JOHANNESBURG- African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule says the party emerges from the 54th National Conference more united and ready to lead.
He made the statement during the declaration of the conference.
“Delegates confirmed their commitment to work tirelessly for the fundamental renewal of the ANC. We emerged from the 54th National Conference more united and determined to lead the struggle for a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society,” he said.
“An ANC that is united and committed to the people’s interests remains the best vehicle to bring about fundamental and radical socio-economic transformation of society to create a better life for all South Africans.”
Magashule said conference agreed on the urgent tasks to strengthen the movement and modernize the way the party functions, both as a liberation movement and an electoral party. He paid tribute to the patience of the thousands of ANC delegates who worked long hours, participating in the internal democratic processes and who never wavered from fulfilling the responsibilities entrusted to them by their branches and other structures of the organisation.
“Long before National Conference, across the country, ANC members met in branch general meetings and constitutional structures, making invaluable and robust contributions to the organizational and policy debates of National Conference. The 54th National Conference reaffirmed that the ANC will guide the South African economy in accordance with the Freedom Charter’s call that the people shall share in the country’s wealth. We shall, as urgently as possible, bring together, government, the labour movement, business and communities in a social pact to accelerate economic growth and create jobs,” he said.
Magashule added that the conference had agreed to amend the constitution in order to expropriate land without compensation. Just like Enoch Godongwana had said in his presentation, it would be done so within control limits as not to impact other sectors of society.
“Conference resolved that the ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation. This should be pursued without destabilising the agricultural sector, without endangering food security in our country and without undermining economic growth and job creation. We have also committed to speeding up programmes of providing basic services to all the people of our country; and in this regard, we will ensure that all spheres of government are capacitated to meet their obligations,” he said.
Magashule added that the party had committed to the people of South Africa that it would isolate and root out corrupt tendencies in the public and private sectors. He called on branch members to work hard in their communities to tackle social ills.
“Conference directs ANC branches to lead communities in furthering local development and service delivery and in building non-racialism and non-sexism. ANC cadres must develop programmes aimed at stamping out social ills, including gender-based violence, alcoholism and drug abuse and in building social cohesion. Conference deliberated upon the plight of young people and agreed that a skills revolution is an absolute necessity if we are to fully exploit their energies for the greater good of society, it is for the reason that the ANC remains committed to the implementation of free higher education for children of the poor and working class at all public universities and TVET colleges starting from the 2018 academic year,” he said.