ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul speaking during the Northern Cape provincial lekgotla. Picture: Danie van der Lith
Kimberley - ANC provincial chairperson Dr Zamani Saul advocated for the expropriation of land without compensation at the party’s provincial lekgotla that was held on Monday.

Saul indicated that the constitution allowed for the expropriation of land, with conditions.

“Land was taken from the original people of this country. This requires urgent redress through the expropriation of land without compensation. The ANC should test the clauses of these conditions.”

The redistribution of land was given momentum during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent State of the Nation address, when he indicated that land that was “stolen under colonial rule and apartheid” should be returned to black South Africans.

Ramaphosa had committed to undertake a process of consultation on how this should be implemented.

Saul added on Monday that capacity would be strengthened through a state-owned pharmaceutical company as well as a state-owned bank in order to implement the “radical decisions” of the party.

He also stated that they would begin oiling their election machinery as from next month.

“2019 will be a difficult election year. We will begin laying the basis for a successful campaign in March when election structures will be set up. In August we will hold our provincial list conference. Next month we will go about getting voters to register themselves and provide their addresses on the voters roll,” said Saul.

“Disunity, a lack of integrity and corruption within the party are critical issues that dissuaded 2.8 million voters from voting for the ANC. If we do not restore the integrity of the party and regain the trust of our voters, people will continue to see reasons why not to vote for the ANC.”

He stated that the Namaqua region, which was dissolved by the ANC Provincial Executive Committee, was the only region that needed to go to conference at the end of April.

The ANC provincial lekgotla took place on Monday at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Saul added that it was important to restore the credibility of state-owned institutions.

“I was advised that corruption had become so prevalent that every mayor, MEC and premier had their own Guptas. We have agreed to commit ourselves in the fight against corruption and state capture, which have reversed the gains made in transforming South Africa.”

He advised party members that no one was entitled to positions in government or the legislature.

“Not a single one of us is entitled to be here. It is a singular privilege bestowed on an individual. We deploy comrades to positions of responsibility to strengthen cabinet and improve the lives of our people to bring about change. Our people vote for the ANC and not for individuals.”

Saul believes that former President Jacob Zuma failed because he made himself immune to constructive criticism.

“Zuma never surrounded himself with critical cadres. All of us get tempted once we get into positions of power, we tend to surround ourselves with yes men and yes women. We adore being hero worshipped.”

Saul also emphasised the need to create decent jobs in order to address the high unemployment rate of 29 percent.

“The Province has the highest unemployment rate in the country, where 60 to 70 percent of our young people are unemployed. It is a pandemic that should concern all of us.

“If young people do not work, it should be by choice.

“We need to come up with radical programmes to create job opportunities. We cannot be moving in and out of lekgotla’s without any tangible outcomes. We need an economic recovery plan to make sure that we boost the economy of the Northern Cape.”

Saul voiced concern that public service expenditure constituted the greatest contributor to the economy.

“This is a big problem if the economy of Kimberley, as capital city, squarely depends on government expenditure. This means if government closes shop, Kimberley will become a ghost town.”

Saul identified the manufacturing industry as having the potential to grow the provincial economy.

“We are at less than five percent in the Province.”

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