Address by ANC President Cde Jacob Zuma to the launch of the Imvuselelo Campaign in Bloemfontein, Free State
National Executive Committee members,
Provincial Executive Committee members,
Members and supporters of our glorious movement,
We meet here two days after the whole world celebrated International Mandela Day. We trust that ANC members feel renewed after rededicating themselves to the values that Madiba espoused, and that we are all ready to work even harder to build this glorious movement that Tata Madiba loved until the end of his days.
Let me begin by extending our heartfelt gratitude to the members of the ANC and also the millions of South Africans who voted ANC on 7 May 2014 during the national general election.
We were humbled by your vote of confidence in this organisation which has as its mission the building of a better life for all our people, especially the poor and the working class.
Your vote confirmed the message that our country has a good story to tell, of the progress that has been made in building a better South Africa and in advancing transformation and the delivery of basic services since 1994.
The vote was also a confirmation of the importance of the ANC amongst our people, as an organisation that has, since 1912, been working to build a united, free, democratic, and prosperous South Africa.
Former ANC President Dr AB Xuma outlined the vision of the ANC in his 1941 address to the national conference and said:
“In the founding of the African National Congress in 1912, African leaders of that day displayed a great vision and laid a broad and deep foundation upon which to build the superstructure for African freedom and liberty in the land of their forefathers.
“They proclaimed through the organization they set up and the efforts they made, that, only through unity and concerted action of all leaders from our various races and classes may we hope to achieve our freedom and obtain justice and a fair play in South Africa. They made sacrifices and suffered privations in the cause of African freedom.
“Some went to gaol and became unpopular with power and influence but remained loyal and true to the cause of their people. Thus they were the architects of our salvation. Thus they pointed the way for us. They showed that freedom is precious and a heavy price must be paid to obtain it…. You and I are inheritors of these great traditions. We are debtors to their fine examples. We are called upon to copy their fine example of sacrifice.
“We are urged not only to build upon the foundation they laid but also to improve and modernise the plan of their structure’’.
The launch of the Imvuselelo campaign today, is designed to do exactly that, to improve the 1912 plan, and take the country forward in the traditions of the movement laid down by our forebears.
We must use this campaign to reflect on where we are and what we can do in the immediate, to make the ANC the fighting force needed to take our people forward in the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment and build a national democratic society.
We must perform this task cognizant of the fact that the ANC is the only true hope for the overwhelming majority of our people who keep voting for us in successive elections.
The multipronged campaign will involve the renewal of lapsing ANC membership, intensive door to door visits to popularize our programme of action and the recruitment of new members followed by political education and induction into the politics of the movement.
Essentially through this campaign we are going back to basics. We will be reviving our branches as basic units of our movement.
Sikhumbuza amalungu ombutho ukuthi amandla asemasebeni, nokuthi kufanele sisebenze kanzima ukuvuselela amasebe kakhongolose.
As we embark of a massive recruitment drive, we also urge all our branches to stick to the dictates of the ANC constitution when it comes to new members.
The constitution prescribes that new members be subjected to a six months’ probation period.
It is during this six months that we expect new members be inducted into the ANC in order to understand its principles, policies and programmes as well as for them to decide whether they are prepared to abide by the ANC Constitution and rules.
We must however emphasize that the political development of new members should be a continuous process which involves the constant engagement of members in programmes on the ground. It cannot be a once off induction.
Consistent political education classes facilitated by upper structures will be very central to building a cadre, as we have entered the decade of a cadre.
Ours is a voluntary organization whose members are bound together by a common vision to build a better South Africa based on unity in diversity, non-racialism, non-sexism, democracy and prosperity.
Our members are expected to reaffirm their allegiance to this vision upon joining our movement by taking the following oath in a language they best understand:
“I, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma solemnly declare that I will abide by the aims and objectives of the African National Congress as set out in the Constitution, the Freedom Charter and other duly adopted policy positions, that I am joining the organization voluntarily and without motives of material advantage or personal gain, that I agree to respect the Constitution and structures and to work as a loyal member of the organization, that I will place my energies and skills at the disposal of the organization and carry out tasks given to me, that I will work towards making the ANC an even more effective instrument of liberation in the hands of the people, and that I will defend the unity and integrity of the organization and its principles, and combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism.”
Henceforth, it is important that all new members say this oath in a Branch General Meeting in front of other members and at the start of all ANC meetings thereafter so that it remains embedded in our consciences.
We will also use this campaign to reposition ANC branches as driving forces in the quest to find solutions to societal problems wherever they may exist.
When there are problems in a ward, our people must not doubt the capacity of their local ANC leaders to resolve the issues. The ANC branches must be with, and among our people.
The total success of the Imvuselelo campaign lies with all our members being given a role to play in this campaign.
This campaign will have four phases:
Phase one will start today until the end of August:
All Fridays from now on should be ANC Community Work Days, during which we will continue spreading the Mandela spirit in our communities. ANC members are expected to give their time and energy participating in activities and campaigns contributing towards the betterment of their communities. In this way, we will be building a spirit of selflessness, Volunteerism and building more servants of the people within our ranks while at the same time building political consciousness.
During this phase of our campaign all Provinces, Regions and Branches will convene Nelson Mandela Memorial Lectures and Cadres Assembles until 8 August 2014.
These will be taking place concurrently with Massive Door –Door for membership recruitment campaign. We will also use this door to door campaign to thank all our people who voted for us during the May 7 elections.
During phase two of our campaign in August: we will focus on Women’s contribution in our struggle for liberation and their current position in the democratic South Africa. ANC Women’s League members must during this phase use the information collected during the door to door campaigns to resolve the challenges faced by women in particular.
Phase three of the campaign will begin in September, and will be dedicated to the Youth league given that it is its birth month.
The Youth league is also expected to have its own door to door campaign recruiting new members.
The Youth League will also celebrate the life and times of its former President and Secretary General, the late Isithwalandwe Oliver Reginald Tambo. There will also be ANC cadre forums and lectures to educate young people about the ANC Youth League and the contribution of our late former President Comrade OR Tambo in the founding of the ANCYL and its role in the ANC and the society at large.
These lectures will discuss subjects including the history of the ANC Youth League, the existence and relevance of the ANC Youth League 70 years on, the relationship between the ANC Youth League and the ANC as well as the youth league rebuilding processes, past and present.
As part of ensuring that the ANC becomes a true leader of society in word and indeed, all Youth League members who are over the age of eighteen must play a meaningful role in the life of the ANC. We also encourage all young female ANC members who are over the age of 18, to join the Women’s League.
The last and fourth phase of the Imvuselelo campaign will start in November until February 2015. During this phase we will reflect on the work done, looking also if the set targets of new members has been reached and further audit membership.
The importance of this campaign cannot be overemphasized as it also helps in getting our structures ready for the work that we will engage on in preparation of the 2016 local government elections. We therefore call on all our structures to take this campaign with the seriousness it deserves. Its success lies on impeccable coordination.
Let us work together to build the ANC that we will be proud to hand over to the next generation.
Our work begins today, and we should not be found wanting, all of us in every branch of this glorious movement.
Amandla asemasebeni, let us build our branches and build a stronger, united and cohesive ANC.
I also would like to remind you that the ANC is an internationalist organisation. Our mobilisation must therefore also include the international pillar of work.
Our country and its government remain fully committed to contribute to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, on the basis of universally recognized international legal framework.
The latest developments in that region are shocking and cannot be ignored by freedom and peace loving people worldwide.
The ANC strongly condemns the launch of the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Defence Force.
The disproportionate killing by the Israeli forces has to date resulted in the death of close to 300 Palestinians with almost 2000 civilians injured. The senseless invasion will also see further loss of life and the destruction of civilian property and infrastructure.
The Israeli Defence Force must immediately withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.
We equally condemn the continuing firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel putting lives of innocent civilians at risk. Both parties must end all forms of aggression towards one another.
South Africa is also opposed to any attempt to use the current situation to undermine the Unity Government in Palestine whose establishment was warmly welcomed by peace-loving people the world over.
We strongly urge both Israel and Hamas to work towards a ceasefire agreement, which will be the basis for the resumption of negotiations towards a permanent resolution to the conflict.
The two states solution is the only viable resolution of this question - a viable Palestine existing side-by-side and in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
We strongly oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-State solution.
We welcome recent efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian unity, including the formation of a national unity government and steps towards conducting general elections. This is a key element to consolidate a democratic and sustainable Palestinian State.
We also call on the UN Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We applaud the decision of the UN General Assembly to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
We also welcome the efforts of UN Relief and Works Agency in providing assistance and protection for Palestine refugees and encourage the international community to continue to support the activities of the agency.
We also received with sadness the news of the Malaysian Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine on 17 July. This happens so soon after another Malaysian aircraft went missing without trace, causing untold pain to the families and our friends, the people of Malaysia.
The ANC conveys heartfelt condolences to the people of Malaysia and all nations that have lost their nationals in this shocking incident.
Preliminary reports suggest that this crash was not an accident. We call for a thorough, transparent and independent investigation to determine the cause of this tragic crash.
These developments are a painful reminder that the political situation in the Ukraine requires an urgent solution.
We express our deep concern and call for a comprehensive dialogue, the de-escalation of the conflict and restraint from all the actors involved, with a view to finding a lasting peaceful political solution, in full compliance with the UN Charter and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Today, work begins to renew and build the ANC into an even stronger movement and instrument of transformation in our country.
The ANC has been growing over the years, and has more than doubled its membership since 2007, surpassing the one million mark in 2012.
This growth is due to the hard work of our members in recruiting new members building ANC branches. It is also a result of the sterling work that the movement is doing to give hope to the poor and the working class, and to bring about a better life for all our people.
Let us continue this good work of building the ANC and making this glorious movement to continue to be the way of life for our people, for another 100 years, through this Imvuselelo campaign!