INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Letter from the President
We remain committed to taking the economic transformation forward
During the election campaign we said we would change the way in which government works, and that we would ensure faster delivery. We are making significant progress but there is a lot of work that we must also still do with many other sectors of our society, such as workers, students, farm workers, farmers, artists, the religious sector, minority groups and others. >>> MORE
Viewpoint | by Sicelo Shiceka
Let`s work together to turn the tide in Local Government
The ANC government recently completed an extensive national assessment of all 283 municipalities in South Africa. This assessment presents an opportunity to re-examine our approach to local government, our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for accelerating change in favour of a better life for all.
Viewpoint | by Nyiko Floyd Shivambu
Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse is not Ayoba
In the past five years the areas with the greatest number of violent crimes are those that are poor and economically depressed. They account for more than 50% of violent crime in South Africa and are interlinked and attributable to irresponsible consumption of alcohol and abuse of drugs and substances.
We remain committed to taking the economic transformation forward
The Tripartite Alliance meets in Kempton Park from today until Sunday 15 November, to take stock of progress made since the 52nd ANC National Conference in Polokwane, and also since the elections in April 2009.
We committed ourselves to several policies in Polokwane, which were translated into our election Manifesto as well as the programme of action of the ANC government.
As the Alliance we remain fully committed to the strategic objectives of the National Democratic Revolution. The mission of the Alliance is clear. It is to implement the programme of liberating Africans in particular and black people in general, from political and economic bondage. It is to improve the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor.
At the Summit we will move a step further in refining for implementation the policies we adopted at the 52nd ANC National Conference. We will discuss further the five priorities we committed ourselves to – education, health, rural development, the fight against crime, and creating decent work. We will also look at other pressing matters such as local government, the global economic crisis and energy.
One of the key focus areas of the ANC government is economic transformation. Our resolutions from the 52nd National Conference, the election Manifesto and the State of the Nation address clearly spell out our economic transformation objectives and plans.
We emphasise that the creation of decent work will be at the centre of our economic policies and will influence our investment attraction and job-creation initiatives. In line with our undertakings, as stated consistently in the Polokwane resolutions, Manifesto and the State of the Nation Address, we have to forge ahead to promote a more inclusive economy.
To achieve this, we said we would utilise state levers such as procurement, licensing and financial support to assist small and medium enterprises as well as to promote the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and affirmative action policies. These policies must not just benefit a few but should be extended to a broad section, especially the workers, youth, women and people with disabilities.
The resolutions of the 52nd National Conference talk of "broadening and deracialising the ownership and control of productive assets by black people, women and youth, promoting new black enterprises which are engaged in the production of goods and services, building the skills required by the economy and advancing employment equity in every area of work and economic endeavour".
Our effective BBBEE and affirmative action policies over the years have contributed to the growth of South Africa`s black middle class by 2.6 million in 2007. The question of transformation has come into sharp focus in the past two weeks due to the challenges that have been facing our state owned enterprises.
The pressures currently facing our state owned enterprises (SOEs) have led to sharp debates about the imperatives of transformation, leading to questions as to whether or not the departure of some managers in some of these institutions was driven by opposition to transformation.
There have been fears that affirmative action gains are being reversed and that the ANC government was not acting to stop this perceived erosion. It would not be wise to oversimplify the challenges facing state owned enterprises and other sections of the state machinery. We are attending to these matters as government, as part of the overall transformation of our government machinery.
We will not delve into what happens in the boardrooms of the SOEs, as that is a matter of the Boards that run those institutions. As shareholder, the government appoints a Board which works with the Minister responsible, who provides political leadership to the entities. We have full confidence in the Boards and the Minister and trust them to run the institutions in the interests of both the government and the people of South Africa.
We must restate that the ANC is a non-racial organisation. We are defined by the principles of leading our country to a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. Our policies seek to affirm blacks in general and Africans in particular because of well-known historical facts of systematic oppression and exclusion.
Our work takes into consideration what steps we need to take to ensure that African people are affirmed, without dismissing the reality that other black South Africans, such as coloureds and Indians, face.
We have taken a conscious decision as the ANC to work with black professionals and black business in recent months to deal with these pressing transformation issues. We held a few meetings in the build up to the elections, and held a post-election reportback meeting in July this year. These meetings have been very useful with regards to advancing our common approach to economic transformation.
Our meetings with black business sensitised us to some actions of government which serve to hamper the development of small entrepreneurs. One of these is the delays in paying small businesses. We were informed that many black businesses rely on effective cash-flow management, and that waiting 90 days for government to pay is proving to be most detrimental to the survival of small black businesses.
During the election campaign we said we would change the way in which government works, and that we would ensure faster delivery. Treasury Regulations on the approval of expenditure in government states that unless determined otherwise in a contract or other agreement, all payments due to creditors must be settled within 30 days from receipt of an invoice or, in the case of civil claims, from the date of settlement or court judgment.
We have instructed all government departments to comply with this regulation without delay.
To further streamline our transformation work, we are currently in the process of appointing a BBBEE Advisory Council which in terms of the BBBEE Act will be chaired by the President of the Republic. This process should be completed in a few weeks` time. The Council`s responsibility will be among others to advise government on black economic empowerment, monitor implementation and review progress in achieving black economic empowerment.
There is a lot that we must still do to deal with the matters that were raised by the black professional and business sector. There is a lot of work that we must also still do with many other sectors of our society, such as workers, students, farm workers, farmers, artists, the religious sector, minority groups and others.
We want to be a listening, responsive and effective government. We will achieve that through working with all sectors of our society.
Working together we can do more!
Let`s work together to turn the tide in Local Government
On the 6-8 November 2009 the ANC NEC held its last ordinary meeting of the year. It received and discussed our report on the state of local government, amongst others.
The NEC noted that local government is an important sphere of government, particularly for delivering service to our people and it further noted that despite challenges at this level of government some municipalities and councillors are doing wonderful work in meeting the needs of our people.
The NEC cited that systematic legislative as well as political factors contribute to the erosion of confidence of the majority of our people in our municipalities as the primary delivery machine and it agreed that a turnaround strategy is urgently needed to restore the confidence of our people in our municipalities.
Local Government is Central to Advancing the National Democratic Revolution
The political and ideological roots of our system of our local government are embedded in our rich tradition of struggle for a united, democratic, non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.
Local government is a critical vehicle of the state and the movement that must be utilised to realise the vision of the Freedom Charter, the RDP and to give effect to the resolutions of the 52nd ANC National Congress, held in Polokwane in 2007.
In 1955 the true Congress of the People asserted that, "the people shall govern." This revolutionary position has consistently guided the approach and values of the National Democratic Revolution of the ANC and its Allies during the harshest period of apartheid rule to the dawn of the new South Africa in 1994 and continues to do so in 2009.
In 1994 when the ANC assumed power we noted in the Reconstruction and Development Programme that "the National Government wishes to unlock the political and creative energies of the people and bring the Government closer to the people. In this regard Local Governments have an important role to play."
In the 52nd ANC National Congress, we adopted the Strategy and Tactics document that argued that the NDR has both national and democratic tasks. It argued that we should continue to strive to realise:
- a united state based on the will of all the people, without regard race, sex, belief, language, ethnicity or geographic location;
- a dignified and improving quality of life among all the people by providing equal rights and opportunities to all citizens; and
- the restoration of the birthright of all South Africans regarding access to land and other resources.
The fundamental thread that has guided the ANC since its inception through these key milestone periods outlined above, reinforce the principle that our movement and system of governance must be mass-based, people-driven and inclusive.
At Polokwane we noted that 1994 provided us with a unique opportunity to "combine state and mass power, in serving the interest of the people". Local Government is that sphere of governance that is best positioned to enable us to deepen and advance our vision of a national democratic society.
ANC`s 2006 Local Government Electoral Mandate
Following the last local government elections in 2006 the ANC received a clear mandate to drive the transformation and service delivery agenda of municipalities. The ANC stated in its 2006 Local Government Electoral Manifesto that it has "A Plan To Make Local Government Work For You". This entailed the following:
- A re-commitment to Vision 2014 through a "A People`s Contract to Create Work and Fight Poverty";
- Working towards the realization of clear service delivery targets which includes the following:
- No community will still be using the bucket system for sanitation by 2007;
- All communities will have access to clean water and decent sanitation by 2010;
- All houses will have access to electricity by 2012; and
- A commitment to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014.
- Championing a Councillor Code of Conduct; and
- Implementation of a hands-on programme to ensure that national and provincial governments will work harder to build local government.
We must remind ourselves that as we approach the 2011 municipal elections, our electorate will expect us to give feedback on how we have performed in terms of our 2006 electoral mandate. The ANC`s response must be one of honest feedback, reflecting good progress and poor performance, and how we intend to re-double our efforts to build more accountable, responsive, effective and efficient municipalities.
Overall Assessment of Local Government in 2009
By September 2009 all provinces completed a process of interacting with all municipalities to assess their performance. This process was largely politically managed and supported by officials from national and provincial government. The key question posed during the assessment was "What is the state of local government in 2009 and what must be done to restore the confidence of our people in this sphere of government by 2011 and beyond?"
On the 21st and 22nd of October 2009 a National Local Government Indaba was held in Ekurhuleni to present the findings of the national assessment of municipalities. The national State of Local Government Report concluded that, overall the system of local government is working, but it is in distress. There are many failures and weaknesses that stem from external factors to internal ones in municipalities.
It stressed that the findings across various thematic areas are not equally applicable to all municipalities and that a bold decisive intervention is needed to turn the tide in local government.
Ideal Developmental Local Government
The report reminded us of the core Constitutional ideals and mandate that we entrusted to local government (Section 152):
- to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;
- to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
- to promote social and economic development;
- to promote a safe and healthy environment; and
- to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.
These ideals are further elaborated in the 1998 White Paper on Local Government and in subsequent legislation, such as the Municipal Systems Act (1998).
Need to Salute the Disciplined Cadres in Local Government
The assessment of local government acknowledged that there are many hard working comrades, officials, men and women in local government across the country. We must all follow the examples of these comrades, councilors and officials.
Government has over the years rolled out a programme on Municipal Performance Excellence (Vuna Awards) aimed at recognizing good performance in municipalities. Furthermore the ANC has its own annual ZK Mathews Award aimed at recognizing the best group of performing ANC Councillors.
Local Government has been at the Forefront of Service Delivery Since 1994
Overall the system of local government is working and has been at the frontline of service delivery since 1994. The Stats SA Community Survey of 2007 demonstrates that our municipalities have played this valuable role, as reflected in increased access to basic services between 1994 and 2007:
- Percentage of households with access to water increased from 59% in 1994 to 88% in 2007;
- Percentage of households with access to sanitation increased from 48% in 1999 to 71% in 2007; and
- In 1994 30% of households in South Africa had access to electricity and in 2007 this percentage increased to 80% for lighting, 67% for cooking and 59% for heating.
Key Challenges Continue to Face Local Government
The assessment of local government recognizes a number of problems and challenges that are influenced by both external and internal factors. These findings deal with the key thematic areas of spatial and settlement patterns, governance, service delivery, financial management and labour relations.
The key conclusion regarding the spatial and settlement patterns are that the apartheid landscape has not significantly changed since 1994. The poor continue to be located far from work opportunities and migration patterns continue to show movement away from some rural provinces toward the urban-based provinces of the Gauteng and the Western Cape.
It is also noted that most economic activity (88%), involving the majority of the population (71%) is concentrated on a small part of the country`s surface area (7%).
The governance systems in many municipalities are characterized by critical problems and challenges. These include:
- Dysfunctional Councils;
- Ineffective professional administration;
- Weak and/or absent mechanisms for local democracy;
- Weak municipal performance management;
- The role of the institution of traditional leadership in matters of local governance and service delivery and development is uneven;
- Poor intergovernmental support and oversight;
- Poor communication capability.
On service delivery, it is noted that three provinces with the biggest water backlogs are Limpopo (552 156 households), Eastern Cape (438 164 households) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (463 650 households). Furthermore, Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape have no additional water resources available.
It is noted that nationally, 213 830 households need to be served with water per year until 2014. Similar statistics are given for sanitation, roads, electricity and refuse removal.
Regarding financial management key challenges identified include the observation that financial allocations from national government do not sufficiently take the spatial differences of provinces and municipalities into account. There is also a growing grant dependency of municipalities, e.g. 78 municipalities receive more than 75% of their revenue from national transfers.
While there are slow improvements in the overall audit opinions of municipalities, there are major problems of financial management in many municipalities. It is also noted that instances of corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement are noticeable across municipalities of all political parties.
In the area of labour relations, a breakdown of a functional relationship between municipalities and organized labour is apparent in many municipalities and the poor functionality of Local Labour Forums is widespread. The Organized Rights Collective Agreement is not consistently applied across provinces in municipalities and there is an apparent general lack of political and senior management oversight of labour relations in municipalities.
Furthermore many municipal organograms are outdated and non-functional and there are no national guidelines on post establishment and organograms. Flouting of HR procedures and policies is also a problem in some municipalities.
Why A Turn-Around of Local Government is Necessary?
The ANC`s primary electoral mandate is that of improving the lives of our people. This entails the need to ensure that sufficient state and municipal resources and capacity are set aside to implement the 2006 Manifesto by 2014. Linked to this, achieving the Millennium Developmental Goals by 2014 must be a strategic priority. In doing this we must ensure that our communities, through Ward Committees, have a greater role in monitoring the quality and quantity of service delivery.
Organisationally, building a strong, capacitated and disciplined ANC on the ground is a necessary condition for turning the tide of local government. This must mean the following actions need to be attended to:
- The political school of the ANC must strengthen its focus on local government;
- Implementation of the ANC`s Councillor`s Code of Conduct must be re-activated and strengthened;
- Standards and requirements for councillors must be developed in preparation for 2011 local government elections;
- Strong ANC and Alliance structures must be at the forefront of building effective organs of people`s power at a municipal level;
- Municipal employees should not hold office bearer`s positions in political parties; and
- Deployment and appointment of cadres as senior officials in municipalities must be designated to those deployed Councillors on the recommendation of the deployment committees (note: Amathole Court judgement).
The primary objectives of a Turn Around Strategy for Local Government must be to:
- Restore the confidence of the majority of our people in our municipalities, as the primary delivery machine of the developmental state at a local level; and
- Re-build and improve the basic requirements for a functional, responsive, effective, efficient and accountable developmental local government
Government is finalizing a national Local Government Turn-Around Strategy that must reflect a role for all levels and sectors of the state and society. Clear roles must be identified for business, labour, Non-governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations and donor and various other development partners.
This Turn Around Strategy must identify key actions, tasks and interventions that seek to address the root causes of the many problems that we see in local government. Going forward we must seek to build the broadest alliance and support base across all strata and groups in South Africa for the local government turn-around programme.
The basis of this should be a set of governance values that can unite the nation:
- Rights and Responsibilities are inseparable;
- Common national patriotism;
- Loyalty to the Constitution;
- Transparency and Accountability of Public Office;
- Responsiveness of Public Officials;
- Ethical Behaviour By All;
- The poorest and vulnerable are a priority;
- Volunteerism and community service;
- Support and Partnerships are Necessary.
The Freedom Charter in 1955, the RDP in 1994, Polokwane in 2007, the municipal elections in 2006 and the national and provincial elections in 2009 created many expectations for ordinary South Africans. We dare not fail them!
Local government must be at the centre of all ANC structures at all levels. It is everyone`s business.
Working together we can do more!
Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse is not Ayoba
On the 11th of November 2009, the ANC YL convened a broad front of concerned formations in South Africa to develop a clear and concerted strategy to fight the abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances.
We did so because the 23rd National Congress of the African National Congress Youth League mandated all structures of the organisation to, "establish programmatic relations with Non-governmental organizations, Community-Based organizations, Trade Unions and religious formations in the campaign against drugs, alcohol and substance abuse".
Congress specifically mandated ANC YL organisational structures to "advocate for the illegalisation of alcohol advertisements in all media channels; and further advocate for and ensure the adoption of a single national legislation on the regulation of alcohol trade, distribution, and consumption in communities".
These resolutions were guided by an understanding in Congress that drugs, alcohol and substance abuse are in essence a counter-revolutionary feature, which if not curbed in society, could reverse the gains of our democratic dispensation and progress.
It does not require rocket science to notice the extent at which the abuse of drugs, alcohol and substance negatively impacts on the struggle to politically and economically emancipate the black majority and Africans in particular in our construction of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and united South Africa.
The abuse of these intoxicating substances and alcohol in particular does not only negatively impact the well-being of the individuals consuming them, but distorts society and leads to other grave social ills such as crime, rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, poor health, low success rates in education, sports, work, etc.
The society we are living in experiences serious social ills; these are mainly interlinked and attributable to irresponsible consumption of alcohol and abuse of drugs and substances. The 2007 ANC 52nd National Conference political report noted that "in the past five years the areas with the greatest number of violent crimes were identified as those that are poor and economically depressed.
These areas, which account for more than 50% of violent crime in South Africa, comprise only 169 police station-areas out of 1 136 police station-areas in the country. The socio-economic profile of these areas is similar. There are few recreational facilities. Unemployment is high. There are many dysfunctional families. There are many shebeens and other alcohol outlets and the levels of substance abuse are very high. Therefore, the objective of our government`s Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme is also aimed at combating crime".
It appears from this observation that the involvement of communities and youth in criminal activities is largely a consequence of various other socio-economic realities, but also the usage of alcohol, drugs and substances. A recent study by the Medical Research Council pointed to various sad realities about alcohol abuse in South Africa.
This includes the fact that "drinkers are 57 percent more likely to be HIV positive than non-drinkers". Further than that the MRC has scientifically proven that "alcohol leads to violence and it makes one aggressive". This is additional to the fact that many other sordid realities are alcohol related, including the facts that:
- Alcohol misuse is causally implicated in a range of chronic health problems (e.g. cirrhosis of the liver). However, many of the primary effects of alcohol misuse occur from episodes of acute alcohol intoxication.
- Acute alcohol intoxication is associated with increased mortality and morbidity arising from intentional and non-intentional injuries.
- Acute alcohol intoxication is also associated with unsafe sexual practices and increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
- Alcohol misuse, combined with poor nutritional status, increases susceptibility to opportunistic diseases by compromising the immune system.
- The misuse of alcohol during pregnancy has been linked to fetal alcohol syndrome in infants.
- Alcohol misuse also impacts on the criminal justice system, with evidence of associations between drinking at risky levels, committing crime, or being a victim of crime.
Economically, Red-Line Marking estimates that alcohol related costs to the South African economy is around R9 billion annually due to low productivity, conflicts, injuries, and damage to property including heavy machinery. The number of lives lost due to alcohol in South Africa is not insignificant, particularly when considering the reality that more 50% of car accidents are alcohol related and 60% of pedestrians treated at hospital trauma unit after collision are found with alcohol above the permissible limit. Various other counter progress realities in South Africa are indirectly and often directly linked to the abuse of alcohol.
This happens against the fact that alcohol regulation legislations and laws in the South Africa are rarely enforced, including on the limit number of years for people who are permitted to buy alcohol. South Africa`s largest brewery admits to the fact that more than 80% of Liquor Traders and Outlets in South Africa are unlicensed and little or nothing is done with enforcement of the existent Liquor trade regulation laws. South Africa`s democracy and rule of law will gradually loose legitimacy if the laws and legislations the country passes are violated without any repercussions. What is the use of law if it will not be enforced.
These realities and many others are at the centre of the ANC YL`s campaign against the abuse of drugs, alcohol and substances, with specific emphasis on alcohol abuse. Over the next months, the ANC YL will together with other social partners advocate for the reduction of alcohol available in our communities. The campaign will include but not limited to the following:
- Community awareness campaign on the dangers of alcohol abuse.
- Call for much stricter enforcement of alcohol regulations and laws.
- Call for the illegalisation of all alcohol advertisement in all media channels.
- Call for alternate activities and programmes that will preoccupy young people in communities, particularly sports, arts and recreational activities.
This multi-pronged approach to the campaign against the abuse of alcohol will be given the necessary attention without compromising any of the components over the other. This is vital because a narrower focus on the abuse of alcohol might miss the point and not resolve the challenges and problems associated with the abuse of alcohol.
Of cardinal importance in the campaign is the fact that the ANC YL has already begun to mobilise various stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organisations (Soul City), Community Based Organisations (Ulutsha Trust), Religious formations (South African Council of Churches, National Interfaith Religious Council, Al Burhaan) and Youth Political Organisations (COSAS, SASCO and Young Communist League). In a campaign of this magnitude, we need all social partners to join hands and fight against the abuse of alcohol in our communities.
The community awareness campaign the action group against alcohol abuse will engage in will include making communities aware of the social, biological and economic dangers of alcohol abuse. These should specifically be targeted on young people as they are easy preys of alcohol abuse.
All structures of the ANC YL and organisations in the action group should ensure that as many young people as possible are aware of the dangers and detriments of alcohol abuse. Unfortunately the most common public spaces in South Africa`s townships and rural villages are alcohol outlets. Such should be openly confronted by communities and alternate means of public gathering be established to accommodate everyone.
As an immediate focus to stricter enforcement of alcohol regulations and laws, we call for police action on Liquor Traders who knowingly sell alcohol and all intoxicating substances to people under the age of 18. All illegal Liquor Traders should be stopped not only through police action, but also by concerned communities. As mid and long-term interventions, the stricter regulation of alcohol trade and consumption should include regulation on the hours within which alcohol should be sold.
Further than that, the number of years for people permissible to buy and drink alcohol should be increased to 21, and stricter sentences reserved for those who do not comply. The regulations should include illegalisation of Liquor outlets within 500 metres of learning and teaching premises such as Crèches and Schools. Alcohol legislation should in this instance be made a national competency, because Provinces and Municipalities have neglected this vital component of social transformation.
Advertisement of alcohol in South Africa is rife and somewhat led to the development of a social norm that celebrates alcohol usage. Almost all top South Africa`s sporting codes are used by the major brewers to promote alcohol. A significant number of advertisements outdoor, on television, radio, newspapers, and magazine are alcohol related. These advertisements do not even have warnings on the dangers of alcohol and screened during family viewing periods.
Most the advertisements associate alcohol brands with success and social progress. This can never be in a society where alcohol is responsible for most of our social ills. There should be a brave, but correct political decision to illegalise all alcohol advertisement and stricter penalties set for those who do underground illegal advertisements.
In instances where young people are addicted (hooked into) to alcohol, drugs and substances, government should build and increase the capacity of State rehabilitation centers around localities with the aim of renewing addicts back to normal society. The "Sin taxes" should be directed to the rehabilitation programmes.
We should utilise various sectors and departments of the State and society, notably social development, education and health to train more youth as counselors to assist in counseling programmes of young people who irresponsibly consume alcohol and abuse drugs. This could lead to effective and sustainable mentorship programmes for those who might be identified as substance abusers, especially from dysfunctional families. At all levels, structures of the ANC YL should form a programme to dissuade abuse of drugs, alcohol and substance, while placing mechanisms and methods to rehabilitate those that have been addicted.
Overall, the campaign against the abuse of alcohol should be concurrent to the campaign for the development and support of sustainable recreational activities, which will occupy young people`s free time. The introduction of new sporting codes in particularly poor communities should be intensified, whilst emphasis placed on developing the sporting and creative potential of all young people.
A variety of other programmes for young people to develop and explore their creative potential could be realised through formation of Youth, Poetry and Music Clubs, Reading/Study Groups, and various other programmes.
State departments, mainly on Sports, Arts and Culture, and sporting associations should be engaged to increase more resources on sports and creative industries to assist in keeping youth occupied with recreational and creative activities. This could include a concerted programme to support the development of Soccer, Netball, Rugby, Tennis, Cricket and broad recreational and creative activities. This could divert youth from other unhealthy activities such as drugs, alcohol, crime, etc.
The ANC YL has publicly vowed to stop at nothing in ensuring that the non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society under construction is not a society of drunkards, alcoholics and drug-addicts. We therefore call on all responsible citizens, structures, organisations, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, religions formations and political parties to join hands in the campaign against the abuse of alcohol, substances and drugs.
South Africa`s progression into a better future requires that we work together in combating the abuse of alcohol, substances and drugs.
WEEK IN REVIEW
UN declares July 18 the Nelson Mandela International Day
As a token of appreciation to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former President of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa`s contribution to freedom and peace - the UN General Assembly passed the resolution declaring July 18 as the Nelson Mandela International Day to honour Madiba`s contribution to resolving conflicts, promoting race relations, human rights and reconciliation. General Assembly President Ali Treki said the international community was expressing its appreciation for a great man who suffered for the sake of the people everywhere.
President Jacob Zuma gets his own special stamp
President Jacob Zuma was presented with his very own postage stamp by the South African Post Office. Two million editions of the stamps, printed with a photograph of the President and his name, will be available at all post office outlets in the country at a cost of R2.25. President Zuma is the fourth president since South Africa`s democracy to be honoured in this manner. Zuma said stamps were said to be a country`s smallest ambassador, travelling into households across the world and carrying a nation`s identity and hopes to an international audience.
Kenneth Kaunda Foundation names President Jacob Zuma the Africa`s Best President
President Jacob Zuma was awarded the title of Best African President for his role in the struggle for the country`s liberation and on the continent at large. Speaking at the event, President Zuma encouraged fellow leaders to keep the promises they had made to the people and work together to ensure sustainable development of the continent. Zuma said the awards served as a reminder that nothing can be achieved without the confidence, trust and support of fellow Africans. Kaunda urged African leaders to emulate the likes of former President Nelson Mandela, Jomo Kanyata, Oliver Tambo and Kwame Nkrumah who fought tirelessly for liberation and the development of Africa.
ANC mourns the passing away of Eleanor Kasrils
The ANC paid tribute to Eleanor Kasrils, the wife of the former intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils. Cde Eleanor passed away at Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic in Cape Town after suffering a stroke. She joined the Congress of Democrats in 1960 after the Sharpville massacre and participated in Umkhonto we Sizwe activities in Durban. She was arrested in 1963 and went into exile with Ronnie Kasrils in the same year after escaping from custody.
Innocent deaths ‘unavoidable` says Deputy Minister of Police
It is unavoidable that civilians will die in the crossfire between police and criminals, Fikile Mbalula said as government vowed to change the law to encourage police to use lethal force when necessary. "In this particular situation where you are caught in combat with criminals, innocent people are going to die not deliberately but in the exchange of fire. They are going to be caught on the wrong side, not deliberately, but unavoidably," he said.
Maroga`s resignation was `unambiguous` says Eskom Board
Following two weeks of leadership uncertainty, the Eskom Board finally confirmed that the resignation offer made by CEO Jacob Maroga during the board meeting of October 28 had been "clear and unambiguous." Minister of Public Enterprises, Barbara Hogan expressed her support for the board and its actions. She also stressed that, despite considerable pressure, she refused to override the principles of good corporate governance and impose a CEO on the board, without authority in law.
President Jacob Zuma gives 7% salary increase across the board for public office bearers.
President Zuma said, "In light of the current economic situation, and the pressure on government finances, I have decided to adjust downwards the percentage recommended by the commission." he said. The Commission is required by section 8(4) and (5) of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, 1997, to make annual recommendations relating to the salaries, benefits and allowances, and to the resources required by public office bearers to enable them to the perform their respective duties effectively. The Commission presented a recommendation of an 8% increase in remuneration packages of all public office bearers, effective from 1 April 2009.
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza wins general election
President Geubuza and the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) party captured enough parliamentary seats to change the constitution at will. Guebuza, seen as welcoming of greater foreign investment captured 75,46% of the presidential vote. He has been re-elected President of the republic for the next five years," said Joao da Costa, Chairperson of Mozambique`s National Elections Commission (CNE).
ANC congratulates Frelimo On Elections Victory, 12 November 2009
Joint statement on the Alliance Summit, 11 November 2009
ANC mourns the death of Eleanor Kasrils, 10 November 2009
Statement of the ANC National Executive Committee, 9 November 2009
ANC WEEKEND PROGRAMME
The African National Congress National Executive Committee led by President Jacob Zuma will hold an Alliance Summit with the Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African National Civic Association (SANCO) from Friday, 13 November 2009 to Sunday, 15 November 2009 at Esselen Park in Ekurhuleni.
The Central Committee of the SACP will be by its General Secretary, Comrade Blade Nzimande, the Central Executive Committee of COSATU will be led by its General Secretary, Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, SANCO National Executive Committee will be led by its President, Comrade Ruth Bhengu.