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Statement by the ANC Secretary General, Cde Gwede Mantashe, at the XXIV Socialist International Congress

29 August 2012

The African National Congress welcomes the Socialist International leadership, all delegates and missions attending the Socialist International Congress in South Africa, Cape Town, well in their stay in the mother city.

The ANC is honoured to host the first Socialist International Congress, the first in the African continent, hosted here in Cape Town – South Africa.

The XXIV Socialist International Congress takes place from tomorrow, the 30th August-1 September 2012, and today Council will sit to finalise Congress proceedings.

The ANC is a member of the Socialist International and sets forth the redressing of socio-economic differences stemming from colonial- and apartheid-era policies as a central focus of ANC policy.

The ANC Deputy President, cde Kgalema Motlanthe, will give a welcome address to congress tomorrow and on Friday, the ANC President, cde Jacob Zuma, will address Congress.

The Socialist International Congress takes place every four years and it brings together heads of government, leaders and delegates from the member parties of the Socialist International alongside invited guests.

This session of congress will take place under the heading ‘For a new internationalism and a new culture of solidarity’ with its agenda focused on four key themes, which are central to the concerns of the global social democratic movement, building on the Socialist International message to citizens across the globe.

The themes for the Congress are:
(1) For an economy with jobs, growth and social protection: the social democratic response to the financial crisis;
(2) The struggle for rights and freedoms: strengthening representative democracy and gaining new democracies in the world;
(3) For a common road to peace, sustainability and cooperation: the need to secure multilateralism; and
(4) For a new internationalism and a new culture of solidarity among people and between nations. Discussions on each of these themes will incorporate keynote addresses, panel discussions and contributions from delegates.

In its 52nd Conference, the ANC took a decision in responding to the challenge of imperialism, to strengthen itself and other progressive forces and develop a common agenda with an objective of realising a just and a better world. Such a world order must be characterised, inter-alia by greater security, peace, dialogue and greater equilibrium between the poor and the rich.

In this, the ANC is guided by the principles of "a better life for all and a vision of a better Africa and a just world".

Internationalism is a crucial feature in the unique character of the ANC inspired by the spirit and ideals of human solidarity.

The ANC correctly became part of the progressive forces that fought against colonialism, racism, poverty, patriarchy and other social ills, and the founders defined the ANC as a unifier and premier representative of the African people beyond the borders of South Africa, hence the ANC is a member of the Socialist International because we believe that it is one of the formations to pursue the ideals that the ANC stands for.

The international front was one of the key pillars of the struggle that led to the defeat of the apartheid regime in 1994 and remains one of the catalysts in the creation of a better world.

As such, the ANC is delighted to be the host of this first Socialist International Congress in South Africa, and we know that this conference will bring noticeable changes to the entire human race and it will deepen the socialist agenda and solidarity of the Socialist International agenda.

Currently all preparations for the congress are complete and some delegates have already arrived and still awaiting others to arrive. We have 520 delegates and 60 guests who already accredited.

Issued by:
Gwede Mantashe
ANC Secretary General
African National Congress

Ishmael Mnisi 0823335550