priorities for the ANC in 2022
Having recognised the foregoing challenges, and in furtherance of our fundamental objective to create a better life for all, this January 8th Statement sets out priorities for all ANC members and cadres that must underpin our work during 2022:
- Build a social compact to decisively address unemployment and poverty. Working with all social partners, we must accelerate economic recovery and reconstruction and ensure that social services are provided to all citizens;
- Defend our democratic gains against attempts to undermine our Constitutional order and destabilise our democracy;
- Accelerate fundamental renewal and rebuilding of the ANC so that it is a more effective and trusted agent of change;
- Build a capable developmental state with an effective and ethical public service that drives the implementation of South Africa’s transformative agenda; and
- Continue to work for a better Africa and a better world.
Combined with all these tasks, the ANC must strive to ensure that a progressive commitment to social justice forms the basis of our outlook as a nation. We must be at the forefront of combating all forms of retrogressive ideas and behaviour such as racism, tribalism, patriarchy, homophobia, gender-based violence and femicide, child abuse, substance abuse, anti-poor sentiments and policies, and other forms of discrimination against those who are vulnerable. Let us now reflect on these priorities.
2.1 Build a social compact to decisively address unemployment and poverty
The ANC urges government to lead in concluding a social compact with all social partners, setting out a collective commitment to implement measures and targets to place our nation on a higher and more inclusive growth path aimed at addressing our common national challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Such a social compact must set out the obligations and commitments of all social partners – government, business, labour and community – in order decisively to address our nation’s lasting challenges. In particular, it must seize the advantage of our demographic dividend and the opportunities created by a rapidly growing youthful labour force and address the burning challenge of youth unemployment. Programmes directed at creating opportunities for the youth and ensuring their active involvement in all areas of social and economic endeavour must be implemented with urgency. Failure to do so will give rise to wasted opportunities and increased social instability.
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated our already precarious economic position. Around 1.5 million jobs have been lost since the start of the pandemic and unemployment is at its highest ever. Government invested heavily in providing additional, and much-needed, social and economic relief measures in the face of this unprecedented public health crisis. ANC and Alliance structures were instrumental in informing government’s social assistance and economic relief programmes. The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which was launched in October 2020, draws extensively from the movement’s positions and was developed in consultation with social partners at Nedlac. As part of this Plan, we have undertaken several economic reforms in areas such as energy security, the efficiency of our ports, digital migration and access to broadband, and ease of doing business.
Recognising that it will take time for businesses to recover from the pandemic and begin to create jobs again, government implemented the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which in its first phase created more than 550,000 employment and livelihood support opportunities. We support government’s decision to continue to implement public employment programmes to support unemployed working-age adults and will support its work in consultation with organised labour and other social partners in developing these programmes.
The Social Relief of Distress Grant has provided vital support for the unemployed during the pandemic, reaching 9.5 million people and lifting five million above the food poverty line. There is a clear need for some form of income support for unemployed and poor South Africans based on clear principles of affordability and sustainability.
Central to the formation of the ANC 110 years ago was the need to respond in a united manner to widespread colonial land dispossession. Redressing this historical injustice and returning the land to the people is a critical component of the ANC’s fight for social justice and the elimination of the vast inequalities created by apartheid. Such land reform will promote economic development for the benefit of all. One of the elements of this effort is the implementation of our 54th National Conference resolution on the expropriation of land without compensation. The implementation of this resolution will continue despite the refusal of other parties in Parliament to support the proposed amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. Through our elected public representatives we will work to finalise legislation such as the Expropriation Bill, the Land Court Bill and a range of other instruments to ensure more land is returned to the people and at a much faster rate.
In support of the rural economy and transformation in the agricultural sector, we urge government to work with all partners in agriculture and the agro-processing value chain and support the work to strengthen the Land Bank and other financing instruments. Climate change presents a range of geopolitical, security, economic and social risks and opportunities for our country and the world. We must be resolute in ensuring that we engage with these risks and opportunities in a manner that advances South Africa’s national and developmental interests in all respects. Transitioning to a low-carbon, ecologically friendly and socially sustainable economy presents opportunities to create jobs, inclusion and growth in sectors such as renewable energy, grid construction, manufacturing of renewable components, battery storage, green vehicles and green hydrogen while furthering our environmental protection objectives.
The success of our economic recovery depends to a large measure on our ability to effectively manage Covid-19, as this virus is likely to remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future. In doing so, we will continue to be guided by scientific and evidence-based approaches. Among other things, this means we must support the drive to vaccinate as many people as possible, as fast as possible. This is our most important weapon in mitigating the impact of Covid-19. Through this massive vaccination programme, the most extensive health intervention in our country’s history, nearly 40% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.
To enable our economy to return to full operation, we urge everyone in South Africa who is not yet vaccinated to ensure they are vaccinated as soon as possible. The ANC urges government to finalise a policy on the introduction of vaccine mandates for particular settings and activities. Such a policy would be a valuable addition to the instruments we have to contain and manage Covid-19. The ANC supports the call made at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and believes that such a waiver will allow developing countries to develop their own vaccines and will lead to more equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. We continue to call on people to remain vigilant and strictly adhere to all public safety protocols. Let us wear our masks, maintain social distance, practise hand hygiene and avoid crowded indoor spaces and gatherings.
The ANC salutes all the frontline workers for their commitment and sacrifice in the fight against Covid-19. We remember all in South Africa who succumbed to Covid-19 as we redouble our efforts to contain this terrible pandemic.
2.2 Defend our democratic gains
The advent of democracy in 1994 and the progress we have made to build a united and inclusive nation over the last 28 years stands as the greatest achievement of the South African people as it provides the foundation for our ongoing efforts to build a National Democratic Society.
These democratic gains are, however, threatened by a concerted effort to destroy the institutions of our democratic State, to erode the values of our Constitution and to undo the social and economic progress made. This worrying confluence of subverting actions is evinced by the blatant acts of state capture and criminality described in the report of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the concerted campaign of public violence and destruction that took place in July last year, as well as ongoing acts of wanton theft, destruction and obstruction of vital public and private infrastructure, including communication and logistical networks.
One of the resolutions of the 54th National Conference was to support the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. We welcome the submission and release of the first part of the Commission’s report and look forward to the completion of the Commission’s work by the end of February 2022. The work of the Commission is vital to the national effort to place the era of state capture behind us and ensure that such events are never allowed to happen again. The ANC will support government in effecting the measures required to eliminate conditions and conduct that enable state capture and systemic corruption. As the ANC, we will engage with our structures and members to ensure sufficient understanding of the contents and findings of the Commission. We will put in place mechanisms to process any parts of the Commission report that pertain to the organisation, its deployees or members and to consider how the Commission’s recommendations can help to enhance the fundamental renewal and rebuilding of our movement.
We call on all South Africans to engage with the Commission’s report and to be part of the national effort to put state capture behind us and build an ethical, capable developmental state and a society governed by the values of our democratic Constitution and the rule of law. As part of the renewal process, our movement will intensify efforts to eradicate corruption from society and our organisation. This we were mandated to do at the last National Conference, and it is necessary if we are to meet the objectives of social justice set out in the country’s constitution. The security and stability of our country was directly challenged by the deliberate, coordinated and well-planned incidents of public violence and destruction that took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July last year. It is important once again to express our deepest condolences to the over 300 families who lost loved ones in the course of these tragic events.
The ANC applauds the actions of ANC structures and ordinary South Africans who worked together, through peaceful means, to prevent the spread of violence and looting. It was further encouraging to see ANC and community leaders bringing communities together for clean-up operations. We commend the members of the SAPS, SANDF and other state agencies who, under difficult conditions, worked to restore order and prevent further loss of life.
These events underlined the need to continuously guard against counter-revolution and work to ensure that it cannot find fertile ground. We call on government to strengthen the ability of the State to prevent and respond effectively to such developments, drawing on the findings and recommendations of the Panel of Experts established by the President to review government’s response to the July unrest. The ANC supports the establishment of the Border Management Authority which we believe will contribute significantly to improving the security of our borders and the management of immigration in our country. We urge government to publish the critical skills list, as well as to finalise legislation providing for certain occupations and businesses to be set aside for South Africans.
Non-racialism is a fundamental principle of the ANC that lies at the heart of our objective to build a South African nation with a common patriotism and loyalty in which the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the people is recognised. It is an ideal many have struggled and died for. Sadly, this principle is being eroded, both in our organisation and in the broader society. A painful example of this retrogressive tendency was the racism and prejudice manifest in the tragic events that occurred in eThekwini during the outbreaks of violence in July 2021. ANC structures were correct in condemning this violence, racism and prejudice and expressing our profound condolences with those who lost loved ones. However, we must go further than mere condemnation and actively lead programmes to strengthen non-racialism and build solidarity. It is our revolutionary duty to ensure non-racialism becomes more entrenched in society. We must organise all people and sectors of society and unite the broadest cross-section of people in opposition to social ills such as racism and other forms of oppression.
The ANC must do significantly more to support the ANC Women’s League to ensure non-sexism becomes a lived reality in our country. All manifestations and consequences of patriarchy – from the feminisation of poverty, physical and psychological abuse, undermining of self-confidence, to open and hidden forms of exclusion from positions of authority and power – need consciously to be eliminated. Critical in this regard is the creation of the material and cultural conditions that would allow the abilities of women to flourish and enrich the life of the nation. Over the years, women’s organisations have been at the forefront of the struggles to assert the rights and improve the status of women within our democratic formations and broader society. The Women’s League, in particular, has a leading role to play in the education and mobilisation of ANC members, women and men alike. Given the blatant and insidious manifestations of patriarchy across society, the ANC must support the Women’s League to act as the voice not only of women members of the ANC, but of the mass of South African women, including young women, in a broad front for gender transformation and societal change.
There are specific tasks the organisation must undertake to enable our membership to lead in uniting the country against backward and destructive tendencies. The ANC must have consistent cadre development and political education programmes to understand the movement’s vision, programme and ethos. We must further ensure that our leaders and representatives are able to explain our mission and programme clearly and persuasively. At the same time, we must, through our elected public representatives, ensure that government civic education is improved to raise awareness and understanding of principles such as democracy, human rights and the rights and responsibilities of patriotic and active citizenship.
We reaffirm our goal that all people who live in South Africa must be safe in their homes, schools and at work. People must enjoy a community life free from fear. Women and children in South Africa continue to be among the worst affected by fear, intimidation and violence. Our efforts to eradicate gender-based violence are not sufficient to deal with the extent of this scourge. It has now been more than a year since we adopted the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. We must ensure government moves with greater urgency to ensure gaps in the criminal justice system are closed, strengthen responses to survivors and effectively implement prevention efforts. Gender-based violence is both a criminal offence and a societal problem. We must intensify efforts to end patriarchy and other forms of prejudice that underpin gender-based violence. We urge members of society, especially men and boys, to become better allies in the fight against gender-based violence.
2.3. Accelerate fundamental renewal and rebuilding of the ANC
A strong, effective and united ANC is crucial to the effort to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. When the liberation movement, governing party and one of the strongest forces for social and economic transformation is divided or ineffective, the whole country suffers. In the words of Comrade OR Tambo: “It is only as a united force that we can move forward. It is as a united people that we shall be victorious.” Since 2018, we have sought to fundamentally renew, unite and rebuild the ANC as mandated by the 54th National Conference and indeed other Conferences before then. All genuine leaders and members of the ANC are agreed on the need for thoroughgoing renewal and rebuilding in order both to adapt to the changing external environment as well as to deal with negative and destructive tendencies that have crept into our organisation.
The task of fundamental renewal is made more urgent by the loss of popular standing, support and trust that our movement has been experiencing for several years. The 54th National Conference asserted that renewal is “… about building the ANC’s resilience, enhancing its transformative and governance capacity and its ability to adapt to changing situations so that it can continue to organise and lead the people”. Our collective efforts to implement this injunction of our organisation’s highest decision-making body must be guided by the understanding that renewal is both about modernising the movement’s internal systems and practices as well as ridding it of elements and practices that disregard its organisational ethos, principles and discipline. Renewal is therefore about improving our capacity to effectively attend to people’s concerns and issues, both as the movement and governing party. We must also recognise that renewal and rebuilding is a process and must be diligently worked for.
There will be successes and setbacks. We should expect and confront resistance from those opposed to renewal; we should endure the pain that this entails and, ultimately, we will emerge as an organisation better placed to serve the people of South Africa. Let us always be mindful of the caution sounded by the 54th National Conference that “the ANC needs to demonstrate in actual practice its commitment to speeding up fundamental transformation. For this, it should shore up its own capacity, honestly identify and correct its weaknesses and revitalise its public image. Bland reassurances that are then negated by the very conduct of leaders and members will worsen the decline.” This calls for a return to revolutionary discipline and strict adherence to the culture of democratic centralism. Once the organisation has made a decision, members must abide by that decision. Once upper structures have pronounced on matters, lower structures are bound to act in accordance with such pronouncements.
Organisational discipline must be underpinned by thoroughgoing political discussion and engagement to ensure leaders and members understand and are able to explain the decisions of the movement. It also requires leadership to act consistently and in accordance with organisational principles, values and rules. We must build certainty and trust that leadership will, at all times, act rationally and without fear or favour. An important component of building unity and trust is certainty that the movement will keep its promises and act according to known policies and procedures. Let there be no misunderstanding: building unity does not mean unity at all costs to the detriment and disregard of our principles; nor does it mean unity in defence of wrong or corrupt practices. We must continue to build and strengthen a principled unity in defence of the objectives of our revolution and in furtherance of our programme to put in place a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
While the ANC has begun to give effect to some of the resolutions aimed at restoring the standing and integrity of our organisation, we need to do much more. One of the areas in which the ANC has taken clear action is to require that members who are formally charged with corruption and other serious charges must immediately step aside from all leadership positions in the ANC, legislatures or other government structures pending the finalisation of their matters. Such members who do not step aside may be summarily suspended. Furthermore, members of the ANC who are reported to be involved in corrupt and other serious criminal practices must go to the ANC’s Integrity Commission and provide a credible explanation for these allegations or reports. In line with the ANC Constitution, ANC members who are convicted of corruption or other serious crimes must resign from leadership positions and face disciplinary action.
To provide sharper focus to the renewal and rebuilding of the movement, the National Executive Committee has decided to set up a Commission to develop a roadmap for the movement towards its 120th anniversary in 2032. The decision to develop a 10-year ANC vision is guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference and the discussions that started in preparation for the National General Council (which could not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic). The ideas in NGC Discussion Documents must inform our deliberations as we prepare for the 55th National Conference. The aim is to ensure that the ANC Renewal Commission develops proposals that can be operationalised as a matter of urgency. Its work will also be informed by continuous consultation with structures of the ANC, Alliance partners and the broad democratic movement. It will be tasked to develop: a Vision 2032, which describes the desired state of the country and the ANC in 10 years’ time; a roadmap towards Vision 2032 for adoption at the 55th National Conference in December 2022. The NEC will shortly announce the terms of reference and composition of the Renewal Commission so that it can begin its work by the end of January 2022.
2.4. Build a capable developmental state for effective service delivery
A developmental state guides economic development and effectively uses state resources to meet the needs of the people. In our view such a developmental state must be capable of leading, guiding and mobilising all social partners towards achieving national objectives and goals. A capable and professional public service is crucial to the attainment of our developmental goals. There must be sufficient capacity in the public service to deliver healthcare, housing, education and other government services to the people. We must ensure that the government we lead implements a range of measures, such as instituting more rigorous criteria for the appointment of senior public service managers, to ensure citizens are served with diligence and respect.
Local government has long been an area of significant concern for our movement and this concern was amplified by our engagements with the people during the recent election campaign. Throughout this campaign, voters and communities complained about poor service delivery by local municipalities. The people raised issues about inadequate access to water, refuse removal, sanitation and electricity. Through our public representatives and our newly appointed mayors and mayoral committees, we must continue to implement a range of measures to strengthen local government, including ensuring that ANC councillors live up to their pledge to do and be better as they work together with the people to build better communities. We have put in place mechanisms to choose capable and fit-for-purpose cadres as councillors, mayors and senior office bearers with the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to serve communities. The Municipal Structures Amendment Act, which sets out minimum requirements and introduces a specialised code of conduct for councillors, will be critical in institutionalising acceptable levels of performance and service delivery for councils.
In addressing peoples’ most pressing concerns, the ANC will work to ensure that all residents in municipalities where we govern have reliable and affordable electricity, water and sanitation. We will serve as an effective opposition in municipalities where we do not govern and ensure that the council gives attention to the concerns of residents. As the governing party at a national level, we will work with provinces and municipalities to initiate a massive campaign to ensure construction and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure, and to eliminate the unspeakable indignity that failure in these areas has brought to communities. At the same time, we will speed up processes to ensure energy security and the consistent implementation of the policy of free basic services across all municipalities. Through the District Development Model, we are aligning the work of national, provincial and local government to ensure that budgeting and planning, including spatial planning to manage high rates of urbanisation, is properly coordinated and service delivery is improved. It is imperative that we build on the successes of the District Development Model to drive the revitalisation and stabilisation of local government.
2.5. Continue to work for a better Africa and world
The ANC is committed to advance the cause of national liberation, development, world peace, disarmament and environmentally sustainable development. Guided by the Freedom Charter’s call that “There shall be peace and friendship!”, we shall work towards peace on our continent and in the world. Accordingly, the ANC will continue to play an active role in mobilising progressive forces globally, strengthening our relationships with progressive organisations, including former liberation movements, and engaging in campaigns of solidarity and the attainment of a better, more just world. The attainment of peace, prosperity and equitable development across the African continent remains the central objective of our international perspective. African nations must move with even greater solidarity to address African challenges and pursue opportunities for the development of the whole continent.
The ANC will focus its international work on peace, development and reconstruction on the continent. The ANC will play a stronger role in establishing and sustaining party to party links in countries that are striving to entrench democracy. We will strengthen our interactions and support to especially Sudan, Libya and South Sudan in this regard. We support ongoing efforts to find African solutions to African problems in resolving the conflicts in Mozambique, Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Sudan and Ethiopia. We will continue to support the SADC mission in Mozambique. We cannot permit armed insurgents to undermine development and harm communities. The ANC will intensify our fraternal and party-to-party relationships with former liberation movements in the SADC region to ensure lasting peace and prosperity.
We must ensure our government focuses sufficient attention on ensuring the fulfilment of the G20 commitments towards supporting Africa’s economic recovery. The $100-billion in special drawing rights agreed by the G20 will provide a critical boost to the continent’s economic recovery efforts. Government plans to work closely with countries on the continent that are planning to hold elections in 2022 and the ANC must support these efforts through party-to-party engagements and other international work.
We urge government to continue to pursue the reform of the United Nations and its Security Council. The ANC hopes that the renewed negotiations between the European Union, US and Iran on Iran’s nuclear programme produces an outcome that provides greater assurance for global peace and security. We recall the principled solidarity with the people of Palestine demonstrated by our recently departed Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. The Archbishop was at the forefront of highlighting the similarities between the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and the brutality of the apartheid regime. The ANC repeats our condemnation of the ongoing illegal settlements, state-sponsored settler violence against Palestinians and threats of illegally annexing more Palestinian land, including the Golan Heights. We will intensify our work, around the world and with Palestinian and Israeli representatives, for the achievement of Palestinian self-determination.
Our support for the people of Cuba remains unwavering and we urge the US to lift all remaining restrictions and re-engage with the Cuban government in order to normalise relations between the two nations. The ANC will support government efforts to strengthen our bilateral and multilateral relationship with Cuba through ongoing political and solidarity work.
We reiterate our longstanding solidarity with the Saharawi Republic and the Polisario Front. The ANC notes with concern the recent developments that have necessitated the people of the Saharawi Republic resuming their armed struggle in response to renewed incursions and attacks by Morocco.
- Tasks of ANC structures and members
In 2022, all ANC structures and members must undertake the following tasks in line with our priorities for the year:
3.1 Work for the fundamental renewal and rebuilding of the movement
We must continue to work for the restoration of the integrity of the ANC so that we earn the confidence and respect of South Africans to continue entrusting us with their hopes and aspirations. The ANC must strengthen organisational discipline and address misbehaviour and corruption within our ranks. Our principled programme to implement the step aside rule must continue. ANC members must unite behind the principled objectives of the organisation contained in our Constitution and fight factionalism and any attempts to undermine the National Democratic Revolution and our programme of social and economic transformation.
We must build and strengthen ANC branches as part of the renewal process. All branches must have clear programmes of action which include: Political education of branch members on the aims and objectives of the ANC, the duties of ANC members and the role of ANC branches as contained in the ANC Constitution and study key policy documents of the organisation; An annual programme of community outreach which includes the active participation of branch members in school governing bodies, community policing forums, civic associations, sports bodies, ward committees and other organs of community life to ensure the ANC’s transformation agenda is promoted at local level; A systematic programme to support ward councillors and ward committees to solve community problems and hold regular report-back meetings to keep community members informed on progress with regard to service delivery.
Ongoing work with the Veterans’ League to enrich the organisation with the wisdom of the collective of older generations of ANC members. The Veterans’ League’s repository of collective memory, knowledge and insight must continuously enrich the organisation’s theory and practice through reflection, assessment, critique and advice. ANC structures at every level must ensure there is ongoing support for the development of the Leagues and Alliance structures throughout the country. We must consistently work towards promoting cooperative relations between the mother body and these important sisterly formations in a common agenda for social and economic transformation at local level.
3.2 Mobilise social partners to urgently finalise a social compact to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality
The NEC and all other structures of the organisation must ensure that all social partners, including business, labour and civil society forge a compact to deal decisively with economic exclusion, poverty, unemployment and inequality. All municipalities, working in the context of the District Development Model, must develop clear local economic development plans that focus on the competitive advantage of different regions of our country in areas such as tourism, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and mining. ANC structures must actively campaign against local forums that hold infrastructure and development projects to ransom for tenders and jobs. Local employment must be coordinated by local government in partnership with community structures to ensure a fair distribution of possible employment opportunities within communities. The ANC must continue with important programmes of sectoral work to ensure that motive forces of change are organised and mobilised to take active part in the transformation agenda to attain the objectives set out in the National Development Plan.
3.3 Defend the gains of our democracy so that the national democratic revolution is not undermined
The ANC Constitution enjoins it to defend the democratic gains of the people and to advance towards a society in which the government is freely chosen by the people. In pursuance of this objective, ANC structures must: Accelerate and intensify the renewal and rebuilding of the ANC and act decisively to ensure that those who are guilty of corruption, ill-discipline, factionalism and undermining our democracy find no home in the organisation; Engage in a systematic programme of political education to deepen political consciousness and understanding to engage effectively in the battle of ideas against reactionary ideological tendencies and to advance the progressive values and orientation of our Constitution; Be firmly rooted in communities and play a leading role in the development of an active, informed and politically conscious citizenry capable of acting as bulwark against any effort to undermine the gains of our democracy; Work tirelessly to ensure maximum unity of the Alliance and all progressive forces at all levels; Support the efforts by the democratic government to restructure and reform our law enforcement agencies to ensure that they effectively discharge their mandate to defend our constitutional democracy professionally, independently and without fear or favour.
3.4 Promote nation building and progressive values
ANC structures at every level must work to entrench progressive values such as non-racialism, non-sexism and respect for human rights and democracy. We must lead popular campaigns for the eradication of backward tendencies such as tribalism, patriarchy and homophobia. ANC members must be vocal in defending members of society who are attacked on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation and speak out against those who perpetrate such crimes. The ANC must continue to support the Women’s League in its active campaign against gender-based violence and child abuse and ensure perpetrators face the full might of the law. Together with the Women’s League we must continuously raise awareness of the impact of GBV on individuals, families and communities. Consistent efforts must be made to support victims and survivors and hold perpetrators, no matter who they are, to account. Together with the Women’s League, we must accelerate programmes that educate men and boys on the dangers of patriarchy and sexism and promote a more effective understanding of what gender equality means for everyday life at home, in the workplace and in society.
3.5 Address social ills
The extent of South Africa’s alcohol abuse problem became clearer during the lockdown periods where the sale of alcohol was prohibited. There is also a significant drug abuse problem in our country, especially among young people. Communities must work with government to ensure the establishment of sufficient support and diversionary programmes available for at-risk youth through more community recreational, sport and educational facilities. ANC structures must support the Youth League to lead these efforts and must conduct education and awareness programmes about the dangers of substance abuse. The ANC must further support the Youth League in ensuring that the energies of young people lend vigour and dynamism to the process of social transformation by organising and campaigning around issues of special interest to young people in both economic and social spheres. Local programmes to promote an active citizenry that engages consistently and constructively in democratic processes and programmes will enhance the functioning of government at all levels. ANC members must be at the forefront of ensuring such activism and drive engagements with government at all levels to ensure communities are better serviced and their needs are met.
3.6 Promote vaccination against Covid-19
Structures of the ANC and the broader democratic movement must lead campaigns to disseminate more and accurate information about Covid-19, its causes and the efficacy of vaccines throughout communities. We must drive efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy and urge people to be vaccinated and go for their booster shots.
3.7 Strengthen international solidarity
ANC members and structures should undertake campaigns to express solidarity with oppressed people in Western Sahara, Palestine, Cuba and across the world in line with our values of respect for human rights, social justice and equality.
- Commemorations and tributes
As ANC members, we must be grounded in the history, traditions and values of our movement. It is therefore important, as has become the convention, to reflect on significant anniversaries that are taking place this year, both so that we can appreciate the struggles that have been fought for our freedom and understand the tasks before us. The following are some of the anniversaries we will mark in 2022: 100th Anniversary of the birth of comrade Thomas Nkobi, a stalwart of our movement who served as the ANC’s longest serving Treasurer General; 100th Anniversary of the 1922 Rand Revolt and Miners’ Strike; 100th Anniversary of the passing of John Knox Bokwe, a journalist, Presbyterian minister and one of the most accomplished and celebrated Xhosa hymn writers; 60th Anniversary of the Lobatse Conference, the first Conference held by the ANC since its banning by the Apartheid regime; 40th Anniversary of the assassination of comrade Ruth First by the Apartheid regime; 40th Anniversary of the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers; 35th Anniversary of 1987 strike by the National Union of Mineworkers, the biggest strike by militant workers in apartheid South Africa; 10th Anniversary of the Marikana Tragedy, where 44 people died, including 34 mineworkers killed by the South African Police Service; The 60th anniversary of the formation of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) took place on 16 December 2021 and will continue to be commemorated through a series of events during this year.
Many thousands of South African families have lost loved ones to Covid-19 over the past year. Our own movement has also lost many activists, veterans and stalwarts due to Covid-19 and other causes. We extend our sincerest condolences to their families, friends and comrades. Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Veterans and stalwarts Cdes Rebecca Kotane, Stanislaus Skhumbuzo Sangweni, Iva Gcina, Ebrahim Ebrahim, Rashida Abdullah, Caroline Dunga, Lindiwe Mabuza, Ismail Coovadia, Lillian Diedericks, Thembi Nobadula, Esther Khumalo, Elizabeth Nhlapo, Dina Lottering, Vivian Nomaindia Badela, Alzina Zondi, Kate Thoko Zwane, Dr Hassan Mohamed Ike Moosa, Zando Musi, Ft. John Robert Osmers, Smithy Pillay, Norman Levy, Storey Morutoa, Elizabeth Ntombizodwa Nhlapo, Maniben Sita, Dr Abe Nkomo, Aubrey Mokoena, Mmateko Lesole, Peter ‘Bab Ngesi’ Peyisi, Mmateko Annah Lesole, Matron Thalitha Monica Lebea-Mampura, Maggie Nompithipithi Nowinthi Booi, Nazly Dangor, Dan Montsitsi, Martin Ramphomane, Josephine Loots, Swaminathan Gounden, Johannes Mancane Ngcobo, Nocwaka Lamani, Thamsanqa Mali, Nosizwe Funde, George Lekgetho, Thandiwe Khasu. NEC Members Jackson Mthembu, Hlengiwe Mkhize. Former KZN premier Dr Ben Ngubane, former deputy ministers Elizabeth Thabethe and, Emalahleni Mayor Lina Malatjie. Prominent citizens and patriots such as engineer Nape Maepa, Dr Sponono Francina Baloyi, Brigadier-General Khaya Makina, renowned anti-apartheid cultural activist Jonas Gwangwa, Anne Selebi, businessman Jabu Mabuza, General Abe Sishuba, acclaimed composer Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo, Dr Vanguard Mkosana, Ambassador Happy Mahlangu, former Johannesburg mayor Isaac Mogase, Johannesburg Mayors Geoff Makhubo and Jolidee Matongo, former Secretary for Defense Sam Gulube, Lt Gen Sindile Mfazi, Carter Obakeng London, former JMPD head Mzwandile Chris Ngcobo, the Village Pope Tshepo Tshola, Bongani Gxilishe, Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu, HRM Crown Prince Tebogo Charles Moiloa, engineer Cyril Gamede, Prince Madikizela, Adv Denis Kuny, Cobus Grobler. Provincial leaders such as Dr Meshack Radebe, Nomkhozi Kuzwayo, Kiki Rwexwana, Charm Govendor; Ncwadi Tunyiswa, Victor Fakudzwa, Faith Matshikiza, Simthembile Kulu, Scara Mzimkulu January 8th Statement 2022 31 Njadayi, George Lekgetho, Mteteli Ngumbela, Mzondeli Nondula, Ann Ngutshane, ANC MPs Thozama Mantashe, Nombulelo Hermans, Jacqui Mofokeng, Joyce Maluleke, Kebby Maphatsoe and Duma Nkosi.
The movement recalls and honours the immeasurable contribution made by the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in the fight for our liberation and since the advent of democracy. Archbishop Tutu was with us on the streets, he gave us succour during the darkest days of apartheid and continued to serve as a moral compass for our young democracy. His legacy must be a shining example, urging all South Africans to be more humane, to always be principled and to work ceaselessly to achieve a better life for all. We must draw courage and inspiration from the lives of these giants, stalwarts and veterans and work for unity and solidarity in addressing all challenges before us.
The National Executive Committee declares 2022 as: The Year of Unity and Renewal to Defend and Advance South Africa’s Democratic Gains. DM