ANC Youth League looks to resurrect itself
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Durban - The newly appointed ANC Youth League’s National Task Team says the absence of a Youth League structure was detrimental and had resulted in young people losing the opportunity to have a voice in the decision-making processes of the party.
The team was introduced to the media by Secretary-General Ace Magashule during a media briefing at the party’s headquarters in Gauteng on Thursday.
Led by Nonceba Mhlauli as convener and Joy Maimela as co-ordinator, the new interim team committed itself to reviving the youth league and to avoid making the mistakes that those before them made.
“We want to make sure that the ANCYL does not become a pocket knife for ambitions within the ANC and factional battles within the ANC. What we have been fighting for as young people is that the affairs of the youth league must be handled by members of the ANCYL.
“We are very happy that the ANC NEC has finally agreed that young people in the ANC have a right to self determination by being the people who built their own organisation, not just for themselves but for the ANC and South Africa as well,” Mhlauli said on Thursday.
The youth league has been out of action for a few years after the ANCYL NEC was disbanded in 2019. A task team was subsequently appointed to oversee the running of the youth league and convene an elective congress as a matter of urgency. The league failed to go to conference after the term of youth league president Collen Maine ended and the elective congress was pushed to this year.
Mhlauli, who was part of a break-away wing called the “crisis committee" grouping, said they were determined to rebuild the party’s youth structure and hold a “credible” elective conference this year.
The team is to meet this weekend to assess the state of the organisation and decide if it needs to redirect and reposition its narrative.
“We will be looking at how do we set the agenda, not only for the youth league, but for the ANC and the country. How do we champion the interests of young people through our policies that will ultimately serve young people in South Africa?” Mhlauli said.
She said the team would also call on the input of past leaders of the youth league, “because we are not saying that we have all the answers but we are committed to rebuilding” and they needed to draw from the lessons experienced by those who went down this road before.
Maimela said they were determined to remain transparent throughout the process due to the severe need of having an untroubled elective conference.
“We need to have an elected leadership. And because of that, we are going to ensure there are no serious tensions, no serious conflicts, and ensure we are transparent in the process. When we agree on a roadmap, we will ensure that all structures know and the decisions are communicated so that the process is transparent, and that every young person, especially in the ANCYL can own the process,” Maimela said.
Magashule enforced the party’s commitment in the ANCYL NYTT saying that where the ANC needed to be renewed, it should be done so with the hope of uniting its structures.