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ANC policy brainstorm this week

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Independent Newspapers

Photo: Phill Magakoe

The ANC's most important policy brainstorm - held every five years - is set to get underway in Midrand on Tuesday.

At the event, no fewer than 13 policy documents will be discussed over four days, ahead of the African National Congress's national conference in December.

About 3554 delegates will attend the policy conference.

They will review the ANC's policies, the progress it has made in reaching its strategic objectives, and the state of the organisation.

The policy conference at Gallagher Estate is being held in the ANC's centenary year, and after almost 19 years in power.

On the release of the policy documents in March, Jeff Radebe, head of the ANC national executive committee policy subcommittee, said: “The ANC‘s policy conference in June will take place within a paradigm shift in the approach of the ANC towards the economic development of our country.”

In his January 8 statement, ANC president Jacob Zuma said:

“Political emancipation without economic transformation is meaningless, that is why we have to commit ourselves to economic freedom in our lifetime.”

This thinking is developed in a key document up for discussion:

“The Second Transition: Building a national democratic society and the balance of forces in 2012”.

Also known as the strategy and tactics paper, it suggests that the ANC has concluded its first transition into democracy, which focused mainly on political emancipation.

The party should now enter its second transition, focusing on the social and economic transformation of South Africa over the next 30 to 50 years.

“Our first transition embodied a framework and a national consensus that may have been appropriate for political emancipation, a political transition, but has proven inadequate and inappropriate for our social and economic transformation phase,” Radebe said at the launch.

The document also proposes that the ANC undergo a 10-year programme of organisational renewal “that consolidates and expands the character and values of the ANC as a revolutionary people’s movement whilst building its capabilities and its capacity for innovation and renewal”.

The other documents outline policy proposals for social transformation, state intervention in the minerals sector, economic transformation and gender.

Also on the agenda are papers on peace and stability, education and health, communications, legislature and governance, international relations and land reform.

Radebe said there would be “no holy cows” when it came to discussing the policies.

The ANC's constitution requires that a policy conference be held at least six months before its national conference, to review ANC policies and recommend amendments or new policies.

The policy decisions made at the policy conference will then be discussed and finalised at the 53rd ANC national conference in Mangaung, Free State, in December.

These policies would form the basis for the ANC government's policies, new laws or amended laws. - Sapa


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