With KwaZulu-Natal Province identified by the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress as the host for the launch of ANC Election Manifesto we are humbled by the excitement from all corners of the province and the country as a whole.
Each day ANC members and ordinary members of society are demonstrating their deep love for the ANC. At the same time, they are pointing out challenges facing the country.
But most importantly, they are saying they expect nothing from the ANC leaders other than solutions to socio-economic challenges. As the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, we offer not to disappoint ANC members and ordinary members of society.
We discussed these matters in our first meeting of the Provincial Executive Committee for 2024. This is a very important year. Not only because we are approaching the general elections but because as a nation we are also celebrating 30 years of our freedom and democracy.
This major milestone means that each day of the week we need to draw inspiration from all progressive forces who brought about this freedom and democracy.
They worked in concert to achieve one goal – of liberating the people of this country from the yoke of oppression.
By and large, our work over the past years as this leadership has been the continuation of efforts to realize the vision of men and women who dreamed of a prosperous country.
As the current generation of leaders, our responsibility is to turn the political freedom at our disposal into an economic freedom for the majority.
We remain convinced that our revolutionary task is to use state resources for the benefit of a mother in Mpendle – a father in Umthwalume – a pupil in Umlazi – a grandfather in Nongoma and a grandmother in Ngwelezane.
As we countdown to the 24 th February 2024, we regard President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to this province as retracing of the footsteps of our first president of free and democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Madiba voted for the first time here in 1994.
Since April 27, 1994, a lot has changed in KZN and the country as a whole. As we wait for the election day, we wish to state that the future of our democracy is safe in the hands of the ANC-led Alliance.
The alliance is getting stronger each day here in KZN.
The office of the provincial secretary has ensured the successfully co-ordination of meetings of alliance partners. In KZN we now have an alliance that is vibrant and seized with matters of service delivery. This is progress worth celebrating and mentioning.
As alliance partners we decided to embark on the Provincial Alliance Community Outreach Programme. Towards the end of 2023, we agreed that alliance partners must be part of the ongoing assessment of the performance of the government which they assisted in terms of ensuring that it is put in place to service the voters.
We have recognised the important role of alliance partners towards the attainment of the following outcomes:-
- A crime-free KwaZulu-Natal where all communities feel safe.
- Adequate access to water, electricity and other basic services.
- Decent houses for all.
- Welfare for vulnerable groups and improved standard of living.
- Food security for all.
- Response and efficient and effective local government.
- Improved education and skilled population.
- Responsive leadership.
- Healthy communities through sports and recreation.
- Thriving rural and township economies.
- Increased support for small businesses in the informal sector.
- Access to economic opportunities and job creation.
- Adequate transport infrastructure – rural and urban.
- Protection and promotion of our culture and heritage
As alliance partners, we have agreed to hold accountable all leaders deployed by the ANC into different structures within the state.
Our view is that the responsibility to ensure the ANC-led government delivers, lies in the hands of the alliance partners more than it does with opposition.
Moving forward, we should be focused on the basic services that improves the lives of ordinary people. This is what people go out to cast their votes for.
These services will bridge the gap between rich and poor, urban and rural, breaking barriers of prejudices and historical disadvantages and integrate society in the medium term.
It should therefore be expected that the leadership and members of the South African Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Union and South African National Civics Organisation would attend the Manifesto Rally in large numbers.
Dubbed Mayihlome Rally, the event will give us the opportunity to invoke the memory of our leader - Moses Mabhida. He remains the bond that has ensured the unity of the alliance over the years.
As we approach the elections, we are reigniting the hope and correctness of our peoples belief in ANC as an instrument to ensure the transformation of their lives.
We affirm our commitment to making the ANC a tool for the creation of the national democratic society. This is a society where all the basic needs have been met and the legacy of apartheid have been eradicated to usher in a more equal society.
We are also emphasising that the attainment of an equal society will entail hard work and most of all, discipline. We salute all cadres of the ANC across all levels for their discipline and revolutionary commitment expressed over the past few days through Cadres Forums.
The hallmark of the past few days of cadres forums has been the discipline. Cadres of the movement have displayed a high level of discipline and commitment to the ANC. For this, we salute all comrades.
Discipline is the preparedness of ANC cadres to subject themselves to the ideal of the greater good for all as opposed to personal immediate gratification.
For ANC members this means respecting the ANC and the ANC‘s constitution and be subjected to its policies and decisions. In addition, this means subjecting oneself to the ANC being larger than individual interest.
Discipline means respecting all members and giving others space to perform as assigned by the movement. Discipline means taking instructions from a legitimate structure and performing as expected and thereafter finding space to raise objections internally.
This is what we are witnessing.
Undoubtedly, the past few days have rejuvenated the ANC. We salute all comrades, some who were inactive, for coming back to strengthen the ANC.
As we move forward, we will focus on all the young people - children of a free South Africa who were born when Madiba was president. They must come in, grow in the ANC and inherit their movement.
KwaZulu-Natal is called upon to ensure the victory of the ANC. The strength of the ANC is its people. It is for these reasons we recognise the role of business to grow our economy. We recognise the role of organised labour in protecting and promoting the productivity of our labour force.
We recognise the role of civil society organisations, as people willing to do it for themselves and not just waiting for the government to deliver.
We recognise the role of institutions or organisations representing specific interest groups, such as women, children, youth, and people with disabilities.
We invite each and every one of you to be part of another journey of building a stronger KwaZulu-Natal socially, politically and economically.
Siboniso Duma is the KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson.