ANC Raymond Mhlaba Branch

Ward 118 - Zone 12 - Joburg Region

The ANC in ward 118, Zone 12 Johannesburg Region (Raymond Mhlaba Branch) is situated in the east of Johannesburg. It comprises of five voting districts: Methodist Church, Denver Social Services, Kensington Ridge Primary School, Eastgate Primary School and Athlone Girls High School. Ward Profile

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Rivonia Trialists

The ANC is a national liberation movement. It was formed in 1912 to unite the African people and spearhead the struggle for fundamental political, social and economic change.The ANC's key objective is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.This means the liberation of Africans in particular and black people in general from political and economic bondage. It means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor.

ANC 2001

Through the eye of a needle?
Choosing the best cadres to lead transformation
An ANC National Working Committee discussion document

Source: Umrabulo Number 11, June-July 2001;
Transcribed: by Dominic Tweedie.

Why should we discuss this issue?

1 As a movement for fundamental change, the ANC regularly has to elect leaders at various levels who are equal to the challenge of each phase of struggle. Such leaders should represent the motive forces of the struggle. To become an ANC leader is not an entitlement. It should not be an easy process attached merely to status. It should be informed first and foremost by the desire and commitment to serve the people, and a track record appreciated by ANC members and communities alike.

2 Those in leadership positions should unite and guide the movement to be at the head of the process of change. They should lead the movement in its mission to organise and inspire the masses to be their own liberators. They should lead the task of governance with diligence. And, together, they should reflect continuity of a revolutionary tradition and renewal which sustains the movement in the long-term.

3 How do thousands of branches throughout the country ensure that this happens in actual practice? How do we deal with individual ambition, lobbying, promotion of friends and pursuit of selfish interests? How do we ensure that electoral processes do not tear the movement apart? How do we prevent attempts to use the movement as a step-ladder towards self-enrichment?

4 Besides, the door can be left open for corrupt individuals and even enemies of change, to exploit the movement’s internal democracy to sabotage the struggle and create their own ANC. Further, those who fail in positions of authority can use all kinds of excuses to cling to power, when the time for change has come.

5 These are difficult questions. But the movement’s membership has to find the answers, so we together build and sustain the ANC as an agent for change. To fully understand this challenge, let us first examine the character of challenges in this phase of struggle.

What are the challenges we face at this stage?

                    6 According to the Strategy and Tactics document:

“Our strategy is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. In pursuit of this objective, we shall, at each given moment, creatively adopt tactics that advance that objective. Our fundamental point of departure is that South Africans have it in their power, as a people and as part of progressive humankind, to continually change the environment in which we operate in the interest of a better future.

“In this phase of transformation, we seek to expand and deepen the power of democratic forces in all centres critical to the NDR, at the same time as we improve the people’s quality of life. Our efforts, which are people-centred, people-driven and gender-sensitive, are founded on five basic pillars:

  • to build and strengthen the ANC as a movement that organises and leads the people in the task of social transformation;
  • to deepen our democracy and culture of human rights and mobilise the people to take active part in changing their lives for the better;
  • to strengthen the hold of the democratic movement on state power, and transform the state machinery to serve the cause of social change;
  • to pursue economic growth, development and redistribution in such a way as to improve the people’s quality of life; and
  • to work with progressive forces throughout the world to promote and defend our transformation, advance Africa’s renaissance and build a new world order.”

7 Among the priorities that need immediate attention are: building active branches that give leadership to communities; strengthening the Tri-partite Alliance; ensuring that the ANC leads mass organisations; and making decisive interventions in the ideological struggle.

8 At the level of government, we need to improve the capacity of the state to meet its obligation to citizens in the area of economic growth and job creation, social programmes, and dealing with crime and corruption. Further, the ANC, both inside and outside government, should play a leading role in Africa’s renewal and building a better world.

9 As we carry out these tasks, we will face a concerted campaign to undermine our efforts, by those who oppose change. They will underplay the progress we are making, while exaggerating weaknesses. They will seek to discredit the ANC and its leadership. They will also try to undermine confidence in the institutions of democracy we have set up.

10 Some will even try to subvert the ANC from within. Because they know they cannot defeat the ANC frontally, they will try to create an ANC that serves their interests.

What kind of ANC is required to meet these challenges?

11 A revolutionary democratic movement: The ANC pursues fundamental change to create a better life for all. Equality among all South Africans in choosing a government of their choice, using the country’s resources to improve conditions of especially the poor, and removing racism in the ownership and distribution of wealth are among our core principles. Within its ranks, the ANC ensures the participation of members in shaping the movement’s policies and programmes.

12 A non-racial national movement: It is critical that our struggle brings about an end to apartheid relations in all areas of life. The ANC believes in the equal worth of all human beings. We seek to unite South Africans across racial and ethnic differences, taking into account the central role of Blacks in general and Africans in particular, given their exclusion under apartheid. We practice these principles within the organisation.

13 A broad national democratic movement: The ANC represents the mass of forces that pursue social transformation. Individuals belonging to different classes and strata form part of these forces, because they stand to gain from fundamental change. However, the ANC is keenly aware of the social basis of apartheid. It recognises the leading role of the working class and pays special attention to the poor.

14 A mass movement: The ANC seeks to bring into its ranks as many South Africans as possible who accept its principles and policies. As a legal organisation, it does not target only particular advanced political activists for recruitment. As long as one accepts its policies and takes its oath, anyone can become a member.

15 A non-sexist movement: Over time, the ANC has embraced the principle of gender equality as one of the central features of national liberation. This is reinforced through the equitable representation of women at all levels of the movement, and it requires the conscious implementation of affirmative action within our ranks.

16 A leader of the democratic forces: Because of what it stands for, and its track record in the fight against apartheid colonialism, the ANC emerged as the leader of the forces who pursue a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. It seeks to unite all these forces and their organisations into a movement for fundamental change. Its leaders and members should win the confidence of organisations of the people.

17 A champion of progressive internationalism: The ANC’s objectives are informed by the aspirations of the people of SA, Africa and millions others in all parts of the world. Over the years, it has contributed to, and benefited from, struggles across the globe for a just, equitable and humane world order; and it remains committed to these ideals.

What informs the principles of ANC Organisational Democracy?

18 Elected leadership: Leadership of the ANC is elected in conferences or, at branch level, in general members meetings. In all these instances, it is the individual members of the ANC, directly at branch level, or through their delegates, at other levels, who decide on the composition of the leadership structures.

19 Collective leadership: Individual leaders are elected into collectives which should work as a unit, fulfilling their mandate as dictated to by the constitution. No single person is a leader unto himself or herself, but a member of a collective which should give considered, canvassed guidance to the membership and society as a whole.

20 Branches as basic units: The branch is the basic and most important unit of the ANC. This is where members give leadership to communities, where they bring programmes to life and where they consider and make proposals on policies of the movement.

21 Consultations and mandates: Regular meetings of branches, regions and provinces, as well as national conferences provide the membership with the platform to assume collective ownership of the movement’s fate. They set out the mandate that guides the leadership, and are important fora for report-backs and consultations across the movement.

22 Criticism and self-criticism: It is to be expected that in leading social activity, leaders and members will from time to time make mistakes. The most important thing is that these individuals and collectives should have the capacity and humility to honestly review their work critically, and correct the weaknesses.

23 Democracy as majority rule: Individual members and leaders will have differing opinions on how particular issues should be addressed. The strength of revolutionary organisation lies among others in the ability to synthesise these views and emerge with the wisest possible approach. Once a decision has been taken on the basis of the majority’s views, it binds everyone, including those who held a contrary view.

24 Status of higher and lower structures: Lower structures have the right to influence decisions of higher structures. And, within their mandate the higher structures have a responsibility to take decisions. Once these decisions have been taken, they bind all the relevant lower structures: they have to be supported and implemented.

What are the constitutional guidelines for elections?

25 Every member of the ANC has the right to vote for, and be elected into, leadership positions. Like all rights, this goes along with the obligation to understand and pursue the objectives of the ANC. Further, in order to ensure that leaders are elected for their track record in serving the people, qualifications apply in relation to leadership positions: to be on the BEC a member should have been in the ANC for at least a year; for the REC it’s 2 years; 3 years for the PEC and for the NEC it’s 5 years.

26 In the conferences or AGM’s where leaders are elected, this happens after discussion on the political and organisational environment and challenges facing the ANC. Out of these discussions emerges the political programme for the next term of office. Broadly, it is on the basis of these discussions (which start before the relevant conferences) that an appropriate leadership collective is decided upon.

27 Branch members are the electoral college for all elective positions. At branch level, this happens at an AGM where all members take part. In regional, provincial and national conferences, the delegates are mandated by the branch membership. However, each delegate has the right and latitude to influence and be influenced by delegates from other branches.

28 Because of the central role of branches and their delegates in these processes, two critical challenges face all branches. Firstly, we must all the time ensure the integrity of the membership system, so that only genuine, bona fide members of the ANC exercise this important responsibility of deciding on policy and leadership. Secondly, where branch members delegate individuals to represent them, they must ensure that these are members capable of influencing others, and at the same time, able to weigh various arguments and acting in the best interest of the movement.

29 Delegates from branches elect Regional Executive Committees. For purposes of Provincial Executives, nominations from braches are canvassed at Regional Conferences, for regions to reach broad consensus. For purposes of National Conferences the same process also happens at Provincial Conferences.

30 This allows branches to share ideas, information and knowledge around various candidates. Through all these levels, a broad mandate is given to delegates: but each delegate has the responsibility to weigh views even at Conference itself and take decisions that, in his or her assessment, serve the best interests of the struggle.

31 At Conferences, nominations are also allowed from the floor, from individual delegates. Relevant minimums of support are set for the nominees to be included in the lists. This allows for individual delegates, regions or provinces to put forward names of those they deem capable but could not emerge through the nomination process.

32 Voting at Conferences is by secret ballot, and each delegate has one vote of equal value. In other words, delegates are not voting fodder, mechanically and unthinkingly bound to lists and subject to the whip. While delegates should be guided by the broad mandate of their branches, regions or provinces, each individual delegate is expected to exercise his or her judgement on the basis of his or her assessment of the movement’s interests.

What then are the broad requirements of leadership?

33 As a revolutionary organisation, the ANC needs revolutionary cadres and leaders. It should put in place leadership collectives that satisfy the character of the ANC defined above: a revolutionary democratic movement, a non-racial and non-sexist national movement, a broad national democratic movement, a mass movement and a leader of the democratic forces.

34 An ANC leader should understand ANC policy and be able to apply it under all conditions in which she finds herself. This includes an appreciation, from the NDR stand-point, of the country and the world we live in, of the balance of forces, and of how continually to change this balance in favour of the motive forces of change.

35 A leader should constantly seek to improve his capacity to serve the people; he should strive to be in touch with the people all the time, listen to their views and learn from them. He should be accessible and flexible; and not arrogate to himself the status of being the source of all wisdom.

36 A leader should win the confidence of the people in her day-to-day work. Where the situation demands, she should be firm; and have the courage to explain and seek to convince others of the correctness of decisions taken by constitutional structures even if such decisions are unpopular. She should not seek to gain cheap popularity by avoiding difficult issues, making false promises or merely pandering to popular sentiment.

37 A leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct — as defined by our revolutionary morality. Through force of example, he should act as a role model to ANC members and non-members alike. Leading a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the NDR includes not only being free of corrupt practices; it also means actively fighting against corruption.

38 There are no ready-made leaders. Leaders evolve out of battles for social transformation. In these battles, cadres will stumble and some will fall. But the abiding quality of leadership is to learn from mistakes, to appreciate one’s weaknesses and correct them.

39 A leader should seek to influence and to be influenced by others in the collective. He should have the conviction to state his views boldly and openly within constitutional structures of the movement; and — without being disrespectful — not to cower before those in more senior positions in pursuit of patronage, nor to rely on cliques to maintain one’s position.

40 An individual with qualities of leadership does not seek to gain popularity by undermining those in positions of responsibility. Where such a member has a view on how to improve things or correct mistakes, she should state those views in constitutional structures and seek to win others to her own thinking. She should assist the movement as a whole to improve its work, and not stand aside to claim perfection out of inactivity.

41 The struggle for social transformation is a complex undertaking in which at times, personal interests will conflict with the organisational interest. From time to time, conflict will manifest itself between and among members and leaders. The ultimate test of leadership includes:

41.1 striving for convergence between personal interests — material, status and otherwise — and the collective interest;

41.2 handling conflict in the course of ANC work by understanding its true origins and seeking to resolve it in the context of struggle and in the interest of the ANC;

41.3 the ability to inspire people in good times and bad; to reinforce members’ and society’s confidence in the ANC and transformation;and

41.4 winning genuine acceptance by the membership, not through suppression, threats or patronage, but by being principled, firm, humble and considerate.

How has the base of leadership widened in the past few years?

42 With its unbanning, the ANC set out to build a mass movement, drawing members from the mass of the South African people. This also made it possible to introduce profound open democratic practices, with activists of the anti-apartheid struggle and communities in general taking part in building their movement. A culture of open mass participation helped root the ANC in all areas of the country. It improved its standing as a people’s movement both in terms of its policies and programmes and in its mass composition.

43 As it developed from being a movement of cadres thoroughly processed and systematically educated in its policies, it attracted huge numbers of people many of whom developed in its ranks. Many of them were prepared to face the might of state-sponsored violence for ‘the last push’. However, some individuals may have joined for the prestige associated with the changes happening at the beginning of the decade; as well as the personal opportunities that would arise when the ANC came into government.

44 Over these years, young people, women, community leaders of various hues, veterans of previous struggles, professionals and business-people found political home in the movement as it emerged from the underground. Cadres from prison, exile, underground formations and the mass movement have come together at various levels of leadership. All this has brought a dynamic political chemistry into the evolution of the organisation. It has also provided a wide and deep pool of experience within leadership.

45 In this period, and especially with the achievement of democracy, the ANC had to put together teams at various levels to develop and implement policies of a democratic governance. Without much formal training, these cadres have over the years acquitted themselves well in defining the constitutional framework, developing and implementing legislation and programmes for transformation, and building a state with the capacity to serve the people.

46 The Youth and Women’s Leagues have also served as critical schools of the revolution and a source of cadres who are continually assuming leadership positions within the ANC. So have many other formations allied to the movement, including COSATU, the revolutionary student movement, civic associations, religious structures, the women’s movement and some professional bodies. Further, it should be emphasised that, even if they may not be elected as a formal part of ANC leadership structures, leaders of these mass formations who are members of the ANC are also, in their own right, ANC leaders.

What are the negatives challenges that have emerged in the new terrain?

47 Entry into government meant that a great many cadres of the movement moved en masse from full-time organisational work. This was a necessary shift arising from the victories we had scored. However, this was not done in a planned manner. As a result, for the first few years, there were virtually no senior leaders of the ANC based at its headquarters. This had a negative impact on the task of mass organisation. While progress has been made in this regard, further work needs to be done to ensure that ANC structures operate as an organisational and political centre for everything the ANC does.

48 Because leadership in structures of the ANC affords opportunities to assume positions of authority in government, some individuals then compete for ANC leadership positions in order to get into government. Many such members view positions in government as a source of material riches for themselves. Thus resources, prestige and authority of government positions become the driving force in competition for leadership positions in the ANC.

49 Government positions also go hand-in-hand with the possibility to issue contracts to commercial companies. Some of these companies identify ANC members that they can promote in ANC structures and into government, so that they can get contracts by hook or by crook. This is done through media networks to discredit other leaders, or even by buying membership cards to set up branches that are ANC only in name.

50 Positions in government also mean the possibility to appoint individuals in all kinds of capacities. As such, some members make promises to friends, that once elected and ensconced in government, they would return the favour. Cliques and factions then emerge within the movement, around personal loyalties driven by corrupt intentions. Members become voting fodder to serve individuals’ self-interest.

51 Media focus on government and the ANC as a ruling party also means that individuals appointed into various positions are able to acquire a public profile in the course of their work. As such, over time, they become the visible members who would get nominated for leadership positions. This is a natural expression of confidence and helps to widen the base from which leaders are elected. However, where such practice becomes the main and only criterion, hard-working individuals who do not enjoy such profile get overlooked.

52 Influenced by a culture alien to the ANC, a tendency has also developed to assess individuals totally outside of the political context which is the core mandate of the ANC. Artificial criteria such as acceptability to the media, eloquence specifically in English, and warped notions of “sophistication” are then imposed on the movement’s approach.

53 Further, false categories of “left” and “right,” pro-this and anti-the-other, “insider” and “outsider” are introduced by so-called analysts with little, if any, understanding of the movement’s policies, programmes and culture. These are then accepted by some of our members. This is usually whispered outside formal structures, and bandied about opportunistically in the build-up to the organisation’s conferences.

54 The process of social transformation is a difficult one, with possibilities of committing mistakes from time to time and with the speed of change not totally dependent on our will. Some individuals exploit these weaknesses by creating an impression that they could do what the ANC leadership as a whole is unable to do. Thus is born populism.

55 Related to the above is the danger arising out of the fact that executive positions in government are by appointment. This can have the effect of stifling frank, honest and self-critical debate within the ranks of the movement. This is because some individuals may convince themselves that, by pretending to be what they are not, and being seen to agree with those in authority all the time, they would then be rewarded with appointment into senior government positions.

56 On the other hand, others seek to court popularity by demonstrating “independence” from constitutional structures and senior leaders of the ANC, for its own sake. Often, this is encouraged by some media and other forces opposed to the ANC, precisely because it means independence from the mission and discipline of the movement.

57 The tendency is also developing for discussion around leadership nominations to be reduced to mechanical deal-making among branches, regions and provinces. Thus, instead of having thorough and honest discussion about the qualities of nominees, delegates negotiate merely on the basis of, “if you take ours, we'll take yours.” This may assist in ensuring provincial and regional balances. But, taken to extremes, it can result in federalism by stealth within the movement.

How do members take charge?

58 The selection and election of leaders should reside firmly in the hands of the membership. This can only happen if there is open and frank discussion on these issues in formal structures of the movement. Quiet and secret lobbying opens the movement to opportunism and even infiltration by forces hostile to the ANC’s objectives.

59 Such discussion should be informed by the critical policy and programmatic issues that face us in each phase of struggle. To recapitulate, this stage can be characterised as one of a continuing transition and the beginnings of faster transformation. It is a stage at which we are faced with the challenge of mobilising the people to ensure that they take part in improving their lives for the better. We are also faced with the task of decisively contributing to the mobilisation of Africa and the world for focussed attention on the needs of Africa and the poor across the globe.

60 In debating the composition of leadership collectives, we should take into account such factors as the various historical experiences of movement cadres. We also have to ensure that sufficient skills are harnessed for the task of governance. The contribution of veterans of the struggle in leadership structures at various levels is also a critical element to ensure continuity and the wisdom of experience.

61 In a modernising world, and to sustain the movement in the long-term, we should systematically and consciously take more and more young people into the blast furnace of leadership responsibility. We should, broadly, also ensure race, gender and geographic balances, without reducing this to bean-counting and hair-splitting. And a correct balance must be struck between leaders in government and those in ANC and other mass formations outside government.

62 How do members come to know of cadres with such qualities beyond those who are already in public office? The overriding requirement is that members should inform themselves of developments in their locality, in the regions, the province and at national level. In selecting cadres for branch and perhaps regional leadership, this should be much easier. Other levels will require exchange of views in inter-regional and inter-provincial meetings.

63 But it also means that leadership structures should help give guidance -be they structures of the ANC itself, or the Women and Youth Leagues. Further, the manner in which deployment is carried out should expose cadres with potential to the widest possible base of membership. .

How ‘natural’ is the selection process?

64 How then does selection of candidates happen? Is it a “natural” process where leaders emerge out of some mysterious selection, or is it a conscious act on the part of members? Should members canvass for those they support and/or should individuals promote themselves? Is there a place for lobbying in the ANC?

65 To answer these questions, let us go back to the basics. In the first instance, the ANC constitution asserts the right for individuals to stand for and be elected into formal positions of responsibility. But waving a constitution does not excuse unbecoming conduct. Thus, we need to understand and follow the constitution; but also to learn from the movement’s culture while adapting that culture to current realities.

66 Members are not discouraged from canvassing for those they support. And, technically, an individual is not prohibited from canvassing for him-/herself. But it is a matter of profound cultural practice within the ANC that individuals do not promote or canvass for themselves. Historically, this has justifiably been frowned upon as being in bad revolutionary taste. One of the main reasons for this is that when cadres of the movement do their work, this is not meant to be with an eye on leadership positions or some other personal reward; but to serve the people. When cadres are not in formal leadership positions, they should not will others to fail, but assist everyone in the interest of fundamental change.

67 Selecting candidates and ultimately electing leaders is not like the “natural selection” of evolution where things develop by chance. It must be a conscious and well-considered act on the part of each ANC member. But how should this be done? What issues should you, the member, take into account when the nomination and election process unfolds?

68 Nominations take place at constitutional structures such as branch AGM’s and regional, provincial and national conferences. Individual members nominate their candidates at these meetings on the basis of an assessment of candidates’ qualities and performance. However, declaration of support for a person, or of a willingness to stand, does not guarantee that one would be a candidate. You become a candidate after the proposal has been accepted by a branch or any other relevant constitutional structure.

69 Nomination and canvassing must be done openly, and within constitutional structures of the movement. If a member wishes to nominate a candidate or to stand for a particular position, s/he must indicate this in formal structures such as branch meetings. Outside these structures, it becomes dangerous and unacceptable lobbying.

70 In open engagement within constitutional structures, the member(s) would then motivate why they believe that a particular person would make a significant contribution to the work of the ANC at the various levels. They would also be able to indicate the new and creative things that nominees would bring to leadership collectives. If the nominees have been members of these or other collectives, it should also be shown that they have striven to improve the work of these collectives, raised issues openly and had the courage of their convictions. It does not help for individuals to keep quiet in formal structures and emerge as surprise leaders with the promise to perform better.

71 If they believe that there are weaknesses to correct, those who nominate or wish to stand should be able to show that those weaknesses are real and not the imagination of the media or forces which want to weaken the ANC. They should also show that the weaknesses are those of individuals they seek to replace, and not a result of the objective situation in which the movement finds itself. This would help contain a litany of false promises.

72 It is also critical that individuals whose names are advanced reflect consistency in their work to pursue the ANC’s interests. Individuals who target positions of influence and leave when they lose; and then seek to come back only as leaders would have to show how this serves the interests of the movement, and whether they can be relied upon during difficult times.

73 Inasmuch as we should avoid pretenders and opportunists, we should also ensure that leadership structures do not carry deadwood. If they are already serving in these structures, or have served in the past, leaders should be assessed on how their presence helped the movement in its work. Further, it should be clear how their presence in these structures would help ensure the balances that are required for the movement to fulfil its mission.

74 Individuals who operate in the dead of the night, convening secret meetings and speaking poorly of other members should be exposed and isolated. When approached to be part of such groups, members should relay such information to relevant structures or individuals in whom they have confidence. But it is also critical that proper investigations are conducted, and those accused are informed. Witch-hunts should be avoided as a matter of principle.

75 There is nothing inherently wrong with structures developing lists of candidates and canvassing for them. However, such lists should not be used to stifle discussion in branch and other constitutional forums, and prevent the nomination of other candidates. In discussions around nominees, names on the lists should not take precedence over any other nominations from members. At the conferences, delegates should be guided by lists developed by their branches, regions and provinces through democratic processes. But they are not bound to follow each and every name. Being influenced by delegates from other areas and choosing differently is not an offence.

Through the eye of a needle?

76 These guidelines indicate the broad parameters within which every member of the ANC should exercise his/her right to shape the leadership collectives of the movement and ensure that it meets its historical mandate. In one sense they make it difficult for individuals to ascend to positions of leadership in the organisation.

77 In applying these broad principles, members need to be firm. But we should also exercise creative flexibility, knowing that no single individual is perfect. Indeed there are many who may have potential but would not meet all the requirements set out here. But it is critical that they are honest about their capacity, and show a willingness to learn.

78 There are many members of the ANC who enjoy great respect within their communities, but still have to grasp the complex matters of policy. Such individuals should be encouraged to avail themselves for leadership positions. They should however be prepared to develop themselves and to take part in relevant training sessions.

79 It is a matter of principle, revolutionary democratic practice, and a constitutional requirement that, once duly elected, the leaders should be accepted by all members as leaders of the movement as a whole at the relevant level. They should be assisted by all of us in their work. The leaders themselves are obliged to serve, and to listen to, all members, including those who may not have voted for them.

80 The most important message of these guidelines is that you, the member, should be empowered to take an active and informed part in choosing leadership at various levels; or to stand for any position for which you believe you are suitable.

81 So, it may not exactly be through the eye of a needle. But we should strive all the time to ensure that our leaders are indeed made of sterner revolutionary stuff.

click for The Strategy and Tactics Report

Raymond Mhlaba

PicRaymond Mhlaba
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raymond Mhlaba (12 February 1920 – 20 February 2005) was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress (ANC). Mhlaba spent 25 years of his life in prison. Well known for being sentenced, along with Nelson Mandela, in the Rivonia Trial, he was an active member of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) all his adult life. His kindly manner brought him the nickname "Oom Ray".

Early life

He was born in Mazoka village in the Fort Beaufort district and was educated at Healdtown secondary school. He started working at a laundry in Port Elizabeth after leaving school. There he was introduced to trade unionism through the Non European Laundry Workers Union. In 1943 he joined the South African Communist Party, and in 1944 became a member of the African National Congress. He met and married his first wife, Joyce Meke, who was also from the Fort Beaufort area. In their 17 years together, before her death in a car accident in 1960, they had three children.

He was one of the ANC leaders arrested during the transport boycott of 1952 when he led a group of volunteers into the "Europeans Only" entrance of the New Brighton police station in Port Elizabeth.

He was the district secretary of the Communist Party from 1946 until it was banned in 1950. He was chairman of the Port Elizabeth branch of the ANC from 1947 to 1953, and was then elected to the Cape Executive committee.

After the ANC was banned he joined other exiles in obtaining military training in China. Returning to South Africa in 1962, he commanded Umkhonto we Sizwe until 1963, when he was arrested along with other key members at a farm in Rivonia.

Rivonia Trial

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial, and served time on Robben Island. In 1982 he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison. By special permission he married his common-law wife Dedika Heliso in 1986, with whom he had three children.

Nelson Mandela was a witness at the ceremony, conducted in the prison commandant's office. Afterwards Mhlaba was legally permitted to touch his wife for the first time in 22 years.

Release from prison

After his release from prison in October 1989, he was elected to the ANC national executive and the South African Communist Party central committee. He became national chairperson of the SACP in 1995.

In January 1994 he was chosen as the ANC's nominee as Premier of the Eastern Cape, and in May 1994 he was elected to that post. He helped to establish the house of traditional leaders. He then became the High Commissioner to Uganda and Rwanda, until he retired in 2001.

In April 2001 he released a book of his memoirs, narrated by him and researched and compiled by Thembeka Mafumadi.

He was chairperson of a black economic empowerment consortium involved in the Coega port project, but suffered a stroke on 19 July 2003, recovering quickly.

He is seen as a stalwart member of both the ANC and the SACP. He was recognised with the Isitwalandwe Medal in 1992 for his role in the liberation struggle, and the Moses Kotane Award in 2002 for his contribution to the SACP.


In 2004 Mhlaba was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer, and in December doctors discharged him from a private clinic saying there was nothing they could do for him. On 20 February 2005 he died in hospital. Mhlaba is survived by his wife, three sons and five daughters.


Building the ANC as a movement for transformation
and a strategic centre of power
A discussion document towards the National Policy Conference
 Version 9, released on 10th April 2012

 The ANC’s primary mission is to serve the people!

1. This year, the ANC marks one hundred years of its existence. This centenary is not just a narrow party-political celebration. Given the role and place of the ANC in the evolution of South Africa in the twentieth century, the history of our movement and that of South Africa are objectively inseparable over the past century. The ANC is product of a particular historical moment in the evolution of modern-day South Africa.

2. History is not a process of linear progress. Any history has ebbs and flows, ups and downs, successes and setbacks, moments of victory and those of defeat. Thehistory of the ANC is no exception. The resilience of our movement is illustrated by how it has been able to handle moments of setbacks and internal problems in order to safeguard the cause of the people, its ability to seize opportunities and ensure ultimate victory of the people’s struggle against apartheid and colonialism.

3. Whatever problems and setbacks the ANC has encountered and w ill encounter in the future, the people’s cause has remained and should remain its primary concern. In this regard, the mass line must always prevail in our approach. In other words,every problem should be approached from the view point of seeking to safeguard the interests of the overwhelming majority of our people. Serving the people and the putting their interests above all else, must be the guiding line and discriminator that separates the ANC from other parties. “The people first” should be our dictum right into the future.

4. The mutual confidence and dynamic connection between the ANC and the masses is the single most decisive factor that brought about the 1994 democratic
breakthrough. As w e enter the second centenary of the ANC, we reaffirm our commitment to serve the masses of our people loyally. We shall embark on a
campaign to renew our movement’s relationship with the masses so that they truly become their ow n liberators, not spectators of the governance and transformation process.

5. Accordingly, w e should resist any temptation born by our ascendancy into pow er, to reduce the role of the masses to spectators of the governance process whose task is to w ait for government to ‘deliver’. We have to replenish our movement’s capacity to connect w ith the people and bring them fully into the transformation process as active agents for change.

6. In this regard, the principal task of ANC is to mobilise all strata and classes, including the new social forces born out of our democracy, around the national
programme of transformation to build a national democratic society. To achieve this objective, the ANC must have jacked-up its capacity as a transformative movement and the strategic centre of power that is capable of giving moral, intellectual and political leadership to society in all pillars of the NDR in the current phase – mass mobilisation, state, economy, battle of ideas, civil society and international arena.

7. As the movement moves into the second century of its existence, w e should ensure that all South Africans, including new generations, have a deep appreciation of the role of our movement in bringing about the democratic dispensation and its ongoing role in the construction of a national democratic society. The current generations should do their best to position the ANC as a progressive force of the future, w ith a proud history of loyal service to the people and sufficient foresight to anticipate and the agility to adapt to new challenges in a world characterised by rapid changes.

8. Certainly, many challenges and contradictions w ill arise in the process of building a new society. Some of these challenges and contradictions will be of an objective nature, w hile others w ill be subjective. At all times, the test of the movement’s strength is its capacity and capability to provide leadership to the people, serve them loyally and to be the custodian of their interests and aspirations. Renew al is principally about building the ANC’s resilience, enhancing its transformative capacity and adaptive capability so that it can continue to serve the people and continue to lead them under changing conditions.

9. The Mangaung Centenary Conference should strive to become a watershed by addressing some of the persistent challenges that have plagued our movement since 1994. The conference should take drastic steps to position our movement as the strategic centre of power and leader of the transformation process. The ANC needs to make a transition from a resistance movement that led the struggle to overthrow the apartheid state to a transformative movement and effective governing party that succeeds in building a developmental state, deepening democracy and effecting fundamental socio-economic transformation of our society. In this regard, it requires new organisational capacities and new strategic capabilities suitable for the political tasks of the new phase of the liberation struggle.

10. This paper provides an organisational assessment and synthesis of our collective experience and lessons on the progress of the national democratic revolution with regard to:

1) organisation-building and movement-building under new conditions;
2) state transformation and socio-economic development efforts since 1994.

It highlights the successes and shortcomings of our movement and the democratic state and further identifies common trends and dangers that face progressive movements that come to pow er. Lastly, the paper makes bold proposals on how to reposition the ANC, the democratic movement and the democratic in order ensure that the vision and ideals of a national democratic society are realised.

11. The main theme of this paper is that the centenary presents the democratic movement w ith an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on our past in order to draw strength and courage to usher the movement and our country onto a new path. We have to overcome the constraints and limitations of the first two decades of the transition to democracy by building capacity to effect meaningful change in the state, the economy and society generally. The paper argues that this is only possible if the ANC takes a new strategic posture of a transformative movement and strategic centre of pow er in practice. This is a call for the rebirth of the ANC as it begins its second century of existence. This w ill require a major shift from the current pre-occupation w ith palace politics and internal pow er struggles, to a return to transformative politics and a new activism that focuses the energies of the membership, activists and cadres of our democratic movement on serving the people and changing our society and the world for the better.

A clarion call for renewal

12. Having identified the fact that w e have been finding it difficult to comprehensively respond to the new realities and challenges occasioned by the coming into pow er of the ANC as the leader of the democratic forces, the 2007 Polokwane Conference adopted a groundbreaking resolution that called on the National Executive Committee to declare ‘a period of renewal’.

13. The 2010 National General Council focused extensively on the tasks of organisational renewal and further resolved that decisive steps must be taken to
reverse negative tendencies that are eroding the political integrity and moral standing of the ANC among our people.

14. The NGC concluded that for renewal to succeed, three conditions need to be met:

a) a resilient, courageous, principled and decisive leadership;
b) a committed and conscious cadreship;
c) an active civil society and mobilised population.

Questions for discussions
a. How do w e ensure that the ANC, the Alliance and the broad democratic movement enhance their capacity to serve the people?
b. How do we maintain strong contact with and w in the confidence of the masses?
c. How do we ensure that new members and new generations understand the primary mission of the ANC – serving the people?
d. What progress have w e made in addressing the NGC resolutions on renewal?
e. What steps do w e need to take to ensure that renewal succeeds?

“Every organisation engaged in national liberation constantly has to isolate, analyse and search for solutions crucial both to its continued existence and growth, and to the success of the struggle as a whole…In a certain sense, the story of our struggle is a story of problems arising and problems being overcome.” (Walter Sisulu, Reflections in Prison, 1976)

15. The challenges facing South Africa - and the ANC - at the start of our transition in 1994 w ere enormous: crafting a new political dispensation and polity; ensuring political stability, reconciliation, deracialisation, gender equality and nation-building; and tackling the all-pervasive legacy of triple oppression; in a global environment hostile to progressive national projects.

16. The 1994 breakthrough ushered in a new democratic dispensation in which the ANC was elected into pow er by the overwhelming majority of South Africans. After coming to pow er, the ANC focused on the new tasks of reconstruction,transformation and development. The movement deployed its most experienced cadres to various state institutions to carry out the transformation and construction of a democratic state, while at the same time recruiting and developing new members and setting up new structures to advance the cause of the NDR under new conditions.

17. Over the past eighteen years, substantial progress has been made in improving the quality of life and laying a firm foundation for a national democratic society. However, the resilient fault lines and legacy of apartheid socio-economic relations that still persist in the form of the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities are born mainly by the majority of Africans, women and youth.

18. It is important to underscore the fact that the ANC came to pow er in a period dominated by neo-liberalism. The 1990s and early 2000s w as an era in which the progressive policies of the left-leaning governments and movements w ere under severe attack. The role of the state in socio-economic development w as equally under attack as “market fundamentalism” took centre stage in public policy and general political discourse. What are the key features of neo-liberalism?

19. Neo-liberal ideology or policy proceeds from a premise that the market mechanism and market forces should be the basis for organising society. According to neoliberalism, all aspects of life and all human needs – food, water, healthcare, education, housing, culture, leisure, etc. – should be governed by the logic of the market and consequently, the profit motive and money. Everything should be left to the market. There should be no conscious human or state intervention to address the needs of humanity and society. The role of the state is reduced to protecting and expanding the role of the market forces and the capitalist system, not human life and the common good. This also referred to as “market fundamentalism”.

20. The 2007 Strategy and Tactics outlines that the ANC’s ideological orientation and policy positions are diametrically opposed to neo-liberalism:

• The vision that the ANC pursues is informed by the morality of caring and human solidarity;
• The kind of democracy our movement pursues leans towards the poor and it recognises the leading role of the working class in the current project of social
• Recognising the reality of unequal gender relations, and the fact that the majority of the poor are African women, the ANC pursues gender equality in all
practical respects;
• In this context, it is a disciplined force of the left, organised to conduct a consistent struggle in pursuit of a caring society in which the w ell-being of the
poor receives focused and consistent attention;
• What it seeks to put in place approximates, in many respects, the best elements of a developmental state and social democracy;

21. Accordingly, the ANC contrasts its ow n positions with those of:

a) national liberation struggles which stalled at the stage of formal independence and achieved little in terms of changing colonial production relations and social conditions of the poor;

b) neo-liberalism which worships the market above all else and advocates rampant unregulated capitalism and minimalist approach to the role of the state and the public sphere in general;

c) ultra-leftism which advocates voluntaristic adventures including dangerous leaps tow ards a classless society ignoring objective tasks of the national democratic revolution.

22. The central thesis of this paper is that the subjective weaknesses of our movement are not unrelated to the influence of a neo-liberal ideological paradigm. The cumulative impact of all these w eaknesses is the silent shift from transformative politics to palace politics w herein internal strife and factional battles over pow er and resources define the political life of the movement. In the South African context, neo-liberalism sought to w eaken both the ANC’s progressive outlook and the capacity of the developmental state to carry out a thorough-going transformation agenda. Our strategic opponents direct all their efforts at w eakening the ANC and the democratic state in order to stop or slowdown the pace of transformation.

23. In this regard, w e should do everything to strengthen our movement and the developmental state as principal instruments for transformation. Any action that seeks to w eaken the movement and the developmental state should be avoided and combated. The erosion of the character and capacity of the movement and the hollow ing out of the capacity of the democratic state must be reversed urgently and vigorously if w e are to rapidly improve the pace and depth of transformation. A weak ANC and a w eak state are tw in dangers that must be confronted if South Africa is to realise its full potential and w e know that the immediate objective of our strategic opponents is to w eaken both the A NC and the national democratic state in order to stop or slow down transformation. On our part, our immediate task is to strengthen the capacity of both the A NC-led democratic movement and the democratic state in order to deepen transformation and improve the quality of life of the masses of our people.

24. It is not as if there has been no contestation and resistance to neo-liberal influences on the character of the movement and the unfolding democratic transition. The 2000 NGC debates on “ANC – people’s movement and agent for change”, the 2002 Strategy and Tactics Preface on “the ANC as a disciplined force of the left” and the 2007 Strategy and Tactics on “the A NC as the ultimate strategic centre of power for its members” are cases in point.

25. During the past eighteen years, the ANC has continued to articulate its progressive policy positions and take resolutions that strive to maintain its character as a people’s movement. It has sought to use incumbency to push forward its transformation agenda. What are the decisive strengths and achievements as well as the fatal weaknesses of our movement over the post-1994 period?

The main organisational strengths and achievements

26. The ANC remains a dominant political force in the development and the political landscape of our country. Consistently, more than 60% of South Africans have continued to vote for the ANC in national, provincial and local elections over the past eighteen years. We dismiss the narrative, by our opponents and sections of the commentators that our support is misplaced loyalty and ignorance based on nothing else but race. Evidence from independent surveys and our direct interaction with communities explain the reasons w hy the overwhelming majority of South Africans continue to vote for the ANC in national, provincial and local elections:
• The people appreciate the progress made in the democratisation of the political landscape in our country and restoring the dignity of millions of men and women  who were dehumanized by colonialism, patriarchy and the apartheid system. Our people appreciate the historic role of the ANC in the struggle for freedom.

Freedom is synonymous with the ANC brand!

• The story of real improvements in the quality of life of the majority of our people who now enjoy access to basic services and life-supporting infrastructure since 1994: 2.8 million houses built, providing shelter for 14 million people; increased access to electricity from 58% in 1996 to 80% in 2009; increased access to running w ater from 62% in 1996 to 88% in 2011, including 87% of the rural households; and 75% of them now have sanitation; increased number of people
receiving social grants from 3 million in 1993 to 15 million in 2011 - mainly vulnerable groups; major investment in roads and public transport infrastructure,
including the recent trillion rand investment in infrastructure; increased access to educational and healthcare facilities in rural and urban areas, including the
major interventions such as the National Health Insurance. The face of many localities has changed dramatically under the ANC-led municipalities, w ith new
roads, houses, schools and clinics and businesses w here there w as none;

• Many people across the country continue to place hope on the ANC regarding their ow n progress. The ANC continues to have deep roots among the working class and poor across the length and breadth of our land, and is able to reach every sector of society. Even w hen w orkers and communities engage in protests, they do so as a way of communicating w ith the ANC so that it can rapidly address their aspirations, concerns and frustrations.

• The ANC’s vision and national transformation programme cannot be matched by any opposition party. All the opposition is doing is to criticize our capacity to
implement our vision. Lately, the opposition is also trying to appropriate our history, struggle symbols and galaxy of exceptionally talented and outstanding
leaders produced over different periods.

• The ANC is the only organisation that has the vast organisational machinery to reach the majority of South Africans where they live. The ability of the ANC
election campaign to articulate the core concerns of the majority of our people and sound the alarm bells about the danger of reversal is a crucial capacity that
should be turned into our style of governance and continuous involvement of people in socio-economic development and transformation processes. It should
not be limited to election campaigns. In fact, our people resent seeing ANC leadership only at election time.

• The ANC has been grow ing in terms of its geographic reach of the country and size of membership. Since the unbanning in 1990, the organisation has been
able to attract into its ranks new members and trained new leaders and organisers who are playing a critical role in its day-to-day work in communities and in all sectors of society. Among these are younger generations, women, workers, black professionals and business people and w hite compatriots. This is
a major strength that should be enhanced through strategic sectoral work.

27. How ever, our gains can often be overshadow ed by the persistent and stubborn socio-economic legacy of colonialism of a special type expresses itself through the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities. In our view , far more rapid progress can be achieved in the transformation and socio-economic development of our society if both the A NC and the democratic state have the requisite capacities and capabilities needed to drive the transformation agenda. The pace and depth of socio-economic change has often been determined by three inter-related factors: a) the policy environment; b) institutional capacity and resources of the democratic state; and c) the purposefulness and cohesion of the governing party.

28. The neo-liberal policy influences have impacted on how we have undertaken the tasks of state transformation, socio-economic development and movement-building. Objective conditions of democracy and incumbency have given birth to new subjective w eaknesses on the part of the ANC as the leader of the state and society in general.

What are main weaknesses?

The main organisational weaknesses and shortcomings here are three main organisational w eaknesses and shortcomings that have persisted in the ANC post-1994 period:

29.1. Firstly, the challenges of governance and political management of state power have been impacting on the character and values of the A NC as the
movement for transformation and servant of the people. Due to the preoccupation with managing internal conflicts, the movement has not been mitigating the seven dangers that any governing party has to contend with and manage:

a. The danger of social distance and isolation of the party from the masses;
b. The danger of state bureaucratism and demobilisation of the masses;
c. The danger of corruption and neo-patrimonialism;
d. The danger of institutionalized factionalism, ill-discipline and disunity fuelled and inspired by the battles over the control of state pow er and resources;
e. The danger of using state institutions to settle inner-party differences;
f. The danger of neglecting cadre policy;
g. The danger of lack of capacity and capability to implement policies in order to rapidly improve the standard of living of the masses.

29.2. Secondly, the political life of the organisation revolves around permanent internal strife and factional battles for pow er. This is a silent retreat from the
mass line to palace politics of factionalism and perpetual in-fighting. The internal strife revolves around contestation for power and state resources,
rather than differences on how to implement the policies of the movement. This situation has shifted the focus of the cadres and members of the movement aw ay from societal concerns and people’s aspirations. These circumstances have produced a new type of ANC leader and member who sees ill-discipline, divisions, factionalism and in-fighting as normal practices and necessary forms of political survival. Drastic measures and consistent action against these negative tendencies are necessary to root out anarchy and decay.

29.3. Thirdly, the organisational capabilities – structure, systems and processes - do not match the tasks and demands of the current phase of the revolution.
Although w e have a presence of progressive policies and cadres in virtually all pillars of transformation, w e are not deliberately building appropriate capabilities to mobilise, engage and lead the motive and progressive forces in these pillars, and therefore draw the linkages betw een pillar and sectoral
processes and the overall national objective. Unlike in the pre-1990 period, the ANC is not rapidly training and deliberately deploying competent cadres in
accordance with the pillars of our current strategy and tactics. Equally, our current structures are designed to respond more to the financial constraints of
the movement than to respond to our tasks and work among the motive forces and in the pillars of our transformation agenda. The grassroots structures
reinforce the isolation of the masses rather than place them at the centre of our efforts to change our society fundamentally.

30. From the onset, w e must dismiss any notion that ‘the Polokw ane Conference is the beginning and source of all our current organisational w eaknesses’. It is disingenuous to suggest that factionalism, ill-discipline and in-fighting started in the run-up to and after Polokw ane. We must also dismiss the subjective inclination to personalize organisational challenges and attribute them to specific individuals who hold leadership positions. This approach is both ahistorical and unscientific. While individuals have a role to play in history, new organisational challenges can only be overcome through an organisational and mass approach.

31. Necessarily, the aim of organisational renew al is to comprehensively address all the challenges faced by our movement as it begins its second centenary. We need to put in place measures and take urgent steps to address our weaknesses. We have to draw lessons from our history but be bold enough to imagine new solutions and new ideas that w ill endure and survive future storms.

32. As we move to the second centenary, w e need the kind of ANC that is enduring and ‘built to last’, a transformative movement that w ill remain a pow erful for progressive change right into the next century and beyond. We w ill draw inspiration from our forebears while at the same time acknow ledging that some of the challenges we face are unique to our time and circumstances of being a governing party.

33. What are some of the major lessons from our history on matters pertaining to internal renew al, re-organisation and redesign of structures in response to changing conditions or the shifts in strategy and tactics of the revolution?

Questions for discussions
a. What are the main successes and strengths of the ANC since 1994?
b. What are the key weaknesses and shortcomings of the ANC since 1994?
c. What are the key interventions to address these weaknesses and build on our successes?
d. What new capacity does the movement require to lead this new phase of the struggle for transformation?

“For the revolutionary movement, anniversaries cannot only celebrate the past. We must recall and acclaim our history, but more importantly, we must use the past to arm ourselves for the future to learn lessons and to strengthen our resolve and commitment” (Oliver Tambo, Speech to the SACP’s 60th anniversary, 1981).

34. Our history teaches us that the struggle can be taken to a new level if the movement grasps the mood in society and seizes the moment decisively. This
requires a careful assessment of the situation and the development of a correct political line - strategy and tactics - as well as the development and deployment of quality and quantity of cadres in appropriate structures to carry out the new political tasks to the fullest. In this regard, the ANC has changed its structure continuously to respond to changing conditions and new imperatives.

35. In 1912, the ANC had a double-decker leadership structure of the upper and lower house in w hich the traditional leaders occupied a key role due to the imperatives of uniting Africans across tribal and ethnic lines. This kind of structure became irrelevant as new conditions ushered in new social forces due to the rapid urbanization and industrialisation in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The growth of the black industrial proletariat and an emergence of a new generation of educated young Africans and post-World War situation placed new demands on the A NC.

36. By 1941, there w as a grow ing view that the 1919 ANC constitution needs to be amended. The Johannesburg Branch w rote to President Xuma “As a matter of fact, the w hole constitution as it stands today is so antiquated that those of us who are charged w ith the administration of Congress are finding it hard to be guided by it”. This led to the adoption of the new ANC Constitution and new structure in 1943. The A NC was re-organised to strengthen the authority of the NEC to take and implement decisions sw iftly. Upper and low er houses w ere scrapped and individual members introduced, including w omen as full members. The NWC w as introduced to carry out basic administrative duties and campaign w ork. The ANCYL w as introduced and ANCWL revived. Provincial structures w ere streamlined to comply with the directives of the national body. The constitution w as rewritten in simple language to clarify the aims and objectives, decision-making processes and organisational structure of the ANC.

37. The A NC w as significantly re-organised after the adoption of the programme of action at the 1949 w atershed conference. The turn to mass mobilisation as the principal form of struggle in the 1950s, required the movement to re-organise so as to concentrate on mass mobilisation and direct action. Campaign coordinating structures, joint action councils of the Alliance, full-time organisers and volunteers were introduced. The introduction of the M-Plan strengthened the role of the ANC in communities and improved disciplined, political education and security consciousness in the midst of increasing state repression and banning orders.

38. The banning of the movement in 1960 and the turn to armed struggle in 1961 rendered most of the previous structures inadequate and irrelevant for the new tasks and new conditions. Given this new situation, the 1962 Lobatse Conference decided to suspend the ANC constitution so that decisions could made without having to convene the type of conferences that were akin to the pre-1960s.

39. The 1969 Morogoro Conference adopted a new strategy and tactics which clarified the centrality of mass mobilisation and internal reconstruction of ANC underground machinery and the primacy of the political over the military form of struggle.

40. Between 1969 and 1990, the ANC organisational structure w as changed profoundly to give effect to the new strategy and tactics. The NEC w as reduced from 23 to and the Revolutionary Council w as established to concentrate all efforts on the home front and reconstruct internal structures of the movement that can mobilise and lead the masses. In the early 1980s, Politico-Military Councils w ere established at HQ and regions to direct the struggle in all the four pillars in line w ith the political line determined by the NEC. Senior organs alongside politico-military machineries were also established in regions inside the country to direct political and military activities. These structural changes w ere meant to give w herewithal and institutional firepower to the movement in line w ith the political line of the time.

41. Betw een 1990 and 1993, the ANC re-established itself as a legal mass-based organisation with political structures that operate above board, w hile retaining MK structures. The immediate focus of these structures was mass mobilisation and action in support of the negotiations, combating violence and promoting peace and preparations for the elections.

42. The 1994 democratic breakthrough ushered in a completely new situation in which the ANC, the leader of the Alliance and broad democratic forces, became the leading party in a Government of National Unity. As indicated earlier, the priorities of the movement shifted completely from mobilising the masses and broad range of social forces to overthrow the apartheid the regime, to focus on spearheading the transformation, reconstruction and development of our society.

43. In the immediate aftermath of the democratic breakthrough, the transformation of the state became the main pre-occupation of the organisation. The A NC
organisational structure was rationed and cut to size to leave minimum capacity which was mainly administrative rather than political and strategic. The most
experienced cadres were deployed to the state institutions to push the agenda for transformation. The ANC became a lean and mean organisational machinery, influenced by financial constraints in the same w ay that budgetary constraints drove the notion of a lean and mean state.

44. For almost tw o decades, organisation has been struggling, in varying degrees, to keep up w ith the demands and expectation of being a movement that is capable of mobilising the motive forces around the tasks of transformation w hile at the same time playing the role of a strategic centre of power that leads the state and the South African nation as a w hole in the national reconstruction, transformation and development agenda.

45. In this paper, the point is made that the A NC is now here near its aspiration of becoming the strategic centre of power. Capacity is built consciously, step by step until the forces for change are in a hegemonic position in all centres of authority and influence. The ANC and democratic movement have to renew their determination to transform South Africa into a united and truly non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous democracy. This will only happen if the ANC resist a drift w ay from transformative politics. The ANC has to operate as a vanguard movement w ith political, ideological and organisational capacity to direct the state and give leadership to the motive forces in all spheres of influence and pillars of our transformation project.

46. The key lesson from our history is that structures should be established in line with the conditions and political line of each phase of the struggle. Principles are sacrosanct while strategy, tactics and structures have to adapt. In particular, watershed moments and major strategic shifts dictate a major redesign and new capacities and capabilities for cadres.


The size and composition of Officials: The number and portfolios of officials varied since 1912. In 1912, there was a President General, Deputy President General, Secretary General, Treasurer General and Speaker. In 1943 – National President, National Secretary and National Treasurer. In 1953 – President General, Four Deputy Presidents (Provincial Presidents), Secretary General and Treasurer General. In 1958 – President-General, Deputy President General, Secretary General, Treasurer General, National Speaker, National Chaplain, National Organising Secretary. From 1969 to 1990
– President-General, Secretary General and Treasurer General (at different points DSG
and Deputy TG). From 1991 to date – current top six.
The size of the NEC has also changed: in 1943 – 15 me mbers; 1958 – 08 me mbers;
1969 Morogoro Conference - reduced from 23 to 08 members; increased to 15 in 1976;
1985 Kabwe Conference - increased again from 15 to 30 in 1985; 1991 – increased to
50 members;
1994 – increased to 60 members; 2007 – increased to the current 80 members.
NB: One of the key observations is that while Morogoro Conference reduced the NEC to 08, the demands of the struggle during the mid-1970s and the post-1976 strategic imperatives led to the co-option of more me mbers into the leadership structure. This underscores the point that the size of the leadership team and its structure should be determined by the nature of the political tasks and the pillars of the struggle during each phase. Increasing or reducing the size may not be a solution if the collective does not reflect the right combination of personal qualities and pillar of deployment in which we want to advance the struggle.

Questions for discussions
a. Why is it important for us to understand our history?
b. What are the major lessons we can draw from the history of the ANC?
c. What is the relationship between strategy and tactics and organisation?
d. Are there any additional important lessons that we can from the ANC history on organisational renewal?

“Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children” (Amilcar Cabral, Tell no lies, Claim no easy victories, 1965)

47. The NGC discussion document on Leadership renewal, discipline and organisational culture (2010) raised five objective factors in the environment that
impact on the character of the ANC. These are:

(a) the challenges of incumbency,
(b) the global ideological paradigm,
(c) the impact of the mass communications and information revolution, (
d) the impact of the changes over the last sixteen years; and (e) the issues of party finances. Our discussion on organisational renew al must therefore take these issues in consideration.

48. The discussion document on the Second Transition further examines the challenges facing the motive forces for change, raising questions about the balance of forces in 2012. Another aspect of the balance of forces which we must now address is the relationship betw een the movement and the masses over the past eighteen years and in the future. We w ill do this by focusing on tw o issues:

(a) community and other forms of mass and sectoral mobilisation and
(b) elections trends since 1994.

Community mobilisation and social movements (new and old)
49. As w e have argued, the 1994 democratic breakthrough placed the ANC into a position in w hich it is the leading force in government, instead of the leading force against government. In fact, ANC leaders w ho are in government are often the recipient of the memoranda of demands or grievances from civil society groups engaged in mass protests. Most of the protests are led by formations of the democratic movement and the Alliance. These forces are essentially in charge of the democratic state, w hich they should utilize to advance their interests, while at the same time not abandoning mass pow er.

50. How ever, the main w eakness of the part of the democratic movement is that it has not mastered the art of combining state pow er and mass pow er in order to push the frontiers of fundamental change. For many formations of the Alliance, mass democratic movement and erstw hile organs of people’s, it is easier to adopt either an oppositional posture against the democratic state than to build transformative partnerships. For cadres of the movement w ho are deployed in the state, it is also easier to adopt a bureaucratic or statist approach when dealing w ith mass formations or social movements w herein procedures are used to shut dow n rather than engage critical voices. Both these tw o tendencies undermine the popular character and democratic nature of our transformation process.

51. This is so despite the conscious attempts to establish and institutionalize forums of direct participatory democracy such as:
• Ward committees and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) forums, school governing bodies, health committees, community policing forums and the like;
• Economic institutions to manage relations betw een different economic players such as NEDLA C, bargaining councils, w orkplace forums;
• The democratisation of policy-making through public submissions and hearings on policies and laws through the legislatures, and the establishment of parliamentary constituency offices;
• Bringing the executives closer to people through the izimbizo and greater transparency with regards the Programme of Action of government, various hotlines to enable citizens to lodge their complaints if they are unable to be helped by the public service.
• Recourse to the courts and Chapter 9 institutions.

52. Thus, in addition to the above, the last fifteen years have seen waves of mass mobilisation, taking the form of either community protests or issue-based sectoral or inter-sectoral mobilisation. What are the underlying issues behind these protests? Is it correct to generalise them as “service delivery protests”? How should the ANC and the developmental state respond or relate to these protests? Developmental local government and community protests

53. The 1995 local government elections follow ed a sustained period of communitybased mass mobilisation that re-emerged in the 1970’s, mobilising around
community issues (against rent hikes or black local authorities) and organised into civics, self-help groups and NGOs. Many of these were organised into or linked to national movements and forums such as SANCO and the UDF, driving the programme to make apartheid unw orkable. The beginning of the 1990s saw this process culminating in a national local government negotiations forum - around the central demand of one municipality, one tax base - alongside the CODESA process, culminating in the first local government elections and the establishment of transitional local (unity) councils.

54. The White Paper on Local Government and the Municipal Structures Act (1998), the demarcation of local boundaries, the second local elections in 2000 and the Municipal Systems Act (2000) transformed local government and established the basis for non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and developmental local government.
Local councillors were elected on a mix electoral system, balancing the imperatives of uniting communities and direct accountability through the election of ward councillors.

55. The framing of developmental local government in the White paper (1998:170) was very progressive:
Developmental local government is local government committed to working with citizens and groups within the community to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs, and improve the quality of their lives.

56. The White paper further identified the capabilities of developmental local government as:
(a) maximizing social development and economic growth;
(b) integrating and coordinating development activities of different actors;
(c) democratising development by empow ering communities to participate meaningfully in development; and (d) providing leadership, promote social capital and creating opportunities for learning and information-sharing. Local government, how ever, is but one sphere of government responsible for these capabilities, hence the concept of cooperative governance.

57. The key question is how much of these capabilities exist in municipalities, provinces and national government. Our view is that more needs to be done to build developmental capabilities of our entire state machinery.

58. Access to basic services is a critical part of the process of transforming South Africa, given the history of apartheid colonialism w herein the majority w ere denied access to clean w ater, sanitation, housing, education, health, electricity and other services. There is no question that post-apartheid South Africa over the last eighteen years has made great strides in extending these basic services to the majority. In addition, in our 2006 Local Manifesto w e introduced the policy of Free Basic Services, acknow ledging the difficulty that the poor has to pay for services, and providing a basic social floor in terms of municipal services, complementing the indigence policy.

59. And yet, immediately after the 2006 elections w e saw a wave of community protests, which has ebbed and flowed, but continued unabated up to today.
Furthermore, local government has seen various interventions and turnarounds, but is still described today as ‘distressed.’ The discussion document on Legislatures and Governance address the state of local government, this document w ill focus on analysing the nature of protests and underlying reasons behind them.

60. There are a number of reasons for the community protests w hich have been identified by independent research and our ow n analysis:
• With increasing urbanization, deep urban poverty, exacerbated by unemployment and rising cost of living, including basic services such as electricity and w ater, as well as food prices.
• Grievances around access to w ater, housing, sanitation and other basic services.
• Feelings of alienation or social distance from state institutions and political leadership of the movement and government.
• Perceptions of corruption, ineptitude of local councillors and administration.
• Weaknesses in our IDP processes, cooperative governance and the financing of local government.
• Protests occur in many instances where there is development underw ay – housing and infrastructure development. Development in itself throw s up new contradictions and expectations, w hich we are not managing w ell. Contestation around w ho must benefit from the development process creates conflicts in
communities and in our local structures.
• With w idening inequalities, perceptions of social injustice and a sense of indignation at those w ho made it at their expense, generate anger and frustration.
• Lack of progress or slow pace of delivery on the plans that have been announced to communities by either national or provincial government.
• In-fighting among the local leadership of the ANC and Alliance structures wherein members of the community are used as a show of force in the palace
politics and factional battles.

61. A key and recurring theme arising from our ow n research and independent surveys is that protests are not against the ANC but are often in its name. Contestation among ANC local leaders, betw een ANC leaders and their counterparts in the local Alliance structures often sparks the protests. The adverse socio-economic realities affecting communities are used by disgruntled or opportunistic elements w ithin our ranks to outmanoeuvre sitting councillors. It is important to understand that national challenges such as the triple unemployment, poverty and inequalities as w ell as the cost of living issues (increases in the price of food and basic services such as water and electricity) are issued that cannot be resolved by branch or municipal interventions. It is therefore not correct to alw ays attribute the community protests to the subjective w eaknesses of our local structures and local government.

62. Cumulatively, the socio-economic conditions of the majority create a sense of grievance and social injustice, especially among the urban poor w ho live side by side w ith the rich. This also explains why people in urban areas quickly resort to protests, while the same or w orse conditions in rural areas do not lead to protests. Strong branches will be able to direct the frustrations aw ay from violent protests but they may not be able to entirely resolve the source of protest. It is in this regard that the debate on the “Second Transition” is such a relevant and urgent matter. The socio-economic legacy of colonialism of a special type poses a serious danger to the sustainability of democracy.

63. The above issues all point tow ards the need for ANC grassroots structures that are organically linked to the people and their daily struggles for a better life, the type of ANC branch that contributes to the building of sustainable communities and social cohesion and has a programme of action over the next few decades that decisively deal w ith the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

64. Going forw ard, the ANC has to step up its capacity to rapidly improve the quality of life and shared prosperity amongst the overw helming majority of our people before it lose its place as a trusted leader and loyal servant of the people.

Issue-based mobilisation
65. Whilst the above protests are mainly localized and centred around specific community grievances, another phenomena has been issue-based mobilisation that took on more of a national character, either in one sector (trade unions or taxi associations or students) or cross-sectoral (anti-privatisation or against labour brokers or e-tolling).

66. These instances of mobilisation over the last fifteen years took the follow ing forms:
• Activism and social and sectoral movements against particular government policy based on development or distributional issues, such as access to basic
services by the poor, campaigns against perceived privatisation (APF) or cost recovery (SECC); against financial exclusions (SASCO); against drugs and
crime and perceived police ineffectiveness (Pagad), around taxi-recapitalization or the BRT or for HIV treatment (TAC) or compensation for apartheid human
rights victims (Khulumani).
• Mobilisation against evictions by the state, banks and private ow ners, for the rights of shack dw ellers and for land tenure such as by the W Cape AntiEvictions
Forum, Abahlali baseMjondolo or the Landless People’s Movement
• Strikes and protest actions by trade unions, mostly COSATU unions, but often acting together with other unions.
• Movements and action against environmental degradation and pollution, both by networks of organisations, but also by communities directly affected.
• Women’s and gender organisations and movements campaigning around gender rights, and practical gender issues, including protesting against rape,
domestic violence.
• Mobilisation by vulnerable and or minority groups, such as disabled, refugees, children’s or gay and lesbian organisations.
• Single issue coalitions or actions such as Jubilee mobilising around w riting of developing countries debt (Jubilee), the Education Rights Project, Coalition of
South Africans for BIG, the Merafong Demarcation Forum, etc.
• Self-help and development movements/netw orks such as the Rural Development Services Netw ork, Self-employed Women’s Union.
• Mobilisations against progressive and transformative government policy by groups such as Afriforum and Solidarity w ho use both protests and the court
action to undermine transformation.

67. Unlike the mass movements of the 1970s and 1980s, these protests and forms of mobilisation do not (yet) constitute a common anti-ANC or anti-state political project. Generally, those w ho take part in protests see them “as a w ay for us to talk to our organisation”. The mobilisation combines tactics of confrontation (both legal and illegal) and engagement of the state, using a rights-based language and the courts and other democratic institutions to push forward specific demands.

68. The ANC has found it difficult to handle most of the protests that are peaceful but oppositional, w hile it has been easy to condemn the violent ones. This is mainly because the movement character of the ANC is getting eroded in favour of a narrow party machinery that pre-occupies itself only w ith the “business of governing”, abandoning the space of mass mobilisation to either those opposed to transformation or those failing to make a transition from oppositional politics to transformative mobilisation and developmental activism.

69. Going forw ard, the ANC needs to adopt tw o-pronged approach to dealing with protests.
a. On the one hand, w e need to take a critical stance against any violence during protest action or industrial action and call on state agencies to arrest
anyone involved in illegal protests, especially those w ho destroy property. This includes taking drastic action against any ANC members involved in
violent protests in order to send a clear message that violence and destruction of property cannot be tolerated in our democracy. Any ANC
member w ho takes part in violent protests and is involved in the destruction of property should not only face the full might of the law , but should be expelled
from the ranks of our movement.

b. On the other hand, w e need to strengthen the ANC and democratic movement’s influence in communities, community-based organisations and
civil society groups. Our movement must alw ays be at the centre of civil society groups and social movements that are genuinely taking up issues
affecting the motive forces and give political and ideological leadership. It is only the ANC that can use the advantage of incumbency and state pow er to
find sustainable solutions to the problems affecting society which are the underlying sources of protests - unemployment, poverty, inequalities, high
cost of living and alienation from the governance and development processes.

Electoral trends since 1994
Stable national support – underlying negative trends
70. The ANC’s national support in elections has been fairly stable during the past eighteen years. How ever, there is a need to arrest and reverse an underlying
trajectory that in recent years has been negative for ANC rather than positive.

71. The 1994 election w as exceptional - a liberation election in conditions that favoured maximum and enthusiastic participation, and w hose 19,5 million votes is yet to be surpassed. But it marked out a landscape w hose major features have persisted since. It firmly established the ANC as a movement and governing party with a presence in every corner of the country and a clear mandate for reconstruction and development to improve the lives of the people, especially the poor.

72. The National Party survived but its credibility as a pow erful force had been broken by its weak show ing in the election. Its further subsequent decline along w ith other small parties based mainly on apartheid structures or divisions reflected ANC-led progress towards a unitary state.

Re-constitution of opposition and fluid margins

73. By 1999 the ANC had consolidated and extended the democratic advance, notching up to 66% as some constituencies that had held back in 1994 shifted to ANC, reassured by the peaceful transition and attracted by the ANC promise of non-racialism, non-sexism and social justice.

74. Much of electoral history since then has been the product of the ups and downs of opposition regrouping; of flux at the margins reflecting unease about the main parties with hope for a “third way”; and softening of ANC support.

75. The increased ANC vote share in 2004 and 2006 w as in most areas a product of ANC’s campaign effectiveness and governance track record. The opposition disarray and disengagement after the break-up of the DP/NNP alliance, and floor crossing also played an important role. The emergence of new small parties attracting significant numbers of voters only to serve in the end as temporary homes for constituencies on their w ay to the ANC or the DA, reflected fluidity at the margins of the main parties.

76. Since 2004, one in six voters has voted differently than in the previous election often to go on to a third party in the next election. The varying shifts across the country in 2011 w as largely the effect of the different ways former supporters of small parties – like COPE, ID and UDM – broke for ANC or DA, in most areas mostly for DA including some w ho had come originally from the ANC. The A NC itself was a temporary home in 2009 for dis-satisfied IFP voters, a third of whom went on to the NFP in 2011.

77. Underlying the electoral shifts are drivers that are both external to the ANC and internal changes in our society which are mainly the product of ANC policies, persistence of conditions w e thought could be quickly eradicated and the negative perceptions about the ANC by its core supporters.
Challenges of urbanization and economic development

78. Urbanization coupled w ith w eaker ANC mobilisation including in rural areas has seen the distribution of voters and ANC support across the country shift from more rural provinces in particular to metro provinces. The ANC percentage vote has been fairly stable in most parts of the countryside, but mobilisation of support in terms of registration and turnout has w eakened. At the same time, the shift of votes tow ards metros and secondary cities has gone w ith a decline in ANC’s share of the urban vote, about 5 percentage points from 2004 to 2009. So migration combines with w eaker mobilisation to make regions of stable support levels count for less in the overall average.

79. Apart from the movement of voters, the tow ns and cities, especially metros, are where social change has most impact on attitudes: a grow ing number of people with access to more than the basic necessities; an emerging ‘black middle class’; a younger generation, in particular in that sector, w ith a very different life-experience from that w hich shaped the older generation of ANC support; and more choice of parties. At the same time, urban poverty is a reality in the tow nships and informal settlements, sharpening the experience of grow ing social polarization and marginalization in the midst of affluence. This is one of the objective factors behind protests.

Faltering mandate of emancipation and social justice
80. Particular constituencies have responded to these factors in different w ays, tracked both in electoral trends and in research tracking of people’s concerns and attitudes. Common to all is an assessment that w hilst the ANC continues to embody their aspirations, the pace of socio-economic change and social justice at the core of the ANC project is being questioned by the A NC’s support base.

81. These are expressed in attitudes and perceptions amongst different segments of the motive forces, such as:
• The poor w ho appreciates the progress made, but are disappointed at the unevenness of change and the visible w idening gap betw een themselves and the politicians and public servants. Our research shows that people increasingly see public servants and public officials as people w ho put themselves, their families and friends first.

• Communities feel the movement is less in touch w ith them than it w as in the past. The structures of the movement are too absorbed in in-fighting and have
shifted their focus away from the daily problems and concerns of the communities.

• An emergent black middle class is harbouring the view that only the politically connected get the benefits of economic empow erment. This w eakens and
softens the appeal the A NC has among this section of the motive forces.

• Segments of Coloured and Indian communities w ho judge that the practical application of empow erment, affirmative action and emancipation of the formerly
oppressed ‘blacks in general’ closes the doors on them.

• Young people w hose participation in elections has not risen above a low ceiling that has persisted from as far back as 1999.

82. These trends must not be dismissed. They can have a serious impact on our electoral performance if they are combined w ith other objective socio-economic pressures that continue to face the overwhelming number of Africans. Softer mobilisation of support saw ANC votes in 2009 fall or grow less than the electorate grew in every provinces except one (KZN). In five provinces, the ANC mobilised less votes than in 1999. While the unw inding of COPE and ID in 2011 brought back some of ANC’s support in predominantly Coloured areas, it remained below what it had been as did support in Indian areas. In most areas, much tow nship support that went to COPE in 2009, w ent to the DA in 2011 – w hile this touched all classes, the extent of the shift tended to match rising income. Registration of people under 30 has not gone above 50% of the potential young voters since 1999.

Renewing the ANC’s relationship with the people to reclaim the moral high ground
83. None of these trends are written in stone and they can be reversed through painstaking political and organisational w ork among the masses and motive forces. Organisational renew al must enable us to respond comprehensively and address socio-economic challenges faced by our people as well as the concerns of our supporters pertaining to our movement’s reputation and capacity to bring about a shared prosperity and better life for all.

84. The historical narrative of a clash betw een forces of liberation and those w ho want to take us back has proved potent so far and has seen ANC support mobilised in defence of the party when it has been under attack. Our performance in addressing the social w age and basic needs has helped us to deal w ith the opposition’s false claims that the ANC is incompetent. Every time w e speak out firmly on issues of corruption and misdemeanours in our ranks, the ANC w ins back confidence and support among the people. How ever, the image that w e are an embattled movement locked up in in-fighting continues to persist in public discourse due to public spats.

85. Our supporters and the masses in general make decisions on voting informed by the recent past and their assessment of future prospects. As Cabral points out, “the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head”. They continue to place their hopes and aspirations for a better life. But there is an increasingly critical attitude among our support base and the motive forces. Organisational renewal should address all the concerns raised by our people on the image of our movement and its capacity to deliver fundamental socio-economic transformation.

Questions for discussions
a. What is your assessment of the balance of forces in your ward, region and province?
b. What is your assessment of the nature and sources of community protests, if there are any in your area? What is the character of social movements in your area? What practical steps can we take to reconnect our movement with progressive social movements?
c. How has the ANC performed in elections since 1994 in your area - voting districts, wards, municipalities and province?


The movement character of the ANC
86. During its evolution, the ANC has developed into a modern national liberation movement that is resilient, adaptive, innovative and able to absorb new social
forces into its sphere of influence as part of broadening the social base of the revolutionary forces and narrow ing the base of those opposed to our just cause.

87. There are three key features of a progressive movement for national liberation or social emancipation:

a. The first is a core organisation w ith a progressive political line (mass line) that it continuously refines as the terrain of struggle changes, w ith disciplined cadres and members, and w ith organisational capacity to pursue the revolution in the various fronts or pillars required by its strategy and tactics. At the centre of the political line is the role of masses and the needs of ordinary people. The core organisation includes in its ranks the best cadres from among the motive forces who act as custodians of the principles of fundamental social change, w inning respect among their peers and society through their exemplary commitment.

b. The second is the activism of this core organisation among the motive forces and in society in general. This core must mobilise, organise and educate the motive forces and have a presence in all of their sectoral formations. It must conscientise and engage w ith them as to how their sectoral issues and concerns are linked to the broader tasks of transformation. It must build the broadest possible unity of the motive forces in pursuit of the national goal. Its methods of struggle, programme and forms of organisation reflect its activism among the motive forces.

c. The third feature is that it goes beyond the core organisation to become a “broad church”. It is an embodiment of a wide range of progressive social forces and individuals beyond the core organisation and the motive forces. It is able to accommodate diverse progressive ideological currents among the forces for
change. Unlike a tightly knit organisation, a movement promotes united front politics among the “broadly like-minded forces and formations”. The principal
strength derives from its capacity to give ideological, moral and intellectual leadership to all diverse forces. It relies on the force of ideas and practice rather
than bureaucratic control or manipulation. It is able to manage contradictions and the “unity and struggle” among the forces w ithin the movement. A movement is not afraid to engage those who do not agree with its objectives. It seeks to build broad societal consensus on matters of common interest, w in more forces over to the revolution and isolate the most reactionary and anti-transformation elements in society.

88. Betw een 1949 and 1994, the ANC evolved into a national liberation movement with the general features and capabilities outlined above. In addition, the ANC has unique features and capabilities that developed over many years – being a people’s movement and an agent for change w ith a multi-class, mass-based, non-racial, non-sexist, internationalist and democratic character.

89. Through painstaking political, ideological and organisational w ork among the masses and across all social classes and strata, the ANC became the political nucleus and vanguard movement that gave political, moral and intellectual leadership to a w ide range of social forces that sought to defeat the apartheid state and replace it w ith a democratic state and new society. The Freedom Charter became the common vision and programme for an alternative society.

90. As a result of the 1994 democratic breakthrough, the ANC became a governing party and thus assumed the responsibility of leading the nation as a w hole in the task of reconstruction, nation-building and transformation. A midst the calls to transform itself into a narrow electoral party, successive post-1994 national
conferences adopted a strategic perspective that the ANC is at once a national liberation movement and governing party.

91. The rationale for this strategic choice – remaining a movement, w hile at the same time acting as a governing party - is best articulated in the 2007 Strategy and Tactics w hich asserts that to carry out the NDR in the current phase, requires a progressive national liberation movement w hich:

a. understands the interconnection betw een political and socio-economic challenges in our society;

b. leads the motive forces of the NDR in pursuing their common aspirations and ensuring that their sectoral interests are linked to the strategic objective;

c. masters the terrain of electoral contest, utilizes political pow er to advance the objectives of the NDR, and w ields instruments of state in line w ith these ideals as reflected in the National Constitution;

d. organises and mobilises the motive forces and builds broader partnerships to drive the process of reconstruction and development, nation-building and
reconciliation; and

e. conducts itself, in its internal practices and in relation to society at large, in line with the ideals represented by the NDR and acts as a microcosm of the future.

92. The question w e should answ er is w hether the ANC has been able to fulfil these dual responsibilities competently. The discussion on the “Second Transition” argues the ANC operates more as an organisation that takes care of only its constitutional structures and less as a movement. This paper argues that the ANC needs new organisational capacity and strategic capabilities to play its dual role as a transformative movement and strategic centre of power. Building the ANC as the movement for transformation

93. As we move to the second centenary, we need to deepen the revolutionary and transformative character of the ANC and resist any tendencies that seek to reduce our movement into the effective manager of the status quo ante. In other w ords, we should enhance the ANC’s capacity to fundamentally pursue transformative politics in order to completely eradicate the legacy of colonialism of a special type and improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

94. Previous discussion documents and conference reports have alluded to the fact that ascendancy to pow er has exposed our movement to new dangers that threaten to erode its character. The ANC’s capacity to play its vanguard role as the leader of the state and society in general is compromised by its ow n internal w eaknesses.

95. The nature of the project being pursued by the ANC can only be carried out by a transformative movement that uses its ruling position or status to fundamentally transform political, social and economic institutions and usher in new social and property relations that empow er the masses. Mass mobilisation of society in general and the motive forces remains an important element of both the movement and developmental state, albeit in a transformative context. Activism in the various sectors of and centres of power such as the state, the economy, the ideological and cultural arena, civil society and communities and in the global affairs – is also another critical element of a transformative movement.

96. What distinguishes a transformative movement or revolutionary party from an ordinary electoral political party is the ability to w ield state pow er to fundamentally alter the pow er relations in any society. In particular, to change pow er relations in favour of the previously oppressed and exploited masses. Given the extent and depth of social change pursued by the ANC as a national liberation movement, it is logical that such a far-reaching transformation is only possible if it is carried out by a movement or party w ith an aspiration to influence and transform all aspects of society. This is essentially what it means to be the strategic centre of power – political, economic, social and ideological power.

What does this mean?
Building the ANC as the strategic centre of power
97. The 2007 Strategy and Tactics asserts a particular perspective regarding the ANC:
• It cannot conduct itself as an ordinary electoral party. It should be guided by a clear value system;
• It should strive to be a party of the future, using political pow er and harnessing the organisational and intellectual resources of society to attain the vision of a
national democratic society;
• It should appreciate the critical importance of political pow er as an instrument to address the ills of colonialism. It should negotiate and manage the myriad
problems of incumbency in manner that ensures future survival as a principled leader of fundamental change, respected and cherished by the masses for what
it represents and how it conducts itself in practice;
• It should give strategic leadership to those of its cadres deployed in government, through conferences, councils and branch general meetings –
“ultimate strategic centre of pow er for its members”;
• It should ensure that its strategic mandate is carried out by massively strengthening its monitoring and evaluation capacity. Cadres should be given
sufficient space to exercise initiative rather than being micro-managed. It should have systems of information-sharing w ithin leadership structures so that those
outside government have sufficient data to make strategic interventions;
• It should manage the state as an organ of the people as a whole rather than a party-political instrument.

98. The concept of “strategic centre of pow er” goes beyond the political management of cadres deployed to state institutions to incorporate political leadership in all centres of influence and pow er. In modern democratic societies, pow er is dispersed through various institutions rather than concentrated in one place. Going forw ard, the ANC needs to deliberately build its ow n organisational capacity to give moral, intellectual and political leadership and pursue transformative politics in all centres of power and influence in the state, the economy, civil society, communities, the terrain of the battle of ideas and the international arena. A substantive conceptualization of “ANC as the strategic centre of pow er” should be on its ability to lead in all these spheres and centres. A strategic centre of power is not an act of declaration but is built in practice.

99. To underscore this important point, w e need to apply this principle by looking at the role and capacity of the ANC headquarters. The ANC HQ houses the national constitutional structures whose main responsibility is to give overall political leadership and strategic direction to the entire movement, the state and the nation as a whole. The role of national political structures is to assert the general political line and national policy decided by national conference as well as to safeguard the unity, cohesion and organisational integrity of the ANC as a unitary organisation and the glue that holds the entire organisation together.

100. Accordingly, ANC Headquarters should function as the apex of the strategic centre of pow er and movement for transformation, w ith the requisite political, strategic and technical capacities to direct the transformation agenda in all the pillars. The current reality is that the current HQ design has no direct relationship to the strategy capacity required to direct the entire movement in the execution of our transformation agenda in all pillars of our struggle. Financial constraints are the main determinant of our current structure, not our political line. Without building these new capacities and capabilities, the A NC w ill be the strategic centre of power only in theory. The state and non-state actors w ill, inevitably, have an overbearing influence on the pace, depth and direction of social change.

101. It is in this context that the NEC’s January 08th Statement of the Centenary makes a bold call for new “organisational capacities and strategic capabilities” that w ill enable it to play a vanguard role in the transformation of all aspects of society, give “overall moral, intellectual and political leadership and serve our nation in all the pillars of transformation”.

Capacities and capabilities of a movement that is a strategic centre of power

102. Going forw ard, the ANC organisational machinery needs the capacity to:
• Understand the theory of organisation and movement-building, the dynamics within social movements and civil society and be able to organise, mobilise all
classes and strata that have an objective interest in the success of transformation process;
• Understand the dynamics w ithin the entire state and political system in our country, the strengths and weaknesses of our state institutions relative to the
type of state w e seek to build and provide the skilled cadreship capable of propelling state transformation;
• Understand the dynamics in our emerging society and new democracy relative to our vision and values of building participatory democracy, social cohesion,
social solidarity, a caring society and an active, skilled, healthy and empowered citizenry;
• Understand the dynamics of the South Africa and global economy and track the progress we are making and provide the skilled cadreship to steer economic
transformation in line w ith its vision, policies and strategies;
• Understand the dynamics w ithin the battle of ideas and have the skilled cadreship capable of waging a relentless ideological struggle to advance and defend of progressive policies, ideas, value system and culture across all spheres and centre of influence.
• Analyse changes in the international balance of forces, understand diplomacy and have the skilled cadreship capable of realising the movement’s vision of a
better Africa and more humane w orld.

103. In this regard, Organisational Renew al needs to prioritise:

a. Development and systematic implementation of a new cadre policy;
b. Reconnecting the ANC to its mass base, strengthening its w ork among the motive forces and enhancing the role of the motive forces in governance;
c. Renew al of the ANC’s core values and safeguarding its reputation;
d. Re-organising the A NC organisational machinery to improve our performance in all the pillars of transformation;
e. Strengthen the Alliance and progressive civil society as w ell as progressive social movements;
f. Improve the capacity of the developmental state;
g. Improve financial sustainability and self-sufficiency of the movement.

Questions for discussions

a. What is your understanding of power and how it is organised and exercised in society?
b. What are the various institutions that wield influence and power?
c. What is the ANC’s strength and influence in such institutions?
d. How do we build the capacity of the ANC to be the strategic centre of power?
e. How does the branch, region, province and national structures act as the strategic centre of power?
f. What is the role of the Alliance and broad democratic movement in the exercise of power and influence in all sectors and institutions of society?
g. What practical steps can the ANC in your locality take to improve its ability to lead the community?


“Cadre policy, if it is to be correct, must proceed fully from the requirement of the revolutionary task. The revolution needs a contingent of cadres who are equal to their political tasks, with regards to their number and quality as well as their composition, a contingent of cadres capable of fulfilling to the highest degree the requirements of the political tasks of each period” (Le Duan, Some Present Tasks).

104. The continued absence of a coherent cadre policy represents one of the fundamental reasons behind the current state of organisation and the vicious cycle of internal problems over the past decade-and-half. Without a coherent cadre policy that meets the requirements and demands of the current phase, the revolution is left to survive on sheer luck. This is one of the six dangers that face any revolutionary movement that comes to pow er. Unless we put in place and vigorously implement a new cadre policy that is suitable and appropriate for the new conditions of struggle, it w ill be difficult to address all other challenges that confront our movement since coming to pow er. The success and sustainability of all other interventions rest on the need to build “a contingent of cadres capable of fulfilling to the highest degree the requirements of the political tasks” of the current phase of the NDR.

105. The ANC and its Alliance partners have come a long w ay in understanding the important role of a cadre in the revolution. For instance, the SACP’s night schools played a key role in the development of African revolutionaries in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s, the ANC recruited and trained volunteers politically and ideological in order to enhance their spirit and determination in the defiance campaign and during the process towards the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
From the 1960s onw ards, the movement trained and deployed cadres to carry out the political line in all the four pillars of the struggle.
106. The "Commission on Cadre Policy and Ideological Work" at the 1985 Kabwe National Consultative Conference identified the follow ing as key elements of a Cadre Policy:-

a. “Recruitment: conscious recruitment from amongst all of the motive forces, understand and accept basic ANC policies and programs”. Going forw ard, our
approach to recruitment of new members into the movement should still be guided by our cadre policy.

b. “Political education and training: ideological, moral, academic and (military) training aimed at teaching cadres to exercise political leadership and be
organisers; and to inculcate values”. Going forw ard, the focus of our curriculum should be both the soft issues of values and ethics as well as hard skills and
competencies required in all the new pillars of NDR. Most of our deployed cadres have been found wanting on issues of ethics and integrity and proactive
interventions have to be made to build a more conscientious cadre.

c. “Deployment and redeployment: according to specialty, aptitude, qualification & capability of individual cadres; w hilst in principle serve in any capacity, in
practice capabilities, aptitudes and w ishes to apply talents and creativity taken inconsideration. Cadres should be correctly placed and promoted at the right time so that they may fully apply their talents and creativity.” One of the consequences of lack of coherent cadre policy in the current period is that we have been deploying comrades into positions of serious responsibility and authority w ithout adequate preparation. This is tantamount to sailing into the deep seas w ithout a compass, or giving enthusiastic activists w eapons to go and carry out operations w ithout basic military training. As a result, this has discredited cadre deployment and destroyed some of our comrades who ultimately could not perform and had to be removed. Going forward, we should ensure that no cadre is deployed into a position w ithout any proper training and preparation. Massive political education and academic training of ANC members is therefore crucial for the survival of the ANC as a progressive force and its success as a capable governing party.

d. “Promotion and accountability: Promotions guided by performance, know ledge of cadres w ork ability and personal life; guiding against favouritism, opportunism, regionalism, ethnic or gender discrimination; those in senior and leadership positions taking a keen interest in cadres they lead, check on their performance, encourage them, and monitor their participation; underperformance confronted to improve”. In the current phase, the movement has no system to closely nurture new cadres, monitor their development, performance and accountability to the organisation. The deployment committees are directionless. We conduct reviews and evaluations mainly at the end of term, only for public representatives. The new ly-established monitoring and evaluation units at national level should be strengthened and feedback to the political school and deployment committees.

e. “Cadre preservation: unity, cohesion and spirit of togetherness essential; working conditions and preserving cadres’ skills, health and (security)”. Under
current conditions, w e should stress the importance of building a shared spirit of comradeship, mutual respect and caring for one another. There is no w ay our
revolution w ill succeed if we allow the current attitude of “everybody for him/herself” and the “dog-eat-dog mentality” among our members, especially
those in leadership. Most experienced cadres end up going into business as the only w ay to earn an income and keep themselves busy. The ANC w ill not survivefor long unless w e consciously preserve cadres and ensure that those w ho have completed assignments in other pillars and reassigned new tasks, including in the organisation.

107. We need to add that discipline, self-discipline and self-cultivation are important attributes of a cadre. The ANC cannot be expected to do everything. Cadres should take initiatives to empow er themselves. In today’s conditions, many cadres who serve in parliament and different spheres of government have huge opportunities for training and development. Often, the ANC members do not show enthusiasm in seizing such opportunities for self-development. This is a tragedy that needs to be dealt w ith urgently to address the pressing need for skilled cadres.

108. Since 1994, the issue of cadre policy has not received adequate attention. This neglect of cadre policy is arguably the principal source of all our organisational and governance challenges.

109. Going forward, the ANC needs to adopt a comprehensive cadre policy and a ten year programme of action to build a contingent of new cadres w ho are politically conscious, professionally competent, conscientious and disciplined. We should also take practical and urgent steps to raise the level of education among ANC members and leaders, as the advanced productive forces and agents for change. In particular, w e should invest heavily in the ideological and academic training to produce a new type of ANC youth w ho have the values, skills and competencies necessary for building a national democratic society.

110. The political education curriculum should enable us to deliberately produce a new type of an all-round cadre w ho:
• Understands ANC history, policies, values, principles and culture and have the attitude, know ledge, skills and discipline to serve the people w ith distinction;
• Understands the dynamics of our changing society and is committed to take practical steps in daily life to push the frontiers of fundamental transformation;
• Understands the dynamics of the international situation and has the basic skills to analyse and interpret events and processes unfolding rapidly in the w orld;
• Have a general understanding of all the pillars of the NDR and specific competencies in at least one of the pillars – organisation-building and mass work; state; economy; ideological struggle; civil society and international relations.

111. This, in practice, means that all ANC cadres should be equipped w ith the following know ledge and competencies:

• Theories and practices of party-building, organisation-building and mass work in the new phase of transformation and governance;
• Theories and practices of state-building and transformation, clean and ethical governance and the role of the state socio-economic development;
• Theories and practices of economic development;
• Theories and practices of social transformation;
• Theories and practices of ideological struggle and the battle of ideas;
• Theories and practices of diplomacy and international relations;
• Theories and practices of popular participation and active citizen participation in governance;

112. It is in this context that the institutionalisation of political education becomes more urgent. The adoption and implementation of a comprehensive system of
political schools that w ill massively churn out the cadres w ho are properly prepared for the tasks of revolutionary transformation of our society is more urgent than ever before. In this regard, the construction of political school campuses w ith the state-of-the-art training facilities is central to the importance w e attach to cadre policy.

113. On the other hand, w e should ensure that all the institutions of the developmental state place a high premium on the education and training of all employees and cadres. In this respect, w e should promote a policy in w hich all government institutions and SOEs massively invest in the training and development of young people w ho are not necessarily employees of such institutions. We should make it mandatory for all our public representatives to undergo academic training and political education on an annual basis so that by the time they finish their term, they have accumulated skills that w ill enhance their prospects for further deployment and redeployment.

114. With regard to ANC members, w e should undertake a campaign to wipe out illiteracy and improve the level of general education in the ranks of our
movement as a direct contribution to reducing illiteracy in society. At the moment, our movement is not doing enough to train its ow n membership and leadership inbasic literacy and functional skills that enhance organisational effectiveness. We have too many grassroots leaders and public representatives whose leadership potential and effectiveness is hampered by the fact that they can’t read or write. Going forward, we need to set ourselves a goal of eliminating illiteracy and raising the level of general education and skills among our membership, simultaneously with improving political education. One of the seminal contributions of the Communist Party of South Africa (now SACP) w as to empow er, through night schools, illiterate Black w orking class leaders so that they can play their leadership role unencumbered by inability to read and w rite.

Questions for discussions

a. What is your assessment of the implementation of ANC cadre policy in your province, region and branch?
b. What political education programmes have been conducted in your branch since 1994?
c. What is the literacy rate and average level of education among ANC members in your branch?
d. What core programmes can the branch undertake to improve political education and literacy rate among membership and leadership of the branch and region?

“The ANC cannot conduct itself as an ordinary electoral party. It cannot behave like a shapeless jelly-fish with a political form that is fashioned hither and tither by the multiple contradictory forces of sea-waves. There should be a clear value system that attach to being a member and leader of the ANC, informed by the strategic objectives that we pursue.” (Strategy and Tactics, 2007)

The ANC’s core values and principles

115. Organisations do not exist in a vacuum. They are formed under specific conditions to pursue particular goals and serve particular purposes in specific historical periods. It is for this reason that every organisation has to constantly redefine and renew itself so that it remains relevant.

116. No organisation is born w ith ready-made values, principles, character and culture. These defining features of an organisation are forged in practice and tested in concrete conditions as an organisation pursues its mission and vision. The mission and vision of an organisation shape its values, principles, character and culture. In other w ords, there should be relative harmony and synergy betw een the stated ideals of an organisation and its day-to-day practices – “w e must be the change we seek”!

117. The ANC’s core values and principles w ere forged in the concrete conditions during many decades of the struggle for freedom and democracy in our country. Its unique features evolved over time as the movement w as getting chiselled into a powerful instrument of national liberation. What are these core values and principles?

118. The core values of the ANC are as follows: courage, service, self-sacrifice, human solidarity, integrity, temperance, humility, honesty, hard-work, self-discipline and mutual respect. At the same time, it has developed tried and tested principles which guide its operations and processes as a mass-based, multi-class movement and a disciplined force of the left - unity, non-racialism, non-sexism, collective leadership, democratic centralism, internal debates, non-racialism and non-sexism.

119. When the membership and leadership conduct themselves and the affairs of the organisation in a manner that approximates its values and principles, the ANC earns more respect among the masses and its standing in society is enhanced.Similarly, any conduct that is in discord w ith the movement’s stated ideals, values and principles does compromise its public image and erodes confidence among the people. What kind of conduct compromise the ANC’s public image and standing in society?

The erosion of ANC’s values and the emergence of a new shadow culture

120. Various conferences since 1994 have raised concerns about the values and organisational culture of the A NC. Over the last eighteen years, these tendencies have become embedded, especially as part of the lobbying process and have in fact worsened in their manifestations, including:-

a. The influence and use of money as part of lobbying for organisational positions: This include the availability of seemingly vast resources to organise lobby group meetings, travel, communications (starter-packs) to allegations of outright bribing and paying of individuals in regions and branches to forward particular factional positions and/or to disrupt meetings.

b. Inability to conduct ANC meetings and affairs in an orderly and peaceful manner: We have seen a number of instances w here ANC meetings or
conferences were disrupted by disgruntled members, w here violence w as used against each other that the police had to be called in to intervene. In addition,
there are instances w here members feel incapable or lack confidence in our internal conflict resolutions mechanisms and therefore resort to the courts have
been growing.

c. Winner takes all or clean slate phenomena, fuelling and breeding factionalism: More and more our approach to leadership contests at conferences is based on two lobbying lists, with hardly a name betw een them in common. The outcomes of elections also often reflect slates, w ith delegates voting on the basis of lists, w inners taking all (5-0 results), those who lost leaving conferences once the results are announced and before concluding the business of conference.

d. Abuse of symbols and methods of struggle: Songs, t-shirts and posters that in the past w ere used to unite, mobilise and educate have become part of
lobbying for individuals. Thus at ANC events supporters of one lobby group would display t-shirts and posters and sing songs in praise of their candidates,
whilst insulting other candidates.

e. Indecisive leadership: Since these activities also involve those at leadership level, it means that ANC leadership collectives are paralyzed by inaction,
because of fears to take steps against ‘our side’ or for being accused of purging the ‘other side’. In the process, discipline is not maintained and impunity and
anarchy become the order of the day.

121. These tendencies have become so persistent and widespread that they in fact represent a shadow culture or parallel culture, w hich co-exist alongside the
movement’s ow n organisational culture. These tendencies draw on ANC history and symbolism and like a parasite, use the membership, and the very democratic structures and processes of the movement to its ow n end. Furthermore, both ‘old’ and ‘new ’ members and leadership echelons at all levels are involved, increasingly leaving no voice in our ranks that is able to provide guidance.

122. Thus Polokw ane Conference signalled a grave w arning that these tendencies ”…threaten the very survival of the ANC as the trusted servant of the people it has been for 96 years…” and that such tendencies are “…in direct opposition to everything the ANC represents, including its value system, its revolutionary morality, its selflessness, the comradeship among its members, its deep-seated respect for the truth and honesty; its determined opposition to deceit and doubledealing; and its readiness openly to account to the masses of our people for everything it says and does.” Initial steps to address the corrosive tendencies undermine the ANC’s integrity

123. After noting that “the ANC has been impacted upon, both positively and negatively, by the changing conditions our struggle since coming into power in 1994 and in particular, being a ruling party has exposed the movement to serious dangers”, the 2007 Polokw ane Conference adopted a groundbreaking resolution that called on NEC to declare “a period of renew al” of the values, character as well as the tried and tested organisational practices.

124. As explained earlier, the dangers or negative effects of incumbency have severely impacted on the character of our movement as a national liberation movement and disciplined force of the left. The neo-liberal ideological paradigm has also hugely eroded the core values of selflessness, integrity, solidarity and genuine comradeship. The selfish pursuit of self-interest and factional interest are now placed above the interests of the entire organisation and the people as a w hole.

125. The NGC called for a renewed determination, resolve and tenacity to cultivate and restore the core values and principles of the movement – unity, selfless and steadfast commit to serve the people, sacrifice, collective leadership, democratic centralism, humility, honesty, self-discipline and mutual respect, hard w ork, internal debate, self-criticism and constructive criticism.

126. The NGC agreed that for renew al to succeed, it requires significant mobilisation and leadership – leadership that is resilient, courageous, principled and decisive; a committed and conscious cadreship; and an active civil society and mobilised population. In particular, the NEC w as called upon to provide decisive and exemplary leadership by show ing the necessary courage, consistency and steadfastness in tackling the negative tendencies afflicting our movement.

Further proposed measures to safeguard the ANC’s core values

127. Building unity and cohesion of the ANC: Amongst the first aims and objectives of the movement as set out in its Constitution is the task to unite all the people of our country. This is a mission that since its formation in 1912 the ANC has tirelessly w orked at. Central to this task of uniting the people is ensuring the unity and internal cohesion of the ANC. The different organisational approaches that the movement developed over a century has helped to build unity as the bedrock of the survival of the ANC. The erosion of the values and organisational culture of the ANC includes a tendency to undermine the unity of the movement and not deal with this matter as a sacred principle that must be enforced and adhered to at all times. Organisational renew al must therefore also ensure an unflinching and tireless commitment tow ards both the unity and cohesion of the movement and Alliance, in pursuit of our mission to unite our people in their pursuit for fundamental change.

128. Strengthen cadre policy: as w e have argued, political education and cadre development is one of the most sustainable interventions in dealing w ith the
negative tendencies eroding the core values and character of the ANC. Without a massive political education campaign to raise the political consciousness and
improve skills of ANC, ordinary members w ill remain vulnerable to factional manipulation by rogue elements. This is one of the key areas that should constitute
the programme of action of the next five-to-ten years.

129. Enhance the role of veterans: The ANC is an old organisation endow ed with experienced members w ho have led the organisation in different and difficult times during its evolution. As decided by the 52nd National Conference, we need to make strategic use of the veterans to reproduce and safeguard the history, traditions, culture and values of our movement. We also need to use veterans to address and manage internal problems and conflicts that arise from time to time, among those in leadership position. While problems of ill-discipline and unethical conducts, factionalism and divisive practices should be addressed by elected leadership structures in the normal course of political, organisational and ideological w ork, it is also important that the experiences of our veterans are harnessed and put to good use by the movement so that they can be mentors to new members and younger leaders.

130. The main task of the Veterans’ League should be to enhance and protect the character of the ANC as the loyal servant of the people. So far, the Veterans operates just like the other tw o leagues, thus depriving our organisation of the reservoir of wisdom w e sorely need to keep our movement focused on its primary mission of serving the people. The conduct of veterans should itself inspireconfidence among the rank-and-file of the ANC. Those w e call veterans should be tried and tested cadres w ho are beyond reproach. The movement should undertake a process to verify and audit the list of people w ho are currently in the structures of the Veterans League to ensure that they meet the requirements.

131. Implement the NGC decision on the Integrity Commission (IC): set up the IC at national, provincial and regional levels to promote integrity and conduct discipline inspections as part of the campaign to safeguard the values, integrity and reputation of the ANC. The NGC has already adopted the resolution on this matter. It shall be composed of veterans and younger generations of disciplined cadres who don’t serve in elected structures. The Chairperson of the IC shall be an elected member of the executive at the relevant level who meets the high standard of integrity. The IC shall investigate all allegations of corruption, abuse of pow er and any conduct by ANC members that impact on the image and integrity of the A NC in society. The cases that w arrant disciplinary proceedings shall be referred to the relevant DC. The IC shall have the authority to call leaders or cadres to order in order to try and correct conduct that is out of sync with ANC values and principles.

132. Strengthen measures to promote exemplary conduct, organisational discipline and self-discipline: Discipline is principally political matter, a core part of the organisational culture of a revolutionary movement and a distinct attribute of a cadre. Without discipline, there can be no revolutionary cadre. Without a systematic implementation of cadre policy, the state of discipline w ill naturally decline, thus forcing the organisation to resort to extra-ordinary measures. An important function of political leadership is to cultivate self-discipline, organisational discipline and promote exemplary conduct and mutual respect among all members of the ANC and its Leagues. The movement should carry out a proactive campaign to promote positive values and virtues among ANC members w hich w ill earn admiration, draw inspiration and enhance confidence of community members – ANC members should be exemplary citizens and positive role models who are respected members of their communities and other organisations.

133. How ever, w henever misconduct occurs at any level, the elected leadership must act firmly and promptly, regardless of w ho is involved in order that the leadership and membership adhere to self-discipline and organisational discipline. The ANC should have the right to institute disciplinary action against any member, including a member of its Leagues who may violate the ANC Code of Conduct. The use of lawyers in disciplinary cases should be review ed to ensure that the organisation does not end up in a situation w herein it is extra-ordinarily difficult to bring errant members into line. Otherw ise, those w ith resources can get away with blatant transgressions and be above the organisation.

134. Rule 25 should be streamlined to separate procedures principles from procedures which must be contained in a Code of Conduct adopted by the NEC at the beginning of its term of office. It is further proposed that DCs should be composed mainly of the veterans and other cadres w ho are beyond reproach. This w ill ensure that the responsibility of the elected leadership to keep discipline in the ranks and bring cases of misconduct to the DC is maintained, w hile the DC’s role is to adjudicate and make a determination. The Chairperson of the DC should be an elected member of the relevant executive in order to ensure political accountability.

Deepening internal democracy and integrity of the electoral processes of the ANC

135. One of the defining features of the ANC is that it is a democratic formation. From its inception, the ANC has cultivated a culture of internal democracy and robust debates. Unlike many liberation movements and parties that suppressed internal leadership contest and internal ideological debates, the ANC has survived and flourished because of its ability to manage and harness internal debates and leadership contests in the interest of finding the quickest and most sustainable solutions to the problems facing the masses of our people. Members of the ANC determine the strategic direction and policy positions of the organisation in consideration to the pressing challenges facing our people at each given moment. In this regard, the ANC became a school of democracy wherein free circulation of ideas, robust debates and contestation for leadership have been a key feature of its political and organisational life since 1912.

136. The calibre and quality of leadership is one of the primary factors that accounts for the survival and success of the ANC during the past hundred years. It remains a critical success factor for the survival and success of the ANC into the future. It is for this reason that serious attention needs to be given to the process of leadership election.

137. Over the past decade-and-half, new tendencies have emerged that undermine the democratic character of the movement. Leadership elections are fraught withproblems such as the manipulation of membership system in order to influence the outcome of conferences; suppression of the views of members through a culture of slates that are developed in secret caucuses and forced dow n the throats of members in chaotic branch general meetings; and the use of money and mobilisation of other resources as part of lobbying. ANC members and branches should be liberated from the clutches of secret caucuses by ensuring that the leadership question is discussed and decided openly by members on the basis of the tasks, requirements and political line of each phase.

138. Before 1994, the pillars of our struggle helped us understand the tasks of leadership collectives – to organise, coordinate, integrate, drive and lead the
struggle in all the fronts and pillars. Currently, factionalism and personalization of leadership contests constitute a cancer in the soul of our movement.

Factionalism not only undermines the discipline of the core organisation, but also makes it difficult for a movement to lead society in a unified manner. We must therefore take forward the resolutions of the 3rd NGC in order stabilize our approaches to leadership election and transition.

139. Through the eye of the needle’ (ANC 2001: par. 18-24) clearly spells out the principles of ANC organisational democracy including elected and collective
leadership, branches as basic units of the ANC, criticism and self-criticism and the applications of democratic centralism. ‘Through the Eye of the Needle’ (par. 25-32) also review s the constitutional guidelines for elections, and the critical role of branches and branch members as the electoral college for all elective positions in the ANC. In general, it agrees that these guidelines - the right of any member to stand and be elected subject to qualifications in terms of track record; the nominations process in branch general meetings; the election of delegates to conferences; nominations from the floor at conferences; and voting by secret ballot- are critical to a democratic organisation, and still relevant.

140. How ever, it recognised the potential for subversion of these very processes, when it talks about how members should take charge and the critical challenges facing branches, to ensure the integrity of its membership system and the responsibility of delegates to deliver the mandate of their branches, as well as allow ing themselves to influence and be influenced by other delegates.

141. One of the subcultures that have developed over the last eighteen years is that instead of discussions on leadership taking place in branches based on the tasks at hand and the requirements of leadership, branches and branch delegates are simply being roped in to support one slate or another, without debate and discussion on the tasks of the movement and w hat each individual on such slate is capable of contributing to the overall tasks of the movement.

142. Another tendency is that of individuals or groups of individuals w ho aspire towards leadership, and then seek to convince the organisation and members to nominate and elect them by organising parallel to the structures of the movement. It uses all nefarious means: leaking organisational information, positioning themselves in the media, conducting smear campaigns against other comrades, using state resources to discredit others and using money from dubious sources and dirty monies to lobby. Thus means and ends become equally suspect. This tendency is one of the silent and cancerous attempts at transforming the A NC and must be dealt with firmly.

143. We thus need to find a way of strengthening our electoral processes generally and the nominations process in particular, by:
• Standardizing electoral rules and other guidelines for conferences, so that the organisation sets the terms of debate for conferences, rather than individual agendas as played out in informal processes and in the media.
• Incorporating the ‘broad criteria for leadership’ into our electoral rules to ensure political discussions on the suitable candidates for nominations; and
• Developing guidelines on lobbying, with structures to enforce it;

144. In addition, a permanent Electoral Commission whose term of office corresponds with the relevant executive committee at each level is hereby proposed. The NEC must adopt standardized Electoral rules, at the beginning of each term, in order to provide a framew ork for all structures.

145. The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission should be elected by conference at the relevant level of the organisation. The commission should be composed of veterans and other cadres not available for election w hose conduct is beyond reproach. The role of the commission should be to manage the entire electoral process and report to conference.

146. The commission should screen all candidates nominated by branches, as we do with the list process, and ensure that only those w ho meet the criteria and requirements of leadership, including on matters of integrity and competence, make it to the consolidated list that w ill be submitted to conference. The Electoral Commission w ill collaborate w ith the Integrity Commission in dealing with allegations levelled against candidates on matters of integrity and ethics.

The Commissions can make proposals to the NEC on electoral reforms.

147. The NGC agreed that certain forms of lobbying should be strictly prohibited and should lead to the disqualification of candidates and disciplinary action against any member found guilty of infringements.

 Rules on Lobbying
A democratic electoral process is about inf luencing and being inf luenced by others about the v alue that a candidate will add to the work of the organisation. As such, structures, members and even the candidates or aspirant candidates have a right to express their v iews, in the process inf luencing the electoral process and allowing themselves to be inf luenced in the process of engagements about these issues. This will take place in inf ormal interactions and f ormal structures of the mov ement.
However, no structure outside of the ANC has a right to nominate or lobby f or any candidate. While appreciating that the public at large will hav e an interest and even pref erences, which in a f ree society may be publicly expressed, mobilisation f or such support, including setting up of lobby -groups that seek to influence internal ANC processes, by candidates or their supporters should be prohibited. We should therefore consider discouraging the f ollowing specific wrongf ul lobby ing practices, by adding them as acts of misconduct in our electoral rules, including:

• Raising and using f unds and other resources to campaign for election into ANC structures;
• Production of t-shirts, posters and other paraphernalia to promote any candidature;
• Promising positions or other incentives or threatening to withhold such, as a means of gaining support;
• Attacks on the integrity of other candidates, both within structures of the movement and in other f orums, save f or legitimate critiques related the substance of the contestation which should only be raised in formal meetings of the movement;
• Suppressing honest and legitimate debate about candidates (on these issues of substance) in f ormal meetings of the movement;
• Open and priv ate lobbying or utilization of the media in support of or opposition to a particular candidate;
• Allowing structures or indiv iduals to condone v iolation of Constitutional provisions and/or regulations, and/or f ailing to report such violations when they occur; and
• Generally, as a candidate, failing to take steps, including interactions and/or statements to stop misconduct in one’s name.

Attached to all rules should be sanctions that f it the lev el of misconduct. Many of these are contained in the Constitution, and include suspension and ev en expulsion. Howev er, in the context of electoral processes, additional sanctions and enf orcement mechanisms are necessary, which will serv e as a disincentive directly linked to the context of the misdemeanour, including:
• Disqualification as a candidate or delegate;
• Expulsion, f rom the meeting, of a candidate or delegate or observ er or guest; and/or
• Naming and shaming of candidates or members or their ANC/non-ANC supporters.

Among the do’s and positive practices that could be encouraged and promoted the following
should be explored:
• All those wishing to stand for leadership election and public office should sign a declaration of business and other interests to the organisation;
• All those wishing to stand for election or nominated by structures should be v etted by the Integrity Commission and screened by the Electoral Commission to ensure compliance with organisational requirements, including integrity and discipline;
• A platf orm should be created in the organisation f or candidates to be able to explain themselves and answer questions from the structures on their experience, leadership skills and capacity. This will ensure that candidates don’t subv ert internal democracy by creating their own platf orms;

Questions for discussions
a. What work are you doing to ensure that the core values of the ANC are safeguarded?
b. Are there any other practices by the membership and leadership that negatively impact on the ANC’s ability to lead society?
c. What guidelines and sanctions should be put in place to eliminate these negative practices such as slates, factionalism, ill-discipline, use of “dirty money” to try and influence internal democratic processes?

Positioning the ANC to act as the strategic centre
148. The structure of any organisation should derive from its strategy. In political terms, an organisational structure should mirror the strategy and tactics or political line as well as the values and principles of the party or movement. Structures are not an end in themselves but a means to an end. They cannot be fixed in time but should be flexible and agile enough to respond to changes in conditions as w ell as the shifts in strategy and tactics. Accordingly, the test for a sound structure is w hether it facilitates or hampers the carrying out of the political line of each phase of the revolution as defined by the strategy and tactics.

149. As elaborated in Chapter 5 of this discussion document, the ANC has defined itself as the national liberation movement and strategic centre of pow er that seeks to mobilise the motive forces in pursuit of its strategic vision and transformation agenda along the five pillars. Without a decent level of organisational capacity and strategic capability of its cadreship, the ANC w ill not be able to give effective political leadership to the motive forces and realise its political line in the state, the economy, civil society, battle of ideas and international arena of struggle.

150. The Mangaung Conference should be remembered for having comprehensively dealt w ith and put in place new organisational and strategic capabilities that will take the movement to its second centenary. Firstly, in Chapter 6 of this discussion document w e dealt w ith the central role of cadre policy in building the necessary capacity and capability required for this phase of our struggle. Secondly, in Chapter 7 we made proposals on the mechanism to safeguard the organisation from corrosive tendencies and dangers of incumbency that threaten to change the ANC’s character and values as a people’s movement.

151. In this Chapter, w e shall make proposals on the measures that should be put in place to ensure that our structure is a reflection of the strategic intent and political line of our movement at the moment. Further, w e shall also address the question of modernisation of the ANC’s systems and processes in order to enhance the future oriented capabilities of our movement. As a modern movement, the ANC should alw ays take advantage of advances in science, technology and management sciences to keep pace w ith the time. It is in this regard that modernisation of our organisational management and political communication is vital. We need to harness ICT and new know ledge to revolutionarise our political and ideological work, mass w ork, administration and membership systems. The ANC cannot lead society if we still depend on antiquated systems and methods.

Proposals on the design of Headquarters (HQ)

152. In the paragraphs 94-96 above, w e outlined the political and strategic role of Headquarters and the national structures it houses as w ell as the capacity and capability it requires to play this role. We came to the conclusion that currently we have limited capacity and this undermines the dual role of the ANC as the national liberation movement and governing party.

153. Polokw ane Conference took the follow ing decisions:
• “Conference notes that Headquarters is the administrative nerve centre that houses the movement’s national infrastructure w ithout w hich it w ill be difficult to
fulfil its primary mission. Headquarters coordinates, communicates, and monitors the implementation of national conference decisions and the overall programme of national democratic transformation. To ensure that headquarters carries out these tasks more effectively, it needs to be properly organised and adequately resourced.
• Conference thus instructed the incoming NEC to:

  • Strengthen the capacity in the SGO to carry out overall coordination and organisational management of the entire movement. The SGO should be the nerve centre of headquarters.
  • Re-organise headquarters and its various departments to focus the ANC’s work on the pillars of our transformation programme – organisation, state, economy, international relations, civil society and ideological work. In this regard, the key departments and institutions of Headquarters should be the Organising Department, the Political School, the Policy Institute,Communications Department, Treasury, etc. As far as possible, all the departments and institutions should be headed by full-time NEC members.”
  • Put in place a mechanism for Monitoring and Evaluation.

154. Despite the above Conference resolutions, the absence of a sufficient number of NEC members w ho are deployed on a full-time basis in each pillar, under the direct supervision of the SGO, remains one of the central w eaknesses of Headquarters. HQ departments have more administrative than strategic capacity and personnel. We need to take drastic measures to enhance the capacity of HQ.

155. Given the practice since 1994 and our policy decision in 2007, the President of the ANC is also the ANC candidate for President of the Republic, w hen the ANC wins elections. Thus, in addition to being the “political head and chief directing officer of the ANC” (ANC Constitution Rule 16.1), s/he in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic (Chapter 5) also becomes “the Head of State” and the “Executive Authority” of the Republic. This is the reason Polokw ane Conference made it explicitly clear that the Secretary General’s Office has to be the one that communicates ANC policy positions publicly on a regularly basis due to the location of the President in government.

156. The Secretary General, is “the chief administrative officer of the ANC” responsible for the political management of the movement’s programme and functioning of all structures of the organisation. Both programme and structures should be based on the strategic priorities of the ANC determined by National Conference. The political management of the programme of the A NC therefore includes coordination and integration of w ork in the different pillars. More specifically, the Secretary General’s Office should ensure that the ANC maintains dynamic contact w ith the people and the motive forces. The political management of structures not only refers to ANC constitutional structures, but also the Alliance and engagement w ith structures of the motive forces and the mass movement.

157. To take forward, the resolution of Polokwane Conference, it is proposed that HQ should be organised into departments under SGO:

1) Organisational Development and Mass Mobilisation;
2) Political Education and Cadreship Development;
3) Governance, Socio-Economic Development and Research;
4) Department of Information and Publicity;
5) International Relations,
6) Monitoring and Evaluation and
7) General Administration.

158. The first six of these departments should be headed by full-time NEC members or DSGs elected by the National Conference who reports to the SG and should be members of the NWC. An alternative proposal is that the full-time Heads of Departments should be appointed by the NEC among those of its members, who meet the specific requirements, who shall be deployed to HQ for the five-year term.

159. The HQ departments should have various divisions or desks that w ill focus on detailed w ork among the motive forces and sectors. They should have the
necessary strategic capacity that w ill enhance the ANC’s ability to give leadership in all the pillars:

• Department of Political Education and Cadre Development: the principal mandate is to contribute to the development of a progressive political line, build a core new cadres equipped know ledge and skills of movement-building and progressive statecraft in all pillars, eliminate illiteracy among ANC members and cultivate a culture of critical thinking and lifelong learning to make education and training a priority for ANC every member. No need to w ait for buildings.

• Department of Organisation and Mass Mobilisation: the principal mandate should be movement-building as opposed to narrow organisation-building. Should set up Desks and Units to service and organise different sectors of the motive forces - civil society, students, intellectual, w orkers, etc. These include Alliance w ork and election campaigns. The structure should reflect the depth and reach of a movement.

• Department of Information and Publicity: the principal mandate is propaganda, agitation, asserting intellectual and ideological leadership and the political line of the movement. We need to set up the machinery w ith substantial capacity to carry out propaganda and agitation. This includes an in-house printing press, social media unit, TV and radio broadcasting unit.

• Department of Governance and Research: the principal mandate is to build a credible and respected governing capacity that gives effect to the concept of “strategic centre of power”. Build new capacity to coordinate the work of caucuses and public representatives, continuously review our political system as a w hole, carry out research on long term domestic and international trends and advice the ANC on how to proactively respond to new issues. The new Policy Institute should mirror governance clusters.

• Department of International Affairs: principal mandate is to promote and coordinate party-to-party-relations and international solidarity w ork, reflecting the depth and reach of our strategy. Desks should be established along the lines of major regions of the world in order to ensure we carry out the ANC political line. Cadres w ho are deployed in the diplomatic arena should report regularly to the DIA at HQ w here some of our seasoned diplomats should be deployed.

• Department of Administration and Human Resource Management: principal mandate is to modernise of all systems and processes and provide optimally and
efficient support services to all political offices, departments, provinces, regions and branches. This includes the membership system, human resource management, events management, harnessing ICT to revolutionarise and modernise our administration, political communication, campaigns, political education and training.

• Department of Monitoring and Evaluation: principal mandate is to undertake monitoring, evaluation and tracking of policy implementation and organisational
decisions, including the performance of organisational structures on political, ideological, organisational, mass, governance and international work.

160. An alternative proposal is that the departments should be clustered as follows:

a. Department of Organisation, Mass Mobilisation and Political Education;
b. Department of Governance, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation;
c. Department of Information, Publicity and Ideological Work;
d. Department of International Affairs;

Proposals on the NEC, NWC, Officials and Sub-Committees

161. NEC: Our ow n history shows that the size of the NEC and number of Officials are determined by imperatives strategy and tactics and the depth of organisational and political w ork to be undertaken. Given the w ork that needs to be done in all the pillars and among the motive forces, the quality of the NEC is more important than the size – at all times the size should be determined by the demands and political tasks. The NEC should be a mirror of the ANC’s experience, wisdom, depth and talent. The criteria should be tightened to enhance quality.

162. Certainly, w e must bring to an abrupt end the emerging sub-culture of slates and tyranny of money in the election of leadership at this coming conference. Branches should be encouraged to elect cadres on the basis of the value they will add in the ANC’s work in all pillars and sectors of the motive forces, cadres who represent a cross-section of the political generations. This is the reason we should dispassionately discuss the different generations in the history of the ANC.

163. The operations, activities and meetings of the NEC should be structured in a w ay that enables the national leadership to analyse important developments in the country and the w orld and evaluate the progress w e are making in each pillar of the NDR. The follow ing is further proposed:

• At least once a quarter, the NEC should have focused four-day sessions to look to comprehensively review political developments and evaluate our w ork among the motive forces, review the progress we are making in a specific pillar and make substantive decisions that should be implemented by all structures and all cadres of our movement deployed in that pillar. In the quarterly sessions, the NEC should invite experts and progressive academics to come and share information on major developments and trends that we should not lose sight of, as the strategic centre of power;

• The mid-year NEC Lekgotla is already serving as one of the focused NEC meetings w ith clear outcomes. The preparations and process tow ards the June
Lekgotla should be improved. The M&E unit should be able to produce a review report on progress made in implementing the decisions of the previous lekgotla
and this report should have served before the relevant sub-committees before the lekgotla;

• The ANC Caucus should ensure that no bill or piece of legislation is taken through the parliamentary process before it is discussed and approved by the
NEC or the NWC. This w ill ensure that the movement gives proper political direction to all our cadres deployed in the state on policy and law -making;

• The NEC Political School is also one of the focused sessions that w ill greatly enhance the quality of political and ideological w ork and the unity and cohesion
of the national leadership. The Political School should also be held on a quarterly basis;

• Provinces, regions and branches should also structure their activities along similar lines;

164. The introduction of the National Working Committee in the 1940s w as a very important intervention in enhancing the capacity of Headquarters, under President Xuma, to implement organisational decisions and ensure national coherence. Going forward, there is a need to shift from the current basis on w hich the NWC is elected. Instead of open elections, w hich add not much value, w hat should count is the area of deployment as an NEC member. In this regard, the NWC should be composed of the Officials, the elected Heads of the Departments and Convenors of the following sub-committee clusters that should be realigned and equipped w ith research capacity – Youth Development, Gender, Economic Transformation, Social Transformation, Education & Health and Defence, Peace & Criminal Justice Clusters. Other sub-committees w ill be linked to the Departments headed by full-time NEC members who are NWC members.

165. Amongst the potential difficulties may arise is that we may not have the financial resources to sustain such a structure. Major decisions have to be made on financing the movement if w e are to build the necessary capacity and capability at all levels. Secondly, the direct election of Heads of specific departments by Conference w ill make it difficult to remove an individual w ho fails to perform because only conference can do so. Lastly, the authority of the NEC as the “highest organ of the ANC betw een National Conferences” should not be undermined by the NWC composed mainly of full-time NEC members and Convenors of Subcommittee clusters. The NWC should remain a w orking committee of the NEC as outlined in Rule 13.8.

Proposals on Officials

166. The Constitution clarifies the role of Officials as individuals. It is how ever ambiguous on their responsibilities as a leadership collective. In the discussions on the gender parity policy w ith regards to the election of Officials, the Polokw ane conference interpreted the Constitution to mean that “The Officials” do not constitute a structure. How ever, in practice, given the immense responsibilities resting in each Political Office and in accordance with ANC’s principle of collective leadership they operate as a leadership collective. This ambiguity is clearly untenable. The Constitution needs to be amended to include the Officials as one of the leadership collectives w ith clear collective responsibility and accountability.

167. The composition of the Officials has never been fixed in time. Nothing stops the organisation in this era, to rethink the composition of the Officials. Proposals on Provinces and Regions

168. The provincial structures should be re-organised to focus principally on doing work in the pillars of the NDR and giving leadership to the motive forces. Mass and organisational w ork a new type of developmental activism to solve people’s problems; political education and ideological w ork and focus on governance on the five priorities. The Provincial Conference to elect three full-time Heads of Organisation-Building & Mass Mobilisation, Political Education & Cadre Development and Governance & Policy w ho w ill w ork w ith the Provincial Secretary.

169. The regional structures should also be re-organised to concentrate on mass mobilisation and grassroots work in communities, political education and
organisation development as w ell as governance of municipalities. The Regional Conference to elect tw o full-time Heads of Organisation-Building & Grassroots Work and Political Education & Cadre Development.

Strengthening grassroots development-activism and participatory democracy

170. As we have already pointed out, our organisational theory asserts that the masses are the bedrock of the revolution. The biggest danger our movement faces today is to ever lose contact w ith the masses. And yet, our mass w ork is erratic, artificial and shallow outside an election campaign. Our people w ould want to see a more ANCled Alliance on the ground, instead of period visits only during elections.

171. Our discourse on organisational renew al needs to move beyond the narrow confines of “organisation-building” to movement-building and grassroots activism. In this regard, the ANC branch must become a strategic centre and movement for transformative politics in communities. Our branches should be civic-oriented and take up bread and butter issues in collaboration w ith the local alliance structures.

172. In order to succeed, we have to overcome the challenges that our branches are caught betw een oppositional politics of yesteryear and the new activism around socio-economic development – w hat we refer to as development-activism. Neither a statist approach to development nor oppositional mobilisation is the answer to our current challenges. We need new activists who can cultivate a new transformative mobilisation such as the SACP’s financial sector campaign and the current ANC education campaign focusing on building the culture of teaching and learning in our schools.

173. Development-activism differs from “service delivery” because the masses should not be spectators of government delivery. This new activism proceeds from the premise that development is contested and communities can shape the kind of development they w ant if led by an agent for change. They can also be misled by other forces contesting the space to turn against the ANC due to social distance and our absence on the ground.

174. An important element of development-activism is promoting participatory democracy – organising and mobilising our people for active participation in local
transformation and development initiatives, including the creation of organs of people’s pow er. Participatory democracy is broadly defined as an on-going process of empow ering our people to play an active part in the processes that affect their lives. Participatory democracy is a critical aspect of democratising our society as we have argued that ‘democracy’ cannot be limited to formal elections or formal individual and social rights of citizens. Betw een elections, w e need to actively promote various forms of popular participation – particularly in areas that are in line with the main priorities of ANC government – education, health, economy, rural development, crime and corruption. For example, focus in education could attend to the promotion of school-governing bodies (SGBs), student representative councils, and transformation forums in higher education etc.

175. The local structures of the ANC-led Alliance are very central to the promotion of participatory democracy and popular participation in community development. The ANC can provide an effective link betw een the community and the government. This is important even in w ards or municipalities under opposition control. We should be able to create a platform for the ANC-led government and ANC structures to report directly to communities and be ahead of the opposition on all matters affecting our people. As such, we must pay attention to a number of tasks that the ANC branch (and other levels of the ANC structures) in organising, mobilising and campaigning for sustainable development and quality of life at community level.

176. Of course, we w ill not be able to achieve this kind of leadership to society unless our grassroots structures are transformative and developmental in their character and content. How do w e transform our ow n local structures so that they can put the people first in their form and content? Re-organising the ANC branch to focus on people’s concerns and the motive forces “Organisation is the collective ability to solve people’s problems. The only time we can say we are organised is when we can solve the problems of our people in all their manifestations” (Govan Mbeki, 1989)

177. The ANC branch is the basic unit of our organisation. It is the primary organ for maintaining direct contact with the people where they live, at household and community level. The branch serves as the organic nexus between the ANC and the community. The mobilisation and political education of ordinary citizens rests squarely on the shoulders of our branches.

178. An ideal ANC is able to fulfill these very important political and civic responsibilities:

• Act as an agent for socio-economic development in communities;

• It is a school to produce community leaders and equips its members w ith the know ledge and skills to serve the people;

• It mobilises and unites members of the community around issues of common concern and helps to unlock development and service delivery challenges in a

• Builds partnerships and mutual relations w ith other community-based groups around specific campaigns and joint programmes to uplift the community;

• Actively involves members in on-going campaigns that address specific community concerns and problems;

• Recruit new members, train and develop them into community activists w ho are willing to w ork for the community and nation at large;

• Raising funds to finance its programmes and campaigns that enhance the ANC’s visibility and presence in communities.

179. How ever, few branches ever operate at an optimal level. Most branches are plagued by a common set of w eaknesses:
• Seasonal activism: most branches are active at election time and during elective conferences. This is a weakness that can only be addressed through a
standing Branch programme of action whose content is to raise ANC’s activism around solving people’s problems.

• Bureaucratisation of the branch organisation: too much time is spent dealing with administrative matters such as the membership system and waiting for a
quorum, instead of focusing on community mobilisation, organisation, political education and socio-economic development and service delivery in localities.
This bureaucratisation of the ANC branch contributes to the decline of transformative politics and development-activism and creates fertile ground for
in-fighting in branches.

• Branches neglect community development and service delivery issues: branches have been struggling to define a positive role on governance and
service delivery matters at a local. ANC members organise protests through concerned groups instead of utilising the branch unlock development

• Lack consistent political support from upper structures: the Election Campaign underscores the importance of continuous interaction w ith branches
by the national, provincial and regional leadership. The presence of national and provincial leadership on the ground boosts the confidence and morale of
grassroots activists who need encouragement and support in raising the profile and visibility of the ANC in communities.
• The ward-based branch is inadequate for the current challenges: We moved from tow nship or village-based branches in 1990 to ward-based
branches after the Mafikeng Conference. The track record of ward-based branches is a mixed one, compared w ith the previous form of branch. Few
ward-based branches are playing their full role as the “vanguard of the communities” as articulated by the NGC of 2000. Branches are not structured
to the motive forces on the ground. The vastness of some of the wards and the size of membership make our grassroots organisation too cumbersome. The
one-size-fits-all branch structure is not able to draw community-based groups and sectors into the movement. The branch serves as another bureaucratic
layer instead of a centre of popular involvement in transformative politics.

180. The ANC has neglected or outsourced its w ork among influential and key sectors of society such as workers, students, intellectuals, professionals and businesspeople. How do we redesign the basic unit of our organisation so that it can focus on solving people’s problems and giving leadership to the motive forces at grassroots level, as a transformative movement and strategic centre of pow er?

181. We need a new approach to grassroots political and organisational w ork. ANC branches should be centres of transformative politics and development activism in communities. They should be at the centre of movement-building at local level, bringing together community-based organisations and civil society associations to drive transformation together rather than focus narrow ly on ANC members. The ANC branch committee should take the form of a local united front that brings together various representatives of community-based organisations and associations. The Branch Biennial General Meeting should elect only ten members,while the remainder should come from the community-based organisations. This will ensure that our basic unit gives effect to the “movement” character of the ANC.

182. We should introduce diverse forms of branches. In communities, w e need VDbased branches and units. In w orkplaces, flats, institutions of learning and
diplomatic missions outside the country, we need to set up units composed of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 members. Units w ill still belong to a bigger
geographic branch of no more than 500 members. Every branch should have a full time organiser w hose responsibility is to focus on organisational development, community involvement in all major decisions, grassroots activism, political education and discipline among the membership. All branches should be trained in how to identify and initiate economic development interventions in communities.

183. Massive political education and literacy campaign should be launched to empower and arm every branch committee and the general membership w ith the analytical tools and leadership skills required to effective leadership to communities. Political classes should be conducted in units, after w hich organisational tasks will be assigned to each of the unit to go and solve development problems in the localities. Criteria for election into the Branch committee should include a proven ability to solve community problems, minimum level of political education and leadership skills. In order to qualify for election into the branch committee, one should have been a member in good standing for five years, with a track record of community activism and should have completed political education classes.

Proposals on the membership

184. The members of the ANC are the backbone of the ANC. Over years, they made it what it is – a trusted leader of the overw helming majority of South Africans. The image and standing of the ANC is result of the calibre of men and w omen w ho join it. It is for this reason that greater attention should be given, over the next ten years, to raise the political consciousness, activism and skills of every member.

185. Although membership is open to all South Africans who embrace its policies and objectives, targeted recruitment has alw ays been used to bring individuals who have qualities that add value to the w ork of the ANC in the current phase of transformation. Recruitment is not just about numbers but should be linked the potential contribution of the recruit to the w ork of the ANC in all pillars and influence among the motive forces.

186. Given the experiences of the recent years, we need to ensure a more rigorous process to induct new members into the ANC practices and policies. It is proposed that the probation period should be extended to six months during w hich all applicants should undergo compulsory political membership induction before taking the oath and being accepted as members, so that all new members understand their rights and responsibilities as ANC members. Every member of the ANC should be active in community and sectoral organisations.

187. As part of ensuring that the ANC is truly a force for modernisation right into the future, the ANC should consciously adopt a perspective that ANC membership should be the most informed, most conscientious and most enlightened in every community. Education and training w ill therefore be very important among the rank-and-file, going forw ard. In particular, younger generations cannot continue to blame apartheid 20 years after freedom. The ANC should strive to send a large number of new generations of leaders to schools, colleges and universities over the next ten years so that w e can achieve the goal of a literate and better educated membership by the next decade. In the long term, a revolutionary movement can only succeed in its transformation agenda if it contributes to the development of advanced productive forces and advanced progressive culture.

188. Accordingly, w e should take drastic decisions around the development of our members so as to break the current cycle of dependency on the movement for deployment and vulnerability to place politics. Within the next five years, all members should have received political education covering ANC history; strategy and tactics; theory of organisation and mass w ork; the role of state in socioeconomic development; role of an ANC member in society; organisational discipline and basic leadership skills.

189. With regard to the membership system, the ANC has gone through a terrible experience of fraudulent practices and manipulation of the membership system to try and influence conference outcomes or marginalize or exclude those who hold different view s. This fundamentally undermines the integrity of organisational processes. The audit of membership and introduction of strict guidelines to prepare for conferences have assisted a great deal in reducing fraudulent practices. These guidelines need to be strengthened to redefine both a “member in good standing” and a “branch in good standing” to include activism and participation in community development.

190. The administrative and technical glitches of the system have led to the introduction of new systems after another, without ever delivering on the expectations of members to receive their membership cards once they either renew ed or joined. The problems associated w ith our membership are very basic and can be resolved through the modernisation of the current processes and systems. In this day and age, our members find it unacceptable that their vanguard movement still uses antiquated methods to run its ow n affairs. The NEC has already directed that this matter should receive urgent and priority attention in this centenary year. Proposals on the Leagues

191. For any revolutionary movement, the reproduction and maintenance of its organisational culture and cadreship across generations cannot be left to chance. The Youth and Women Leagues of the ANC are important formations that ensure an ongoing presence of the ANC amongst these tw o critical sectors in our society.

192. The Leagues are therefore both reservoirs for recruitment and ‘schools of socialization’, since they (should) provide consistent and vibrant forums for young people and w omen to participate in the political life of the ANC, and thus for the development of members and the emergence of cadres. The Youth and Women’s Leagues, as sectoral formations of the ANC and through League branch structures, have similar yet specialized functions. They derive their existence from the ANC constitution and are therefore bound by it. Both the Youth and Women’s Leagues function as autonomous bodies w ithin the overall structure of the ANC, of which they are integral parts. They have their own constitutions, rules and regulations, provided that these are not in conflict w ith the ANC Constitution and policies.

193. The ANC Youth League serves as a preparatory school for young members and cadres, by harnessing their energy, innovation and enthusiasm in the
transformation process. As a mass movement of young men and w omen, it also provides young activists w ith practical experiences of mass w ork, problem solving and service to the people. In addition, it mobilises and champions youth interests in the ANC and in broader society. It is therefore not surprising that from the ranks of the ANC Youth League have emerged tried and tested ANC cadres.

194. The ANC Women’s League similarly is a political school for w omen, harnessing the reservoir of community activism w e find among w omen virtually everywhere, raising their consciousness and aw areness about their position and emancipation as women, the building of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous country for all, and preparing them to take their place in the ANC and in broader society, pursuant of these goals.

195. The recently launched Veterans League is a unique formation, an embodiment of the organisational experience and memories of our movement. It should thus play a critical role in the process of political education and leadership development. The primary focus of the Veterans’ League should be to assist the movement in dealing with all the challenges of the current period. Veterans can only do so if they are not caught up in current in-fighting and factional battles in the structures of the movement. Their conduct should be beyond reproach. Correctly speaking, the Veterans’ League is a council of elders w ho should be a source of wisdom, unityand stability.

196. MKMVA: Polokw ane Conference set a correct framew ork in clarifying the role and place of MKMVA as that of promoting the legacy of Umkhonto w eSizwe, attending to the w elfare of former combatants of MK and integrating them into the ANC political life and the mainstream of society. The NGC further outlined an important role that MKMVA can play in revive political education in our movement. More work needs to be done to focus MKMVA on all these tasks.

197. Young Pioneers: The ANC should re-launch the Pioneers so as to introduce children to the organisation at an early age. This structure played a crucial role in the 1950s.

198. Volunteer Corps: volunteers play a critical role in the political life of the ANC. The ANC has alw ays relied upon those of its members w ho are w illing to sacrifice so that the cause of the people can triumph. Many ANC members continue to give their time, energy and talents in the service of the people and the movement. The launch of ANC volunteer corps w ill play an important role in this regard.

Proposal on institutionalising key processes and procedures

199. The ANC as a broad and increasingly complex movement have a range of organisational processes and procedures (e.g. audits of branches, induction of
executives, branch manuals, membership system, roles of PCOs), as w ell as rules and regulations (rules of conferences) that it uses to ensure operational efficiency and to ensure that its core values are reflected in these procedures. In addition, there are also processes involving the Alliance, its relationship w ith Caucuses, etc.

200. These operational procedures are derived from the Constitution and policies and resolutions adopted by Conferences and by the NEC. Although these are very important in ensuring the proper functioning and organisational integrity of the ANC at all levels, they are often developed on an adhoc basis and we often reinvent the wheel. For example, one of the key organisational processes in the ANC, since 1912, is organising Conferences. How ever, for each conference, whether it’s a Regional or National conference, w e act as if it’s the first and start from scratch to develop rules – w hether organisational or logistical. As a movement, this makes for adhocism and inconsistency, but also makes it difficult for us to learn from experience.

201. It is therefore proposed that the incoming Secretary General, w ith Provincial and League Secretaries should identify all the key organisational and administrative processes in the ANC, and develop an A NC Operational Manual, that seeks to integrate and contain all of these processes, based on existing policies (previous conference resolutions, existing manuals and guidelines) and the Renewal proposals. To mention a few :

• Branch manual
• Induction of BECs, RECs, PEC’s, NEC and Leagues
• Mass Campaign manual: focussing on bread and butter campaign issues
• Organising conferences
• Membership manual
• Guidelines for Audits of branches: this should go beyond the formal requirements (quorating AGM, members in good standing), but also include an audit of the political activities required of branches.
• Role of ANC PCOs
• Responsibilities of key ANC portfolios: role of Chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers, political education, communications, organisers.
• Communications, political education manuals
• Role of caucuses and ANC public representatives
• Role of ANC councillors

Questions for discussions

a. Review the current capacity of the ANC at branch, regional, provincial and national level and propose interventions to address the weaknesse s.

b. How do we strengthen the work of the ANC in sectors such as youth, women, faith-based community, arts and culture, sports and people with disabilities ?

c. What do we understand by development-activism – what are the practical challenges of developing such an activist?

d. How does the ANC branch ensure and maximise participatory democracy at local level?

e. What practical steps we can take to ensure that the ANC at local level assume a movement character?

f. What is the best way to organise the ANC branch so that it can lead all motive forces, sectors and community groups at a local level?

g. How do we ensure that we institutionalise ANC practises and processe s, so that they are accessible to all members?

The impact of the ICT revolution on politics, society and the economy

202. One of the principal defining features of the 21st century is that the major advances in information and communications technology (ICT) is having a profound impact on politics, society and the economy. Together w ith climate change, urbanization, demographic shifts, ICT is going to remain a decisive factor that influences the future.

203. Global humanity has also experienced w atershed transformation into know ledge societies, w here more than ever before access to information and know ledge becomes the key determinant of the extent to w hich individuals, communities and nations contribute to their ow n and societal development. Access to information and know ledge has become a critical new area of the struggle for social and economic justice. Those w ho are left out of the information age and know ledge economy become the new “have-nots”.

204. This revolution, also referred to as the information society, has transformed the way people relate to one another and their societies. This has made the world a much smaller place, in w hich individuals can access information and services from wherever they are in the world.

205. As a disciplined force of the left, the ANC’s task is to continue to fight against global apartheid in all its manifestations and work towards and inclusive information society and know ledge economy. This means that w e must harness the information and communication technologies to further the cause of our people and modernise our society, economy politics. As a modern liberation movement, w e must harness ICT to modernise the w ay we manage our movement, conduct mass work and participate in public discourse. This section w ill focus on the use of ICT in the A NC’s organising and mobilising strategy, also referred to as e-ANC. The battle of ideas and the ICT revolution

206. The A NC has analysed the impact of the mass communication and information revolution in various discussion documents over the last decade. Thus it has recognised that the mass communication and information revolution has had a profound impact on societies and on political and other movements across the globe. One of the major developments in this regard is the grow ing dominance of commercial media over traditional forms of communication betw een movements and their membership and mass base.

207. This is one side of the coin, and specifically refers to the era of traditional print and electronic media (print, television and radio). The rise of the Internet and particularly over the last few years the rise of social media and expanded access (especially in developing countries) to cell phones, has introduced a whole new set of dynamics.Firstly, it has democratised not only access to information (anyone with internet access can access information about anything), but also the generation of information.

208. Whereas in the past ‘the media’ in their newsrooms and studios and political, trade union, companies or government spin doctors and communicators generated ‘news’ and therefore set the agenda, w ith social media and user-generated content these traditional thought leaders are no longer the sole agenda setters.

209. The pow er of the social media netw orks and their potential as tools of mass mobilisation have been demonstrated most recently by social movements - the “Arab Spring or Twitter revolution” and “Occupy Wall Street” movements. All over the w orld, new generations of activists have used the “new media” to make their voices heard on critical issues such as climate change, undemocratic regimes and the financial-economic crisis of global capitalism.

210. In different periods, the ANC has often been in the forefront of seizing opportunities provided by advances in science and technology to enhance its work in all the four pillars of the struggle. In the 1990s, the ANC became first political organisation in South Africa to start its ow n website. We have harnessed ICT to boost our election campaign techniques and have often been an innovative organisation that regularly uses research and opinion surveys to aid its elections strategy development, while at the same time emphasising internal communications (through organs such as ANC Today, NEC Bulletin, Umrabulo, various provincial ANC publications and direct communications w ith its mass base). The innovative use of ‘new media’ was particularly evident during the 2009 elections campaign, pioneered by the ANC Youth League and is one of the explanations for the concerted outreach to young and first-time voters.

211. The challenges of the information revolution include the shallow ness that is associated w ith instant and constant new s feeds, short attention spans and the tyranny of the sound bite. For political movements and parties there is also the challenge of leaders w ho are made in the media. In response, organisational programmes (and often policies) also become ‘instant’ and responsive and the media is then used to forw ard agendas within organisations. One of the manifestations of the shadow organisational culture in the A NC of the last couple of years has been the public spats betw een leaders and the use of the media to discredit each other and to fight internal leadership battles in the movement and the Alliance.

212. The engagement on the issues of communications remains an important part of ANC organisational strategy, as recognised by the extensive resolution from the 51st National Conference in 2002 on Communications, w hich also set clear benchmarks. The 52nd National Conference resolutions on Communications and the battles of ideas re-affirmed and extended the policy positions of the previous conference, in the context of the battle of ideas.

213. The ANC also needs to strengthen and develop its capacity to generate relevant content, across different communication mediums and for different target
audiences. This include its research and monitoring capacity, strengthening forums for ideological and policy reflection such as ANC Today and Umrabulo, ensure development of content in African languages and develop w riting, communications and research skills amongst its cadres and leaders. ICT and improving organisational effectiveness and efficiency of the ANC

214. The issue of ICT in the ANC has also arisen in the context of discussions about organisational design and modernising the operations of the movement. We have been too half-hearted and sporadic in the application of ICT especially in the management of organisational processes. Outside the election campaign, we have not been able to develop a coherent engagement w ith the social media networks.

Our internal organisational management systems are at odds w ith the claim that we are a modern organisation that moves w ith the changing times. Why do we say so?

215. Firstly, w e have been experiencing problems w ith the ANC membership system since the re-establishment of the ANC as a legal movement in 1990. Not only is our membership system inefficient (long w aiting periods for membership cards, problems of renew als, etc), but it also poses a serious risk to the ANC, since the system can easily be manipulated. Currently, the process of joining the ANC requires one to manually fill in a form, go to the bank, and physically deliver the form at a regional office (through the branch membership officer) and then waiting months to years for the membership card.

216. Secondly, our internal communications suffer from reliance on 20th century forms of communication. Although the A NC is one of the first organisation to use the internet to conduct its w ork, intermittent connectivity interruptions render this service unreliable – “the server is dow n” too often. The Stellenbosch Conference, reaffirmed by subsequent conferences and councils, called for all ANC regional and branch offices to be connected to the Internet, so as to aid internal communications and improve efficiency.

217. One of the challenges w ith our membership system is exactly this challenge of connectivity at especially regional levels, w here data on the membership from branches are to be captured and membership cards printed. In addition, few ANC branches have offices, and communications betw een upper structures and branches are still very much in the tw entieth century (faxes, branch mail slots in provincial and regional offices which must be collected in person, letters delivered by organisers or REC members, etc).

218. In addition to these tw o key organisational processes and systems, there are a host of other areas, where we have only scratched the surface in terms of using ICT to improve organisational effectiveness. For example, many ANC branches increasingly use mass SMSs to inform members of branch activities, though not yet to remind members about the need to renew their membership; members and the public can donate money to the ANC online, but membership fees can’t be paid online; to name but a few . All these deficiencies and inefficiencies should be addressed so that the ANC becomes the leader and most innovative political formation in the ICT space.

Some principles about building the e-ANC

219. The ANC must continue to combine tried and tested methods of organising such as door-to-door w ork and households visits, w ith the use of ICT to reach out to those social forces whose lifestyle is more attuned to the realities of the information and communication technology revolution, especially the youth and the middle strata. Otherwise, the ANC can lose its relevance as a movement of the future.

220. The concept of e-ANC is therefore part of this process, to build the type of ANC that uses and promotes universal access to ICTs amongst its members and the citizenry, and ensure that its organisational structures at all levels effectively use ICT to improve its core systems (membership, internal communications) as well as its campaigns, programmes and mass communications w ith the electorate, different sectors in society and the w orld. The campaign for equitable access to ICT and the rollout of broadband is an important aspect of the progressive and mass approach.

Proposals on building the ANC’s capacity to harness ICT for transformative politics

221. To build an e-ANC, w e propose that an implementation plan be developed, taking forward and consolidating already existing policy of the movement, but in the framew ork of e-ANC:

222. To promote usage and universal access to ICTs amongst ANC members and the citizenry, the ANC should:

• Advocate for and monitor the achievement of universal access to ICTs, issues of affordability and expansion of broadband, through its organisational structures and government.

• Ensure that its members are encouraged to understand the advantages of ICTs, and that they empow er themselves through the attainment of e-skills.

• Encourage branches to use ICT in communicating w ith individual members, including bulk SMS on branch and regional activities.

• Develop and expand use of social media to engage w ith especially younger members.

223. Improve the ANC membership system, learning from other institutions that also have mass membership systems, including:

• A secure online system for applying for membership, as an option for those who have access.

• Improve security of ANC membership system to make it less open to manipulation, especially tow ards conferences, and consider the use of biometric technology.

• Introduce a membership system that helps to monitor and evaluate the political activism and w ork of members and branches on the ground.

224. Connectivity of branches and regional offices

• One branch, one connected office by 2015 NGC campaign and programme, with an implementation and funding plan to achieve this. In addition, w hilst branch offices may serve many organisational functions, branch level connectivity should not be dependent on a physical office. Already many of our members in almost every branch use their cell phones for personal emailing or w eb browsing. We need to find w ays of using mobile connectivity, without creating problems of e-gatekeepers.

225. Develop other uses of ICT for internal communication and communicating with citizenry:

• Constantly improve and update the A NC and Leagues w ebsites as repositories of information and documents of the broad movement.

• Programme of digitising our recent and not so recent history, and make it available on different platforms (YouTube etc) as part of our propaganda machinery.

• Encourage branches, regions, provinces and Leagues to upload information related to local and sectoral history as part of the Centenary celebrations.

226. Develop e-learning platforms as part of political education

• In addition to Umrabulo, ANC Today and NEC Bulletins, as w ell as various Provincial ANC publications, we must make political education materials
available online, including access to the ANC Core Curriculum to encourage self-study and study circles. The Political education curricula should include a
focus on technology as an organising tool, using freely available services – for example Google Earth to map branch membership.

227. With all these proposals, w e seek to enhance the ANC’s capacity to give leadership to all sectors of society by using the most appropriate and relevant organising techniques for each sector. In this regard, ICT is an enabler, not a substitute for organising and campaigning methods that w ork in specific constituencies. The level of development of each society and the extent of access to connectivity by the masses is the critical factor in determining the use of ICT in politics, society and the economy.

228. As the leader of society, the ANC is called upon to provide exemplary leadership in harnessing the revolutionary potential of ICT in promoting transformative politics.

Questions for discussions

a. How do we ensure that the ANC competently and creatively utilises the power of the ICT revolution to carry out its transformation ideas and popularise its policies?
b. What are the key concerns our members and society have about the social media?
c. How do we ensure access to information and knowledge using ICT?
d. What are key milestones we should ourselves to build an e-ANC?


229. Any organisation needs resources – political, financial, material and human resources - in order to successfully carry out its strategy and mission. Such
resources have to be mobilised and built consciously and deployed in accordance with the principal priorities outlined in the organisation’s strategy and tactics or political line.

230. It is for this reason that from its inception, the ANC discussed the question of mobilisation and deployment of resources to carry out the objectives of Congress.For instance, the 1919 Constitution states that Congress or the Association will:
• “establish a National Fund for purposes of the Association either by means of voluntary contributions, periodical subscriptions, levies, contributions charges or other payments; and to hold and manage all funds raised for the objects of the Association; each territory through its Chief Ruler shall contribute to the funds of the Association a fixed sum. And every district of the Chief w ithin the Province shall contribute through its 50 pounds per annum according to the size and proportion of the district”;

231. The ANC’s approach to mobilisation of financial resources have been two-fold.Firstly, the organisation has alw ays sought to mobilise financial resources from its members as part of an important principle of self-reliance. Members of the organisation are expected to contribute in building its financial resource base. Secondly, as the demands of the struggle increased and new methods of struggle were adopted, the movement sought financial assistance and support from its friends in the continent and in the w orld as part of the important principle of solidarity.

Proposals on Financial sustainability

232. Unless we crack the perennial uncertainty about the ANC’s financial position, the strategic perspective and posture that the A NC is a strategic centre of pow er will remain meaningless. We need to develop new methods of achieving financial sustainability that are transparent, ethical, lawful and predictable. There is great improvement in financial reporting but more measures need to put in place to ensure accountability to the organisational structures.

233. Three interventions are necessary. Firstly, we should expand the scope of public funding for political parties and their institutions, w hich carry out research, education and training w ork. Secondly, w e need broaden the ANC’s investment portfolio through lawful and ethical participation in the economy. Lastly, A NC members need to fund their movement optimally – from each according to ability. In this regard, there may be a need to built dedicated organisational and professional capacity to focus in long term investments in order to secure the movement financially.

234. The NEC Finance Committee should convene a strategy session before the National Policy Conference to discuss a comprehensive plan to mobilise adequate financial resources in order to attain the goal of long term financial sustainability of our movement.
“Ours is not a paper alliance, created at conference tables and formalised through the signing of documents and representing only an agreement of leaders. Our alliance is a living organism that has grown out of the struggle. We have built it out of our separate and common experiences…It has been fertilised by the blood of countless heroes; many of them unnamed and unsung. It has been reinforced by a common determination to destroy the enemy and by our shared belief in the certainty of victory” (Oliver Tambo, 1981)

The state of the Revolutionary Alliance

235. The Alliance betw een the ANC (the national liberation movement), the South African Communist Party (the vanguard party of the w orking class) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (the trade union movement) is a unique feature of the national democratic revolution in our country. Today this alliance the South African National Civic Organisation (the civic movement).

236. This revolutionary alliance is an organic expression of the interconnection between national liberation and class struggle in South Africa. It is not a loose coalition of political forces that can freely and easily w alk aw ay from each other in case of a disagreement. Our organisations share a history and traditions of militant struggles, membership and profound strategic perspectives about the national democratic revolution.

237. In the context of the struggle for freedom, the alliance constituted the core political force within the broad democratic forces, with a common political line, disciplined cadres and activism among an even w ider range of progressive forces opposed to apartheid. The Freedom Charter w as the common minimum programme around which all alliance and the broader democratic forces coalesced.

238. The 1994 democratic breakthrough placed not only the ANC into pow er. The entire revolutionary alliance, the broad democratic movement and indeed the motive forces w ere placed at the helm of state pow er. This new situation created massive opportunities to advance the interests of various sectors and the common interests of the motive forces as a w hole. On the other hand, all formations of the democratic movement w ere called upon to rethink their methods of struggle and adapt their organisational forms to pursue their objectives under new conditions.

239. The central question of how the Revolutionary Alliance relates to the governance process and how state pow er is harnessed to decisively transform society and alter pow er relations in favour of the motive forces has been at the centre of the debates and disagreements over the past eighteen years. It must be born in mind that this is no easy question and there is no historical reference point on the question of how the alliance relates to state pow er. In trying to resolve the above strategic dilemma, two tendencies emerged.

240. On the one hand, there are those in the national liberation movement w ho became irritated by the demand for the alliance to play an important role in the governance and transformation of our country. They insist that the ANC is the strategic centre of pow er and ultimate authority on all governance matters.

241. On the other hand, the leadership of the SACP and COSATU have argued consistently that it is the alliance that should be the “political centre”. In particular, trade unions have continued to express dissatisfaction about the economic trajectory of the democratic state. They call for a greater role for the alliance in setting the policy agenda of the democratic state, including w anting to have a major say in the allocation of the budget.

242. The debate on the strategic centre of power or political centre has helped to bring to the fore the need for the ANC to take its role seriously as the leader of the Revolutionary Alliance, the democratic state and society in general. The A NC can only truly be the strategic centre of pow er if it has capacity to give moral, intellectual and political leadership to the Alliance, the democratic movement, the state and broader society in carrying out the tasks of transformation and socio-economic development. Surely, it should be clear that the Alliance cannot be an observer of the governance and transformation process. Equally, the strategic posture of the ANC should remain that of a governing party and liberation movement which constitute the core of the broad democratic forces and the broader movement for transformation.

243. Accordingly, having been mandated by the overw helming majority of our people to take a leading role in the construction of a national democratic society, the ANC needs to define the parameters of how the Alliance partners get involved in the exercise of state pow er. The central principle is that the ANC is the governing party that must exercise pow er in accordance with rule of law . The ANC-led government operates on the basis of the mandate of the ruling party, which is in a revolutionary alliance w ith the SACP and COSATU. Ours remains a Revolutionary Alliance, not a coalition that must translate into negotiating policy or the allocation of seats. The Alliance should be involved in every aspect of governance through the processes and parameters defined by the ANC as the leader of the Alliance and strategic centre of pow er. Once the Alliance is reduced to a bargaining forum, it w ill lose its transformative potential. Similarly, the Alliance w ill lose its strategic significance if it is reduced into a spectator or w atchdog of the governance process.

244. Polokwane Conference reaffirmed the relevance and role of the Revolutionary

Alliance in the on-going transformation of our society. It called for a joint programme of social transformation; for the Alliance to use its collective strength to continue to search for better ways to respond to the new challenges and to enhance coordination and strengthen organisational capacity of each individual component. This is tantamount to a call for the renew al of the Alliance.

245. The renew al of the ANC w ill give great impetus to the renew al of our alliance and the broad democratic movement. Most structures of the democratic movement continue to relate to the democratic state as if it their principal enemy. In particular, the relationship betw een the trade union movement and the democratic state is fraught with destructive tension and unhealthy contradictions. The public sector trade unions from the ranks of the Congress movement and their cadres of our movement deployed in the state are often locked up skirmishes that undermine our common agenda to serve the people. The approach to public sector bargaining is based on a model that assumes that the employer and employees are locked up in mortal combat in w hich only the fittest survives. These battles have a negative bearing on the pace and content of transformation.

246. We need a fresh approach and new forward on the relationship between the democratic developmental state and the progressive trade union movement. This relationship needs to be more transformative than oppositional.

247. As a living organism, the Alliance needs to locate itself at the centre and build a movement for transformation. It should take up transformative campaigns and programmes that give impetus to the transformation agenda in all areas of life. The campaigns and joint programme should focus on the follow ing national and international issues:

• Transformation of the state and public sector to serve the people;

• Economic transformation to address triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequalities;

• Social transformation to improve the quality of education and training, skills development, public healthcare (NHI), public safety and social security;

• Massive infrastructure development to the national landscape and promote balanced economic development and improve access to education, health, water, sanitation, energy, public transport, road netw orks, communication, etc.;

• Promote integrity and tackle corruption in the conduct of public affairs and business processes;

• Political education and skills development in the context of cadre policy;

• Building a transformative and developmental partnership betw een the progressive public sector unions and the developmental state;

• International solidarity campaigns to support the struggles;

248. At the operational level, the Alliance needs to have tight structures to ensure that the leadership collectives of the Alliance conduct themselves in manner that wins the confidence of our people and avoids a debilitating and destructive public discourse among allies. Alliance political councils should be utilised to deepen policy consensus and joint action, w hile managing healthy contradictions and disagreements. In other w ords, we need new protocols that w ill clarify how Alliance structures navigate the complex issues that often lead to public spats and major public disagreements. We also need to define a healthy relationship between the progressive trade unions and the democratic developmental state, w hich is a source of major tension that hinders our collective ability to serve the people.

Renewal of the mass democratic movement and sectoral work

249. In previous sections of this paper, w e have alluded to the mass line as a critical factor that underpins the ANC’s political line (its strategy and tactics). The mass line is a political approach that proceeds from the standpoint that, properly organised and properly led, the masses are a vital force for change.

250. The transformation of the ANC into a mass-based movement that follow s the mass line laid a basis for its relationship w ith a broad range of social forces and sectors. From the 1940s, the A NC began to appreciate the central important of mass mobilisation as an important pillar of the struggle for freedom.

251. The scale of mass w ork and the mass approach grew in the 1950s during the defiance campaign and in the mobilisation tow ards the Congress of the People where the Freedom Charter w as adopted. The ANC’s Morogoro Conference redirected and refocused the energies and resources of the movement on the mass mobilisation inside the country, after the Rivonia setback and long term imprisonment of the core leadership.

252. Deriving from its character as a mass-based, multi-class movement, the ANC needs to continuously organise various sectors of society around our national programme for transformation. In the pre-1994 era, the A NC w as very successful in carrying out organisational, political and ideological w ork among various sectors. This included initiating the process of establishing and building progressive organisations representing different sectoral interests and ensuring that such interests are aggregated into the common interests of all the oppressed and exploited classes and strata.

253. In the post-1994 period, w e have been more successful in doing sectoral work only at election time. Our election campaign is able to mobilise almost every sector. The experience born out of the election campaign is very instructive. Unless there is a dedicated machinery to interact w ith sectors dynamically and bring the ANC’s policy perspective to bear and provide different sectors with a platform w here they see that they can influence ANC thinking and policy, our movement can lose touch with key sectors of society.

254. Going forw ard, we should set up a dedicated unit in the Organisation and Mass Mobilisation Department to focus on sectoral w ork among w orkers, students, youth, women, artists, intellectuals, musicians, businesspeople, faith-based groups, professionals, etc. We need to undertake a strategic review of the current state and role of all the organisations and formations that w ere part of the mass democratic movement. In fact most MDM formations have been struggling to make a transition from oppositional mobilisation to transformative politics and developmental mobilisation. The ANC should convene a summit to discuss the w ay forward with regard to the role of MDM formations that are finding it difficult to redefine their role in the post-apartheid conditions e.g. COSAS.

255. Our cadre policy and political education programme should have a direct sectoral impact. The leadership collectives of the ANC – national, provincial, regional and branch - should also be deployed to do political w ork among specific sectors, in addition to deployment to branches, regions and provinces. The composition of our leadership structures should also mirror the key sectors of the motive forces.

Questions for discussions

a. What is your assessment of the state of the Alliance?
b. What are the key challenges facing the Alliance national, provincially and locally?
c. What alliance programmes do you have at a local, regional and provincial level?
d. What do you think are the key challenges in the alliance at a regional, provincial and national level?
e. What sectoral campaigns and programmes can we embark on with the formations of the broad democratic movement and progressive civil society organisations?
f. What specific interventions do we need to take to strengthen SANCO, SASCO and COSAS and redefine their role in the current phase of the NDR?

Ruling parties and state power

256. Since 1994, state pow er has been a critical new pillar of the national democratic revolution. Over many decades, the ANC has understood the central importance of the state in the transformation of society. The state can only play transformative and developmental role w hen it is, in itself, transformed. Thus, over the eighteen years, the ANC has paid attention to the task of state transformation and has gained experience as a governing party that seeks to w ield state pow er to change society.

257. Governing parties have a huge influence in national and global affairs, depending on their political and ideological orientation. They shape the political agenda and discourse in society, build state institutions, influence and drive economic development, steer and monitor the bureaucracy, control the distribution of public resources, and supervise the activities of public corporations.

258. The capacity of the governing party to use access to state power to carry its vision and policies is not given. It has to be built and developed in practice, through a governing experience. In particular, progressive governing parties face major challenges w hen it comes to changing pow er relations and redistributing public resources in order to meet the needs of society.

The ANC’s strategic policy agenda

259. In South African context, the strategic objective of the national liberation movement is to build a national democratic society based on the vision of the FreedomCharter. This entails the restoration of the birthright of all South Africans regarding access to land and other resources; a dignified and improving quality of life among all the people and a united democratic state based on the w ill of all the people, regardless of race, sex, belief, language, ethnicity or geographic location. Central to this objective is the liberation of Africans in particular and Black people in general from social and economic bondage. The liberation movement seeks to transform the state into a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and developmental one and utilize state power effectively in pursuit of its national transformation agenda. It seeks to influence and intervene in the course of economic development and steer and supervise public entities to ensure a thriving and inclusive mixed economy that reflects the country’s natural endow ments and the creativity of its population.

260. The liberation movement furthermore seeks to ensure a public sector that plays a developmental role in the manner and the effectiveness with which it promotes development, delivers services and work w ith communities and different sectors in society. It seeks to use public resources in a manner that is redistributive, responsible and contributes towards a more equitable society, a grow ing economy, development of human resources and a social w age and floor.

261. The Alliance discussion document State, Property Relations and Social Transformation (1998) thus cautioned: “unlike the apartheid state, the NLM [National Liberation Movement] cannot rely for its political sustenance on patronage and a callous disregard of public resources and the needs of the poor. The democratic state should in principle handle public resources w ith respect and a sense of responsibility. This includes ensuring that public resources allocated for specific purposes actually reach the intended beneficiaries.”

Building a democratic developmental state

262. As a disciplined force of the left, ‘organised to conduct persistent struggle in pursuit of a caring society in w hich the w ell-being of the poor receives focused and consistent attention’, the ANC seeks to construct a state that plays an activist role in the building of a national democratic society. Such as a state is driven by the interests and w ell-being of the masses of our people. The democratic developmental state puts the interests of the people above all else. The democratic developmental state pursues a people-driven and people-centred approach to development and transformation in w hich the masses are active agents for change and their own liberators. The mass line also prevails on the operations of this type of state, depending on how transformed the state machinery is.

263. It is in this context that the ANC’s conceptualisation of the role of the state is in contrast w ith the neo-liberal state and the w elfare state. The neo-liberal protects the market forces above all else, w hile the w elfare state reduces the masses to dependents and recipients of ‘service delivery’.

264. The 2007 Strategy and Tactics defines the developmental state as follows:

• Its strategic orientation is premised on a people-centred and driven change, and sustained development based on high grow th rates, transformation of the
economy and socio-economic inclusion.

• It should have the capacity to lead in defining a common national agenda and mobilising all of society to take part in its implementation.

• It should also have the capacity to intervene in the economy in the interest of higher rates of growth and sustainable development.

• It should be organised to ensure that its structures, systems and orientation can effect sustainable programmes that address the challenges of unemployment, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.

• It should have the technical capacity to translate broad objectives into programmes and projects and ensure their implementation, thus the need for a skilled and developmental public service, and ongoing transformation and capacity of all state institutions tow ards the national vision of the Constitution.

265. The Draft National Development Plan (Vision 2030) raises serious concerns about the capacity of the state and the capabilities of the public sector to play the developmental role required over the next two decades. Amongst the reasons it listed are the political and administrative interface, political instability, corruption and lack of technical capabilities in the public sector.

266. How should the ANC as the ruling party at national level and in provincial level respond to these challenges? Are the processes and structures w e have evolved over the last eighteen years adequate to enable us to effectively build a democratic developmental state that can take South Africa to a new level during the next two to three decades?

The relationship between the ANC and the democratic state

267. Over successive elections, the ANC has been given the decisive electoral mandate by the overw helming majority of our people to lead the process of fundamental transformation. We must take full responsibility for the progress and lack thereof and act as the strategic centre of pow er as articulated in our Strategy and Tactics (2007) and Chapter 5 of this discussion document.

268. In this regard, our responsibilities and tasks entail the follow ing:

• Winning support for its policies, and ensure the translation of our policies into effective and legitimate public policies.

• Recruit, develop, train and deploy cadres as public representatives, in the executives (cabinets) and institutions of state, ensuring that w homsoever it deployed are conscious, conscientious and competent and are held accountable for the responsibilities entrusted to them;

• Engage w ith programmes of the state, and mobilise, engage and involve the people, the motive forces and society around the transformation programmes
at all levels and in all sectors.

• Monitor and evaluate programmes of the state against national objectives, their responsiveness to the needs of people and against the overall national vision and new challenges that emerge.

• Continually push for greater space for progressive policies to improve people’s quality of life and tow ards shared prosperity through ideological work, mass mobilisation, policy development and the leader of society.

269. The 1994 Bloemfontein Conference noted that the ANC has to make a transition from a movement that led resistance to a movement that leads transformation in order to effectively fulfil these tasks. It stressed in the 1994 Strategy and Tactics that:

“The ANC should ensure that the movement is not split into various sections – extra-parliamentary, parliamentary and executive or alternatively national,
provincial and local – but exercises its leadership function as one united movement acting together in pursuit of common goals regardless of where its
members are deployed.”

270. Thus subsequent Conferences, beginning w ith Mafikeng in 1997 through to Polokwane in 2007 raised major concerns about the internal capacities and
capabilities of the ANC to effectively lead the state and w ield state pow er to advance the cause of the revolution.

271. After almost tw o decades in pow er, we have gained significant experience about how to manage the state. We do need to collate this experience into organisational and institutional memory and utilize it to govern better and more effectively. The ANC constitutional structures and structures of governance

272. The ANC constitutional structures should provide strategic leadership w ithout undermining the integrity of state structures. In its approach to the state it should confirm and enhance the ANC tradition of collective leadership. The 2000 NGC recognised that making an impact on the lives of our people also requires an integrated programme of action betw een the ANC’s organisational structures and government, as w ell as dynamic coordination among these centres.

273. Thus ANC constitutional structures monitor and evaluate the implementation of this programme, as explained in the 2000 Organisational Report to the NGC, in the context of ‘one centre’: At a national level the NEC regularly discusses the work of government, while the NEC committees focus on the different cluster and line functions with varying degrees of success. Most provinces annually have lekgotla’s to determine governance priorities for the year and have established PEC committees around clusters and line functions These... are all measures aimed at improving co-ordination between constitutional structures and structures of governance.”

274. There is a need to ensure discipline and consistency in the implementation of the governing party’s vision, policies and programmes regardless of changes in the deployees. We should ensure that cadres deployed in government focus on implementing the governing party’s agenda, not jettison programmes that have been successful in favour personal legacies or pet projects. This not only contributes to instability w ithin the Public service, but also makes for discontinuities in our programmes of transformation. Change of political leadership should not necessarily lead to new programmes and new policies, unless a case has been made to the ANC w hy certain policies and programmes are inappropriate and should be changed. Given the eighteen years of governing experience, w e need to manage political pow er more w isely and prepare better form one term to another.

Deployment of Cadres

275. As outlined in Chapter 6, cadre deployment is an important aspect of cadre policy. Without a coherence cadre policy, deployment w ill not achieve its intended objectives. The selection of ANC candidates for parliament, the provincial legislatures and local councils suffers from the same profound w eakness.

276. Since 1994, the list guidelines have stressed the ‘movement character’ of the ANC, calling on structures to ensure that the lists comply w ith the ANC policies and principles. The movement has done more than any other party to ensure that its collectives of public representatives which reflect geographic spread, gender balance, non-racialism, continuity, injection of new generations and broad representation of the different sectors of the motive forces and the Alliance.

277. During the list process in 1994, provincial ANC structures had the prerogative to decide on their premier candidates. This w as changed at Mafikeng Conference in 1997 to grant the President of the ANC the authority. Polokw ane Conference placed the leadership collective of the movement at the centre of deployment and redeployment processes. The NEC, PECs and RECs have an important role in the deployment of premiers and mayors. In addition, the A NC leadership collectives (officials) make an input on the deployment and redeployment of members of cabinet, executive councils and mayoral committees. What remains a challenge is that the process is yet to reach a point w here the best cadres who combine integrity with competence are deployed.

278. The main challenge regarding our candidate selection and deployment processes is that they institutionalise w hat has been defined as “phumasingene”, which is the removal of a large number of experienced cadres and their replacement with new comrades w ho still have to learn the robes of governance. We have a dangerous situation in w hich more 60% of public representatives are new in every term. In other w ords, the ANC is unable to retain and preserve a large contingent of experienced and skilled cadres w ho will help to fast track the transformation agenda. Very often, w e have allow ed a situation in w hich most serving public representatives are replaced w ith new ones, w ithout skills, w ho still have to learn the robes of governance. This is one of the reasons w hy w e start every new term of government as if we are a new party in pow er. We need to arrest this negative tendency by building proper institutional memory in the movement and government by retaining cadres who have excelled. This is largely due to the absence of a coherent cadre policy.

279. A third area of deployment, w hich is more contested, is the deployment of ANC members and supporters to other state institutions, including the public service. During the first term of office, the deployment of ANC cadres to the senior echelons of the state, though contested, was seen as a given. There was no way we could entrust the inherited apartheid state machinery w ith the implementation of our popular electoral mandate.

280. Accordingly, The Mafikeng Conference resolved on the need for a deployment strategy and structures in order to direct and coordinate the deployment of ANC cadres in all key sites of struggle and centres of pow er and influence. To carry out this process in an effective manner that seeks to ensure the appointment of capableand conscious cadres, deployment committees w ere appointed at all levels. The deployment committees have never functioned properly since 1997. The 2002 Organisational report to the Stellenbosch conference highlighted some of the challenges that arose in the deployment process, including questions about the integrity of the deployment committees in the context of internal tensions and factionalism, fuelled by perceptions of ‘jobs for pals’ and confusion between employment and deployment.

281. The Organisational report to the ANC 3rd National General Council in 2010 again raised further problematic issues. These included ‘mistakes committed by our structures in deploying cadres w ho do not even meet the basic requirements for the posts they are deployed in’, raising the need to be more rigorous in ensuring that deployment is based on both political integrity and professional competence. Our opponents criticize the ANC’s “cadre deployment policy” as the source of poor government performance. In fact it is the absence of a coherent and vigorous implementation of the ANC’s real cadre policy that undermines the movement’s performance in government, across all spheres, pillars and institutions.

The role of ANC Caucuses

282. The ANC Constitution and resolutions provide for compulsory participation by all ANC public representatives, including those in the Executives; caucuses function under the overall political direction of ANC constitutional structures; they are responsible for ensuring that all legislation and policies conforms to ANC policies and transformation objectives; participate in the ANC policy development through study groups and constitutional subcommittees. Polokw ane Conference (2007) further emphasized that caucuses also have to play an oversight role of the Executive.

283. Have our caucuses play these roles effectively, what are their strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities to strengthen these roles?
Policy development, monitoring, coordination and evaluation capacity

284. Mafikeng in 1997 noted the shift of gravity since 1994 as regards policy development to government and adopted resolutions to address this situation.

285. This and subsequent conferences adopted resolutions and approaches to continually enhance the depth and extent of ANC capacity to sustain an on-going cycle of policy development, coordination, monitoring and evaluation through policy subcommittees, study groups and departments at all levels, the establishment of a Policy Think tank and the creation of departments of monitoring and evaluation in the ANC.

Translating ANC policies into effective public policy

286. The effectiveness of any ruling party is judged by its ability to ensure that its policy positions are translated into effective public policy. The ANC approach since 1994 has been that it adopts Strategy and tactics documents as its political programme and detailed policy positions at its National conferences, and that these are translated into Elections manifestos that become the basis of our campaign and the mandate of the ANC deployees in government, once it becomes the ruling party.

287. In addition to the Manifesto, ANC policy committees at all levels engage with ongoing policy formulation, development and implementation during the five-year term of government. The committees report to the constitutional structures on progress and new issues that may arise. Study groups in legislatures and caucuses are supposed to participate in these policy committees, to ensure that caucuses can play the role of monitoring and oversight.

288. How ever, the research capacity of parliament, as w ell as of the ANC HQ remains weak. The link betw een the ANC and progressive think tanks is much w eaker than during the anti-apartheid struggle w hen we had a very dynamic relationship with progressive academics and policy institutes. This means that our movement relies heavily on w ork done by government researchers and consultants in generating policy. It is in this context serious attention should be given to the proposals about building strategic capacity by setting up proper governance, research and monitoring and evaluation.

The separation of party and state

289. The A NC has learnt from the experiences of other liberation movements and progressive parties about the need to keep the governing party’s organisational machinery vibrant and separate from the state. The danger of losing touch with the masses and getting subsumed in the state looms large for any ruling party. The ANC should build its ow n independent organisational machinery and institutional capabilities so that it can continue to survive even w hen it is not in pow er. To become too dependent on the current position in pow er is a danger w e should avoid. Other governing parties disappeared completely form society the day after they lost pow er. The ANC’s revolutionary tradition call for a movement that exist among the people, not just at state house.

290. At the same time, w e need utilize our government effectively, intelligently and artfully to promote our ideals and bring about real progress and shared prosperity among the masses. All our cadres deployed in various state institutions should be driven by the desire to show that our movement has the capacity to deliver on its policies and vision. Political parties contest and w in elections in order to carry out specific programmes or political agendas put before the electorate. Our cadres shouldn’t be ashamed to use government to push forw ard the ANC’s transformation agenda.

291. Going to 2014, w e need to reflect comprehensively about our governance experience and institutionalise the know ledge and skills gained by our cadres over the past eighteen years. 

292. As a Centenary Conference, Mangaung Conference should be a w atershed that defines the strategic posture, political line and organisational tasks of the movement over the next tw o decades. It is in this regard that w e propose that conference should adopt medium-term or decade-long programme of action w ith clear targets on political, social, economic and organisational priorities.

293. The programme of action should cover the follow ing ten priorities:

a. Building the ANC’s capability to act truly as the strategic centre of power organised along and effective in all the pillars of transformation. Central to this is the need to structure the core organisation around the pillars of the NDR and ensure w e build capacity to carry out fundamental transformation in each pillar.

b. Building the ANC’s capacity to act truly as a vanguard movement for transformation capable of leading a w ide range of progressive social movements in transformative struggles to change the legacy of apartheid colonialism and overcome the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities. The renew al of the Alliance and mass democratic movement, the revitalization of the grassroots structures of the ANC movement and their re-organisation to focus on solving the problems of the people as w ell as the activation of the masses to take an active role in development and governance processes is central to the return to transformative politics.

c. Fast-tracking the implementation of a coherent cadre policy: The ANC w ill take urgent steps to institutionalize political education by setting up a comprehensive political school system at all levels of the organisation in the next five years. The political education, general education, academic training and skills development of the membership and leadership of the movement w ill receive priority attention over the next decade. This includes a deliberate and extensive leadership programme at all levels of the democratic movement as part of giving effect to the call made in the 2000 NGC for a “New Cadre”.

d. Taking our programme of economic transformation to new heights by fast tracking large-scale infrastructure development and enhancing the capacity of the
state to intervene in key sectors of the economy in pursuit of higher grow th rates, employment creation and broad-based empow erment. For renew al to have a far reaching transformative impact, it has to propel the process of eradicating unemployment, poverty and inequalities in our society by dealing w ith structural manifestations of colonialism of a special type.

e. Taking urgent and practical steps to build the capacity of the democratic state so that it can act truly as a developmental state that has capacity to drive and
implement our transformation agenda. Ensure that all spheres of government have the human resource capabilities and financial resources to contribute and implement the development and transformation priorities that w ill emerge from the final national development plan. Ensure that all state institutions massively train and deploy cadres in accordance with our national development priorities.

f. Urgent and practical steps to restore the core values, stem out factionalism and promote political discipline: As w e mark the centenary, w e are determined to enhance the ANC moral standing and image among the masses of our people. In this regard, w e shall combine political education w ith effective organisational measures and mechanism to promote integrity, political discipline and ethical conduct and defeat the demon of factionalism in the ranks of the ANC, Alliance and broad mass democratic movement.

g. Urgent and practical steps to place education and skills development at the centre of our transformation and development agenda: The ANC shall lead by example in championing the centrality of education and skills development in this phase of the revolution. In this regard, all ANC members and leaders are called upon to take practical steps to improve their literacy rate, skills and levels of education. Every branch shall strive, through the education campaign, to improve the literacy rate and general level of education and skills among the people in the ward. Every ANC member should be involved in a project or programme to improve the quality of learning and teaching in all schools and raise the level of education, skills and literacy rate in a specific community. In 2012, each branch should begin the literacy campaign by focusing on eliminating illiteracy among the members and leaders of the ANC in each community.

h. Urgent and practical steps to deepen our contribution to the renewal of the African continent and the progressive forces in the world: The ANC w ill continue
to strengthen its relations w ith sister parties in Southern Africa, and contribute tow ards strengthening the progressive forces and multilateral institutions on the
continent. As an internationalist movement, w e shall continue to w ork with other progressive forces in the world, towards a more just global social, political and economic order. As a disciplined force of the left, the ANC shall continue to influence and be influenced by the latest progressive ideas and policy about how best to improve the human condition and ensure the sustainability of the environment.

i. Urgent and practical steps to professionalise and modernise the operations of the ANC: As we mark the centenary, w e are fully aw are that the w orld in w hich the ANC w as born hundred years ago is very different from that of today. We shall take full advantage of the advances in the information and communication technology and management sciences to continue to put in place a better membership system, communicate effectively with its membership, core constituency and society in general and put out its views and policy perspectives without let or hindrance. Progressive modern management methods should be introduced in the running of the ANC.

j. Urgent and practical tasks to do work amongst the new generations of young people, in all of different sectors and social strata: the ANC cannot leave the political and ideological task of w inning new generations of youth over and nurturing them into role models.

Questions for discussions

a. What should be the main national priorities of the organisational and governance programme for the next decade?

b. How do we improve our capacity to implement the resolutions of our national conference?


294. A critical component of organisational renew al focuses on the important question of waging a struggle against our own weaknesses: “One form of struggle which we consider to be fundamental…is the struggle against our own weaknesses” (Amilcar Cabral, Weapon of Theory, 1966).

295. As individuals and collectives, w e are called upon to struggle relentlessly against our ow n w eaknesses in order to improve our capacity and ability to serve our people better. We have to build our movement of the future, the kind of ANC that is a potent force for transformation and the strategic centre of pow er, w ith adequate foresight to anticipate long term trends and adapt to seismic shifts that are likely to emerge over the next hundred years.

296. We are called upon to build a resilient and transformative movement that w ould not be dependent on state pow er for support among the masses. We should build the kind of ANC that w ill live for many decades to come, w ithout depending on state power and public office.

297. We are confident of our movement’s ability to adapt to new conditions and overcome setbacks that are encountered along the w ay. As long as the ANC remains loyal to the masses of our people, maintains dynamic contact with them and follow the mass line, it shall remain their source of hope and inspiration. We are called upon to take drastic decisions to deepen our movement’s connection with the masses by re-organising its structures to focus principally on the concerns and aspirations of the people.

298. The A NC has played a major role in shaping the history of South Africa over the past hundred years. Most importantly, the ANC has to be a movement and party of the future. It is to posterity that w e dedicate the struggle for renew al, the struggle against our ow n weaknesses. We are called upon to use lessons from our history to face the challenges of the present and uncertainties of the future w ith foresight and wisdom.

299. As we set our eyes on the task of building the ANC into the movement for transformation and strategic centre of power capable of realising the national democratic society, we are confident of victory. No internal challenges can stop us from attending to the primary concerns and problems affecting the vast majority of our people – unemployment, poverty and inequalities.

300. We shall overcome!
 10th APRIL 2012


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