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The ANC’s most powerful province, KwaZulu-Natal, wants the party to officially bar members from singing songs – or wearing any party paraphernalia – which celebrates any living member of the organisation, except for its sitting president.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC structures want those guilty of this – including those wearing paraphernalia or singing songs denigrating other members – to be subjected to the party’s disciplinary processes. But the party said that should this proposal be adopted, members would have to be educated and would not be hauled over the coals before any engagement.
This radical proposal was adopted at the party’s provincial policy workshop and would be one of the proposals that the province would be taking to the national policy conference at Gallagher Estate in Joburg next week.
Sihle Zikalala, the secretary of the ANC in KZN, said that this proposal was a reaffirmation of a decision by the party’s national executive committee that only its president was regarded as the face of the party.
“There is one face of the ANC, that is the president, and there is one president in the ANC,” Zikalala said before adding that he was not campaigning for anyone.
This resolution by KZN is seen as the province’s attempt to put a lid on campaigns against president Jacob Zuma whose leadership of the party is expected to be challenged at the party’s national conference at Mangaung in December.
In March this year a group of ANC Youth League members in Limpopo were seen wearing T-shirts bearing the face of ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe – part of a campaign to unseat Zuma at the Mangaung conference.
At the rally Motlanthe warned these members against wearing T-shirts with his face emblazoned on them.
In another move which could come as a blow to Zuma’s critics – especially the youth league – KZN, which is backing Zuma’s re-election bid, also rejected the wholesale nationalisation of mines, saying not only would “classic nationalisation” be unconstitutional but it would also be too costly to the state.
The 500-strong KZN contingent of delegates agreed that if the state were to nationalise mines, it would have to compensate owners and that would cost the state a projected amount of more than R1 trillion, thus presenting the country’s economy with a “massive calamity”.
The province resolved that state intervention in the mining sector should be limited to taxation, royalties, ownership of strategic assets solely or in partnership with the private sector and equity ownership to certain companies.
This is a departure from the position of some ANC structures – including the ANC Youth League – and Cosatu affiliates like Numsa which have been calling for the nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation.
The ANC in KZN said that whereas the past two decades were about the attainment of political freedom, the next phase, particularly the first decade of the second century of the ANC, should be about the second transition – the attainment of all the ideas of the Freedom Charter, including economic transformation.
Delegates called on the government to convene a national convention on economic transformation.
The ANC’s disciplinary processes also featured strongly at the workshop – with delegates resolving that no member of the ANC’s national executive committee should represent any member being hauled before a disciplinary committee.
They also resolved that no lawyers should represent members of the ANC appearing before any of its disciplinary committees.
Zikalala said delegates had felt that involving lawyers in the process led to delays, while it could also mean that those members who could not afford such a service might be prejudiced.
Asked if the proposals around the disciplinary processes had been informed by recent cases involving former leaders of the youth league, including Julius Malema, Zikalala conceded that was the case, saying the organisation had been shaped by its experiences, including that one.
The province also proposed that the number of provinces be reduced, saying that the demarcation of the provinces still reflected the country’s divided past with many of the provinces being demarcated along tribal lines.
While the province would be sending the largest delegation of 509 members to the conference which would be attended by a total of 3 554 delegates, it would still need the backing of other provinces and party structures before these policies were adopted.
Zikalala urged all 509 delegates to make themselves available for the national policy conference, saying there should be no apologies.
He said KZN was determined to ensure that the party’s conferences this year were dignified.