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Statement of the African National Congress following the Special NEC Meeting held from the 11th to 13th November 2017

14 November 2017

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) met in a special meeting from the 11th to the 13th November 2017. The meeting was convened to present a report of the National Working Committee (NWC) to the NEC on urgent issues, being the preparations for the 54th National Conference to be held in Gauteng, the 8th Provincial Conference of the Eastern Cape Province and the appeal of the Lower South Coast Region in KwaZulu-Natal.

The African National Congress is confident of a successful 54th National Conference to be held from the 16th to the 20th December 2017. The Conference will be convened under the theme, "Remember Tambo: Towards unity, renewal and radical socio-economic transformation" and is expected to be attended by 5240 voting delegates. 90% of such voting delegates will be delegates elected at properly quorate Branch General Meetings (BGM).

Almost 70% of our branches across the country have already convened their BGMs. As of the end of yesterday, Monday 13th November 2017, provinces had held BGMs as follows:
1. Eastern Cape 56%
2. Free State 87,6%
3. Gauteng 76%
4. KwaZulu-Natal 40,8%
5. Mpumalanga 95.7%
6. Limpopo 73.8%
7. North West 54.3%
8. Western Cape 66,3 % and
9. Northern Cape 94%

Provinces are expected to complete this process by the deadline of tomorrow, 15 November 2017. We note challenges of convening BGMs during the week and have agreed to a grace period to, at the very latest, the end of this weekend, Sunday 19th November 2017 to complete all BGMs. This is done to allow sufficient time to consider appeals (all of which must be lodged within 48hours of the disputed BGM) and to prepare for the Provincial General Councils.

The NEC has established Dispute Teams composed of NEC members in all provinces. These teams shall be responsible for the timely resolution of all disputes emanating from the nomination process. The NEC has commended those provinces that have already completed more than 75% of their BGMs. We urge the balance to redouble their efforts to ensure that their structures form part of Conference.

The NEC has reaffirmed the principle that while no member of the ANC in good standing must be denied an opportunity to participate in the BGMs, to ensure the integrity of our processes, only audited members must vote in the nomination process or be elected as delegates to conference. This is to ensure that we do not tamper with the quorum of the meeting and the allocated delegation of the branch. Correspondence in this regard will be sent to our structures.

The NEC condemns in the strongest terms reported incidents of violence at some of our BGMs and while they seem isolated, they nevertheless fly in the face of the discipline of the ANC. We further condemn the continued production and display of factional paraphernalia in ANC meetings and call on ANC members to desist from such practices.

This 54th National Conference is an opportunity to renew and reenergize the ANC towards the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution. We are confident our structures will complete the preparatory processes expected of them within due time so that our focus remains on policies and programmes that will rejuvenate the economy, implement radical economic transformation and address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The NEC received a report on the appeal of the Lower South Coast Region in KwaZulu-Natal. The Regional Executive Committee (REC) was appealing the decision of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) to withdraw the executive powers of the REC, especially in relation to municipal oversight and membership management. The REC was however expected to continue doing its work in all other areas, including the overseeing of BGMs as we prepare for Conference.

After deliberation on the report, the NEC resolved to affirm the decision of the PEC that the Region must convene a Regional Conference within six (6) months and also uphold decision of the PEC to withdraw the powers of the REC in respect of membership management. The PEC shall exercise oversight over the municipality.

The NEC reflected at length on the Eastern Cape 8th Provincial Conference. A number of reports were received in relation to the conference firstly, from the NEC deployees who had been mandated to be part of preparations towards and during the conference. A second report from the newly elected PEC. Finally, a complaint of former PEC members which was subsequently changed into an appeal. NEC further considered the work done by the National Officials following receipt of the complaint.

The report noted the following concerns, that firstly there was violence which resulted in a number of comrades being injured. The NEC strongly condemns violence, threats and destruction of property.This conduct flies against ANC tradition, values and culture. The NEC expressed its deepest sympathy to the comrades who were injured.

Serious allegations were also made of a premeditated plan to collapse the conference . The NEC is unequivocal on the need to ensure that all incidents that took place will be investigated expeditiously. This includes identifying those responsible for inciting violence. The NEC condemns the use of violence as a means to win any nomination or election at all costs.

The NEC resolved to institute an appeal panel in the Eastern Cape which will be composed of four (4) NEC members supported by three (3) technical resource persons. The four NEC members are Comrades Sbu Ndebele (Chairperson), Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Joyce Moloi-Moropa and Sdumo Dlamini.

The NEC noted the South African Communist Party's intention to contest the by-elections in the Metsimaholo Municipality, Free State province later on this month. The NEC views this decision as regrettable, particularly in a marginal municipality such as Metsimaholo. In line with the decision of the Alliance Political Council held last month, the NEC has called for the follow up meeting to be held without delay. The ANC must further interrogate and engage the resolution of the SACP on State Power and its implications for the Alliance. The ANC remains committed to engaging the Party on this matter and ensuring that the Alliance, united and strong, continues to provide the leadership society requires from the Alliance.

The 52nd National Conference of the ANC adopted education as an apex priority and the need to ensure the progressive realization of free education for the working class and the poor. This was in pursuance of our stated objective to open "the doors of learning and culture" as well as ensure that "Higher education and technical training …is opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit"

Whilst we welcome the release of the report of the Heher Commission, there are a number of areas which are of concern to the ANC which we trust government will consider in the process of responding to the recommendations of the Commission. The report misses some key tenants of the progressive agenda we seek to drive. Free education for the poor and the working class is not under discussion, it is a policy position of the ANC. What the ANC expects rather is a discussion on the modalities to implement it.

The ANC calls on government to reject the proposal for a cost sharing model which will further indebt students and the different classification of students. The ANC will further study the comprehensive report and engage government on how practically and urgently we advance the attainment of fee-free higher education for the working class and the poor.

Issued by

Gwede Mantashe
Secretary General
African National Congress

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