Number. 36, 2nd Quarter 2011 (June)


Editorial

Feature: Youth month

  1. Spotlight on the ANC Youth League - interview with Vuiyswa Tulelo
  2. Economic freedom debate - Joel Netshitenzhe
  3. A youth generation with a mission - Fébé Potgieter-Gqubule
  4. The student movement and society - David Maimela

Debating the economic issues

  1. The New Growth Path - Enoch Godongwane
  2. The debate on the nationalisation of the mines, a contribution - Thando Ntlemeza
  3. South Africa's national economic revolution - Tshilidzi Marwala

Current affairs

  1. Fight and defeat factionalism - Rudolph Phala
  2. The national question: beyond liberalism and narrow nationalism - Gunnett Kaaf
  3. Centre of power vs. strategic political centre - Mlatjo Sepeke Davis
  4. The decline of jazz - a sociological perspective - Leslie Dikeni

History

  1. Prelude to the formation of the ANC - Nathi Mthethwa
  2. A tribute to comrade Samuel Zuka Baloyi - Mazwi Zono and Vuyo Adonis

EDITORIAL

After a massive victory in the recent local government elections, it is now time to hit the ground running so that all elected councilors start immediately with the job of implementing our elections manifesto and ensure that all the promises made during the elections to the people are implemented. To this end the ANC leadership must ensure as a matter of urgency that an ANC monitoring mechanism is in place to make sure that we will never again say 'we did not know' when implementation of the manifesto is not being implemented.

We must also commend the ANC Youth League for having conducted a very organized and successful 24th National Congress. Many important resolutions were adopted by Congress after robust debates and discussions in various commissions and plenaries of conference. The most important development of the YL conference was the adoption by conference of the main political theme and direction of the YL going forward of ' Economic freedom in our lifetime' in the same way the class of 1944 Youth Leaguers did by adopting the motto ' freedom in our lifetime. In this issue we therefore focus on the Youth League Congress and on the broader youth month ...please enjoy the read.

Very soon the ANC the will be launching it's Centenary celebrations. This will create a unique opportunity and platform to begin to build a massive unity process inside our broad movement so that the Centenary is not confined to celebrations but also - and more importantly - is used to define our movement towards the next centenary. Going towards this centenary the key is unity - unity of our movement and the unity of our people as a whole around the ANC and it's policies.

The Centenary of the ANC is sacrosanct and therefore every member of the ANC in his or her behaviour must commit to doing everything possible to ensure that by the time of the centenary next year the ANC reaches unprecedented levels of unity amongst its ranks.

Editor-in-Chief

FEATURE: YOUTH MONTH

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ANC YOUTH LEAGUE

Interview with the ANC Youth League outgoing Secretary General, Vuyiswa Tulelo

As the ANC celebrates its centenary anniversary next year, the ANC Youth League will turn a youthful seventy years. Founded in 1944, that generation, which included recently, departed Ma Albertina Sisulu, declared their mission as political 'freedom in our lifetime.' Sixty-nine years later, the ANC Youth League in the lead-up to its 24th National Congress made the bold statement that its theme of 'Youth action for economic freedom in our lifetime' is more than just a congress theme, but as a generational clarion call.

Umrabulo interviewed outgoing Secretary General of the ANC Youth League, cde Vuyiswa Tulelo before the 24th National Congress, and the challenges facing this generation of young men and women.

Umrabulo: The League has seen a phenomenal growth in membership and number of branches - from 703 branches in 1998 to over 2000 branches since 2004 and membership growth of just over 100 000 in 1998 to over half a million in 2004 (see table). What accounts for this growth and is the League going towards its 24th Congress with the same sense of strength?

Vuyiswa Tulelo : The growh of the YL can be accounted for in two-fold. Firstly, its the political relevance of the YL to the youth of South Africa. Not only is the YL relevant as a preparatory school of the ANC, but it resonates with young people of the country as a lobby tool for youth development in South Africa.

Let me say this in relation to the growth of the ANC Youth League. The figures speak for themselves! The Youth League branches have more than doubled over the decade from 776 at its 20th Congress in 1998 to 2 198 branches at its 23rd Congress in 2008. Since then, we have launched over 1000 further branches across the country, and at the 24th National Congress in 2011 we will recorded a total of 3 444 branches! The membership of the ANC Youth League has also grown, from 119 883 members in 1998 to 366 435 members in 2011. We are indeed everywhere!

Table: ANC Youth League membership and branches 1998-2011

  20th CONGRESS, 1998 21st CONGRESS, 2001 22ND CONGRESS, 2004 23RD CONGRESS, 2008 24TH CONGRESS, 2011
  Branches Members Branches Members Branches Members Branches Members Branches Members
KZN 130 27 365 101 15 191 224 47 542 224 60,847 685 72 427
Northwest 30 4 451 104 7 393 183 38 920 183 38,378 312 39 592
W Cape 45 6 304 66 7 466 153 35 490 153 17,525 147 15 205
Gauteng 33 5 631 74 7 806 318 54 446 318 38,900 318 39 008
E Cape 78 10 630 110 10 088 363 30 886 363 38,224 618 62 909
Mpumal 148 28 705 104 14 227 271 45 174 271 44,879 390 31 152
N Cape 74 8 233 103 10 062 113 31 940 113 19,685 172 19 450
Limpopo 195 22 976 253 16 912 346 179 300 346 39,828 487 60 499
Freestate 43 5 588 95 13 085 223 44 300 223 19,347 265 26 193
Total 776 119 883 1 010 102 230 2 194 507 998 2 194 317 613 3 444 366 435

SOURCES: Organisational reports to the National Congresses of the ANC Youth League held in these years, on www.ancyl.org.za

Umrabulo: And yet, the discussion document on Organisational renewal for this 24th Congress calls for a 'campaigning youth movement,' we know about the campaigns of the League during the early 1990's, but what type of campaigns should a mass political youth movement take up today?

VT: The current generation of the YL as taken upon itself the call for economic freedom in our lifetime, and therefore most of the campaigns of the YL seek to respond to that call. Let me remind your readers of the amount of lobby that the YL did in preparation for the 3rd NGC of the ANC on the question of Nationalisation.

However this is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. On the minds of the leadership of the ANCYL today are 3 priorities: access to education, access to skills transfer and access to decent jobs, and this is what drives every campaign of the YL.

Umrabulo: The ANC Strategy and Tactics document explains the role of the Youth League as a critical tool of the youth for a better life for all and as a preparatory school? How does the League sees its main role and tasks, and how does the character of the ANC Youth League today reflect these tasks, is it still a broad non-racial, non-sexist and multi-class movement of youth?

VT: That indeed is the primary task of the YL, its ability to prepare the next and second layer leadership for the ANC and to bring new ideas to the mother body. On the task of being a preparatory school, the YL has done extremely well. I can just say, take a look at the provincial secretaries of the ANC currently serving and trace where they come from. Or just ask the question how many of the current serving NEC members of the ANC come from the ranks of the YL. If there is anything you want to fault the YL on, this is not it.

On the character of the YL, I can safely say that it has moved beyond expectations. Not only is the ANCYL a non-sexist, racist and multi class youth formation, it is possible now for these different strata's of youth to be active and visible in the YL. Gone are the days when people associated the YL with squatter camp or township boys only, now they ask, even you, referring to your Sandton dudes, and Rosebank girls. They rock up at YL meeting in their LV outfits, and are still able to say indeed your brothers and sisters in Alex must be taken out of the conditions they live in. This is because we understand that the primary interest of the YL is not for the emancipation of a few, but all working class youth, of South Africa, irrespective of race and creed.

Umrabulo: Earlier generations of Youth Leaguers, especially during the early 1990's fought hard for the autonomy of the League. How does the current generation of youth define their relationship with the ANC?

VT: The autonomy of the ANCYL is something that must be guarded with all the might, strength and zeal we poses, it cannot be negotiated. The YL is a critical body of opinion in the ANC, and that means the League has the responsibility to always bring new ideas to the ANC and to keep the movement relevant at all times to its membership and the populace of South Africa.

Having said that, we are the Youth League of the ANC , having being brought to life by the Constitution of the ANC, an integral part of the ANC. The Constitution tasks the Youth League with twin duties. Firstly, to mobilize all youth behind the political banner of the ANC and secondly, to champion the socio-economic interests of young people across the political spectrum.

This is the basis of our relationship with the ANC; everything we do is governed by that understanding.

Umrabulo: The League in announcing its discussion documents declared that its clarion call 'economic freedom in our life' is the mission of this generation - why the emphasis on economic freedom? How will this mission impact on the situation of youth, since your documents make specific reference about the high levels of youth unemployment?

VT : The current leadership of the YL has accepted that the generations before us have indeed earned their keep in the records of the revolution, we have seen political freedom in our lifetime. However, the Basic policy document of the Congress Youth League of the 1940s posed three challenges in its preamble. The first is to study and find a solution to the question of political freedom, these we can all attest that indeed we have it.

Remaining are the following challenges, the second commits generations of Youth Leaguers to study and find solution to the question of economic freedom and the third to study and find solutions to the challenge of cultural emancipation.

The current leadership is responding to the challenge economic freedom and thus the Clarion call to all Youth Economic Freedom Fighters. How do we explain to the generates to come that we failed to answer that challenge, how do we explain to those before us that we have failed to fulfill the very tasks which are at the core of the establishment of the ANCYL? I say we can't, so what do we do, we find solutions to them.

Umrabulo: The discussion document on Youth Development notes that South African youth has the "dubious honour of being the majority of the unemployed, the underemployed, the unskilled and marginalized." What does this say about the country's National Youth Policy and institutions and what is meant that we should move 'beyond lobbying and advocacy' and 'a greater activist role of the Youth League in youth development'?

VT: I think that the era of advocacy and lobby is over, we have to move towards well-oiled, armed and financed youth development institutions, otherwise we are just wasting time, money and energy. The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will continue to fail the youth of South Africa unless the ANC government takes a decision to provide it with the respect it deserves. If the ANC government continues to treat youth development as a by the way story, Egypt and Yemen, may not be so far in South Africa.

Umrabulo: During the early 1970's to 1990s, a major cause of youth marginalization was the education system. There have been more recent reports on the so-called NEETs (young people not in education or employment), with over a million youth dropping out of school before completing matric. What should be done to address this situation, and what campaigns will the Youth League consider encouraging young people to remain in school and complete and further their education?

VT: The YL has been engaging both the department of Basic and Higher Education on the need to make education free, decent and compulsory. We want a that policy that makes it a criminal offense to be out of school when you should be in school and the government is spending so much resources on you. Then you can get public sympathy on that issues of school absenteeism, however as matters stand the first answer you will get is that we have no money to go to school and this is true. The YL will continue to drive the campaign for free decent and quality education, but it is the ANC government that must take the decision to implement it, otherwise we are just busy with feel-good programs.

It does not help to say we have so many FET, Universities of Technology and Universities and not answer the question, how do you access them.

Umrabulo: The League has always located itself within the broader youth movement in the country. What is the state of the broader youth and student movement today?

VT: the youth movement is at its weakest currently, with each role player focusing only on its own constituency. This has taken away that feeling of camaraderie and unity, and left a weaker youth voice. Can you imagine the respond the youth sector would get on the call to free sanitary towels, free education and decent jobs, if it was as united as was during the years of the school fees boycott? The liberation movement would not have the luxury of choosing whom to listen to, because the message would be the same. The Congress of the YL must express an opinion on this matter.

Umrabulo: There is a sense, at least in the public debates, that our media still focuses on 'youth as a problem' - whether it is views on the Youth League President, youth and elections, criticism of the National Youth Development Agency, how we celebrate June 16, etc. Are you satisfied with coverage of youth issues and what is being done to change perceptions of young people?

VT: the idea of reporting positively on Youth development in South Africa is still a pipe dream, this is sad considering that many of the people who do the reporting still fall within the category of youth. All lot still needs to be done to change the current understanding that the President of the Youth League speaks on behalf of the League and not himself. Most importantly, he speaks on behalf of the membership of the YL and everything that is under 35yrs.

Umrabulo: You served as only the second female Secretary General of the Youth League in its sixty-nine years of existence. The League's Constitution also enforces the 50-50 gender equity policy. This is some way since the days of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) when cde Dipuo Peters was a lone woman in the national leadership. How has the gender equity principle found expression in the League, and what has the League done and plan to do to develop young women leaders? Is our gender policy only about young women, or are we also developing the gender consciousness of young men, and how?

VT: The first mistake that we make is to remove the officials of the Youth League from the entire NEC as if they are not part of that collective. Let me put it this way, of the 35 member NEC of the YL, 19 are women, and unless my counting is horrible, that is more than 50% of the NEC. In line with the Constitution of the YL all gatherings of the YL are attended on a 50/50 basis.

As part of the mandate of the outgoing NEC, the YL has introduced the Young Women's Assemblies to provide a space and time for young women to plot if you wish their progression in their own space. The question I think we should ask is when young women are going to realize the power they hold in these organisations and use it to the best of their ability.

Umrabulo: the League has always been active in the international arena, what work has been done in this arena since your last Congress and what are the priorities?

VT: the most outstanding was the hosting of the 17th World Festival of Students and Youth, in 2010. This was a culmination of the work the YL did in the internal over past years. We have also strengthened the voice of African youth in the global communities. The YL has successfully led a campaign to increase the representation of Africa in the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY).

The YL continues to pledge solidarity with the people and youth of Cuba, Palestine, Western Sahara and Zimbabwe. Our main focus however has been on the reactivation of youth wings of former liberation movement in SADC.

Finally, there is (and has been in the past) some controversy about the role of the Youth League as so-called kingmakers in the ANC, and more recently the demand for 'generation-mix'. How does the Youth League see this role that it plays?

VT: the point here is the YL is a preparatory school of the ANC and a critical body of opinion in the ANC. If those we prepare do not graduate into the ANC, then we are failing our responsibilities, if we do not bring new ideas to the ANC then why do we exist. So we are doing only what the constitution of the ANC directs us to do, any other explanation cannot be attributed to the YL.

Walter Sisulu's life and the relevance of his ideas for the liberation movement today
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

It is my deepest honour to address the South African Student Congress' (SASCO) Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture. I appreciate this privilege and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate SASCO for creating a public platform for open engagement on key ideas inherited from the life of comrade Walter Sisulu and their relevance to the current phase of the struggle for a better life for all. SASCO's nomination of Walter Sisulu to be its life-time president is an apt tribute to an inimitable leader and a father figure of our struggle.

More fitting is that this occasion is taking place at an institution of higher learning named in honour of his life and contribution. Disseminating, debating and discussing ideas by inquiring minds were some of the hallmarks of comrade Walter Sisulu's life. Continuing this culture at a national level provides us with a conceptual framework for the perception of reality as it unfolds and our place within it. The truth is as we trudge the rugged terrain that leads to the future we need to draw lessons from our past lest we go off the track and betray the mandate which history has entrusted us. I am convinced that the Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture will help us, especially the south and students, appreciate the history of our struggle which laid the foundation for our freedom. This will also help enhance our awareness of the responsibility we have to posterity by safeguarding this democracy in much the same way the past generations of our leaders helped bring about a democratic order.

The life and ideas of Tata Sisulu

It is patently clear that there is a great deal of lessons that we can and must learn from the life and ideas of comrade Walter Sisulu. These lessons range from his belief in the power of education to improve social conditions; organisational unity and the unity of our alliance; our relations with power; and our commitment to the reconstruction and development of our society. Among others of equal rank, these categories comprise the key elements in the vision that propelled comrade Walter Sisulu's relentless struggle for a better society. To delineate the lessons from these categories I will try to sketch comrade Sisulu's life in the context of the struggle he waged for a free, united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. I assume we are all aware that one cannot live one's life outside the context of one's ideas, especially if such a life is lived in a politically oppressive social space. Necessarily, this means one's life is refracted to the outside world through the thoughts one expresses both in word and deed in the course of the struggle.

It also remains true that experience is the best teacher. Karl Marx put it even better when he argued: 'Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past'. As we go through the crucible of social experience we learn lessons which lead to a change of direction in our lives as we seek to improve our conditions. Such was the case with the life of comrade Walter Sisulu.

At the level of political development, there is a vast difference between the young Walter Sisulu that waded into the murky waters of the struggle in 1940 and the Walter Sisulu that emerged triumphant from the Robben Island prison in 1990.

The vehicle comrade Sisulu used to contribute to the achievement of the overarching objective of a free and equal society was the ANC, which served as the organisational expression of his ideals. In this regard a caveat is in order. The ANC of Walter Sisulu was not given on a platter. Instead, it was built, brick by brick, conscientiously, in an insufferable climate of political oppression.

In this task he was guided by principles, values and norms that had inspired the formation of the ANC. With a full grasp of these values and the expectations that went with them, he was able to make a mark on the development of the ANC.

In consequence we need to appreciate the role of the youthful Walter Sisulu in changing the character of the ANC from a petition-oriented entity to a vibrant organism commensurate with the exigencies of the time. Along with William Nkomo, Lionel Majombozi, Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Reginald Tambo and others, comrade Walter Sisulu was instrumental in the formation of the ANC Youth League.

This new auxiliary structure injected a vibrant energy into its mother body, re-focussing the ANC through the 1949 Programme of Action, a practical document that would reorient the ANC towards action-bound strategies. Throughout this process Sisulu had focussed on the task of building and strengthening the organisation in the full knowledge that a weak, divided and factionalist ANC was bound to fail.

Sisulu, along with Lembede, Majombozi, Oliver Tambo and Ashley Mda, was elected to the executive committee of the ANC Youth League in 1944. With his peers, he seized on the opportunity of creating the youth league of the ANC because he had come to the determination that the youth league needed a more active role in the struggle. He had realised that a moderate, almost elitist ANC which was not mass-based, stood no chance against the oppressive regime.

Yet all these changes he and his comrades envisaged were to happen within the ambit of organisational discipline and norms. Furious debates raged within the ANC and even among the Youth Leaguers themselves, but all these took place with the express objective of strengthening the organisation. No comrades were marginalised or ostracised on account of different views, yet at the end of it all the organisation emerged with a common vision.

Among some of the heated issues to engage the organisation's intention was the close cooperation with the South African Communist Party and the Indian Congress. Again comrade Sisulu did not hesitate to argue against narrow African nationalism in favour of a broader policy of non-racialism. He would personally engage in daily struggles that exemplified the overall vision he espoused.

We learn that among heroic deeds attributed to him, away from the glare of the media, he had his first clash with the police when he was charged after a scuffle on a train with a white ticket collector who had confiscated an African child's season ticket. Armed with values of equality and committed to common human decency, he would not stand by in the midst of demeaning acts meant to strip black people of their innate humanity. This small but revealing act reflected the rugged principles inherent in the individuality of comrade Sisulu, which expressed itself within the broader context of the ANC.

Today it is widely recognised that comrade Walter Sisulu's commitment, strategic cast and organisational abilities were instrumental in transforming the ANC. He can be counted among a few comrades that turned the ANC around, enabling it to grow as a mass-based organisation ready to take on the oppressive regime in a systematic, organised and disciplined fashion.

Comrade Sisulu made his contribution with commendable dedication while he never thrust himself into the limelight. Walter Sisulu was not a man for the public occasion, though he could rise to any occasion. He was the man who made public occasions possible. These are personal attributes of comrade Walter Sisulu that we need to grasp as we seek to learn from his great leadership.
Without comprehending this stage in the growth and evolution of Walter Sisulu, we are likely to commit the cardinal sin of historical myopia and thus failing to appreciate the connection between the present and the past so that we can triangulate our location in it.

An evolving young consciousness

For an even clearer historical perspective we must first retrace comrade Sisulu's evolving consciousness from his youth. Comrade Walter Sisulu's condensed biography tells of a life of difficulties from the moment he was born. In summary Walter Ulyate Sisulu was born in the village of Qutubeni in Engcobo district of the Transkei on 18 May 1912. He attended an Anglican missionary institute, but left in Standard 4 as a result of his uncle's death. To help support his family he was forced to seek work in Johannesburg where he found employment in a dairy. This bleak situation into which he was born steeled him for the life of struggle ahead.

Most invaluably, Walter Sisulu put much premium on education, trying his level best to further his studies all the time. He knew that education was not only the means to rise in the world but one of the most potent weapons in the struggle for equality. Whilst he found work at Premier Biscuit factory, he also attended night school at Bantu Men's Social Centre, though he left without completing Standard 5. He would enroll once again when he was on Robben Island, notwithstanding the fact that he was a life prisoner. He went on to complete his 'O' Levels. Furthering his education would have helped him sharpen his tools of analysis and enhanced his world outlook.

At the time when he enrolled to further his education he did not know that one day his life imprisonment would be overturned. Despite the difficult circumstances that promised life-long prison term, comrade Sisulu never wanted to die an ignorant man.

Today when our nation is struggling with massive illiteracy spawned by the same history that imprisoned comrade Walter Sisulu, we must appreciate the abundance of resources made available and accessible by the democratic state. We have these resources and countless opportunities to learn and educate ourselves because of the sacrifices made by comrade Sisulu and his generation. If we cherish the value of education we are able to continue the struggle against under-development, backwardness and ignorance.

Nothing would please comrade Sisulu more that seeing multitudes of youth from historically disadvantaged background enhancing their education for the betterment of our future as a nation.

Lessons for SASCO

I am sure you will agree with me that SASCO can draw invaluable historical lessons from the life of comrade Sisulu. As a student formation that sees itself as "members of the community before you are students" you should remain seized with the task of taking the challenges that face our communities, and society in general, and build them into the academic work of this university and others.

In other words SASCO struggles have to reflect an understanding of the role of education in contributing towards the building of a developmental state. SASCO's members, armed with elevated understanding of this historical mission, have to go back to their communities after they graduate to reinvest in whatever form possible.

At the same time, SASCO needs to build a strong Progressive Youth Alliance, to contribute to broader policy and skills aimed at building a developmental state and to build solidarity with other students across Africa and the world.

As I said earlier on, learning was one among the plethora of principles that Walter Sisulu cherished and epitomised.

His selflessness and leadership

Another one in his arsenal of principles was the ability to resist allurements of office, if he did not deem it appropriate to take on the responsibility. Such was the case with the onset of the democratic order in 1994, when he decided to yield way to the new generation.

In the same way he decided against moving to suburbia, preferring to remain in his Orlando West house that saw most of his anti-apartheid activism before he was incarcerated for life. Nowadays we often speak of selflessness in reference to comrades who had gone out of their way to sacrifice for others in the cause of the struggle.

Yet the life of comrade Walter Sisulu has selflessness inscribed all over it from the very moment he stepped off the train to seek greener pastures in Johannesburg. This selflessness was highlighted by his leadership under trying conditions, such as his activism in trade unionism. In 1940, Sisulu was fired from his job at the bakery for his role in organising a strike for higher wages. Putting his interests on the line in service of a greater duty of uplifting the economic lives of the downtrodden where he worked, he did not hesitate for a moment in fighting injustice in every space into which he entered.

He joined the ANC in 1940 when he was only 28. Today we may take it for granted that the youth at 28 are informed and knowledgeable. It was not always so during the time of Walter Sisulu; ignorance was enforced on the population as a way of keeping them pacified. Looked at this way, it becomes clear that he defied the odds to impact on his age in a way that left an indelible mark on history.

Lessons for the liberation movement today - unity of the movement

We have today a few challenges of our own, both within and outside our organisation, which would need the vision, skills and principled nature of comrade Sisulu to address. In other words, we need the historical lessons emanating from the struggles comrade Sisulu and his generation waged in order that we should keep in line with the innate traditions of the ANC.

The problem of slates: One such challenge is the practice of slates, which is particularly pronounced during elective conference of the ANC. Slates are a form of open factionalism, whereby comrades line up behind a particular candidate. What this means is that the organisation is split in two, with each side owing allegiance to itself in such a way that it elevates its interests above those of the organisation, at least at that time.

What is worse about this particular practice is that slates have the tendency to take on a life of their own. Long after the elective conference is gone comrades still see themselves through the prism of slates, and act accordingly. While the winning faction indulges in triumphalist euphoria, the losing side, smarting, begins to prepare itself for the next elective conference, and acts in a manner consistent with this intention.

No matter how injurious a deed is to the integrity of the organisation, it will still come to pass for as long as the one side thinks it gives it an edge over the other. This way all principles of the organisation are defenestrated, leaving us all the poorer. In practical terms, even service delivery will suffer, since suitable comrades for certain work in local government will never realise their ambitions for as long as they are deemed loyal to the other side.

This becomes a vicious cycle, infesting all the nooks and crannies of the ANC in a way that is harmful to the longterm interests of our movement. Ultimately the practice of slates weakens the ANC by sawing deep divisions that never heal. More pessimistically, such continued internal fractiousness finally hobbles our efforts to govern, undermining the electoral mandate of the ANC. This scenario, essentially, translates into gross selfishness where the interests of a few within the ruling party override the interest of society in whose name we are purportedly governing.

On the contrary, Walter Sisulu worked for the unity of the ANC and put his entire adult life at the service of all South Africans. We cannot claim to be inheritors of his exalted world outlook when in practical terms we work against the interests of our movement, our people, and indeed, our history, the history Walter Sisulu epitomised. His deeds embodied the spirit of organisational unity, guided by principles and values which lay at the foundations of his organisation. In whatever he did the interests of the ANC took precedence. In keeping with the revolutionary legacy of comrade Walter Sisulu, we have the responsibility to maintain unity within the ranks of the ANC.

In themselves, contests and lobbying among comrades are not a bad thing. A healthy, comradely spirit of competition subordinates everyone's individual interests to the overarching interests of the organisation. Comradely spirit, immersed in the traditions of our organisation, negates sectarianism, factionalism and slates, which would lead to the degeneration of our value system and finally the weakening of our movement.

One would not be far off the mark in contending that some of the internal challenges we are facing on the eve of the local government elections are spawned by this history of slates and resultant feelings of marginalisation. It is evident that some within our organisation are beset by perceptions of vulnerability, exclusion and powerlessness in the face of fissures and concentrations of power in certain pockets.

To this end, we need to openly discuss practices such as slates with a view to assessing what effect they have on organisational integrity and principles which underpin the traditions of our movement.

Unity of the Alliance

The second challenge we are facing in this current phase is the broad unity of our alliance. We have already stated the historical fact of comrade Walter Sisulu's championing the cause of unity and co-operation between the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Throughout its history, the ANC has derived strength from its alliance partnership with working leadership in the form of both the progressive trade union movement and the SACP.

Comrade Sisulu taught us from prison that unity and the belief in a united South Africa sustained prisoners to survive the harsh conditions in prison. It was also this discipline and sense of common purpose that stood them in good stead. From his essay We shall overcome, written in prison comrade Sisulu taught us that every organisation engaged in national liberation is constantly facing various challenges but it is the spirit of unity, self-criticism and its ability to continue to analyse, to search for solutions that is crucial for both its continued existence and growth.

I would contend that it is these principles that we should appeal to when dealing with challenges within the alliance. We must discuss whatever differences we may be facing openly and honestly so that we can move forward in unity. Whatever the challenges that the alliance may be facing today, they are no different from many that we have overcome during Comrade Sisulu's time.

As far back as 1976, he was concerned, as we all should be today, about the disunity amongst comrades about the participation of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Communist party in the Liberation movement. He argued lucidly that the majority of black people earn wages in one form or the other and that it remains true that these workers constitute the majority. He went on to say that because this working class is at the forefront of the struggle "...the national liberation movement, can neither ignore this nor close its eyes to the fact that Marxism explains the nature of exploitation in a way that enables the worker to give meaning to his condition".

Therefore, he continued: "the ANC and its allies in the congress movement have consistently supported and assisted the organisation of black workers." He went on to say that the task of the liberation movement is to unite all people, irrespective of their class position."

These unbreakable ties were forged in the cut and thrust of the struggle, and have endured many challenges engendered by time and the pressures of each age. Throughout these phases of the struggle stalwarts of such high credentials as Moses Kotane, JB Marks, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and O.R. Tambo ensured that our alliance was as solid as a rock.

Sins of incumbency

The last category of challenges that I wish to reflect on is what is generally called the 'sins of incumbency', and it particularly concerns governance. Sins of incumbency comprises dangers attendant to accession to power, reflected in the misuse and abuse of power. Sins of incumbency are invariably marked by betrayal of the ideals of freedom, where a former liberation movement turns into a monster that devours the very principles of freedom that sustained it over the ages, and that it is supposed to uphold.

Our movement is in a stage when for the first time we have come face to face with the allurements of office and blandishment of power, which had upended many a noble struggles throughout the history of revolutions. History has taught us that even the most glorious liberation forces are no exception to what in most former liberation movements across the world have come to be known as 'the sins of incumbency'.

The impulse that had driven national liberation movements across time and space easily turns into an ugly spectre of internal organisational undemocratic practices and cult of personality that ultimately overturns the noble objectives of the former liberation movement.

Accordingly the post - 1994 period threw up challenges attendant to access to power. Such challenges manifested themselves in the emergent strains on the values, culture and character of the national liberation movement. Among some of these challenges are issues such as social distance between the governors and the governed; bureaucratic elitism; arrogance of power, careerism; venality and corruption; moral and ideological degeneration among rank and file; and use of state institutions to fight inner-party battles.

Once again these challenges, real or apparent, are inconsistent with the upright moral posture espoused by the generation of comrade Walter Sisulu. Our task is to identify these challenges through political education that elevates a particular brand of historical consciousness we have imbibed from our past. This includes the quality of membership and leadership and thus the capacity to deliver on the needs of the people. This way we will be able to genuinely attempt to uproot these internal party pathologies before they assume an immutable form capable of recasting the organisation into the very inverse of its historical character.

Conclusion

The story of Comrade Walter tells of tremendous life sacrifice, fearless leadership, and commitment to the struggle for liberation, discipline, humility and in finality the triumph of the human spirit.

Perhaps we should take guidance from another great stalwart of our struggle and comrade Walter Sisulu's life partner and fellow comrade Albertina Sisulu who said that we should learn from their life story because:

"It is the only way that the next generation can learn from those who have walked before them, so that they can take the journey forward long after we can no longer continue. We can do no more than tell them our story- it is then up to them to make of it what they will."

Adapted from the address by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the South African Student Congress' Walter Sisulu memorial lecture, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, 19 Apr 2011

ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME:

Can we have a proper debate this time?
Joel Netshitenzhe

As the delegates of the ANC Youth League rose from their 24th Congress, the slogan of 'economic freedom in our lifetime' on their lips, the "lost generation" seemed to be returning the favour of generational stereotyping. We, the older lot in society, bemused by a misshapen movement taking root in spite of our apprehensions, had by some quirk of fate become the "bewildered generation".
Mesmerised by the antics of individuals, irritated by the seeming immaturity of it all, and bedazzled by the media focus on palace politics, the historic nature of the moment seemed to escape us.

Learning from the 76 generation

It is as if the 1976 youth uprising was playing itself out all over again. Then, it fell to the youth of Soweto to become the outlet of the pressure-cooker of apartheid oppression and repression. They threw down the gauntlet, openly articulating and acting out that which the older generations dared only whisper about behind closed doors.

In their impatience and enthusiasm, they did mangle the theory and concepts of liberation politics. And the older, wiser and politically-conscious generations counselled caution, calling for the patient building of organisational capacity before radical mass action.

It was as if the 1976 youth were possessed by the spell of history to learn by doing and pay the price. And pay many of them did, in life and limb. Some among their leaders were lured by pro-apartheid global forces to try and set themselves up as an alternative to the established liberation movement; and they ended up marginal to the course of history.

But, as a generation, they had seized the moment. Subconsciously, they had become the instrument of a historical epoch.

From youthful impulse to purposeful action

So it is with the call of today's youth for "economic freedom in our lifetime". The genie has been let out of the bottle. And there is no possibility of restoring it to its restful state.

Make no mistake. The sentiment of economic freedom enjoys the support of the majority of black young people - rich and poor, employed and unemployed. Research by a variety of agencies confirms the feelings of marginalisation among the youth and their aspiration for radical economic change, though many disagree with some of the methods proposed.

That the youth of 1976 became a sterling generation in the history of struggle is in part because in time they were able to learn - from doing and from listening. Thus the appreciation dawned that they were not the first to defy the might of the apartheid state. Steadily, they came to learn about context and balance of forces. They also came to appreciate that, more often than not, there is wisdom in patience; and that a revolutionary phrase at an inappropriate moment can in fact defeat a revolution!

This was not accidental. The older generations had marshalled the memory of experience to bring this wisdom to the restless youth of 1976. The liberation movement strained its capacities to bring the message of organised struggle into the maelstrom of the uprising. Structures outside the country welcomed the young people and provided political, military and academic training. In brief, a conscious effort was made by organised formations, communities and individuals to lend sense and effectiveness to spontaneity.

Do we have the capacity and the will today, as society, to embrace and translate a youthful impulse into purposeful action?

Economic freedom - the real debate

In its January 8th Statement this year, the ANC asserts: "Political emancipation without economic transformation is meaningless. That is why we have to commit ourselves to economic freedom in our lifetime, and the ANC must continue to be in the forefront of that transformation."

What indeed is "economic freedom" and how can it be attained? Is there a common and coherent storyline across society on the final destination and how to reach it?

This historical moment calls for serious societal debate. Imploring the ANC leadership to put its foot down and suppress the debate will not put the genie back in the bottle. Launching ideological missiles about who is more Left and the vanguard of workers, or speculating whether this campaign is a proxy for ANC palace politics, will not smother the appeal of a sentiment.

It is no accident that this issue emerges in this stark form 17 years after the attainment of democracy. Having obliged Kwame Nkrumah's injunction to "seek ye first the political kingdom", economic liberation is an issue that post-liberation states on the continent and elsewhere had to come back to.

The efforts sometimes resulted in welcome success. In many other situations, failure by society honestly and rationally to engage the issue, poor policy choices on the part of leaders, and a brittle and corrupt state produced disastrous results. On the extreme, predatory elites used so-called economic liberation policies such as nationalisation, indigenisation, price controls and tariff barriers for self-enrichment.

It should be expected that youth in our country would be at the forefront of the economic freedom campaign. Just on access to economic opportunities: the employment ratio among 15 - 24 year olds is 13.2% compared to 40% in Asia and Latin America. 48.2% of those available to work in the 20 - 24 age cohort are jobless. 86% of unemployed youths have not gone beyond Grade 12; and two-thirds of these have never worked. This not only has major macro-social implications including crime and youth mortality as well as socio-political stability especially at local level. It is patently unsustainable.

It can be argued that this problem affects many countries. Besides the youth of the Arab Spring, there is concern in Japan about the so-called freeters (freelance arbeiters), mileuristas in Spain and the UK's NEETS (not in education, employment or training). This is what Peter Coy of Bloomberg Business Week describes as "the common element [of] failure - not just of young people to find a place in society, but of society itself to harness the energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm of the next generation".

The irony which is not irrelevant to our own discourse on economic freedom is that in Spain, for instance, the youth's "May 15 movement" of massive demonstrations has led to the recent defeat of the Socialist Party in regional and local elections. According to the Financial Times (17 June 2011), the right-wing Popular Party is expected to win the next general election. And so, counter-intuitively, socio-economic difficulties result in the rise of the right-wing, as the Left is unable to pose and mobilise around alternatives to the status quo. Under such circumstances, phenomena such as Louis Bonaparte's lumpen proletariat in 19th century France, the Tea Party extremists currently in the United States and the Green Bombers across the Limpopo river can gain prominence.

While there may be structural causes to youth marginalisation in many countries, a major contributor to the current problem is the global economic crisis.

South Africa differs in the sheer size of the problem, the low education and skills levels, the very high levels of inequality and the historical and racial dimensions to the phenomenon of youth unemployment. In our situation it is systemic, manifesting even during high growth periods. As the National Planning Commission (NPC) points out in its Diagnostic Overview, the central problem in our country is that too few people are involved in economic activity.

If the slogan, "economic freedom in our lifetime" has to have any meaning, it should aim at addressing this fundamental challenge. The root causes of the problem, the NPC argues, relate among others to the structure of the economy, the quality of education, poorly located and inadequate infrastructure, a resource-intensive path dependency, and spatial economic and settlement patterns.

A growth story line

South Africa needs a growth storyline that addresses these issues and clearly describes:

We should build "an economy in which cutting edge technology, labour-absorbing industrial development, a thriving small business and co-operative sector, utilisation of information and communication technologies and efficient forms of production and management all combine to ensure national prosperity" (2007 ANC Strategy and Tactics document). This will ensure that we escape the middle income country syndrome - where countries reach a level of development and then stagnate, unable to break out because of path dependency and sheer inertia.

However, the immediate challenge of unemployment, particularly among the youth, cannot wait until high growth over some 5 years starts to have qualitative impact. By then, the ticking time-bomb may have gone off. As such, specific programmes to address this deficit need to be pursued. Besides the public works programme, this should include measures such as massive artisanship training, learnerships, a school-to-work transition programme, job transition through the state and so on.

At the same time, programmes to address asset poverty including housing and land reform need to be intensified. And the approach to BEE should also focus on community trusts for youth and women as well as employee share ownership schemes. With regard to land, policy and planning should take account of the reasons why measures such as the audit of state land, the Communal Land Rights Act, the Land Use Management Bill, revival of collapsed agricultural schemes and other support programmes in rural areas are taking so long fully to materialise.
It is this kind of methodology, firstly, to identify the objective, and then the processes and mechanisms required to achieve it, that should inform the approach of the 'economic freedom movement'.

An inverted logic

An inverted logic is bound to lead to wrong conclusions. This is one major weakness in the ANC Youth League's approach. Some of the "7 cardinal pillars of economic freedom" it identifies in fact put the cart before the horse. This applies for instance to "expropriation without compensation" and "nationalisation for industrialisation". Besides issues of constitutionality, the disadvantages of these actions in relation to sustainably building a prosperous and equitable society, and alternatives to them, are treated dismissively.

Thus, like in 1976, the youth impulse to sense and seize a historical moment is somewhat infused with the mangling of logic, impatience and a revolutionary phrase that can in fact defeat a revolution!

The campaign for economic freedom in our lifetime cannot be the preoccupation of one sector of society, inward-looking and posited to antagonise potential participants. Among the youth and across society, serious discussion needs to take place about what, in substance, we want to achieve, what contribution each sector of society can offer and, indeed, what sacrifices each can make to realise that objective. In such dialogue, even the privileged would come to appreciate that a prosperous and equitable society is in their self-interest.

This should include a campaign for the youth to value personal advancement from an honest day's work, to uplift schools that perform poorly and are dysfunctional, to abhor corruption and campaign as vigorously against it, and to eschew conspicuous consumption that not only highlights our levels of inequality but also subtracts from the savings needed for a consistent and sustainable high growth rate.

Handled in this way, the economic liberation campaign will be embraced by society in a dynamic social compact, for the benefit of society. Subliminal messages about proxy battles of palace politics hinted at by some analysts, and the focus on individuals, will become irrelevant.

A shorter version of this article was first published in Sunday Independent, 26 June 2011.

A YOUTH GENERATION WITH A MISSION
Reflections on the ANCYL 24th Congress

The ANC Youth League introduced its 24 National Congress in June 2011 with the statement that the theme 'Youth action for economic freedom in our lifetime' is more than just a congress theme; it is a generational clarion call.

This brings to mind the statement of Frantz Fanon that 'every generation has to discover its mission... and either fulfil or betray it.' Moses Kotane made a similar call in the South African context, when he said to the youth: 'the future belongs to you... it will be what you make of it.'

The Youth League graciously called in the same statement for members of society, beyond its own membership (and presumably beyond its generation!) to engage with its Congress documents, and help shape this future. Now that the Congress has passed, one would imagine that the same call is extended to engage with resolutions from its 24th National Congress.

This commentary on the League's Congress is therefore in that spirit. In particular, coming from a former Youth Leaguer, it will seek to interact with the concept of a generational mission, as well as respond to the calls for the 'reining in' of the ANC Youth League.

Missions of earlier generations

The call by the League for a generational mission is in line with previous generations of young South Africans, who looked at the conditions in the country, and on that basis defined their historic mission.

This started with the very founding of the ANC Youth League in 1944, when its mission became the struggle for the inclusion of the philosophy of African nationalism into the strategic and practical lexicon of the ANC and for a more militant programme of action against apartheid colonialism. The mission of the 1940s generation directly contributed to the organisational and ideological renewal of the ANC in the 1950s.

Following the repression of the 1960s, the youth of Umkhonto we Sizwe were prepared to take up arms in pursuit of freedom, and many, like Solomon Mahlangu, paid the ultimate price. At the same time, the ANC Youth Section made an important contribution by mobilising international youth and students into the anti-apartheid movement (ANCYL, 2000).

Twenty-five years later, Steven Bantu Biko and others defined their generational mission, when they walked out of the 1969 National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) Conference and declared that black man, you're on your own. This generation laid the foundation for the Black Consciousness philosophy, with its emphasis on self-determination and the unity of the oppressed: that Africans, Coloureds and Indians are all blacks and oppressed and must therefore unite in struggle. This generation's mission not only sharpened our thinking about non-racialism and such clauses in the Freedom Charter as 'South Africa belongs to all', but also the clause that 'All national groups shall have equal rights' and what was seen as a 'four nations approach' to the national question (see for example Mzala, 1985). The mission of the Black Consciousness generation of the 1970s (along with developments in the labour movement) significantly contributed to the revival of an internal resistance movement, as witnessed by 1976 student and youth uprising. And, after the repression that followed these events, this generation swelled the ranks of the exiled liberation movements and with their energy and militancy took the struggle to a higher level.

Following on the 1976 generation, the young lions of the 1980s picked up their spear. The 1980s generation in their mission took the 'old' slogan of freedom in our lifetime to a next level and imbued it with an unflinching determination and courage. Although known predominantly for their militancy, the student and youth movements of the time helped to shape the debates within the broader liberation movement. Their contribution towards bringing about the conditions for change in 1990 remains undisputed.

Post-1994: a dearth of a mission?

There is much less consensus about the mission and contribution of the generation of 1990s. A discussion document for the ANCYL 21st National Congress (ANCYL, 2000) titled Coming of age: political positioning and organisational renewal of the ANCYL noted that young people took a backseat during the negotiations period, in part because, unlike the women's movement, they failed to push for direct representation during the negotiations. Despite this, the ANC Youth League of that time was instrumental in the approach of combining mass action and negotiations and in the discussions on post apartheid policies.

It was the ANCYL, for example, that led the approach to post-apartheid policing with its engagement of the then South African Police in a conference in Soweto in 1992, which emerged with the concept of community policing. Along with other youth organisations in the National Youth Development Forum, it helped challenge public perceptions of a 'lost generation' and put forward a vision of post-apartheid youth development that still forms the foundation of our youth policies and institutions.

And yet, Everatt (2000) called the 1990s 'the dead decade' for youth, citing that, despite their contribution and position in society, the 147-page Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) document dedicated one and a half pages to youth development and that not a single one of the Presidential Lead Projects announced by President Mandela in 1994 was aimed at young people.

The ANCYL 2000 Coming of Age document engages with these contradictions posing the problem thus:

"How did we get to a situation that, by the end of the 90s the youth known at the beginning of the decade as the young lions of the struggle - were now variously referred to as the 'Boom Shaka', 'Yizo Yizo' generation, the Born frees or spoken of in relation to apathy, disinterest in politics, HIV prevalence, crime, consumerism and poor examination results?"

The document in the main blamed the slowness of the League and the youth movement in general to adapt to the post-apartheid terrain for this situation. The 21st National Congress in 2000 took to heart the words of former Youth League President Peter Mokaba when handing over the reigns to a new generation at the 18th Congress in 1994, that the League must 'adapt or die.' In response, the League adopted Youth Vision 2000, and resolved among other things to modernise its organisation, adapt a more disaggregated approach towards organising different sectors of the youth and to form an Economic Commission that focuses on the issues of youth unemployment and economic transformation.

South Africa's Generation Next and their mission of economic freedom

The 24th ANCYL National Congress in June 2011 boldly stated that the mission of the current generation of youth is economic freedom in their lifetime. It specifically interpreted the clause in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all as meaning not only politically, but also in terms of social and economic rights. This interpretation is in line with the Constitution of South Africa, which encompasses first generation human rights, as well as second and third generations socio-economic rights, in the context of historical injustices.

The Youth League 24th National Congress defines this mission of economic freedom in a document - A clarion call to economic freedom fighters: programme of action for economic freedom in our lifetime. The League analyses the present situation, drawing the conclusion that nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, the

"vestiges of apartheid and economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact, despite the attainment of political freedom by the ANC-led liberation movement. Political freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless."

Citing research from both the left and right, the document notes that

"...South Africa's unemployment levels are at critical levels, poverty massive, and that the country is the most unequal society in the world...

The Youth League further draws attention to the fact that these schisms are still largely along racial (and we must add gender) lines, with the burden of unemployment disproportionately affecting young people. These, it concludes, are therefore the painful realities that define South Africa in 2011.

This analysis of post apartheid South Africa - and the concern about social and economic emancipation - is not unique to the Youth League. At the approach of the anniversary of our first decade of freedom in 2004, the South African Government in Towards a Ten Year Review (2003) noted:

"The advances made in the First Decade by far superseded the weaknesses. Yet, if all indicators were to continue along the same trajectory, especially in respect of the dynamic of economic inclusion and exclusion, we could soon reach a point where the negatives start to overwhelm the positives."

Five years later, in Towards a Fifteen Year Review (2008) government again warned:

"South Africa could continue along this path, barely denting structural ills such as massive unemployment among the youth and unskilled workers, the structure of the economy, poor quality in some social services and trends in violent crime. With this, society would plod along with occasional social instability and periodic spurts of growth."

The National Planning Commission in its Diagnostic Report in 2011 noted some of the same realities as 'nine critical challenges' facing South Africa today:

There is therefore no question that the national debate on the social and economic emancipation that the League delegates called for, is long overdue.

What does the Youth League propose?

The League calls for decisive steps to transform the economy, through what it calls "7 cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime." These pillars are:

  1. Expropriation without compensation for equitable redistribution.
  2. Nationalisation for industrialisation.
  3. Inclusive and decentralised economic growth and development.
  4. Land restitution and agrarian reform.
  5. Building a strong developmental state and public service.
  6. Massive investment in the development of the African economy.
  7. Provision of education, skills and expertise to the people.

Its 24th Congress document details the actions required in each of these pillars. For example, under pillar 1 it proposes an "amendment of the property clause to empower the state to expropriate for public purpose and in the public interest," thus calling for a planned and legal process, rather than the 'land-grab' that some suggests. Its pillar 2 calls for state ownership and control of strategic sectors of the economy as part of a broader industrialisation drive. The commanding sectors that should be behind such an industrialisation drive are minerals and metals, banks, energy production and telecommunications, as well as central transport and logistics. The League document does not suggest a 'holus-bolus' approach to nationalisation, even in its proposals on the mines (discussed in Umrabulo 33, 2010). For example, on the banks it identifies as immediate tasks the creation of a State Bank (a position adopted by the ANC 3rd NGC in 2010) and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, accompanied by the transformation of the rest of the financial and banking sector.

Pillar 3 on inclusive and decentralised growth revives some of the debates of the early 1990s and raises new issues. The League echoes the earlier call for a 'growth through redistribution approach', focusing on labour-intensive growth, and redistribution through the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, education, housing, health and subsidised transport. It calls for the decommodification of essential services, especially health, water, education and housing. Evidence, it argues, points towards a rise in labour participation when basic needs are met.

In the discussion on decentralised growth, the Youth League engages with the National Spatial Development Framework, agreeing with the focus on areas where growth and employment strategies will be effective and sustainable, but calls for more robust programmes of Industrial Development Zones (IDZs). It identifies nine areas (Sekhukhune, Welkom, Bojanala, Kuruman, Witbank, Overberg, East London, Coega and Far North KZN) where the state should actively intervene through a rural industrialisation and urbanisation programme, creating IDZs and planned new cities over the next decade.

Of course, as a youth movement, the League should be concerned with education. Thus, it suggests in pillar 7 the alignment of skills development to industrialisation, expansion of post-secondary education and training, transformation of higher education and training, and introducing scholarships to allow for larger numbers of South African students to study overseas. This focus is important, given the fact that there are close to 800,000 vacancies in the high-skill categories, according to the Adcorp Employment Index. Also, from a youth labour market perspective, providing post-secondary education opportunities to greater numbers of 19-24 year olds will not only keep them out of the unemployment statistics, but also address the shift from a low-skilled labour force towards a labour force with median and higher skills levels.

In similar vein, detailed approaches are suggested on the other cardinal pillars, including land and agrarian reforms. Contrary to the suggestions by some of 'uneducated, populist sloganeering', the Youth League seeks to engage the issues and sees itself as part of the process of proposing solutions to the very difficult and persistent challenges identified by the National Planning Commission.

Should the Youth League be reined in? Should the youth shut up and listen?

There has been a chorus of calls for the ANC to rein in the Youth League, because its statements are 'divisive and irresponsible'. This brings to mind the lyrics of the song by Mike and the Mechanics that 'every generation blames the one before'. Except in South Africa, we the older generations pride ourselves on blaming younger generations, with "all of our frustrations, come beating at their door"!

It shows a lack of appreciation for the role that young people play in the processes of social change. Imagine where South Africa would be today if not for the interventions of the generations of Mandela, Lembede, Tambo, Mda and Sisulu in the 1940s, Biko and others in the 1970s and the young lions of the 1980s. Imagine the anti-colonial movements in Africa, South America and Asia - without the bravery and, yes, quite often recklessness of the young people from these continents. Imagine twentieth century history without the actions by the students and youth of France, Poland, the USA and other parts of Europe and South America in 1968. Or just imagine the intifada without the Palestinian youth; the anti-globalisation movement and the G20 without the actions of the youngsters in Seattle and Cancun, or, as recently as 2011, the Arab Spring without its generation of Tweeters and Facebookers?

These examples point towards some of the key features of being young: the spirit of idealism, inexperience, sense of adventure, the anti-establishment sentiments and rebelliousness. So do the slogans of these youth revolts: Demand the Impossible hailed a poster in Paris in 1968. Freedom or Death. Victory is Certain rang the battle cry of the young lions of the 1980s. Growth is madness acclaimed a poster by an anti-World Economic Forum protester in the 1990s.

Indeed these very characteristics that are associated with being young open young people up to make mistakes. However, a wise society does not, like the Gaullists did in 1968, tell the youth to Be young and shut up! It acknowledges that making mistakes and learning through experience is a critical part of the development of young people.

Thus, when our generation fought for the Youth League's autonomy in 1991, we argued: "a profound appreciation by the youth of the democratic ideals we are fighting for is better consolidated if verified by their independent experience." Similarly, 20 years later, if we want young people to appreciate the economic ideals we hold dear (whatever they are), it will be better consolidated if verified by their independent experience.

At the same time, the Youth League generation of the early 1990s argued that recognising the freedom of expression of the young, even things we deeply disagree with, does not mean that the older generations should abandon its responsibility of engaging with the youth. Instead, they should appreciate the social character of the youth and the nature of the Youth League, avoiding 'stereotypes and uniformity rigidly imposed from above'.

Let me make a few examples of how this translates into practice. The ANC Youth League was vehemently opposed to the suspension of armed struggle even before negotiations started in 1990. We argued, in the context of the violence in KZN and the then PWV (now Gauteng), which we believed was sponsored by the apartheid government, that to leave our people defenceless while talking to the enemy is a mistake. Instead of telling us to shut-up and listen to our elders, the ANC leadership of Mandela and Sisulu called in the League National Executive Committee and had a frank discussion: we explained our difficulty with their decision and they explained why we need to prevent the slide towards civil war. At the end of this meeting, we were still not happy with the decision, but we felt that our concerns were heard - later expressed in the call to form self-defence units.

Another example. One of the members of the ANC Youth League National Executive Committee, the late Derek Masoek in 1992 wrote a discussion paper that caused quite an uproar in the ranks of the ANC leadership. It was titled "Insurrection - the forbidden discourse in the ANC,' arguing that in the context of the actions that lead to the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, we need to complement talks at the negotiations table with mass insurrectionary action. The Youth League introduced this debate in the ANC, and engaged the leadership of the ANC on these matters. And, not a single meeting of the Youth League NEC took place without a member of the ANC NEC presenting a briefing on the negotiations process and engaging with the League on its concerns and suggestions.

Even when the League made statements that were clearly problematic, ANC leadership engaged with the youth. Such was the case when, in the midst of the violence that claimed over 10,000 lives, Youth League President Peter Mokaba vowed in 1993 that unless something is done to stop violence from the hostels, we will dismantle them ourselves, 'brick by brick'; or when, in 1995, League President Mlungisi Johnson argued in a speech at Stellenbosch University that the Springbok emblem personifies the racist past of rugby and should be done away with.

Thus, we cautioned in our autonomy document in 1991 that the older generations must never be afraid to allow young people their voice and the space to learn from their experiences, good and bad.

Of course this intergenerational dialogue needs to be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The younger generations must be prepared to put forward their arguments boldly and with the intention to convince others of the correctness or necessity of their views. So they too must be prepared to engage, to listen and learn. At the same time, the older generations have the wisdom of accumulated experience and knowledge, but their very experiences make them resistance to change!

This dialogue has been a characteristic of the ANC since the formation of the Youth League in 1944, and has helped to sharpen both the tactical and ideological positions of the movement over the decades. The Youth League 24th Congress and its outcomes should therefore be seen as an opportunity for engagement with the current generations of youth.

Post-script: a global phenomena

Anyone who listened to the messages of support of the international youth guests to the ANC Youth League 24th Congress (or the World Youth festival hosted by South Africa in December 2010) will realise that something is happening among young people on the continent and globally. The Arab Spring was a youth-led revolution. In Portugal, Greece and Spain, it was young people who led the protests against ordinary citizens having to bear the brunt of the financial crisis, when European governments spent billions on bailing out those responsible. In November 2010, the British establishment was rocked when the 'usually apathetic' student and youth took to the streets to protest against tuition fee increases and the privatisation of higher education.

Many commentators talk about a growing 'discontent' among young people everywhere. Thus wrote Oliver Huitson in Global Research about this phenomenon among youth in the West:
Generational politics is undoubtedly on the rise. This year has already seen the publication of two books on the subject: David Willett's The Pinch... and the indispensable Jilted Generation by Ed Howker and Shiv Malik. Though both texts are cautious in directing blame, they set out solid and well sourced arguments for a nation that has lost touch with generational obligations. From housing and PFI [Private Finance Initiative] to pensions and education, the picture that emerges is one of rampant asset stripping from both past and future. The primary losers, throughout, are young people.

Globally, it is now an acceptable mantra that the youth unemployment rate is double the unemployment rate among adults. North Africa and the Middle East, according to the ILO's Global Employment Trends for Youth, are the regions with the highest rate of youth unemployment, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa. The Youth League 24th Congress in their clarion call for economic freedom highlighted the fact that 70% of the unemployed in South Africa are young men and women. Frank Meintjies on the eve of Youth Day 2011 drew the link between the challenges faced by South African youth and their counterparts on the continent, when he wrote:

Youth in South Africa today face many similarities with the youth in the rest of the continent. While youth increase as a proportion of the population, their socio-economic position worsens. Although youth have better options compared to counterparts in many African countries, our challenge is more urgent due to higher levels of inequality.

In SA youth form a majority - youth under 30 years of age make up 30 million out of a population of about 50 million. Youth share in the problems of unemployment and are equally affected by poverty with its race, spatial and gender dimensions. They are in the direct firing line of problems of exclusion and marginalisation. They bear the brunt in a context where there is widespread wastage of human resources in an economy beset by low growth, capital intensity and limited employment creation.

Again Huitson in the same article had this to say about the labour market situation of British youth today, with many of these issues confronting young South Africans as they enter the labour market as well:

The move to a "flexible" labour market has also caused particular problems for young people. The term is a generous euphemism for depressed wages and low job security, facilitated by the globalised flow of labour and industry-friendly employment reforms. Consequently, there is little incentive to train staff or offer apprenticeships; these costs are instead offloaded onto employees themselves and the taxpayer in general. The number of apprenticeships available has duly plummeted. Earlier this year, a BT scheme received 24,000 applications for just 221 positions.

In this "so called" recession, job losses among young people have risen faster than any other age group leaving nearly a million 16-24 year olds currently unemployed (BBC). Swelling the bottom end of a labour market is undoubtedly good for both business and the well-off, who benefit from cheaper costs and prices, but it is the young and the low-waged who are hit hardest. The generational spread of wealth has grown increasingly lopsided: the baby boom generation now own a full half of the country's property and assets; the under 45s own less than a tenth.

As the ANC and other generations in our society more broadly, we should therefore heed the word of caution from the outgoing ANCYL Secretary General, Vuyiswa Tulelo, in her Organisational Report to the 24th Congress:

We listened to the youth of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen as they said: 'to have a beautiful struggle history is not enough, to give us education and not use us in economic development is not on. Give us our voice, let us choose our own leaders and allow us to participate in the economy of the country.'

The ANCYL noted, and whispered to the ANC, 'we hope you are listening to us'.

REFERENCES AND NOTES

ANC Youth League - all documents on www.ancyl.org.za
(1998). Investing in the future, getting young people working? An employment strategy for the ANC Youth League. July 1998
(2001). 21st National Congress: Discussion document - Coming of age: Political positioning and organizational renewal of the League
(2011) Organisational report to the 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League
(2011) A clarion call to economic freedom fighters: programme of action for economic freedom in our lifetime. 24th National Congress Discussion paper, April 2011

Frank Meintjies. (2011). "Its time to take a hard-nosed look at the problems South African youth face." South African Civil Society Information Service, 15 June 2011. www.sacsis.org.za

The Global Employment Trends for Youth reports are published bi-annually by the ILO. The latest, released in 2010 focused on the impact of the financial crisis on youth employment in different regions and globally.

Oliver Huitson. (2010). "Student protests and the emerging discontent of youth." Global Research, 18 March 2010 on www.globalresearch.ca

The student movement and society - what lessons for the future
David Maimela

One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that knowledge and discourse on the social phenomenon of the 'student movement' is under-researched and insufficiently recorded. As a result, both the student movement and society seem not to appreciate the potent force that the student movement is in shaping history. This is a tragedy that cuts across all societies.

This tragedy is caused by among others the high levels of fluidity in the faces and struggles of students and perhaps a society that privileges certain histories over others. In the process memory gets lost and/or distorted and ultimately the future is the biggest loser. Even in South Africa, where the student movement has played such a critical role throughout its history, literature and research does not reflect sufficiently on the history, ideas, politics and role of the student movement in society.

There is a need therefore to reflect on the origin, evolution and role of the student movement in society and the relationship between society and students.

The origins and place of the student movement in society

Whereas the origins, evolution and proliferation of the student movement can be traced far back in history, the modern student movement can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. This movement got more pronounced and dominant as a phenomenon in the mid to latter half of the century.

Throughout history, the origins and evolution of student movements has tended to be influenced by nationalistic political struggles as well as international issues with a bearing on national politics. For instance, the German experience of students in 1817 'inspired by liberal and patriotic ideas of a united Germany' gathered en masse to 'burn reactionary books' and a movement was born. Similarly, the May 4, 1919 student upsurge (the May Fourth Movement) in China was inspired by the perceived 'Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles' in relation to the Shandong Problem. Notably, these developments and others of a similar nature across the world happened after the European Enlightenment of the 18th century.

On the African continent, Ethiopia was a major centre of activity when it came to the emergence, proliferation and popularity of the student movement between 1900 to 1960 and it certainly pointed to the decisive role of the student movement in society.

According to Selassie "between 1941 and 1960, the Ethiopian student movement inside and outside the country was, once again, caught up by the accelerating pace of the country's history, as it had been during the earlier phase between 1906 and 1916, without undertaking any auto-criticism of its own earlier behaviour nor - above all - attempting an analysis, however approximate, of the many political, economic and cultural contradictions in Ethiopia, its African environment and the new international balance of power following the second world war" [1].

In some instances, as happened here in South Africa in the 1960's, the student movement would fill in a void caused by the absence of political leadership in the mainstream political movements. These will be moments where leading national liberation movements would either be in retreat or disintegrating. This heroic rise of students during these moments in history, moments of doom and gloom, put young people in the forefront of the struggle against unjust regimes in the world.

Character of the student movement: 'revolutionary intelligentsia' or young intellectuals?

The nature and character of student organisation has been contradictory throughout history. In the early 19th century, a sect of students and university intellectuals and academics, the Young Hegelians (1831), formed to question the 'absolute truth' of religion and other mainstream ideas of earlier centuries which continued to hold sway in society. Their initial preoccupation was philosophy and the quest to study the nature of society. Interestingly, membership to the young Hegelians was not based on studentship but rather attraction to the ideas that informed the establishment of the organisation.

In the classical period, forms of student organisation were radically different from the 20th century. For instance, between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD owing to the dominant authoritarian religious orthodoxy, students were just protégés of philosophers raising and debating key societal and philosophical questions of the time, including the debates brought about by scientific advancement. One can conclude that at this stage the organisational form was not yet defined, only voices existed.

It would be limiting as others argue, that because the student movement is first and foremost concerned with student issues and access to education, therefore it is a narrow reactionary movement. Although in a self-congratulatory manner, the student movement usually refers to itself as the 'revolutionary intelligentsia', nowhere in history has the student movement ever carried out a thorough-going revolution without doing so in alliance with other motive forces in society.

Selassie suggests "it seems to us that the essential characteristic of all student movements is, first and foremost, to be the reflection of the many historical, political, economic and cultural contradictions of the societies and countries where they manifest themselves by revealing the problems set, with varying acuteness, by the relevant place and time"[2].

If one contrasts the young Hegelians with contemporary forms of the student movement a clear distinction emerges and, it may be attributed to the dominant university culture of managerialism and authority as opposed to facilitation and open dialogue. Whereas the young Hegelians recognised that both academics and students occupy the same social space and therefore have a common interest in shaping history, the contemporary situation is such that students and academics and managers are in a permanent state of contest, opposition and suspicion.

Could it be possible that what appears as a source of strength in a bygone era is now frowned upon and perceived to be taboo and consequently leads to a conflictual discourse based on narrow definitions of who is a student and a false separation of interests?

A comparable case in South Africa is the establishment of the ANCYL in Fort Hare in 1948 wherein membership was open to both students and staff. Would a democratic South Africa not benefit better from a critical discourse between students, staff and academics unhindered by the limitations of authority and managerialism?

The question then arises; should we not change university culture, traditions and structure to allow for a better flow and cross-fertilisation of ideas among the university community and between the university community and society?

Linked to the above question, another question arises at the schooling level - what schooling system and learners should we have if the June 16, 1976 South African experience is anything to go by?

The emerging conservative idea that because we have achieved freedom therefore politics must be taken out of the schooling system, must be interrogated. This idea has also found its way into some conservative universities to banish political student movements from contesting democratic student representative council (SRC) elections at university level. This idea creates the impression that we are a society of lazy and schizophrenic people who cannot think creatively about the need to balance the imperatives of political consciousness with the demands of reconstruction and development!

The student is not insulated from society. Indeed access to higher learning does lay the basis for stratification since education is a privilege for a few. The distorting phenomenon of a student insulated from society is more acute here in South Africa due to the spatial and separate development policy of the previous white regimes.

Based on the foregoing, it will therefore be correct to suggest that students can be regarded as the young intelligentsia of society, which has the capacity to contribute to revolutionary changes in society.

The contemporary student movement

In present history, a movement can generally be defined as "...a function of people organised on a sustained basis and united in action behind a coherent political programme. A movement has an identifiable line of march. It has a cohesive leadership..."[3].

On the African continent, Ethiopia was a major centre of activity when it comes to the emergence, proliferation and popularity of the student movement between 1900 to 1960 and it certainly pointed to the decisive role of the student movement played in society. In this period and for this generation, the student movement was rooted in anti-colonial struggles and in the South African anti-apartheid struggles as well.

During the mid-to-latter half of the 20th century the student movement was organised on the premise of an 'anti-war and anti-imperialism' platform. The formation of the International Union of Students in 1946 was informed by the growing 'anti-Nazi student coalition' inspired by "the November 17 1938 student resistance in the streets of Prague, Czechoslovakia, to the Nazi occupiers" [4]. Years later, 17 November was declared International Students Day.

In the 1960's a lot was happening in the African continent and elsewhere in the world. The second world war had just ended and a Cold War era began, which also saw some imperialist wars emerging to scar the memory of humanity. And equally in Africa, the anti-colonial struggles led by the national liberation movements had begun to triumph starting with the liberation of Sudan.

Across regions of the world, several events such as the Vietnam War, the Palestinian question, racist violence and exclusion in the United states, heightened apartheid, academic exclusions and rising costs of tuition fees made 1968 a year of the student revolts.

In many university campuses, students identified with the broader community struggles for freedom, racial equality, justice and democracy and access to equal opportunity. Although not an inherently revolutionary class, the students are capable of revolutionary acts, which have a propensity to propel society forward. The counterculture of the hippies in the US, the alignment of students with socialist parties and adoption of a Marxist/Left worldview and so on, demonstrate the potent force that the student movement is. In more instances, students have contributed immensely to change of governments in history.

The South African experience: continuity or discontinuity?

As argued above, the latter half of the 20th century saw a rise of especially militant and even radical student movements across the world. The impact of television and the press carrying images of the rise and protest of students in North America, eastern and western Europe, Africa and elsewhere further helped to influenced and inspired the rise of radical and especially black dominated student movements.

From the 1950's to the late 1980's, a period spanning almost four decades, the illegitimate South Africa authoritarian apartheid state was facing a crisis of domestic mass resistance, and international isolation and the response was more state repression.

After the Defiance Campaign, there was an increased tempo in community mass protest and the response of the apartheid regime was banishment, arrests, torture, assassinations. As a consequence, the national liberation movement retreated and pursued the struggle through international solidarity work, armed struggle and underground operation.

At this stage the question arose, how "any serious organised political challenge to the white minority domination could be mounted and where would it come"? [5].

In the temporary ruins of the liberation movement in the last latter part of the 20th century, the emergence of the South African Students Organisation (SASO) imbued with the 'black consciousness' ideology was a timely intervention in the struggle for freedom. SASO was formed in 1968 partly to strengthen the black student voice in higher education. The majority of students in the 'black universities' felt that the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) formed in 1924, was an insufficient white liberal platform and therefore not radical enough to appreciate and pursue grievances of black students and of black South Africa.

Undoubtedly, the not so distant heroic struggles of the student movement in the 70's and 80's helped to increase the tempo towards the resolution of the South African question. The visionary nature of the student movement at the time set the tone for a non-racial South Africa when NUSAS merged with SANSCO to form SASCO in 1991.

The 1976 youth uprising saw a dynamic and energetic mass youth and student movement deepen the apartheid crisis further, of course at a great cost of life and destruction of education prospects for thousands. Whole communities were moved and challenge by the courage of the youth because the uprising was not merely about education demands, but about the unjust system of apartheid.

Throughout this period, the liberation movement worked very closely underground with the student movement. Certainly, the struggles of the students was a continuation of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and a better life based on values of justice, freedom peace and democracy.

Challenges of the student movement today

Among others, the student movement of today (post-1994) faces two key challenges. Firstly, the student movement needs to reconnect with the base, the community. The distance or rather disconnect between the community of South Africa and the student is too vast and it has debilitating consequences for the student movement's long-term survival and relevance. How far has the student movement sustained the early 90's momentum of playing a role in the reconstruction and development of South Africa?

Secondly and related to the above, the student movement must continue the search for new ideas and solutions to the myriad challenges facing a young democracy. If the student movement is to continue to be regarded as the young intelligentsia of society, then it must prove its worth and take its rightful place in society. Except rightfully critiquing the state, what key ideas and concepts have emerged from the student movement in the past 15 years?

Finally, both society and the student movement could do well if they could appreciate one another better in a democratic society. If this appreciation does not happen sooner, then both society and the student will be worse off. The lessons from history are too glaring to be ignored.

David Maimela is a former President of the South African Students Congress (SASCO 2006-2008) and a researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra)

REFERENCES

  1. Selassie, B.K. 1987. The class struggle or the struggle for positions? A review of Ethiopian student movements between 1900 and 1975. Working Document. Dakar. UNESCO
  2. Makhura, D. (1999). "The MDM, civil society and social transformation: Challenges of building a popular movement for transformation." Umrabulo No 7, 3rd Quarter.
  3. Ibid(1)
  4. International Union of Students. Background: About the International Union of Students. URL www.stud.uni-hannover.de/gruppen/ius/background.html, accessed on 30 April 2011.
  5. Badat, S. 1999. Black student politics, higher education and apartheid - From SASO to SANSCO, 1968-1990. Pretoria: HSRC

ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME:

Can we have a proper debate this time?
Joel Netshitenzhe

As the delegates of the ANC Youth League rose from their 24th Congress, the slogan of 'economic freedom in our lifetime' on their lips, the "lost generation" seemed to be returning the favour of generational stereotyping. We, the older lot in society, bemused by a misshapen movement taking root in spite of our apprehensions, had by some quirk of fate become the "bewildered generation".

Mesmerised by the antics of individuals, irritated by the seeming immaturity of it all, and bedazzled by the media focus on palace politics, the historic nature of the moment seemed to escape us.

Learning from the 76 generation

It is as if the 1976 youth uprising was playing itself out all over again. Then, it fell to the youth of Soweto to become the outlet of the pressure-cooker of apartheid oppression and repression. They threw down the gauntlet, openly articulating and acting out that which the older generations dared only whisper about behind closed doors.

In their impatience and enthusiasm, they did mangle the theory and concepts of liberation politics. And the older, wiser and politically-conscious generations counselled caution, calling for the patient building of organisational capacity before radical mass action.

It was as if the 1976 youth were possessed by the spell of history to learn by doing and pay the price. And pay many of them did, in life and limb. Some among their leaders were lured by pro-apartheid global forces to try and set themselves up as an alternative to the established liberation movement; and they ended up marginal to the course of history.

But, as a generation, they had seized the moment. Subconsciously, they had become the instrument of a historical epoch.

From youthful impulse to purposeful action

So it is with the call of today's youth for "economic freedom in our lifetime". The genie has been let out of the bottle. And there is no possibility of restoring it to its restful state.

Make no mistake. The sentiment of economic freedom enjoys the support of the majority of black young people - rich and poor, employed and unemployed. Research by a variety of agencies confirms the feelings of marginalisation among the youth and their aspiration for radical economic change, though many disagree with some of the methods proposed.

That the youth of 1976 became a sterling generation in the history of struggle is in part because in time they were able to learn - from doing and from listening. Thus the appreciation dawned that they were not the first to defy the might of the apartheid state. Steadily, they came to learn about context and balance of forces. They also came to appreciate that, more often than not, there is wisdom in patience; and that a revolutionary phrase at an inappropriate moment can in fact defeat a revolution!

This was not accidental. The older generations had marshalled the memory of experience to bring this wisdom to the restless youth of 1976. The liberation movement strained its capacities to bring the message of organised struggle into the maelstrom of the uprising. Structures outside the country welcomed the young people and provided political, military and academic training. In brief, a conscious effort was made by organised formations, communities and individuals to lend sense and effectiveness to spontaneity.

Do we have the capacity and the will today, as society, to embrace and translate a youthful impulse into purposeful action?

Economic freedom - the real debate

In its January 8th Statement this year, the ANC asserts: "Political emancipation without economic transformation is meaningless. That is why we have to commit ourselves to economic freedom in our lifetime, and the ANC must continue to be in the forefront of that transformation."

What indeed is "economic freedom" and how can it be attained? Is there a common and coherent storyline across society on the final destination and how to reach it?

This historical moment calls for serious societal debate. Imploring the ANC leadership to put its foot down and suppress the debate will not put the genie back in the bottle. Launching ideological missiles about who is more Left and the vanguard of workers, or speculating whether this campaign is a proxy for ANC palace politics, will not smother the appeal of a sentiment.

It is no accident that this issue emerges in this stark form 17 years after the attainment of democracy. Having obliged Kwame Nkrumah's injunction to "seek ye first the political kingdom", economic liberation is an issue that post-liberation states on the continent and elsewhere had to come back to.

The efforts sometimes resulted in welcome success. In many other situations, failure by society honestly and rationally to engage the issue, poor policy choices on the part of leaders, and a brittle and corrupt state produced disastrous results. On the extreme, predatory elites used so-called economic liberation policies such as nationalisation, indigenisation, price controls and tariff barriers for self-enrichment.

It should be expected that youth in our country would be at the forefront of the economic freedom campaign. Just on access to economic opportunities: the employment ratio among 15 - 24 year olds is 13.2% compared to 40% in Asia and Latin America. 48.2% of those available to work in the 20 - 24 age cohort are jobless. 86% of unemployed youths have not gone beyond Grade 12; and two-thirds of these have never worked. This not only has major macro-social implications including crime and youth mortality as well as socio-political stability especially at local level. It is patently unsustainable.

It can be argued that this problem affects many countries. Besides the youth of the Arab Spring, there is concern in Japan about the so-called freeters (freelance arbeiters), mileuristas in Spain and the UK's NEETS (not in education, employment or training). This is what Peter Coy of Bloomberg Business Week describes as "the common element [of] failure - not just of young people to find a place in society, but of society itself to harness the energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm of the next generation".

The irony which is not irrelevant to our own discourse on economic freedom is that in Spain, for instance, the youth's "May 15 movement" of massive demonstrations has led to the recent defeat of the Socialist Party in regional and local elections. According to the Financial Times (17 June 2011), the right-wing Popular Party is expected to win the next general election. And so, counter-intuitively, socio-economic difficulties result in the rise of the right-wing, as the Left is unable to pose and mobilise around alternatives to the status quo. Under such circumstances, phenomena such as Louis Bonaparte's lumpen proletariat in 19th century France, the Tea Party extremists currently in the United States and the Green Bombers across the Limpopo river can gain prominence.

While there may be structural causes to youth marginalisation in many countries, a major contributor to the current problem is the global economic crisis.

South Africa differs in the sheer size of the problem, the low education and skills levels, the very high levels of inequality and the historical and racial dimensions to the phenomenon of youth unemployment. In our situation it is systemic, manifesting even during high growth periods. As the National Planning Commission (NPC) points out in its Diagnostic Overview, the central problem in our country is that too few people are involved in economic activity.

If the slogan, "economic freedom in our lifetime" has to have any meaning, it should aim at addressing this fundamental challenge. The root causes of the problem, the NPC argues, relate among others to the structure of the economy, the quality of education, poorly located and inadequate infrastructure, a resource-intensive path dependency, and spatial economic and settlement patterns.

A growth story line

South Africa needs a growth storyline that addresses these issues and clearly describes:

We should build "an economy in which cutting edge technology, labour-absorbing industrial development, a thriving small business and co-operative sector, utilisation of information and communication technologies and efficient forms of production and management all combine to ensure national prosperity" (2007 ANC Strategy and Tactics document). This will ensure that we escape the middle income country syndrome - where countries reach a level of development and then stagnate, unable to break out because of path dependency and sheer inertia.

However, the immediate challenge of unemployment, particularly among the youth, cannot wait until high growth over some 5 years starts to have qualitative impact. By then, the ticking time-bomb may have gone off. As such, specific programmes to address this deficit need to be pursued. Besides the public works programme, this should include measures such as massive artisanship training, learnerships, a school-to-work transition programme, job transition through the state and so on.

At the same time, programmes to address asset poverty including housing and land reform need to be intensified. And the approach to BEE should also focus on community trusts for youth and women as well as employee share ownership schemes. With regard to land, policy and planning should take account of the reasons why measures such as the audit of state land, the Communal Land Rights Act, the Land Use Management Bill, revival of collapsed agricultural schemes and other support programmes in rural areas are taking so long fully to materialise.

It is this kind of methodology, firstly, to identify the objective, and then the processes and mechanisms required to achieve it, that should inform the approach of the 'economic freedom movement'.

An inverted logic

An inverted logic is bound to lead to wrong conclusions. This is one major weakness in the ANC Youth League's approach. Some of the "7 cardinal pillars of economic freedom" it identifies in fact put the cart before the horse. This applies for instance to "expropriation without compensation" and "nationalisation for industrialisation". Besides issues of constitutionality, the disadvantages of these actions in relation to sustainably building a prosperous and equitable society, and alternatives to them, are treated dismissively.

Thus, like in 1976, the youth impulse to sense and seize a historical moment is somewhat infused with the mangling of logic, impatience and a revolutionary phrase that can in fact defeat a revolution!

The campaign for economic freedom in our lifetime cannot be the preoccupation of one sector of society, inward-looking and posited to antagonise potential participants. Among the youth and across society, serious discussion needs to take place about what, in substance, we want to achieve, what contribution each sector of society can offer and, indeed, what sacrifices each can make to realise that objective. In such dialogue, even the privileged would come to appreciate that a prosperous and equitable society is in their self-interest.

This should include a campaign for the youth to value personal advancement from an honest day's work, to uplift schools that perform poorly and are dysfunctional, to abhor corruption and campaign as vigorously against it, and to eschew conspicuous consumption that not only highlights our levels of inequality but also subtracts from the savings needed for a consistent and sustainable high growth rate.

Handled in this way, the economic liberation campaign will be embraced by society in a dynamic social compact, for the benefit of society. Subliminal messages about proxy battles of palace politics hinted at by some analysts, and the focus on individuals, will become irrelevant.

A shorter version of this article was first published in Sunday Independent, 26 June 2011.

A YOUTH GENERATION WITH A MISSION

Reflections on the ANCYL 24th Congress

The ANC Youth League introduced its 24 National Congress in June 2011 with the statement that the theme 'Youth action for economic freedom in our lifetime' is more than just a congress theme; it is a generational clarion call.

This brings to mind the statement of Frantz Fanon that 'every generation has to discover its mission... and either fulfil or betray it.' Moses Kotane made a similar call in the South African context, when he said to the youth: 'the future belongs to you... it will be what you make of it.'

The Youth League graciously called in the same statement for members of society, beyond its own membership (and presumably beyond its generation!) to engage with its Congress documents, and help shape this future. Now that the Congress has passed, one would imagine that the same call is extended to engage with resolutions from its 24th National Congress.

This commentary on the League's Congress is therefore in that spirit. In particular, coming from a former Youth Leaguer, it will seek to interact with the concept of a generational mission, as well as respond to the calls for the 'reining in' of the ANC Youth League.

Missions of earlier generations

The call by the League for a generational mission is in line with previous generations of young South Africans, who looked at the conditions in the country, and on that basis defined their historic mission.

This started with the very founding of the ANC Youth League in 1944, when its mission became the struggle for the inclusion of the philosophy of African nationalism into the strategic and practical lexicon of the ANC and for a more militant programme of action against apartheid colonialism. The mission of the 1940s generation directly contributed to the organisational and ideological renewal of the ANC in the 1950s.

Following the repression of the 1960s, the youth of Umkhonto we Sizwe were prepared to take up arms in pursuit of freedom, and many, like Solomon Mahlangu, paid the ultimate price. At the same time, the ANC Youth Section made an important contribution by mobilising international youth and students into the anti-apartheid movement (ANCYL, 2000).

Twenty-five years later, Steven Bantu Biko and others defined their generational mission, when they walked out of the 1969 National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) Conference and declared that black man, you're on your own. This generation laid the foundation for the Black Consciousness philosophy, with its emphasis on self-determination and the unity of the oppressed: that Africans, Coloureds and Indians are all blacks and oppressed and must therefore unite in struggle. This generation's mission not only sharpened our thinking about non-racialism and such clauses in the Freedom Charter as 'South Africa belongs to all', but also the clause that 'All national groups shall have equal rights' and what was seen as a 'four nations approach' to the national question (see for example Mzala, 1985). The mission of the Black Consciousness generation of the 1970s (along with developments in the labour movement) significantly contributed to the revival of an internal resistance movement, as witnessed by 1976 student and youth uprising. And, after the repression that followed these events, this generation swelled the ranks of the exiled liberation movements and with their energy and militancy took the struggle to a higher level.

Following on the 1976 generation, the young lions of the 1980s picked up their spear. The 1980s generation in their mission took the 'old' slogan of freedom in our lifetime to a next level and imbued it with an unflinching determination and courage. Although known predominantly for their militancy, the student and youth movements of the time helped to shape the debates within the broader liberation movement. Their contribution towards bringing about the conditions for change in 1990 remains undisputed.

Post-1994: a dearth of a mission?

There is much less consensus about the mission and contribution of the generation of 1990s. A discussion document for the ANCYL 21st National Congress (ANCYL, 2000) titled Coming of age: political positioning and organisational renewal of the ANCYL noted that young people took a backseat during the negotiations period, in part because, unlike the women's movement, they failed to push for direct representation during the negotiations. Despite this, the ANC Youth League of that time was instrumental in the approach of combining mass action and negotiations and in the discussions on post apartheid policies.

It was the ANCYL, for example, that led the approach to post-apartheid policing with its engagement of the then South African Police in a conference in Soweto in 1992, which emerged with the concept of community policing. Along with other youth organisations in the National Youth Development Forum, it helped challenge public perceptions of a 'lost generation' and put forward a vision of post-apartheid youth development that still forms the foundation of our youth policies and institutions.

And yet, Everatt (2000) called the 1990s 'the dead decade' for youth, citing that, despite their contribution and position in society, the 147-page Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) document dedicated one and a half pages to youth development and that not a single one of the Presidential Lead Projects announced by President Mandela in 1994 was aimed at young people.

The ANCYL 2000 Coming of Age document engages with these contradictions posing the problem thus:

"How did we get to a situation that, by the end of the 90s the youth known at the beginning of the decade as the young lions of the struggle - were now variously referred to as the 'Boom Shaka', 'Yizo Yizo' generation, the Born frees or spoken of in relation to apathy, disinterest in politics, HIV prevalence, crime, consumerism and poor examination results?"

The document in the main blamed the slowness of the League and the youth movement in general to adapt to the post-apartheid terrain for this situation. The 21st National Congress in 2000 took to heart the words of former Youth League President Peter Mokaba when handing over the reigns to a new generation at the 18th Congress in 1994, that the League must 'adapt or die.' In response, the League adopted Youth Vision 2000, and resolved among other things to modernise its organisation, adapt a more disaggregated approach towards organising different sectors of the youth and to form an Economic Commission that focuses on the issues of youth unemployment and economic transformation.

South Africa's Generation Next and their mission of economic freedom

The 24th ANCYL National Congress in June 2011 boldly stated that the mission of the current generation of youth is economic freedom in their lifetime. It specifically interpreted the clause in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all as meaning not only politically, but also in terms of social and economic rights. This interpretation is in line with the Constitution of South Africa, which encompasses first generation human rights, as well as second and third generations socio-economic rights, in the context of historical injustices.

The Youth League 24th National Congress defines this mission of economic freedom in a document - A clarion call to economic freedom fighters: programme of action for economic freedom in our lifetime. The League analyses the present situation, drawing the conclusion that nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, the

"vestiges of apartheid and economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact, despite the attainment of political freedom by the ANC-led liberation movement. Political freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless."

Citing research from both the left and right, the document notes that

"...South Africa's unemployment levels are at critical levels, poverty massive, and that the country is the most unequal society in the world...

The Youth League further draws attention to the fact that these schisms are still largely along racial (and we must add gender) lines, with the burden of unemployment disproportionately affecting young people. These, it concludes, are therefore the painful realities that define South Africa in 2011.

This analysis of post apartheid South Africa - and the concern about social and economic emancipation - is not unique to the Youth League. At the approach of the anniversary of our first decade of freedom in 2004, the South African Government in Towards a Ten Year Review (2003) noted:

"The advances made in the First Decade by far superseded the weaknesses. Yet, if all indicators were to continue along the same trajectory, especially in respect of the dynamic of economic inclusion and exclusion, we could soon reach a point where the negatives start to overwhelm the positives."

Five years later, in Towards a Fifteen Year Review (2008) government again warned:

"South Africa could continue along this path, barely denting structural ills such as massive unemployment among the youth and unskilled workers, the structure of the economy, poor quality in some social services and trends in violent crime. With this, society would plod along with occasional social instability and periodic spurts of growth."

The National Planning Commission in its Diagnostic Report in 2011 noted some of the same realities as 'nine critical challenges' facing South Africa today:

There is therefore no question that the national debate on the social and economic emancipation that the League delegates called for, is long overdue.

What does the Youth League propose?

The League calls for decisive steps to transform the economy, through what it calls "7 cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime." These pillars are:

  1. Expropriation without compensation for equitable redistribution.
  2. Nationalisation for industrialisation.
  3. Inclusive and decentralised economic growth and development.
  4. Land restitution and agrarian reform.
  5. Building a strong developmental state and public service.
  6. Massive investment in the development of the African economy.
  7. Provision of education, skills and expertise to the people.

Its 24th Congress document details the actions required in each of these pillars. For example, under pillar 1 it proposes an "amendment of the property clause to empower the state to expropriate for public purpose and in the public interest," thus calling for a planned and legal process, rather than the 'land-grab' that some suggests. Its pillar 2 calls for state ownership and control of strategic sectors of the economy as part of a broader industrialisation drive. The commanding sectors that should be behind such an industrialisation drive are minerals and metals, banks, energy production and telecommunications, as well as central transport and logistics. The League document does not suggest a 'holus-bolus' approach to nationalisation, even in its proposals on the mines (discussed in Umrabulo 33, 2010). For example, on the banks it identifies as immediate tasks the creation of a State Bank (a position adopted by the ANC 3rd NGC in 2010) and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, accompanied by the transformation of the rest of the financial and banking sector.

Pillar 3 on inclusive and decentralised growth revives some of the debates of the early 1990s and raises new issues. The League echoes the earlier call for a 'growth through redistribution approach', focusing on labour-intensive growth, and redistribution through the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, education, housing, health and subsidised transport. It calls for the decommodification of essential services, especially health, water, education and housing. Evidence, it argues, points towards a rise in labour participation when basic needs are met.

In the discussion on decentralised growth, the Youth League engages with the National Spatial Development Framework, agreeing with the focus on areas where growth and employment strategies will be effective and sustainable, but calls for more robust programmes of Industrial Development Zones (IDZs). It identifies nine areas (Sekhukhune, Welkom, Bojanala, Kuruman, Witbank, Overberg, East London, Coega and Far North KZN) where the state should actively intervene through a rural industrialisation and urbanisation programme, creating IDZs and planned new cities over the next decade.

Of course, as a youth movement, the League should be concerned with education. Thus, it suggests in pillar 7 the alignment of skills development to industrialisation, expansion of post-secondary education and training, transformation of higher education and training, and introducing scholarships to allow for larger numbers of South African students to study overseas. This focus is important, given the fact that there are close to 800,000 vacancies in the high-skill categories, according to the Adcorp Employment Index. Also, from a youth labour market perspective, providing post-secondary education opportunities to greater numbers of 19-24 year olds will not only keep them out of the unemployment statistics, but also address the shift from a low-skilled labour force towards a labour force with median and higher skills levels.

In similar vein, detailed approaches are suggested on the other cardinal pillars, including land and agrarian reforms. Contrary to the suggestions by some of 'uneducated, populist sloganeering', the Youth League seeks to engage the issues and sees itself as part of the process of proposing solutions to the very difficult and persistent challenges identified by the National Planning Commission.

Should the Youth League be reined in? Should the youth shut up and listen?

There has been a chorus of calls for the ANC to rein in the Youth League, because its statements are 'divisive and irresponsible'. This brings to mind the lyrics of the song by Mike and the Mechanics that 'every generation blames the one before'. Except in South Africa, we the older generations pride ourselves on blaming younger generations, with "all of our frustrations, come beating at their door"!

It shows a lack of appreciation for the role that young people play in the processes of social change. Imagine where South Africa would be today if not for the interventions of the generations of Mandela, Lembede, Tambo, Mda and Sisulu in the 1940s, Biko and others in the 1970s and the young lions of the 1980s. Imagine the anti-colonial movements in Africa, South America and Asia - without the bravery and, yes, quite often recklessness of the young people from these continents. Imagine twentieth century history without the actions by the students and youth of France, Poland, the USA and other parts of Europe and South America in 1968. Or just imagine the intifada without the Palestinian youth; the anti-globalisation movement and the G20 without the actions of the youngsters in Seattle and Cancun, or, as recently as 2011, the Arab Spring without its generation of Tweeters and Facebookers?

These examples point towards some of the key features of being young: the spirit of idealism, inexperience, sense of adventure, the anti-establishment sentiments and rebelliousness. So do the slogans of these youth revolts: Demand the Impossible hailed a poster in Paris in 1968. Freedom or Death. Victory is Certain rang the battle cry of the young lions of the 1980s. Growth is madness acclaimed a poster by an anti-World Economic Forum protester in the 1990s.

Indeed these very characteristics that are associated with being young open young people up to make mistakes. However, a wise society does not, like the Gaullists did in 1968, tell the youth to Be young and shut up! It acknowledges that making mistakes and learning through experience is a critical part of the development of young people.

Thus, when our generation fought for the Youth League's autonomy in 1991, we argued: "a profound appreciation by the youth of the democratic ideals we are fighting for is better consolidated if verified by their independent experience." Similarly, 20 years later, if we want young people to appreciate the economic ideals we hold dear (whatever they are), it will be better consolidated if verified by their independent experience.

At the same time, the Youth League generation of the early 1990s argued that recognising the freedom of expression of the young, even things we deeply disagree with, does not mean that the older generations should abandon its responsibility of engaging with the youth. Instead, they should appreciate the social character of the youth and the nature of the Youth League, avoiding 'stereotypes and uniformity rigidly imposed from above'.

Let me make a few examples of how this translates into practice. The ANC Youth League was vehemently opposed to the suspension of armed struggle even before negotiations started in 1990. We argued, in the context of the violence in KZN and the then PWV (now Gauteng), which we believed was sponsored by the apartheid government, that to leave our people defenceless while talking to the enemy is a mistake. Instead of telling us to shut-up and listen to our elders, the ANC leadership of Mandela and Sisulu called in the League National Executive Committee and had a frank discussion: we explained our difficulty with their decision and they explained why we need to prevent the slide towards civil war. At the end of this meeting, we were still not happy with the decision, but we felt that our concerns were heard - later expressed in the call to form self-defence units.

Another example. One of the members of the ANC Youth League National Executive Committee, the late Derek Masoek in 1992 wrote a discussion paper that caused quite an uproar in the ranks of the ANC leadership. It was titled "Insurrection - the forbidden discourse in the ANC,' arguing that in the context of the actions that lead to the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, we need to complement talks at the negotiations table with mass insurrectionary action. The Youth League introduced this debate in the ANC, and engaged the leadership of the ANC on these matters. And, not a single meeting of the Youth League NEC took place without a member of the ANC NEC presenting a briefing on the negotiations process and engaging with the League on its concerns and suggestions.

Even when the League made statements that were clearly problematic, ANC leadership engaged with the youth. Such was the case when, in the midst of the violence that claimed over 10,000 lives, Youth League President Peter Mokaba vowed in 1993 that unless something is done to stop violence from the hostels, we will dismantle them ourselves, 'brick by brick'; or when, in 1995, League President Mlungisi Johnson argued in a speech at Stellenbosch University that the Springbok emblem personifies the racist past of rugby and should be done away with.

Thus, we cautioned in our autonomy document in 1991 that the older generations must never be afraid to allow young people their voice and the space to learn from their experiences, good and bad.

Of course this intergenerational dialogue needs to be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The younger generations must be prepared to put forward their arguments boldly and with the intention to convince others of the correctness or necessity of their views. So they too must be prepared to engage, to listen and learn. At the same time, the older generations have the wisdom of accumulated experience and knowledge, but their very experiences make them resistance to change!

This dialogue has been a characteristic of the ANC since the formation of the Youth League in 1944, and has helped to sharpen both the tactical and ideological positions of the movement over the decades. The Youth League 24th Congress and its outcomes should therefore be seen as an opportunity for engagement with the current generations of youth.

Post-script: a global phenomena

Anyone who listened to the messages of support of the international youth guests to the ANC Youth League 24th Congress (or the World Youth festival hosted by South Africa in December 2010) will realise that something is happening among young people on the continent and globally. The Arab Spring was a youth-led revolution. In Portugal, Greece and Spain, it was young people who led the protests against ordinary citizens having to bear the brunt of the financial crisis, when European governments spent billions on bailing out those responsible. In November 2010, the British establishment was rocked when the 'usually apathetic' student and youth took to the streets to protest against tuition fee increases and the privatisation of higher education.

Many commentators talk about a growing 'discontent' among young people everywhere. Thus wrote Oliver Huitson in Global Research about this phenomenon among youth in the West:

Generational politics is undoubtedly on the rise. This year has already seen the publication of two books on the subject: David Willett's The Pinch... and the indispensable Jilted Generation by Ed Howker and Shiv Malik. Though both texts are cautious in directing blame, they set out solid and well sourced arguments for a nation that has lost touch with generational obligations. From housing and PFI [Private Finance Initiative] to pensions and education, the picture that emerges is one of rampant asset stripping from both past and future. The primary losers, throughout, are young people.

Globally, it is now an acceptable mantra that the youth unemployment rate is double the unemployment rate among adults. North Africa and the Middle East, according to the ILO's Global Employment Trends for Youth, are the regions with the highest rate of youth unemployment, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa. The Youth League 24th Congress in their clarion call for economic freedom highlighted the fact that 70% of the unemployed in South Africa are young men and women. Frank Meintjies on the eve of Youth Day 2011 drew the link between the challenges faced by South African youth and their counterparts on the continent, when he wrote:

Youth in South Africa today face many similarities with the youth in the rest of the continent. While youth increase as a proportion of the population, their socio-economic position worsens. Although youth have better options compared to counterparts in many African countries, our challenge is more urgent due to higher levels of inequality. 

In SA youth form a majority - youth under 30 years of age make up 30 million out of a population of about 50 million. Youth share in the problems of unemployment and are equally affected by poverty with its race, spatial and gender dimensions. They are in the direct firing line of problems of exclusion and marginalisation. They bear the brunt in a context where there is widespread wastage of human resources in an economy beset by low growth, capital intensity and limited employment creation.

Again Huitson in the same article had this to say about the labour market situation of British youth today, with many of these issues confronting young South Africans as they enter the labour market as well:

The move to a "flexible" labour market has also caused particular problems for young people. The term is a generous euphemism for depressed wages and low job security, facilitated by the globalised flow of labour and industry-friendly employment reforms. Consequently, there is little incentive to train staff or offer apprenticeships; these costs are instead offloaded onto employees themselves and the taxpayer in general. The number of apprenticeships available has duly plummeted. Earlier this year, a BT scheme received 24,000 applications for just 221 positions.

In this "so called" recession, job losses among young people have risen faster than any other age group leaving nearly a million 16-24 year olds currently unemployed (BBC). Swelling the bottom end of a labour market is undoubtedly good for both business and the well-off, who benefit from cheaper costs and prices, but it is the young and the low-waged who are hit hardest. The generational spread of wealth has grown increasingly lopsided: the baby boom generation now own a full half of the country's property and assets; the under 45s own less than a tenth.

As the ANC and other generations in our society more broadly, we should therefore heed the word of caution from the outgoing ANCYL Secretary General, Vuyiswa Tulelo, in her Organisational Report to the 24th Congress:

We listened to the youth of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen as they said: 'to have a beautiful struggle history is not enough, to give us education and not use us in economic development is not on. Give us our voice, let us choose our own leaders and allow us to participate in the economy of the country.'

The ANCYL noted, and whispered to the ANC, 'we hope you are listening to us'.

REFERENCES AND NOTES

ANC Youth League - all documents on www.ancyl.org.za

Frank Meintjies. (2011). "Its time to take a hard-nosed look at the problems South African youth face." South African Civil Society Information Service, 15 June 2011. www.sacsis.org.za

The Global Employment Trends for Youth reports are published bi-annually by the ILO. The latest, released in 2010 focused on the impact of the financial crisis on youth employment in different regions and globally.

Oliver Huitson. (2010). "Student protests and the emerging discontent of youth." Global Research, 18 March 2010 on www.globalresearch.ca

The student movement and society - what lessons for the future
David Maimela

One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that knowledge and discourse on the social phenomenon of the 'student movement' is under-researched and insufficiently recorded. As a result, both the student movement and society seem not to appreciate the potent force that the student movement is in shaping history. This is a tragedy that cuts across all societies.

This tragedy is caused by among others the high levels of fluidity in the faces and struggles of students and perhaps a society that privileges certain histories over others. In the process memory gets lost and/or distorted and ultimately the future is the biggest loser. Even in South Africa, where the student movement has played such a critical role throughout its history, literature and research does not reflect sufficiently on the history, ideas, politics and role of the student movement in society.

There is a need therefore to reflect on the origin, evolution and role of the student movement in society and the relationship between society and students.

The origins and place of the student movement in society

Whereas the origins, evolution and proliferation of the student movement can be traced far back in history, the modern student movement can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. This movement got more pronounced and dominant as a phenomenon in the mid to latter half of the century.

Throughout history, the origins and evolution of student movements has tended to be influenced by nationalistic political struggles as well as international issues with a bearing on national politics. For instance, the German experience of students in 1817 'inspired by liberal and patriotic ideas of a united Germany' gathered en masse to 'burn reactionary books' and a movement was born. Similarly, the May 4, 1919 student upsurge (the May Fourth Movement) in China was inspired by the perceived 'Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles' in relation to the Shandong Problem. Notably, these developments and others of a similar nature across the world happened after the European Enlightenment of the 18th century.

On the African continent, Ethiopia was a major centre of activity when it came to the emergence, proliferation and popularity of the student movement between 1900 to 1960 and it certainly pointed to the decisive role of the student movement in society.

According to Selassie "between 1941 and 1960, the Ethiopian student movement inside and outside the country was, once again, caught up by the accelerating pace of the country's history, as it had been during the earlier phase between 1906 and 1916, without undertaking any auto-criticism of its own earlier behaviour nor - above all - attempting an analysis, however approximate, of the many political, economic and cultural contradictions in Ethiopia, its African environment and the new international balance of power following the second world war" [1].

In some instances, as happened here in South Africa in the 1960's, the student movement would fill in a void caused by the absence of political leadership in the mainstream political movements. These will be moments where leading national liberation movements would either be in retreat or disintegrating. This heroic rise of students during these moments in history, moments of doom and gloom, put young people in the forefront of the struggle against unjust regimes in the world.

Character of the student movement: 'revolutionary intelligentsia' or young intellectuals?

The nature and character of student organisation has been contradictory throughout history. In the early 19th century, a sect of students and university intellectuals and academics, the Young Hegelians (1831), formed to question the 'absolute truth' of religion and other mainstream ideas of earlier centuries which continued to hold sway in society. Their initial preoccupation was philosophy and the quest to study the nature of society. Interestingly, membership to the young Hegelians was not based on studentship but rather attraction to the ideas that informed the establishment of the organisation.

In the classical period, forms of student organisation were radically different from the 20th century. For instance, between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD owing to the dominant authoritarian religious orthodoxy, students were just protégés of philosophers raising and debating key societal and philosophical questions of the time, including the debates brought about by scientific advancement. One can conclude that at this stage the organisational form was not yet defined, only voices existed.

It would be limiting as others argue, that because the student movement is first and foremost concerned with student issues and access to education, therefore it is a narrow reactionary movement. Although in a self-congratulatory manner, the student movement usually refers to itself as the 'revolutionary intelligentsia', nowhere in history has the student movement ever carried out a thorough-going revolution without doing so in alliance with other motive forces in society.

Selassie suggests "it seems to us that the essential characteristic of all student movements is, first and foremost, to be the reflection of the many historical, political, economic and cultural contradictions of the societies and countries where they manifest themselves by revealing the problems set, with varying acuteness, by the relevant place and time"[2].

If one contrasts the young Hegelians with contemporary forms of the student movement a clear distinction emerges and, it may be attributed to the dominant university culture of managerialism and authority as opposed to facilitation and open dialogue. Whereas the young Hegelians recognised that both academics and students occupy the same social space and therefore have a common interest in shaping history, the contemporary situation is such that students and academics and managers are in a permanent state of contest, opposition and suspicion.

Could it be possible that what appears as a source of strength in a bygone era is now frowned upon and perceived to be taboo and consequently leads to a conflictual discourse based on narrow definitions of who is a student and a false separation of interests?

A comparable case in South Africa is the establishment of the ANCYL in Fort Hare in 1948 wherein membership was open to both students and staff. Would a democratic South Africa not benefit better from a critical discourse between students, staff and academics unhindered by the limitations of authority and managerialism?

The question then arises; should we not change university culture, traditions and structure to allow for a better flow and cross-fertilisation of ideas among the university community and between the university community and society?

Linked to the above question, another question arises at the schooling level - what schooling system and learners should we have if the June 16, 1976 South African experience is anything to go by?

The emerging conservative idea that because we have achieved freedom therefore politics must be taken out of the schooling system, must be interrogated. This idea has also found its way into some conservative universities to banish political student movements from contesting democratic student representative council (SRC) elections at university level. This idea creates the impression that we are a society of lazy and schizophrenic people who cannot think creatively about the need to balance the imperatives of political consciousness with the demands of reconstruction and development!

The student is not insulated from society. Indeed access to higher learning does lay the basis for stratification since education is a privilege for a few. The distorting phenomenon of a student insulated from society is more acute here in South Africa due to the spatial and separate development policy of the previous white regimes.

Based on the foregoing, it will therefore be correct to suggest that students can be regarded as the young intelligentsia of society, which has the capacity to contribute to revolutionary changes in society.

The contemporary student movement

In present history, a movement can generally be defined as "...a function of people organised on a sustained basis and united in action behind a coherent political programme. A movement has an identifiable line of march. It has a cohesive leadership..."[3].

On the African continent, Ethiopia was a major centre of activity when it comes to the emergence, proliferation and popularity of the student movement between 1900 to 1960 and it certainly pointed to the decisive role of the student movement played in society. In this period and for this generation, the student movement was rooted in anti-colonial struggles and in the South African anti-apartheid struggles as well.

During the mid-to-latter half of the 20th century the student movement was organised on the premise of an 'anti-war and anti-imperialism' platform. The formation of the International Union of Students in 1946 was informed by the growing 'anti-Nazi student coalition' inspired by "the November 17 1938 student resistance in the streets of Prague, Czechoslovakia, to the Nazi occupiers" [4]. Years later, 17 November was declared International Students Day.

In the 1960's a lot was happening in the African continent and elsewhere in the world. The second world war had just ended and a Cold War era began, which also saw some imperialist wars emerging to scar the memory of humanity. And equally in Africa, the anti-colonial struggles led by the national liberation movements had begun to triumph starting with the liberation of Sudan.

Across regions of the world, several events such as the Vietnam War, the Palestinian question, racist violence and exclusion in the United states, heightened apartheid, academic exclusions and rising costs of tuition fees made 1968 a year of the student revolts.

In many university campuses, students identified with the broader community struggles for freedom, racial equality, justice and democracy and access to equal opportunity. Although not an inherently revolutionary class, the students are capable of revolutionary acts, which have a propensity to propel society forward. The counterculture of the hippies in the US, the alignment of students with socialist parties and adoption of a Marxist/Left worldview and so on, demonstrate the potent force that the student movement is. In more instances, students have contributed immensely to change of governments in history.

The South African experience: continuity or discontinuity?

As argued above, the latter half of the 20th century saw a rise of especially militant and even radical student movements across the world. The impact of television and the press carrying images of the rise and protest of students in North America, eastern and western Europe, Africa and elsewhere further helped to influenced and inspired the rise of radical and especially black dominated student movements.

From the 1950's to the late 1980's, a period spanning almost four decades, the illegitimate South Africa authoritarian apartheid state was facing a crisis of domestic mass resistance, and international isolation and the response was more state repression.

After the Defiance Campaign, there was an increased tempo in community mass protest and the response of the apartheid regime was banishment, arrests, torture, assassinations. As a consequence, the national liberation movement retreated and pursued the struggle through international solidarity work, armed struggle and underground operation.

At this stage the question arose, how "any serious organised political challenge to the white minority domination could be mounted and where would it come"? [5].

In the temporary ruins of the liberation movement in the last latter part of the 20th century, the emergence of the South African Students Organisation (SASO) imbued with the 'black consciousness' ideology was a timely intervention in the struggle for freedom. SASO was formed in 1968 partly to strengthen the black student voice in higher education. The majority of students in the 'black universities' felt that the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) formed in 1924, was an insufficient white liberal platform and therefore not radical enough to appreciate and pursue grievances of black students and of black South Africa.

Undoubtedly, the not so distant heroic struggles of the student movement in the 70's and 80's helped to increase the tempo towards the resolution of the South African question. The visionary nature of the student movement at the time set the tone for a non-racial South Africa when NUSAS merged with SANSCO to form SASCO in 1991.

The 1976 youth uprising saw a dynamic and energetic mass youth and student movement deepen the apartheid crisis further, of course at a great cost of life and destruction of education prospects for thousands. Whole communities were moved and challenge by the courage of the youth because the uprising was not merely about education demands, but about the unjust system of apartheid.

Throughout this period, the liberation movement worked very closely underground with the student movement. Certainly, the struggles of the students was a continuation of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and a better life based on values of justice, freedom peace and democracy.

Challenges of the student movement today

Among others, the student movement of today (post-1994) faces two key challenges. Firstly, the student movement needs to reconnect with the base, the community. The distance or rather disconnect between the community of South Africa and the student is too vast and it has debilitating consequences for the student movement's long-term survival and relevance. How far has the student movement sustained the early 90's momentum of playing a role in the reconstruction and development of South Africa?

Secondly and related to the above, the student movement must continue the search for new ideas and solutions to the myriad challenges facing a young democracy. If the student movement is to continue to be regarded as the young intelligentsia of society, then it must prove its worth and take its rightful place in society. Except rightfully critiquing the state, what key ideas and concepts have emerged from the student movement in the past 15 years?

Finally, both society and the student movement could do well if they could appreciate one another better in a democratic society. If this appreciation does not happen sooner, then both society and the student will be worse off. The lessons from history are too glaring to be ignored.

David Maimela is a former President of the South African Students Congress (SASCO 2006-2008) and a researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra)

REFERENCES

  1. Selassie, B.K. 1987. The class struggle or the struggle for positions? A review of Ethiopian student movements between 1900 and 1975. Working Document. Dakar. UNESCO
  2. Makhura, D. (1999). "The MDM, civil society and social transformation: Challenges of building a popular movement for transformation." Umrabulo No 7, 3rd Quarter.
  3. Ibid(1)
  4. International Union of Students. Background: About the International Union of Students. URL www.stud.uni-hannover.de/gruppen/ius/background.html, accessed on 30 April 2011.
  5. Badat, S. 1999. Black student politics, higher education and apartheid - From SASO to SANSCO, 1968-1990. Pretoria: HSRC

THE ECONOMIC DEBATES

Locating the New Growth Path within trajectory of ANC economic policy
Enoch Godongwana

Introduction

The mainspring of our economic transformation objectives is the Freedom Charter. This historic document is a commitment by the democratic forces to guarantee a better life for all South Africans. Subsequent elaborations of our economic transformation programme have been aimed at giving concrete expression to these aspirations.

Our policies must provide the most enabling conditions for the flourishing of the talents of all our people, to harness and develop their productive potential, to ensure that they play a leading role in the allocation of national resources and that they get their due in the country's wealth. Thus, in the Strategy and Tactics document of 1969, we asserted that:

Our drive towards national emancipation is therefore in a very real way bound up with economic emancipation. We have suffered more than just national humiliation. Our people are deprived of their due in the country's wealth; their skills have been suppressed and poverty and starvation has been their life experience. The correction of these centuries-old economic injustices lies at the very core of our national aspirations.

We do not understand the complexities which will face a people's government during the transformation period nor the enormity of the problems of meeting economic needs of the mass of the oppressed people. But one thing is certain - in our land this cannot be effectively tackled unless the basic wealth and the basic resources are at the disposal of the people as a whole, and are not manipulated by sections or individuals, be they White or Black (1).

In the Ready to Govern document (1992) we reiterate and capture the economic obligations of the ANC in the following manner:

The central goal of ANC Economic Policy is to create a strong, dynamic and balanced economy that will be directed towards:

In the long run, we aim to give black people economic weight commensurate with their population size. This will require harmonization of a range of economic issues, however we will have to do this in a manner that does not compromise future generations.

Tensions of economic policy development

One of the biggest tensions of developing economic policy for the ANC is that we are addressing multi-dimensional and multi-generational issues such as:

Dealing with issues of the ANC within the mass: The ANC is always aspirational, always connected to the feelings of the people, always seeking to bring solutions of development in the project of rebuilding this country. This is the therapeutic ANC, a source of hope for the majority of the citizens, a caring ANC that struggles to deliver housing, water, sanitation, education, heath and social protection for our people.

The ANC as an organised party, the ANC in power, and an institutional ANC: This dimension of the ANC is about its ability to direct power and resources towards development. This element of the ANC is tasked with implementing the vision of a developmental state, which sees the state playing a key and a leading role in the development of the South African economy. This not only talks to the channelling of resources towards development, it also talks to the type of state machinery that helps the ANC to deliver on its mandate. The tension of this particular element of the ANC is a fight for resources, which opens for a risk of corruption, careerism and a fight for resources.

The interface of the above two roles of the ANC with global institutional economics introduces another tension: Integration with the global economy and the supranational institutions means that the aspirations, the original policies of the ANC are problematised and made complex by international conventions and practices of global capital management.

All of the above are a hostage of contradiction forces that shape the actual policies that we adopt.

The economy we inherited, the economy we are fixing

From 1970 to 1995, overall employment of all the so-called South African four races grew by 17.6%, and importantly, this was less than the population growth. What is more notable is the fact that during the same period (1970 to 1995), employment of African workers grew by zero (0%) percent. Furthermore, jobs in the agricultural sector declined from 2.2 million jobs in 1970 to 930,000 jobs by 1995 and employment in the mining sector declined from 610 000 in 1970 to 353 000 jobs in 1995. This decline largely affected unskilled workers. This was the essence and the weakness of the apartheid economy. Our job remains to turn it around for the benefit of all.

It is only after the advent of democracy, during the reign of the ANC government, and particularly between 2001 and 2008 that the country experienced a period of rapid growth in employment of 23%, which was accompanied by rising incomes. This was the first pro-poor employment growth in 40 years, with rising numbers in African employment. The period between 2004 and 2007 witnessed an economic growth that was only second to that of the 1960's.

Between 2001 and 2007, the economy created 1.95 million jobs, 95% of which were created in the formal sector and over 85% by the private sector. The leading sectors in job creation were wholesale and retail trade, construction, community, social and personal services, finance, real estate and business services. The construction sector experienced a massive boost after 2004, because of the increase in public expenditure on infrastructure.

After the 52nd ANC National Conference in 2007, the global economy entered into a deep recession. Despite the stability of the local financial sector, this crisis saw a drastic increase in business bankruptcies, households default rates and a tightening in credit markets. This put further pressure on the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector continued to decline from 17% of GDP in 2007 to 15% of GDP in 2010.

The manufacturing sector, which is supposed to be the mainstay of our economic transformation programme, continues to decline. Labour-intensive sub-sectors within manufacturing such as clothing and textiles, electrical machinery and equipment have not fared well. The capacity of the economy to develop a vibrant capital and durable goods sector has been severely constrained by competition from imports, and the availability of critical inputs such as steel and other metals, and basic chemicals at affordable prices.

As a result of the global financial crisis, our economy shed jobs at an alarming rate. This was a consequence of weak demand and a falling global economy. The South African economy lost more than 1 million jobs over one year. This amounts to more than 50% of the jobs that have been created over a decade. This has driven almost 5 million people into vulnerability. These figures suggests that, without changing the structure of production, our movement takes one step forward and one step backward when it comes to dealing with unemployment. As the pool of the unemployed rises because of the growth of the labour force, the unemployment rate remains stuck at a high level.

The New Growth Path, however, encourages us to engage with the global developments. These developments include the shifting global balance of forces on the economic front in favour of progressive forces; South Africa's growing trade with the South, in particular China, India and Brazil and the fact that the global economic crisis opened up new space for developing economies to go beyond conventional policy prescriptions.

Locating the New Growth Path within the evolution of the ANC's economic policy

The new environment will require a different pattern of growth and the tackling of our issues over a sustained period. The economic crisis has provided us an opportunity to restructure the economy for long-term sustainable development.

Thus, clearly, the South African economy faces both important opportunities and significant challenges. Whilst we need to address issues of growth and development we also need to deal with issues of economic ownership, environmental degradation and global integration. In that case we needed a multi-dimensional and a multi generational economic strategy. Most significantly, we need a strategy that opens up for dialogue.

In the 52nd conference we resolved to mobilise all South Africans around a common vision. The New Growth Path provides the basis for this dialogue. It brings together a set of contentious economic issues and at the same time attempts to live to the Polokwane Resolution of mobilising South Africans around a common vision.

The New Growth Path starts by identifying where employment creation is possible, both within economic sectors as conventionally defined and in cross-cutting activities. It then analyses the policies and institutional developments required to take advantage of these opportunities.

Specifically, the NGP (page 30) states:

This growth path requires that the state (a) facilitate national and workplace productivity accords; (b) support community organisation, including the Community Works Programmes; and (c) strengthen existing institutions for social dialogue, including Nedlac, sectoral and local forums. This work must critically enhance information flows, ensure government is more responsive to economic needs and reduce the transaction costs of our partners.

In the New Growth Path there is a promised outcome of a better life for all, where poverty and unemployment are eliminated. The NGP aims to address the needs of the poor South Africans, those most marginalised from the formal economy, primarily although not exclusively by improving employment opportunities. It is therefore inherently responsive to the issues facing those who remain disproportionately excluded from the formal economy.

To this end, the aim is to target our limited capital and capacity at activities that maximise the creation of decent work opportunities. South Africa needs to re-industrialise off the back of the opportunities.

The NGP furthermore attempts to carry the mandate of the 52nd conference through:

The NGP identifies the following areas where employment creation is possible on a large enough scale:

The NGP measures will be under-pinned by the requisite macro economic policy and micro-economic packages. On the macro front, the monetary policy stance will continue to target low and stable inflation but will do more to support a more competitive exchange rate and reduced investment costs through lower real interest rates. On the micro front, we need a supportive industrial policy.

The New Growth Path and alignment of policy

The NGP should be seen as building on the foundations of work done in the preceding years - part of the continuity and change process. Thus, we need to see the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 as providing content to the sectors identified by the NGP - the two are not mutually exclusive. The New Growth Path (NGP) and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) both provide a comprehensive strategic context for our development strategy. Thus, part of IPAP2 aims are to "ramp up South Africa's active industrial policy by improving alignment across the state." (3)

The NGP (page 18) recognises the diversity of our country and therefore does not advocate one size fits all in terms of rural development:

It recognises that the poorest regions, with the highest unemployment rates are former Bantustan and commercial farming areas. Areas considered rural today developed historically as impoverished labour reserves for the urban economy, and not as viable economic zones. Still, the agricultural value chain offers major opportunities in these areas for employment creation through smallholder schemes and the processing and sale of agricultural products. Improvements in livelohoods for rural dwellers are possible by upgrading farmworkers' conditions and organisation and helping rural households increase production.

The NGP (page 19) also has an ambitious programme of skills development. This it will do through providing skills to the wider economy through the SOE's mandate of producing more artisans and other key skills.

Improvements in education and skill levels are a fundamental pre-requisite for achieving many of the goals in this growth path. General education must equip all South Africans to participate in our democracy and economy, and higher education must do more to meet the needs of broad based development. The growth path also requires a radical review of the training system to address shortfalls in artisanal and technical skills.

In the economic resolution adopted at 52nd National Conference, we said trade policy must support industrial policy. The NGP asserts that trade policy will bring about balanced economic growth and support industrial policy. The NGP (page 24) thus advocates for a developmental trade policy:

South Africa's trade policy should become more focused, identifying opportunities for exports in external markets and using trade agreements and facilitation to achieve these. It must remain pragmatic and evidence based in pursuing core socio-economic goals, particularly decent work and inclusive and balanced growth, without acceding unnecessarily to narrow interests or failing to respond to real economic needs. Trade policy will support balanced economic growth and build on the advantages won by a more competitive currency.

The New Growth Path dedicates a lot of effort in the discussion on regional development. It sets a vision for the development of roads and rail system that will support regional integration and prioritises issues of connectivity across the region. It challenges government to work jointly with African partners to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for trade and development.

Building the developmental state

To achieve all these objectives, the NGP proposes a re-alignment of institutions in line with the objectives it sets out. In the 52nd conference we resolved that we must ensure that state has the requisite strategic and technical capacity. The NGP argues that a key challenge in this light is to improve the state's efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness in the face of new opportunities and risks. This means that we need to balance the aspirations that are expressed in the NGP with the re-alignment of the state machinery. This remains an enduring challenge.

A bigger, challenge however is in the implementation. The broad framework must be translated into specific programmes that explicitly address the needs of underprivileged people. We need to ensure that programmes include targets for reaching and empowering people, and that our monitoring and evaluation systems measure the benefits explicitly.

Conclusion - no easy road

In that understanding, the South African economy can be described as an economy in transition. Transitions by their very nature require a constant revision of the strategies and a sharpening of existing instruments. Thus, the various elaborations of the ANC economic policy have one single objective: to give high priority to the economic emancipation of our people.

The NGP (page 6) is under no illusion that it is going to be a smooth path, hence it cautions:

The New Growth Path responds to emerging opportunities and risks while building on policies advanced since the achievement of democracy 16 years ago. The Reconstruction and Development Programme advocated greater equity as the basis for long-term development and growth. In the mid'-00s, AsgiSA renewed government's commitment to addressing joblessness and poverty and identified infrastructure needs, skills shortages and unnecessary regulatory burdens as core constraints on growth. In addition, in the face of the global crisis in 2008/9, government, organised labour, business and community groups forged a response to minimise the impact on the economy and on working people. That constructive and collaborative approach to meeting the challenges facing South Africa informs our strategies going forward.

In conclusion, the work of the NGP will require the creative and collective efforts of all sections of South African society. It will require leadership that can galvanise our people around common vision.

END NOTES

  1. ANC Strategy and Tactics as adopted at the National Consultative Conference, Morogoro, 1969.
  2. In our policy document, Ready to Govern, adopted in May 1992, we say "in the context of the growth and development strategy, the role of the state should be adjusted to the needs of the national economy in a flexible way. The primary question in this regard is not the legal form that state involvement activity might take, but whether such actions will strengthen the ability of the economy to respond to the massive inequalities in the country, relieve the material hardships of the majority of people, and stimulate economic growth and competitiveness."
  3. All references to the New Growth Path refers to The New Growth Path: The Framework, on www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=135748. 25 October 2010.

The desirability of nationalising mines - in our lifetime
Thando Ntlemeza

Introduction

Over many decades of its existence and struggle, the ANC developed correct strategic perspectives on many issues, because its leaders and members debated matters frankly and robustly. These debates generated progressive ideas that informed the perspective from which we orchestrated the demise of apartheid colonialism.

Internal debates on issues occurred because it was necessary for such debates to occur. So, why must we debate the issue of nationalisation of the mines? Writing about nationalisation, Henry Somerville says: "to discuss adequately the economics of nationalisation is to discuss ... advantages and disadvantages of nationalisation, to discuss whether nationalisation is conducive or otherwise to the common good. (1)"

Participating in the debate on nationalisation of mines, some commentators have reminded us of our ongoing task to assess policies of the ANC. In particular, they challenge us to critically analyse policy positions adopted by the ANC since the advent of democracy, especially policies that relate to transformation of the mining sector of our economy and ask: To what extent have these policies advanced our revolution? (2)

While some state that nationalisation is not a policy of the ANC, the Freedom Charter does pronounce itself on the nationalisation of strategic sectors of the economy. Therefore, the debate on nationalisation of mines should be understood within this context and from the perspective of assessing the extent to which we have implemented the Freedom Charter to fundamentally transform the South African economy.

The Freedom Charter

The debates on nationalisation are not new. After noting the strategic importance of mineral wealth in the emancipation of the oppressed black majority; our forebears - who converged in Kliptown in 1955 to define the revolutionary vision and programme to fundamentally change South African society into a democratic society in which desires and aspirations of the people inform the agenda of the state - were pioneers of this debate. These heroes and heroines of our people said:-

... the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole; all other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well being of the people... (3)

Following robust debates that ensued within our movement on the provisions of the Freedom Charter on economic transformation; in 1956 the ANC adopted The Freedom Charter in its entirety, thereby accepting the Charter's call for the transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks to the ownership of the people as a whole, something that was generally understood as nationalisation.

President of the ANC at the time of the debate, President Albert Luthuli, welcomed nationalisation when he said -

... in modern society, even amongst the so-called capitalist countries, nationalisation of certain industries and commercial undertakings has become an accepted and established fact.

In the same vein, Nelson Mandela endorsed nationalisation and went on to argue that nationalisation of the mines and other strategic centres of the country's economy would not necessarily result in socialism, but would "...open up fresh fields for the development of a prosperous ...[black] bourgeois class" (4), something that is central in our revolution.

Rejecting above interpretations of the Freedom Charter, some people have argued that the interpretations by former ANC leaders were only correct in the years gone by (5). However, they make this argument without suggesting any contrary interpretation which shows reinterpretation of the Freedom Charter. Neither have they informed us of platforms where the economic clause of the Freedom Charter was reinterpreted. Instead, they tell us that "the change had more to do with profound lessons deriving from ... [the] collapse" of the socialist system (6).

Most of those who are anti-nationalisation appear to be confusing ANC's tactical move not to implement nationalisation given the material conditions at the time with reinterpretation of the Freedom Charter. The tactical retreat of the movement does not amount to a shift from strategic perspective adopted by the movement. Had the ANC wanted to abandon the earlier interpretations of the Freedom Charter's economic clause, it would have stated that without any ambiguity. Worst of all, some people have suggested that the Freedom Charter is not static, while on the other hand they state "the ANC Youth League's interpretation is inconsistent with latter-day interpretations..." (7). This is very contradictory.

For that matter, none of those within our ranks who have expressed reservations about the nationalisation of mineral wealth beneath the soil have suggested different interpretations of the economic clause of the Freedom Charter, which are indicative of departure from the earlier interpretations of the clause. Instead, even Jeremy Cronin, who is skeptical about the value of nationalisation of mines has stated that -

... our skepticism... must, however, absolutely not be misunderstood to be skepticism about the clarion call in the Freedom Charter for the wealth of our country to become common wealth, the property of all South Africans. (8)

Why nationalise mines?

Consistent with the active role that must be assumed by the developmental state in economic development, we have to emphasise involvement of the state in the economy, particularly in the distribution and redistribution of mineral wealth with a view to create and build a prosperous society envisaged by our democratic movement. In fact, nationalisation of mines should be understood within the context of the National Democratic Revolution, which seeks to resolve contradictions created by discrimination and oppression of the black majority. Nationalisation will provide the state with opportunity to promote active participation of the members of this majority in the management and control of the mines.

Without venturing into specific reasons, suffice to say that nationalisation of mines will generate income for the state. It will also contribute in increasing industrial investment. Because we cannot proudly say we own our country if its resources are still owned by people beyond its borders, nationalisation of mines would be a step closer to returning ownership of mineral resources to the people of South Africa.

In essence, nationalisation is an intervention geared towards ending post-colonial control of the mineral resources by former colonizers and ending of the notion of our economy being a reserve of primary goods for former colonizers. All these matters are at the heart of the National Democratic Revolution and for this reason nationalisation needs to be given a chance as it promises to help us realize "economic freedom in our lifetime".

The demand for transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil to the people was revisited in Polokwane conference. This conference mandated our democratic movement to promote and ensure the "use of natural resources of which the state is the custodian of on behalf of the people, including our minerals, water, marine resources, in a manner that promotes the sustainability and development of local economies and also realize economic and social needs of the whole nation." (9)

Criticism of nationalisation of mines

Let me now turn to some of the criticisms that have been leveled against nationalisation of mines. Some say there is no reason to nationalize the mines because the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Act (10) has already brought mineral rights under state control (11). Advocates of this view imply that now that this legislation is in place, we do not have to explore any other interventions to ensure that our people benefit from mineral wealth beneath our soil. This is unfortunate as the implication of this view is that this legislation gives full effect to the demands of the Freedom Charter that relate to nationalisation of mineral wealth.

Another commentator who is critical of nationalisation is Hlengani Mathebula who states "the calls for nationalisation appear to be based on the assumption that the state has the capability to run mines profitable and do so in the interest of the poor." Substantiating his anti-nationalisation argument, Mathebula equates nationalized mines with state owned enterprises - which to him "have been a drain on limited state finances rather than being net contributors to economic prosperity." (12) Exposing his lack of understanding of historical materialism which helps us learn from past experiences to deal with challenges at hand and to prepare for future challenges, Mathebula uses the challenges facing the state owned enterprises to forcefully argue that nationalised mines would have a glum future. Anyway, who said organisational capacity of our democratic state will never be developed to enable the state to respond to and deal with developmental needs of society? Challenging us to strengthen the developmental state, ANC's 2007 Strategy and Tactics document mandates us to develop the state's organisational capacity by ensuring that its structures and systems facilitate the realisation of a set agenda. (13)

Some have even suggested that a strategic national plan for the mining sector needs to be developed before we can look at nationalisation of mines. (14) Nobody doubts that a strategic national plan for the sector is required. However, suggesting that such a plan must be developed before formulating a policy on nationalisation cannot be accepted because it is supposed to be the formulation of nationalisation policy that must inform development of a strategic national plan for the mining sector.

Another view has been expressed to the effect that the proposal for nationalisation does not provide specific details regarding the implementability and implementation of the policy. This view suggests that advocates of nationalisation should have started with considering all factors relevant for implementation before proposing formulation of the policy. While implementability of a policy should not be overlooked, we must avoid presenting factors that must be considered when debating implementation of a policy as the-must-be-considered factors in formulating a policy. We must do this so as to avoid setting a dangerous precedent that the ANC cannot formulate a policy without first considering factors relating to its implementation, thereby confusing policy formulation with policy implementation.

Criticism in policy debate should be encouraged because it may raise issues that may have been overlooked in the process of conceptualizing and developing the policy. Be that as it may, much of the criticism leveled against nationalisation of mines does not appear to be providing a compelling argument against formulation of a policy on nationalisation of mines because it relates more to the factors which can be considered at the stage of implementation. We can adopt nationalisation and then mandate the government to develop implementation strategy taking into account all the possible constraining factors.

What is to be done?

Within the context of dealing with this question, some have responded by posing another question: Is nationalisation the solution? (15) In responding to this, some suggest that -

... the starting point in answering this question should be whether the core strategic objectives of addressing poverty and inequality and encouraging growth and competitiveness would best be served by such policy action. (16)

While all our policies are supposed to respond to issues of poverty and inequality in our society, the appropriate question we have to ask is: How do we make nationalisation of mines a beneficial policy intervention in addressing socio-economic challenges facing our people? Because our democratic state is based on desires and aspirations of our people, we are supposed to know by now that the 'people centred and people driven' state "is best positioned as the instrument through which to centralize and control the use and development of the ... forces of production in our economy" (17) in the interest of all our people, especially the poor and marginalised. To these people, democracy which is based on mere political freedom is hollow as economic marginalization and underdevelopment remain intact. Our people need interventions that will help them attain economic freedom.

Within the context of ensuring "economic freedom in our lifetime", models of nationalisation have been proposed for consideration and discussion, namely Expropriation Model, State Mining Company and Amendment of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act. While the ANCYL document does not tell us which of these models it advocates for, the Expropriation model appears to be ideal to ensure that the mineral wealth is transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole and is used to benefit all the people and for development and growth of the economy. Should this model be chosen, the movement will have to decide as to whether expropriation with compensation or without compensation would be appropriate. (18) This means that our debates must also address this aspect.

While noting economic implications of nationalizing the mines, such implications should not be allowed to prevent us from adopting a policy as mechanisms can be developed to minimize or avert risks. However, more must be done to explore an ideal model that will be the most appropriate under the circumstances. At the current political juncture, we have to explore both the advantages and disadvantages of nationalizing mines taking into account that which would mostly benefit the country and its people.

NOTES

  1. Henry Somerville "Economics of Nationalisation" Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review Vol. 9 (1920) at 20.
  2. MZ Ngungunyane "The nationalisation of Mines Debate: another perspective" Umrabulo 33 (2010) at 40.
  3. The Freedom Charter, 1955
  4. Thando Ntlemeza "Deconstructing theory of National Democratic Revolution" Umrabulo 33 (2010) at 81.
  5. Joel Netshitenzhe "State ownership and the National Democratic Revolution: Debating the issue of nationalisation Umrabulo 33 (2010) at 28.
  6. Joel Netshitenzhe at 30
  7. Floyd Shivambu "Response to Comrade Netshitenzhe on nationalisation" Umrabulo 33 at 56
  8. Jeremy Cronin, Deputy General Secretary of the SACP, "Should we nationalize the mines?" Umsebenzi Online, November 18, 2009.
  9. ANC National Conference, 2007
  10. Act 28 of 2002
  11. See David van Wyk "Debate on nationalizing mines in South Africa" (6 February 2010) at www.marxist.com/south-africa-mines-nationalisation-debate.htm. Also making this argument is NUM in "Debating the nationalisation of mines" in Umrabulo 35 at 14.
  12. Hlengani Mathebula "To nationalize or not to nationalize mines", City Press, 7 February 2010
  13. ANC Strategy and Tactics, 2007, at para 190
  14. This view is reported in the media to have been expressed by Comrade Joel Netshitenzhe in the Mining for Change summit held in Johannesburg on 7 September 2010.
  15. Joel Netshitenzhe "State ownership and the National Democratic Revolution: Debating the issue of nationalisation", Umrabulo 33 (2010) at 35.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Cosatu "Towards the Nationalisation of the Mines and Monopoly Industry" Umrabulo 33 (2010) 46.
  18. On whether or not to go for expropriation with or without compensation, Jeremy Cronin cautions that "nationalizing the mines might unintentionally serve to bale out failing capitalists ...[as] nationalizing the mines would involve significant monetary compensation." Jeremy Cronin "Should we nationalize the mines?" Umsebenzi Online, November 18, 2009.

The National Economic Revolution and South Africa's Development
Tshilidzi Marwala

South Africa currently has an estimated nominal GDP of US$287 billion with a population of 50 million people compared to Poland's nominal GDP of US$480 billion with a population of 38 million people. Furthermore, South Africa has an effective unemployment rate of 25%. The potential economic benefit of bringing these unemployed compatriots to the mainstream economy is enormous. This implies that the South African economy has massive unused capacity and, therefore, can perform much more competitively when compared to the new Eastern European frontier or the Asian tigers. This, therefore, implies that for South Africa to fully develop its intellectual, political, economic and social forces, a national economic revolution ought to materialise. The national economic revolution is a process through which the productive forces of a country are rapidly and dynamically sharpened by ensuring that the economic, political and social forces are heavily marshaled towards fast economic development.

The theory of dialectics teaches us that society is continuously in a state of change because of both the evolving internal and external forces. For example, and to paraphrase and contextualise Moore's law, technological capability doubles every five years. The principal goal of every progressive revolutionary movement is to direct and discipline that rapid change to create an advanced society. Many theories have been developed to achieve this goal of directing and disciplining this continuous change of society, and the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) is specifically our own program which applies the motive forces to achieve the National Democratic Society. The National Democratic Society is a society whose citizens are intellectually, socially, politically and economically empowered and liberated by interacting harmoniously with its environment while at peace with both its internal and external forces. The NDR is fundamentally materialist in nature because it seeks to change the material condition of the South African society and, therefore, it is in essence driven by the desire to change the economic configuration of the country.

Motive Forces for the National Economic Revolution

In order to implement the national economic revolution to achieve the national democratic society, it is vital to pay attention to the motive forces. The national democratic revolution applies conceptual, social, physical or economic forces to achieve the national democratic society. The national economic revolution assumes that economic forces are the most vital elements required to accelerate the pace of attaining a national democratic society. In his classic text Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published on the 5th of July 1687, Isaac Newton defines a motive force, in his second law of motion, as the force that directly influences the change of movement of an object. Philosophically and practically, these are the forces that motivate the productive forces, to accelerate the pace of social, economic, political, and intellectual revolution. In this article it is assumed that the vital motive forces are the drivers that are necessary to economically revolutionise society and thus usher in the National Democratic Society. This article identifies three motive forces required to implement the national economic revolution and these are society or people, capital and technology.

Society and the National Economic Revolution

South Africa currently has a population of 50 million people, with a high level of economic inequality and a modest human development index. For us to firmly put South Africa on a strong trajectory of economic revolution it is important that we sort out the inequality and human development issues that currently exist. This is because one of the major drivers of the national economic revolution is the nature in which society is structured economically, socially and politically and how these are able to mobilise labour, capital, and technology.

For us to create a national economic revolution it is, therefore, important to understand the South African society. A society is a collection of people related to each other through "persistent relations such as social status, roles, and social networks." On understanding society, it is vital that a human being is understood. Effectively, a human being has four dimensions and these are the intellectual, physical, psychological and spiritual. A human being is an integral whole in which these dimensions are interdependent rather than isolated from each other. The collective interactions of these dimensions within an individual and between individuals make society a complex phenomenon, with superstructures (e.g. culture) and substructures (e.g. means and mode of production entities such as a firm) that are inherently contradictory and, therefore, dynamically interact. A progressive society which is a necessary motive force evolves, learns, adapts and dynamically interacts with the changing environment and other changing societies. The vital questions that need to be answered include what are the characteristics required in society and what sort of a cadre do we need to build in order to usher in the national economic revolution?

One aspect necessary for the national economic revolution to thrive is for there to be in society a set of democratic institutions that enables members to live freely in peace, free of exploitation and dishonesty. The democratic dispensation in South Africa has ushered such institutions including the independent judiciary, the public protectorate and ombudsmanship. What ought to be done by a revolutionary movement is to ensure that such institutions are capacitated by hard-working cadres, chosen "through the eye of the needle", with a good generational mix, who are more informed, better educated, more specialised, are able to understand the short-term and long-term goals of the national democratic revolution and "who are able to extract truth from facts".

The national democratic society which we seek to create should ensure that the masses are given adequate opportunity to flourish intellectually, physically, psychologically and spiritually. This should naturally include investment into education. An average South African speaks four different languages, and if we adopt the Stephen Krashen's hypothesis of a language as cognitive ability rather than Noam Chomsky's theory of the "language acquisition device", this is a significant cognitive ability. Therefore, there is no reason why we cannot use this cognitive capability to transform the South African society to become more literate and in the long-run more numerate.

Capital and the National Economic Revolution

The primary goal of the national economic revolution is for South Africa to raise sufficient capital to meet its social, political and economic obligations. South Africa has a nominal GDP per capita of US$6000, exports worth US$70 billion, attracts US$125 billion foreign direct investment, has US$37 billion foreign reserve and is ranked 34th in terms of the ease of doing business. Currently, agriculture contributes 0.9% to the GDP, industry 12.6%, mining 8% and services 78.5%. Societies succeed or fail depending on how much capital they are able to mobilise. Currently, South Africa has 17 million people in the labour force with 9% employed in agriculture, 26% in industry, and 65% in services. The critical matter of the national economic revolution is to identify how we can structure our economy so that we can be able to increase our capacity to mobilise human capital.

In building the national economic revolution to mobilise human capital we need to put strong emphasis on technical education to develop high numeracy and technical skills within the population. This technically oriented education should be strategically deployed to capacitate political, economic and social spheres to ensure that important matters such as efficiently allocating and distributing capital to rapidly industrialise South Africa are undertaken.

Furthermore, we need to protect strategic embryonic domestic industries and to focus on aggressive acquisition and localisation of foreign technologies. The revolutionary movement is firmly grounded on the principle of international solidarity, but it should be critically understood that to rapidly execute the national economic revolution we need to balance domestic versus international agenda with the international program more focused on capacitating the domestic economic agenda. The theory of the national economic revolution dictates that as we dynamically interact with the international forces, especially the rest of the African continent, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and the G20, we need to ensure that we place our economic interests at the top of our agenda.

On executing the national economic revolution we need to encourage and reward foreign companies that invest in building productive capacity such as manufacturing plants with the aim that the domestic industrial sector will acquire foreign technology and in time be able to learn vital success factors from these foreign companies. This is important because mobilising and disciplining capital requires of us to also diversify our economy from natural resources to more profitable sectors such as manufacturing, information technology and innovation.

The success of the national economic revolution depends on how we can harmoniously mobilise all aspects of the productive forces particularly civil society, business, government and labour to act as a united force which is driven by the desire to fully economically develop South Africa in the shortest possible time. This is done in order to increase the critical measures such as productivity, job security and industrial expansion.

South Africa is endowed with strategic minerals. For example, South Africa is one of the world's largest producers of platinum, gold and chromium. We need to strategically locate these minerals within the core mandate of our foreign policy. We need to put the training of skills in handling and applying these strategic minerals at the centre of our education policies. We need to align the university enrolment plan to the fact that there is huge economic value to be realised if these minerals are strategically exploited locally with processes such as local beneficiation. We need to strategically locate these minerals at the centre of our industrial strategy and the new growth path as well as use these strategic minerals as a core in South Africa's industrialisation project.

In essence, to effectively execute the national economic revolution, attributes from both socialism and capitalism need to be applied. The aim after all is to mobilise the productive forces in the shortest time possible. Indeed in the national economic revolution 'planning and market forces' are used as 'ways and means of controlling the productive activities'. The national economic revolution basically combines the socialism's ability to distribute capital with market economy's ability to mobilise and allocate capital. The state exercises strong control on the means of production in strategic sectors especially where the markets are failing. One great socialist, Deng Xiaoping of the Chinese Communist Party, had this to say about the application of markets forces within the context of a socialist state to economically revolutionise society: "Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are both ways of controlling economic activity".

Technology and National Economic Revolution

One of the biggest agents of the national economic revolution is technology. For example, the social networking technologies are revolutionising the manner in which society is structured. The advancements in robotic technologies are changing the relations of production. How do we deal with the deployment of technologies that result with the reduction of the workforce needed to run a production enterprise? What is the implication of intelligent technologies on the means and relations of production? What is the relationship amongst the national democratic revolution, the national economic revolution and technological advancement? How do we reconfigure technological advancement so that it becomes a key agent of accelerating the national economic revolution? There is no consensus on how to answer these questions and it is important that we create forums and thinking-tanks that will synthesise answers that will have support from the social, economic and political sectors of our society.

The unchecked technological advancement is often destructive. For example, what is the relationship between technological advancement and the environment? How do we ensure that the pursuit of advanced productive forces does not come at the expense of future generations? How do we balance the global superstructures, such as BRICS or World Trade Organisation (WTO), with national superstructure such as the new growth path when navigating the consequences of unchecked technological advancement? What impact will a failure to deal with environmental pollution have on the national economic revolution and ultimately on the national democratic society? Environmental degradation will have serious consequences for the African continent in terms of issues such as the reduction of the coastlines as well as the uncontrollable floods and droughts. These will further impoverish the African continent and most definitely slow down the national economic revolution.

One of the inevitable consequences of technological advancement is globalisation. This basically means the process through which regional economies, societies and cultures are integrated through a global network of political thoughts by communication, transportation and trade. We need to understand what the relationship is between globalisation, the national economic revolution and the national democratic society? The Chinese economy has benefitted a great deal from globalisation in terms of access to the markets and new technologies. How should South Africa approach globalisation such that the net effect would be the strengthening and acceleration of the national economic revolution? One way of achieving this, which is the basic principle, of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is to use the African continent through mechanisms such as the revitalised African Union and regional economic integration to negotiate a global economic stake for the African continent.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as we move to transform the South African economy, we need to mobilise capital in such a way that the ultimate goal of attaining the National Democratic Society is achieved in the shortest time possible. We should optimally structure our society to ensure that we mobilise sufficient and necessary productive forces to balance short-term objectives with the long term aims of the NDR. We ought to understand that the national economic revolution is just a tactic of accelerating the NDR and that it requires us to have a critical mass of knowledgeable cadres deployed at all levels of our society. We need to capacitate the knowledge gathering mechanisms so that the revolutionary organisation can be able to adapt strategies and tactics to meet the demands of the changing environment and to accelerate the pace of the national economic revolution. We need to identity and implement the optimal investment configuration into infrastructure, new/green economy, social capital as well as public services, and spatial development to reinforce the implementation of the new growth path to accelerate the pace of the national economic revolution.

Tshilidzi Marwala is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg and a Fellow of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA).

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Fight and defeat factionalsism in the movement
Kgolana Alfred Rudolph Phala

1. Introduction

In the year 2012, the African National Congress (ANC), veterans of the struggle, the tripartite Alliance and the people of South Africa will celebrate a hundred years of the ANC. We connect the past with the present and the future on the character of the ANC, with the movement itself being a representative of the hopes, wishes and aspirations of the entire people of South Africa. For a period of one hundred years the ANC stood for the best interests and values of the people of South Africa: selflessness, solidarity, service to the people, humility, honesty, integrity, truthfulness, respect, volunteerism, discipline, solidarity, generosity, collectivism and temperance.

As the President's report to the 51st National Conference stated, "...from its foundation, the African National Congress has served as the parliament of the African people and an agent for unity of the African people. To this day, it continues to occupy the honoured position as a representative of the interests and aspirations of the masses of our people, black and white."

Unity is the bedrock of the founding of the ANC and that ensured its survival and success for a century. The Polokwane resolution on Organisational Renewal clarifies this point better stating that "...over the 95 years of the existence of the ANC, the movement evolved into a force for mass mobilisation, a glue that held our people together and a trusted leader of the broadest range of social forces that share the vision of a non-racial, non-sexiest, united, democratic and prosperous South Africa." The big task of the day is to ensure that the ANC survives as a monument to the future and past generations.

The evil of factionalism

Nothing, in fact, none of the challenges facing the ANC and entire liberation movement, is as potentially fatalistic as factionalism. The ANC as we have it today is bedeviled by factions and rampant factionalism at many levels. The problem got worse since the ANC acquired state power in 1994. By 2001 the National Working Committee (NWC) issued a document to stem this tide called 'Through the Eye of the Needle'. The situation did not improve up to Polokwane in 2007. The document has been revived and reinvigorated post-Polokwane to deal with the problem. The 2010 NGC looked at this issue critically and resolved on an action plan to deal with it rigorously.

Factions are not new to the ANC. The ANC was held to ransom by factions in the 1930's. Today, the cancer of factionalism has gained ascendancy in the movement to such an extent that Conferences are disrupted, membership records 'cooked', slates do rounds, money plays role in elective meetings and there is general ill-discipline. Leadership collectives in the ANC do not act against such practices decisively or in an even-handed manner. There have also been allegations of intra-movement political assassinations in Mpumalanga and the North West, both in the ANC and government circles. The arrest of two suspects with an alleged hit-list that were on an alleged mission to eliminate senior ANC leaders in the Eastern Cape is another case in point. We have seen factionalists behave like warlords, rogues and demagogues with elephantine personality cult and extraordinary arrogance.

Has the ANC descended from its moral high ground? It is our belief that we have really reached the bottom of the pit on this problem of factions in the movement.

Other liberation movements in history that have been afflicted by factionalism and other negative tendencies have either been thoroughly weakened or disappeared. History is awash with those including UNIP of Zambia, PAIGC of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau, the FNLS of Algeria, KANU of Kenya, Congress Party of India, ZANU-PF of Zimbabwe and Kwame Nkrumah's party in Ghana. Some of these exist only as shells of their former self. Some of them exist only in history books! We don't want the ANC to face a similar fate that only high school students read about what once was. Factionalism must be fought and defeated so that the ANC does not over time wither away and cease to be a significant institution in society.

In this intervention, we look at what are factions and what is factionalism; why is factionalism so prevalent in the ANC and almost the entirety of the congress movement; and what needs to be done? This article/discussion document seeks to complement 'Elections, lobbying and leadership transition' in Umrabulo 32 by Febe Potgieter-Gqubule; and the NGC 2010 discussion document on 'Leadership renewal, discipline and organisational culture.'

1. WHAT ARE FACTIONS AND FACTIONALISM?

What are we talking about when we speak of factions or factionalism? What exactly are they? How did the words and their meaning emerge and evolve in history? Let us look at what they mean.

Wikipedia defines a faction as, "the group of individuals that may be referred to as power blocs or voting blocs. The individuals within a faction are united in a common goal or set of common goals. They band together as a way of achieving these goals and advancing their agenda and position within an organisation." "The Latin word "factio" denoted originally the chariot teams that were organised professionally by private companies in the ancient Rome, each recognisable by characteristic colour. In Byzantine, Constantinople, two such chariot factions, blue and green, repeatedly made or broke the claims of candidates to the imperial throne." From this definition we can deduce that factions originated as particular groups organised in society to achieve certain goals. They banded together for such purposes.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a faction as, "a small organised dissentient group within a larger one, especially in politics". And further as, "a state of dissension within an organisation." (COD.p.419) Another English dictionary defines a faction as, "a group or party that belongs to, and usually dissents from, a larger group." Therefore a faction is a loose (sometimes very firm) coalition of individuals within one organisation who operate almost as an organisation within the organisation. It is also referred to as a clique, a bloc, a cabal, a sect, a camp, a platform, or a grouping.

Factions discuss organisational issues outside the organisation before meetings, conferences and workshops are held and take decisions which they push in the formal meetings. Today, their modus operandi is usually focussed on deployments into government, list processes, elected positions and tenders. Their modus vivendi includes being rowdy, noisy, disruptive, buying votes and coercion when things don't go their way. The organisation is then used to achieve the goals, ambitions and wishes of individuals and respective groupings which are contrary to the aims, mission, objectives, policies, principles, programmes and resolutions of the organisations. The organisation is therefore used as a stepping-stone, tool, political-ladder, enrichment vessel, individuals' job giver, promotion agency and protection racket by factionalists. The organisation to them is an organ to facilitate for them to get government jobs, positions and tenders by hook or crook, come rain, come sunshine!

Within the ANC most of the factions emerged initially as lobby groups before conferences, continued after those conferences, grew over time and got solidified as sub-organisations with the ANC. Some later even evolved into organisations on their own. They then ultimately break from the ANC. That is how a group of liberal pseudo-moderates broke away to form ADP (African Democratic Party) in 1943; how a group of ultra-left narrow nationalists calling themselves Africanists broke to form the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress)in 1959; how another group of narrow nationalists the right-wing opportunists in the Makiwanes attempted to form the so-called 'ANC of South Africa' in 1969-73; how disgruntled elements of all kind and form broke to establish the UDM (United Democratic Moovement) in 1997; and, how a very small part of the pre-Polokwane ANC leadership broke to form COPE (Congress of the People) in 2008.

Modern day factionalists want to take over and retain the ANC in order to get government positions and loot the state using its name and stature. The ANC is therefore seen and used as a ladder to acquire lucrative government positions and to sweep tenders into one's pockets. Factionalism refers to the prevalence of and the practice of belonging to factions.

Factionalism is in itself an act of counter-revolution. It is an act that delays, derails or reverses the construction of a new society. It actively weakens, disorganises and ultimately seeks to destroy the liberation movement. It refers to a situation where almost the entire organisation is held ransom by and fractured into factions. It opens the movement up for all manner of political scavengers, vultures, adventurers, cannibals, rogues and fortune-seekers to capture.

Factionalism in all its forms and shades must be fought and defeated by the entirety of ANC membership and its leadership at all levels, at all times. It is a cancer that must be uprooted before it takes over and controls its host fully and totally.

2. WHY IS FACTIONALISM SO PREVALENT IN THE MOVEMENT?

Factions and factionalism is not a new phenomenon at least in the ANC. During and almost throughout the 1930's the ANC was hung by its neck by factional groupings. This creature's roots can be traced back amongst others to 1929 ANC Conference, when incumbent President JJ Gumede lost the position to Ka-Isaka Seme, who was being pushed essentially by a bloc of the House of Chiefs. This development led to the ANC becoming a moribund body existing only in the form of National Conference and held ransom by divisions. The organisational texture of the ANC improved in the 1940's with a new political geography. The CPSA (Communist Party of South Africa) in the same period was fractured by ultra-left sectarianism which had descended from the international communist movement, not least Stalinism and the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union). Within the ANC factions reared their ugly head hugely again in the 1950's. In one Transvaal provincial conference in which Selope Thema stood against Alpheus Malivha for the presidency of the province, the factional fight took a very ugly turn to an extend of having tribal under-tones.

Factions have gained a big part in humanity's search for organisation. Churches, soccer clubs, political movements, burial societies, social clubs, study circles, choristers, friendship associations, stokvels, business foundations, societal fora, animal welfare bodies, resident committees, political parties, liberation movements, community get-togethers, and trade unions have all at one time or another in their life suffered from the problem of factions and factionalism. Some get so held hostage by it that they are rendered moribund or get divided into more different groups.

We have seen soccer clubs breaking away from each other and existing as different entities going forward. We have seen churches establish their own breakaway section under different bishops. We have also seen political organisations breaking up and exist as different entities thenceforth. Such breakaway bodies even use different names, colours, emblems, totems and symbols for example: a bird and a celestial insignia; the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks sections; the Trotskyist and Stalinist ideological positioning; ebuhleni and ekuphakamani names; black and gold colours; a river and a small dish baptism; crossed hands and raised fingers signs; a raised first and open palm salute; a spear-shield and a coloured-circle emblems; a monkey and a porcupine totems; and, the red and black bull references.

In the movement the conditions that gave rise and birth to factions include, but are not limited to incumbency; leniency and indecisiveness; lack of political education; use of money in the movement, particularly in run-up to and during elective conferences; and the use of slates in election of leadership. Let us now deal with each of these:

Incumbency

With the ANC, acquisition of state power in 1994 exaggerated the potential for factions to emerge and gain ground within the movement. As an old African saying would profess, 'mo go lewago go goka dintjhi.' (Flies go where there is a lot to eat.) Acquisition of state power has attracted to the ANC all manner of political scavengers.

Kgalema Motlanthe in his organisational Report to 52nd National Conference makes this point very clearly, that "since many of the BEC's are composed largely of members who are unemployed or poor, there is a great potential for manipulation by careerists and factionalists who pursue personal or sectarian agendas....In this context we should recall Lenin's warning to the 10th congress of the CPSU in March 1921: 'No profound and popular movement in all history has taken place without its share of filth, without adventurers and rogues, without boastful and noisy elements. A ruling party inevitably attracts careerists.' As profound and popular movement, which is also a ruling party, the African National Congress, will not be immune from these tendencies. The point however, is to ensure, through continuous political education that the noble values and norms of the African National Congress remain the dominant and defining characteristics of our movement. In order to achieve this we must devise mechanisms that combat and defeat the negative tendencies that Lenin identified and warned against."

Secretary-General Motlanthe puts this point even better in his report to the 2005 NGC. "Moral degeneration, linked to the accumulation and control over resources, is not a consequence we can accept, since it threatens to extinguish the torch of freedom that our people have carried for so long. Because of their hopes and aspirations we are duty bound to act, as the ANC, in the vanguard of the struggle against moral decay and corruption. These problems are not confined to a particular sphere of government or geographical area. Both new and seasoned members are equally prone and vulnerable to these tempting prospects that come with public office. In many of our communities opportunities for employment are very limited, and especially in poorer provinces, government is the only employer of note. In this context the single-minded pursuit of control over public resources and ascendancy to authority to make appointments can lead to particularly acute consequences. Our position as a ruling party makes us particularly susceptible to such influence". (SG Report to 2005 National General Council (NGC). P 30)

The ANC NWC in 2001 came up with a document on leadership processes in the movement to stem this tide. The document titled, 'Through the eye of the needle' is very articulate on this point. "Because leadership in structures of the ANC affords opportunities to assume positions of authority in governments, some individuals then compete for ANC leadership positions in order to get into governments. Many such members view positions in government as a source of material riches for themselves. Thus resources, prestige and authority of government positions become the driving force in competition for leadership positions in the ANC. Government positions go hand-in-hand with the possibility to issue contracts to commercial companies. Some of these companies identify ANC members that they can promote in ANC structures and into government, so that they can get contracts by hook or crook. This is done through media networks to discredit other leaders, or even by buying membership cards to set up branches that are ANC only in name. Positions in government also mean the possibility to appoint individuals in all kind of capacities. As such, some members make promises to friends, that once elected and ensconced in government, they would return the favour. Cliques and factions then emerge within the movement, around personal loyalties driven by corrupt intentions. Members become voting fodder to serve individuals' self-interest." (Umrabulo. 11.2001. p.43)

President Jacob Zuma makes this point glaringly succinct in his political overview to the first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting after the 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane that, "the ANC is not, has never been and will never be a faction. When elected leaders at the highest level openly engage in factionalist activity, where is the movement that aims to unite the people of South Africa for a complete liberation of the country from all forms of discrimination and national oppression? When money changes hands in the battle for personal power and aggrandisement, where is the movement that is built around a membership that join without motives of material advantage and personal gain? When members of the ANC themselves engage in factionalist activity, media leaks and rumour mongering, how can we expect the membership of our movement to carry out their duties to observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out loyally the decisions of the majority and the decisions of higher bodies?" (President J Zuma political overview at NEC Meeting. March 2008).

Earlier on, in the period before the 52nd National Conference, when it was becoming clear that the ANC was being divided between them, the then President Thabo Mbeki and the then Deputy President Jacob Zuma, co-authored a document that they presented to the ANC NEC of the 09 September 2005. In part it read as follows, "we wish to assert that there is one ANC and therefore reject the notion that individuals should be required to choose sides, on the basis of the absolutely false assertion that we lead two contending factions within the movement. We therefore urge in the strongest terms possible, that no one should use the President or the Deputy President to mobilise for or against either, and for or against any other leader of the movement". (ANC NEC Sept. 2005).

In the subsequent meeting of the NEC of 18 - 20 November 2005 a resolution was taken, "to expose and fight factionalism in our structures, and encourage members to report to the Secretary General's office any rumour-mongering that seeks to undermine the unity and cohesion of the movement, so that this poison be addressed honestly, and openly within the structures of the ANC". (NEC Resolution, 18 -20 November 2005.) The 52nd National Conference in its Strategy and Tactics put political incumbency at the core of all the ANC woes. "Political incumbency also presents a myriad of problems in the management of relations within the organisation. Patronage, arrogance of power bureaucratic indifference, corruption and other ills arise, undermining the lofty core values of the organisation: to serve the people."

In January 2007, then Secretary-General Kgalema Motlanthe elucidated this point bravely in a Financial Mail interview. "This rot is across the board. It's not confined to any level or any area of the country. Almost every project is conceived because it offers opportunities for certain people to make money. A great deal of the ANC's problems is occasioned by this. There are people who want to take it over so they can arrange for opportunities for future accumulation." (Financial mail. 19 January 2007) The situation articulated by the then Secretary- General went from bad to worse to an extend where, " in a number of provinces and in some more than once, the NEC intervened when divisions and factionalism paralysed the organisation and governance in these provinces, dissolving Provincial Executive Committees, establishing interim leadership to organise Provincial Conferences to elect new leadership". (Potgieter-Gqubule, 2010)

Strong in words, but weak on action against factionalism

Attempts in the past to deal with the problem of divisions have been to write a paper articulating the problem. If the problem remains, we then write about it in even stronger language. Here is how it happened:

Leniency and indecisiveness

Part of the explanation for the germination and cultivation of factionalism in the ANC and the entire movement is the leniency in dealing with people who are found to be involved in fostering divisions and factions. The level of leniency and inaction in dealing with such elements has added impetus to this negative development in the movement. People act divisively and threaten the unity of the movement practically, but ultimately nothing happens to them. Part of the reason for this leniency or indecisiveness is the fact that most leadership structures were elected on lobby lists and won't act on people who helped them get the positions they occupy. And because if you have not acted on one you cannot act on the other - the elected leadership structures are paralysed to decisively root-out divisions and factionalism, so the cancer is allowed to fester and grow to an extent where it threatens the very life of its host, the ANC.

As the November 2009 Resolution of the NEC stated, "The ANC constitutional structures should be resolute and decisive in stamping out ill discipline and should do so without fear or favour, as such behaviour damages the image of the ANC". The tendency in the movement to be very strong on words but weak on action is also a problem in this regard. The 2012 January 08 statement is fairly strong in language. It stated, "the ANC will continue to take firm action against ill-discipline, corruption, incompetence and abuse of power in our ranks. In particular, we will be consistent and firm in acting against abuse of leadership positions for personal gain and factionalism."

Lack of political education

The level of political understanding of the membership and the depth of political maturity by leadership is one of the factors that allow factionalism to emerge, grow, develop and mature in the movement. Some members get misled because of their inadequate political clarity on how the affairs of the movement are run. Some members get misled and used because of their own level of political consciousness. Political consciousness is the functions of political development and maturity. Political consciousness is cultivated and nurtured, otherwise it leaves the individual without any foundation.

Therefore political education of the membership and leadership both in the movement and those deployed to hold positions of responsibility in the state is critical. But political education is not a panacea. It will not like the waving of a magic wand solve immediately and totally all the problems the movement face around divisions and factionalism.

Nevertheless it would be good that people do wrong things knowing very well what the correct things are. If political education is intensified it would pull the carpet below the legs of the factionalists and weaken their grip on the movement. Factions will be weaker without disinformation, half-truths and false-hoods.

The use of money in movement, particularly in run-up to conferences

In the recent period there has also been the emergence of a new and dangerous phenomenon of the use of money in ANC politics. This is particularly dangerous because it puts the movement on a slippery slope to degeneration. Money is a devil that has destroyed many liberation movements. It must not destroy the ANC. Stern action must be taken against those found using money in run-up to and even during elective and list conferences in the entire movement. The ANC 2010 Mid-term Review states categorically, that "the influence of money in our processes is having the biggest potential to change the character of the movement from being people centred and people driven in all the processes, to one where power is wielded by a narrow circle of those who own and/or control resources. This is at the centre of the resurgence of factionalism in the movement where contestation is neither political nor ideological but driven by narrow interests."

The 2010 NGC is very emphatic on this matter. Its discussion document -Leadership renewal, discipline and organisational culture, states categorically, "the influence and use of money as part of lobbying for organisational positions: This ranges from the availability of seemingly vast resources to organise lobby group meetings, travel, communications (starter-packs) to allegations of outright bribing and paying of individuals in regions and branches to vote for particular candidates, forward particular factional positions and/or to disrupt meetings." Money has gained so much pre-eminence in the affairs of the movement that if it were not defeated it would take the movement down.

This money being used to divide, weaken and destroy the ANC is dirty money. It is money that has been siphoned off from the state tendering system by corruption, bribery, backhanders and paybacks of all kind. Until we are able to close the tap of dirty money flowing from the state, we will never ever effectively fight and defeat factionalism in the movement as a whole. This is the money used to buy votes in run-up to and during conferences.

The use of slates in election of leadership

The negative phenomenon of the use of solid factional lists in the run-up to elective conferences is another dangerous practice that has emerged and evolved in the recent period. To defeat factionalism, the slates must be defeated fully and totally. The slates which usually have list of names of leadership totally exclusive of each other is a fuel that exaggerates the fire of divisions and factionalism in the movement. This tendency is anti-progress and anti-ANC: that capable comrades do not get elected merely because they featured in a different lobby list and very incapable people get put in positions to which they are least prepared to occupy by their level of political education, skills, capacity, experience and maturity. To defeat factionalism in the movement this utterly negative and dangerous phenomenon must be nipped in the bud.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe raised the matter sharply in his Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture to South African Students Congress (SASCO), April, 2011. "We have today a few challenges of our own, both within and outside our organisation, which would need the vision, skills and principled nature of comrade Sisulu to address. In other words, we need the historical lessons emanating from the struggles comrade Sisulu and his generation waged in order that we should keep in line with the innate traditions of the ANC. One such challenge is the practice of slates, which is particularly pronounced during elective conferences of the ANC. Slates are a form of open factionalism, whereby comrades line up behind a particular candidate. What this means is that the organisation is split in two, with each side owing allegiance to itself in such a way that it elevates its interests above those of the organisation, at least at that time. What is worse about this particular practice is that slates have the tendency to take on a life of their own. Long after the elective conference is gone comrades still see themselves through the prism of slates, and act accordingly. While the winning faction indulges in triumphalist euphoria, the losing side, smarting, begins to prepare itself for the next elective conference, and acts in a manner consistent with this intention. No matter how injurious a deed is to the integrity of the organisation, it will still come to pass for as long as the one side thinks it gives it an edge over the other. This becomes a vicious cycle, infesting all the nooks and crannies of the ANC in a way that is harmful to the long term interests of our movement. Ultimately the practice of slates weakens the ANC by sawing deep divisions that never heal."

Slates defocus the conferences from the important debates about policy and programme of the movement. They also undermine the necessary debate about the skills and capabilities of those on the lists as the nominees are not discussed as individuals but as a bloc. The ANC then behaves like a hostage of factions, hobbles from one conference to another without implementation of conference resolutions and programme of action. In most of the recent provincial, regional and league conferences we have witnessed an anti-ANC phenomenon of two distinct groups of delegates singing songs against each other and taunting each other about the different leaders appearing in slates. In instances even singing derogatory songs and shouting insults about other leaders on opposite slates.

In this situation what needs to be done to turn the tide against factionalism in the movement? What practical steps needs to be taken in this regard?

3. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

The movement must take swift and immediate action to turn the tide and finally defeat and bury the rampant factionalism in its ranks. Otherwise if it is not defeated, destroyed and buried, it threatens to destroy and burry this glorious movement of the people of South Africa, the ANC. Those actions include, but are not limited to: strengthening discipline in the movement; ensuring decisiveness of leadership; provision of all-round exemplary leadership; redeployment of cadres to achieve better performance; intensify political education; disallow the production, promotion and circulation of slates in run up to elective conferences; allow for criticism and self-criticism to flourish in structures of the movement and to merge deployment of cadres with capacity to do the job.

Enhancing the level of discipline in the movement

Part of the explanation for the germination and maturation of factions in the movement is that despite their prevalence, not a single person has been charged, let along found guilty of organised factional activity. The level of discipline has also gone down generally in the movement as could be seen from many of the recent conferences. Disciplinary action needs to be strengthened and active steps taken against those found committing such acts. Disciplinary measures must be taken swiftly and decisively against anyone regardless of their position and leadership connections. As the ANC itself said at Mafikeng conference, that, "discipline is a weapon of struggle and transformation. It does not exist for its own sake, but to safeguard the unity of the movement, ensure that it is able to fulfil its historic mission and achieve its objectives. Discipline is a political matter." (ANC 50th Conference Discussion document: Organisational democracy and discipline in the movement.)

The 2010 NGC discussion document on 'Leadership renewal, discipline and organisational culture,' elaborates on this matter even further. "Draw clear lines between right and wrong: The factionalism that is associated with a shadow organisational culture breeds intolerance, removing the vibrancy of debate and the mutual development of members that are the life-blood of the organisation. Disruptive conduct in meetings and conferences, including shouting down those who hold contrary views and even indecent and violent conduct, can become the order of the day. If this is allowed to continue, many members will recoil from taking part in ANC meetings. Some may simply let their membership lapse, and all kinds of rogues may take the movement over - with dire consequences for the ANC and indeed the revolution as such."

Secretary General Gwede Mantashe committed the ANC to act swiftly and firmly against any divisive elements and factionalists. He stated, "The ANC will continue to take firm action against ill discipline, corruption, incompetence and abuse of power in our ranks. In particular, we will be consistent and firm in acting against abuse of leadership positions for personal gain and factionalism. We will also manage the deployment and redeployment of cadres in a more objective and transparent fashion through our internal monitoring and evaluation processes. Together with our Alliance partners, and broader mass democratic movement, we will individually and collectively confront the imperatives of discipline." (Secretary General's Report to NGC 2010. P 59)

Ill-discipline is the single factor that must be fought and defeated to uproot rampant factionalism in the movement. Leadership collectives at all levels must be decisive in this regard. This leads us to the next point.

Decisiveness of the leadership

ANC leadership collectives at every must be politically decisive in dealing with divisive comrades, general factionalism, deployment of cadres and disciplining of misbehaving elements. Until and unless the leadership at all levels (more particularly in the higher structures such as NEC, PEC and REC) are seen to act decisively on rotten apples the problem of factionalism would continue to fester and gain momentum in the movement. The issue of the indecisiveness of leadership structures comes to the fore sharply in this period because, "since these activities also involve leadership level, it means that ANC leadership collectives are often paralysed by inaction, because of fears to take steps against 'our side' or for being accused of purging the 'other side.' In the process, discipline is not maintained and impunity is the order of the day." (NGC 2010 discussion document)

This matter about leadership lack of decisive action against rogue, divisive, disruptive and factionalist elements in the ranks of the movement was also sharply raised by the Veterans League in its intervention at the 2010 NGC. It stated, "The leadership must lead by example, and at the first sign of any deviation from policy, or anything that could bring the ANC into disrepute, they must act decisively in defence of the movement. Leaders must do so without fear or favour. They have been elected for that". (NGC 2010 Report. P 65)

The sore point of leadership indecisiveness was also taken forward by delegates to the 2010 NGC in their Declaration. "Council had extensive discussions on the urgent steps that need to be taken to deal decisively with negative tendencies that are threatening to erode the character, culture and core values of the ANC as a loyal servant of our people and agent for progressive change in South Africa. Delegates stressed that unity remained the bedrock upon which the long-term survival and success of our movement depends. Council was frank in acknowledging the tendencies of iii-discipline and misconduct had set in within various structures of the movement. This 3rd NGC, the delegates resolved, should mark a decisive turning point in addressing all the negative tendencies that eroded and pose the danger of eroding the organisational integrity and the very character of the ANC. In this regard delegates state with equivocation that there should be no confusing signals and messages from the leadership on matters of discipline." (NGC 2010. Report. P.68) The issue of indecisiveness of leadership collectives at all levels affects the performance of all-round exemplary leadership.

All-round exemplary leadership

Leadership collectives at all level must lead the entire membership by example of dedication, selflessness and maturity. Part of the prevalence of the problem of factionalism in the movement is the role of leadership in fostering divisions and not playing exemplary role to membership. Leadership at all levels and in all organs of the movement must not lead membership to temptations. Particularly the NEC, PEC's and REC's must strive to lead a united ANC at all times and stern action must be taken against those found involved in fostering divisions and factionalism in the movement. Leaders must at all times act in the best interest of the ANC.

Through the eye of the needle emphasises this matter that, "a leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct- as defined by our revolutionary morality. Through force of example, he should act as a role model to ANC members and non-members alike. Leading a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the NDR includes not only being free of corrupt practices; it also means actively fighting against corruption."

Redeployment and better performance

Leadership collectives must at all times check the performance of deployed cadres. In instances where there is underperformance, ill-discipline, laziness or corruption, they must act swiftly and decisively to redeploy those cadres in the interest of better and more enhanced performance. The service that the ANC renders to the people of South Africa both as a movement and in the government it leads must always be enhanced. The movement needs to revive in practice the principle of recall, in actions not only in words. Deployment should also go hand in hand with the level of political understanding, skill or capacity, maturity and commitment of those cadres.

Intensify political education

Political education must be intensified at all levels of the movement including in all its leagues and Alliance formations. This is not the sole and final solution, but would go a long way in helping to stem the tide of divisions and factionalism in the movement. It must be made mandatory for all deployees and people occupying leadership positions to attend political classes annually. Political education structures must be strengthened at all levels so that they can effectively, efficiently and qualitatively deliver cadreship development and political education to ANC members, leaders and structures at all levels, at all times.

Leadership from senior leadership structures must also be deployed to run political classes and sessions for the lower structures. However it must be restated that the role of political education in fostering the spirit of unity and destroying factionalism must not be overemphasised or exaggerated. Political education is not a panacea that heals all diseases and illnesses at once, but it remains the most potent weapon against factionalists and factionalism in the movement. Political education will also help to turn the tide against that most dangerous and destructive tendency that has emerged in the recent period, the spectre of slates.

Ban slates and use of money in elections processes

The constitution and structures of the movement must disallow the use of solid factional lists in run-up to and during elective conferences. Anyone found involved in developing, circulating, distributing and publishing such divisive lists must face the full might of the ANC and be expelled with immediate effect from the movement.

The same fate should accompany those who use money and media to influence the factional outcome of any elective meeting in the movement. The wearing of t-shirts with such names and the printing of pamphlets and posters for same should be disallowed and the ultimate punishment of expulsion should face such individuals and/or groupings. The movement should also look at the possibility of disallowing public pronouncements by anyone on leadership preferences before conferences.

The 2010 NGC spoke loudly and clearly on the issue of slates in the movement. "Winner takes all or clean slate phenomena fuelling and breeding factionalism: more and more our approach to leadership contests at conferences is based on two lobbying lists, with hardly a name between them in common. The outcomes of elections also often reflect slates, winner taking all, those who lost leaving conferences once results are announced and before concluding the business of conference." (NGC 2010. Discussion Document.)

The publication of slates goes hand in hand with the circulation of money in the movement in run-up to elective conferences. If there is anything that the ANC must fight and defeat is those twin evils responsible for a variety of other ills in the movement such as ill discipline, patronage, factionalism, careerism and opportunism. To defeat slates we must allow the culture of constructive criticism to flourish and take root in the movement. That takes us to the next point.

Criticism and self-criticism must flourish

In its actions and inactions the movement must allow the cultivation of the spirit of constructive and self-critical debate. Internal criticism and corrective action is what has ensured the ANC survival up to a hundred years. The ANC on the occasion of its 50th National Conference in Mafikeng, 1997, dealt with this matter quite adequately. In a discussion document titled, Organisational democracy and discipline in the movement, it stated, that, "we do not believe that any of our members are beyond criticism. This means that we must have regular evaluations, questions must be asked and constructive criticism encouraged. We must also have a cadreship and leadership who are humble and prepared to listen to constructive criticism. Part of being a cadre also means an ongoing process of self-improvement. Criticism should be aimed at building an individual and at improving our strategies, tactics and policies as a movement".

Through the eye of the needle reiterates this point, that, "it is to be expected that in leading social activity, leaders and members will from time to time make mistakes. The most important thing is that these individuals and collectives should have the capacity and humility to honestly review their work critically, and correct the weaknesses." Incumbency has also affected the ability of the movement's cadres to speak openly and honestly about each other's performance. This because of "the danger arising out of the fact that executive positions in government are by appointment. This can have the effect of stifling frank, honest and self-critical debate within the ranks of the movement. This is because some individuals may convince themselves that, by pretending to be what they are not, and being seen to agree with those in authority all the time, they would then be rewarded with appointment into senior government positions."

Criticism and self-criticism is one of those key pillars of ANC's internal democracy which must be hoisted higher up to fight and defeat the spectre of divisions and factionalism in the movement. The attitude towards criticism and ability to take is serious and respond adequately to it is the function of the level of political consciousness and maturity of the members and leaders. Internal constructive criticism helps to open the eyes and ears of the movement to potential weaknesses that must be addressed in the interest of the ANC, the people of South Africa and future generations.

Deployment and capacity must merge

Leadership collectives at all levels must ensure that capable cadres are deployed to positions where they would be able to perform well. One of the negative consequences of factionalism is that people get put in positions which they are inadequately prepared to occupy and end up disappointing in the performance of that office. Factionalism gains ground because individuals want to win positions in ANC structures in order to acquire positions in government for their own end.

Secretary General Matanshe articulates this point very well in his organisational Report to the 2010 NGC. "Mistakes committed by our structures in deploying cadres who do not even meet the basic requirements for the post they are deployed in have opened the movement to unfair criticism. We have a duty to ensure that when a cadre is deployed, he/she meets the requirements of the post concerned by balancing political integrity and professional competence." And this is the nub of the matter.

Conclusion

In his focus on unity, cohesion and discipline in the state of organisation report to the 2010 NGC, ANC Secretary General Gwede Matanshe says, "The NEC has reaffirmed the need to develop guidelines for lobbying. This was in response to the emerging trend of making lobbying for positions the mainstay of our organisational work. An emerging perception is that daggers are always drawn and there is no political life other than vying for positions in the ANC. This reduces the important political activity of electing leadership into permanent conspiracy and plotting, without giving it the necessary political and programme and coupled with the necessary combination of skills needed to implement it, it is likely to be informed by group interests. The way we handle each other publicly promotes this negative images, and the ANC can ill afford to be in a state of lobbying from one conference to the next. The organisation pays heavily whenever there are public fights and bleeds profusely out of self-inflicted wounds."

The demon of factionalism must be fought and defeated in the ANC and the entire liberation movement in the interest of and in the name of all past and future generations. It would be in their honour and as a tribute to them that this succeeds. This is also because, "the ANC came into existence before many of us. It will outlive all of us. Our historic task is to carry this precious torch through the brief time we are given on earth, and pass it on undiminished to the generation that will follow. That torch whose flames keep aloft the hopes of our people, burns on the fuel of our own selfless contributions, which rests upon our acceptance of the values and conduct of our fore-bears: courage, generosity, honesty, self-sacrifice, humility, truthfulness, integrity and temperance. These are the values that must reside in the membership of the ANC, which is the foundation upon which the life of our movement rests." (ANC NGC, 2005)

If the ANC does not act timely, decisively and swiftly against factionalism, it may reach a stage of no return whereby it is irreparable and irretrievable. The entirety of ANC and Alliance leadership and membership must join and lead the fight against factionalism. Factionalism must ultimately be defeated. The ANC must survive and succeed in the interest of the people of South Africa and future generations. The slogan, 'ANC LIVES - ANC LEADS' must ring truer as society progresses forward to the next century!

REFERENCES

African National Congress, all documents on www.anc.org.za:

Financial Mail. 19 January 2007.
Motlanthe. K. (2011) Address at SASCO Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, April, 6 2011.
Netshitenzhe, Joel. (2008). "Of cats, factions and revolution". Umrabulo, number 33. 2008.
Potgieter - Gqubule. F. (2010). Elections, Lobbying and Leadership transition. Umrabulo, Number 32, p.39-53.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Valredon Press. Oxford. 1992. P.419.
www.wikipedia.

The National Question in 2011: Beyond the hypocrisy of liberalism and the pitfalls of nationalism
By Gunnett Kaaf

The National Question (race) continues to present itself as the most dominant social category in our South African polity. It does so alongside and in conjunction with other major social categories of class, gender and the rural/urban geo-socioeconomic factor. The national question continues to dominate because the socio-economic plight of black people, the national group that constitutes the overwhelming majority, remains unaddressed. Poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment are the main social factors that sadly continue to define the living conditions of the considerable majority of black people, 17 years since the attainment of political freedom. Even though 17 years cannot be enough to address social ills of a colonial and apartheid system that spanned for over 340 years, the anxiety for decisive action to accelerate progressive transformation is not without merit. Unless and until the plight of the historically oppressed majority is urgently and fundamentally addressed, the need to resolve the national question shall persist.

I have a formulation that I have been employing in all my political reflections since early last year. This formulation is my main conjunctural thesis for the National Democratic Revolution in the current phase, and goes thus: After 17 years since the attainment of political freedom, the need to alter economic power relations is looming larger as the course of transformation enters a new trajectory. We must work faster and better to create jobs, eliminate poverty and reduce inequalities, and redistribute national income and wealth for all. Struggles on the economic terrain are already dominating the consolidation of our democracy. And I bet progress or retreat on the economic front will make or break the entire democratic transformation project in the current conjuncture!

The recent period has been marketed by a heightened public debate on the race question. The 2011 local government elections have also accentuated the centrality and the immediacy of the race question in our polity. The marked weaknesses in the conduct of our public discourse have been the dominance of the liberal hypocrisy and the pitfalls of a narrow nationalism in tackling pressing challenges arising from the need to resolve the national question.

This article will attempt to assess the prospects of building a genuinely non-racial democratic transformation project that goes beyond the limits of the liberal hypocrisy and of the pitfalls of nationalism in the current public discourse.

The liberal virus

The liberal views articulated in the public discourse tend to conveniently dismiss race as less important a social category in contemplating any social progress worthy the name in South Africa. This liberal ferment argues for an "open opportunity society where everybody is equal". Fine. But how is that 'open society' going to be created without redressing past imbalances in the economy, in the state and in the broader society? These imbalances arose from a social reproduction process in which whites owned and controlled commanding heights of the economy- the mines, the banks and large insurance companies, the factories, large commercial farms and retail firms. Blacks were excluded from meaningful ownership, management and advanced skills and instead they were reduced to a reservoir of cheap labour. I ask how is that open society going to redress 84 years of political exclusion of blacks in the state administration?

When I say 84 years I only count from 1910 until 1994. I'm not counting the many decades of political exclusion and of colonial conquest in the four states that existed before the Union of 1910; the two British colonies: Natal and the Cape, and the two Boer Republics of Orange Free State and the Transvaal. May I also ask how are we going to have this open society without a transformation of the social culture and affirm indigenous languages and the culture of blacks that have been relegated to a very inferior status for more than three centuries?

So, it is clear to me that an open equal opportunity society without meaningful transformation in the economy, state and in the broader society is not only hypocritical but it is reactionary since it will perpetuate the historical injustices under a deceitful cover of the liberal democracy. This democracy will, in all intense and purposes, serve the interests of and be under the control of bourgeois classes that remain largely white, and co-opt sections of the emergent black capitalist class for some "non-racial" legitimacy. And in the meantime, the majority of our people will hopelessly languish in poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. We know who the champions of this "open opportunity society" are. The white monopoly capital is at the helm of bourgeois classes and political forces propagating this version of transformation. The Democratic Alliance is the foremost political expression and champion of this "open equal opportunity society" version of transformation. There are also others in the media. These forces also include the liberal think tanks such as the FW de Klerk Foundation, Helen Suzman Foundation, The Free Market Foundation, The Institute for Race Relations and the right wing AfriForum.

The DA and company disregard transformation measures such as affirmative action, broad-based BEE, skills development for black youth and the transformation of our universities to be equitably inclusive both in the enrolment and in the outcomes of black students. In fact, they regard these as forms of "reverse racial discrimination". They say this without presenting any viable policy measure for redressing past imbalances which are the single greatest barrier to any meaningful social progress today in SA.

So, whatever the support the DA has among the black voters it must give it expression by articulating the genuine demands of the black masses. These demands are poverty eradication, massive jobs creation and economic empowerment and development in ways that change structures of economic ownership. All these are not possible to attain without evoking a radical rupture in the socio-economic relations as perpetuated by the South African historical capitalism. A genuinely transformative programme will have to be implemented by DA if they want to be regarded as custodians of the values of Mandela, as they are fond of claiming these days. Because what Mandela is really all about is a revolutionary reconstitution of society in the interests of the overwhelming majority; the black masses, the working class, the rural poor and all South Africans; black and white, reconciled in the quest for social progress and democratisation. I know liberals for their ambivalence in articulating fundamental social change in favour of the majority. I therefore wonder if the DA is really capable of articulating a programme for genuine social change worthy the name!

The pitfalls of nationalism

The other faulty tendency that finds common expression in our public discourse is that of narrow nationalism that looks at our social problems purely on the basis of race and exclusively from the past, as if our social problems don't have a perpetual existence that permeate in the present time. "White people are like this, and black people are like that, and coloureds are prone to this and that..." is the kind of discourse this nationalistic tendency promotes. Social problems are posed as emanating from this or that racial group, instead of understanding the legacies of the historical injustice and the contemporary social challenges arising from the task of nation-building.

The recent comments about "coloureds being concentrated in the Western Cape" by Jimmy Manyi and that "blacks can't be racist" by Andile Mngxitama are some of the typical expressions of this tendency.

On the far right of this narrow nationalist tendency you have organisations like the AfriForum and Solidarity, which keep on conjuring up white fears as the course of transformation enters a higher trajectory; be it on the political, economic or on the cultural terrain. They oppose the necessary name changes, affirmative action measures and freedom songs whose resonance shall remain loud for as long as the course of genuine emancipation remains incomplete.

Whilst nationalism can be progressive and inclusive in fighting against national oppression and imperialism, it always suffers from the inherent danger of being stuck in the past and in narrowly articulating interests of a national group devoid of the necessary broad social progress. In this way nationalism tend to lack modernity. Politics is mostly a terrain of struggles between varying social groups for their interests and hegemony. A political project of a social group (be it a race, a class, a gender group or a geo-socioeconomic group) entails modernity when it envisions society in ways that go beyond the confines of its interests, to ways that advance the progress of society in its entirety.

The discourse promoted by this narrow nationalist tendency does not advance the social project of nation-building. Whatever its pretences, it only serves to derail progress towards nation-building.

National Democratic Transformation: beyond liberal hypocrisy and pitfalls of nationalism

In contrasting our approach as the ANC led movement against this narrow nationalist tendency we need to draw lessons from our own history. The temptations of narrow nationalism were always avoided and rejected right from the formation of the ANC in 1912.The ANC always promoted approaches for social inclusivity (nonracialism is central in this regard) and social progress, instead of advocating for a return to the pre-colonial system of social reproduction, as Pallo Jordan once pointed out. Slogans propagating the need to "drive whites to the sea" and "Africa for Africans" were defeated. Instead we understood our history as a reality riddled with social contractions arising from the capitalist expansion, the colonial conquest, apartheid and the reciprocal popular social struggles. And these social contradictions can inspire further social progress towards national liberation and a lasting social emancipation, ultimately.

After the Second World War, in 1940's to the 50's, during the heydays of the biggest capitalist expansion on our shores, the ANC embraced a new class of black industrial workers which was fired up with revolutionary zeal. The ANC also adopted their methods of struggle, including the general strike and mass action. The promotion of the working class leadership in the liberation struggle gave immense impetus to our national liberation struggle as a true mass movement and enhanced its social progress dimension since the working class is located in the production base which is the engine for progress of modern societies.

The modernity, social inclusivity and social progress envisioned in the Freedom Charter are unmatched in inspiration to this day, and unparalleled in the farsighted fundamental social change it projects. Samir Amin has a correct view that great revolutions stand out because they project themselves far into the future, instead of merely responding to the need for change in the immediate agenda.

The non-racial policy perspectives were deepened at Morogoro Conference in 1969 and this saw the ANC officially opening-up its membership to South Africans of all races, including whites. The next National Conference of the ANC in 1985 at Kabwe (in Zambia) advanced nonracialism further and allowed all races to be elected into the highest leadership organ of the ANC, the National Executive Committee. This way the ANC was truly establishing itself as an advanced detachment in the social odyssey towards the envisioned non-racial future.

The Colonialism of a Special Type (CST) thesis was ground-breaking in charactering the nature of the national oppression in South Africa in its origin and its development since 1910. The CST thesis was first elaborated in the 1962 SACP Programme, The Road to South African Freedom, and was also embraced at the ANC Morogoro Conference of 1969. The main content of the CST thesis sought to expose the peculiarity of the South African colonial relations in which the coloniser and the colonised shared the same territory wherein there is an interdependence between the class (super) exploitation of (black) workers and the national oppression of the black population. The triple oppression of women (as part of the black national group, the working class and arising from patriarchal oppression) also later came to find expression in the framework of the CST thesis. The structure and logic of the SA colonial capitalist expansion was therefore subordinated to the imperialist global capitalism; with SA mainly reduced to a mere exporter of raw materials without a sophisticated industrial base that would make SA competitive in global markets. This CST thesis is still profound and relevant in understanding the historical legacies as they continue to manifest in the present socio-economic power relations that remain largely unchanged.

Following the 1994 democratic breakthrough, we championed the policy of national reconciliation and nation-building. Whereas it would have been tempting to counter pose reconciliation to socioeconomic transformation; and say no reconciliation was possible until and unless black people had their equitable share in the economy, until land has been equitably transferred to black rural masses and peasants. No we did not push that line. Correctly, we conceived socioeconomic transformation and nation-building as mutually reinforcing components of our social transformation project, and have to be pushed together.

Even though we have reached a stage wherein we need to push for a decisive transformation on the economic terrain, we must still not neglect the important tasks of nation building and reconciliation. The space for social transformation is always multidimensional; at once political, economic and cultural. The cohesion of society will therefore depend on the extent to which these dimensions overlap with one another. Samir Amin's view in this regard is also profound.

Economic Transformation for decisively resolving the National Question

The New Growth Path is ground-breaking in that it seeks to expand and develop the productive industrial base in ways that put the demand of decent work at the very centre of economic policy. I mean all economic policy; macro and micro economic policy, including the monetary and fiscal policy aspects as well as trade and investment. The challenge of youth employment and skills development must also be urgently attended. The role of the state in the economy is going be decisive in really altering economic power relations. The ANC Youth League has put forward some radical proposals that are worth considering. These include the nationalisation of mines debate (which the ANC has broadly endorsed to take further) and their proposal on the need for a more radical land reform programme.

Early on in our post 1994 transformation we seem to have harboured an incorrect view that the agrarian question and land reform were no longer very important demands in our transformation agenda. It seemed a better idea to speed up modernisation of the inherited agricultural system, particularly by opening it up to a new class of black farmers, agribusiness and competiveness. And in the meantime we relegated the need to recreate subsistence and small scale farming which have the potential for building sustainable rural communities.

It is high time rural development (RD) becomes a real priority and not just in words. We need to see a substantially increased budget for RD, a comprehensive RD strategy that includes access to land for rural people, and the revival of subsistence and small scale farming.

We must wake up from an illusion that we can address our unemployment and poverty without giving due attention to agrarian and land reform, when more than 35% of our people still leave in rural areas. Otherwise whatever industrial strategy we put into effect, without a comprehensive RD strategy, it will always be inadequate because rural people will simply flock into the shanty side of our urban areas and increase the number of the destitute.

We therefore must address access to land and small scale farming because the development commercial farming alone will not get everybody employed in this age where technologies are so commonly applied in agricultural production.

The bankruptcy, revisionism and opportunism of liberals

We must expose the bankruptcy of liberalism in both the ideological terrain and in actual practical struggles for thoroughgoing social transformation. Since the defeat of the formal apartheid ideology in 1994, the liberal rhetoric and hypocrisy has become the major opponent of genuine social transformation. And in an attempt to weaken us, they accuse our movement of a narrow nationalism. At the same time, the narrow nationalistic tendencies falsely associate with the ANC's genuine social transformation programme aimed resolving the national question. As we crush the liberal ferment of hypocrisy, we must also clear off our movement any seeming pitfalls of (narrow) nationalism.

The hegemony of our non-racial project which is profoundly transformative has been so appealing that even opposition parties attempt to use, in a revisionist way, our formulations and symbols as if they support them even though they are actually in direct contradiction with them. And this twisting and deception is intrinsic to revisionism as a political tendency, as Rosa Luxemburg pointed out way back in 1900. COPE was more pronounced on this revisionist tendency after it was formed in 2008. Even their party name has its origins in our 1955 Congress of the People. They also professed to be true adherents of the Freedom Charter. It did not take long for this illusion and hypocrisy to fall flat and disappear alongside their short-lived political fortunes.

Now the DA is also suiting itself to our movement's formulations, symbols and heritage. The Freedom Charter, Mandela, Sisulu and our freedom songs with adapted versions are part of their newly found revisionist mode of politics. In their revisionism, they virtually have nothing to say against the substance of ANC policies. All they ever say against the ANC is corruption and poor service delivery. Maybe instead of being overly defensive, we should just do more and act firmly and resolutely in rooting out corruption within our ranks and in Government, and accelerate service delivery to our needy communities. That way we will demolish the base of the DA's newly found politics of revisionism and opportunism, and so will their seemingly growing political fortunes also disintegrate and perish.

We must, most importantly, build a strong popular movement on the ground not merely to support government actions, but mainly for a sustained popular initiative as an important pillar of the on-going democratic transformation. This way national liberation will continue as an exercise of self-emancipation by the people themselves, contrary to the belief that government can simply deliver development to people; and that all the people must to do is simply to support without any popular initiative that gives true meaning to the participatory forms of our democracy.

The fact that political confrontation in South Africa continues to be along colour lines is not by choosing of the liberation movement; but has been imposed by the stubborn structural legacies of oppression and racial divisions of apartheid and colonialism. Racism is also firmly ideologically entrenched in the social culture of South Africa and it will take hard painstaking work to finally obliterate. However the liberation movement should never get tired in articulating the mobilising revolutionary potent force of nonracialism; that the future of our white compatriots is, in the long term, inextricably bound up with that of fellow black people as equals in one nation. Given the evolving intersection between race and class in our politics, the mobilisation of white working class and other lower classes is smilingly getting less difficult by the day. We must never lose the momentum of this current mood and positive initiatives in this regard.

The unity in action between all the formally oppressed national groups- Africans, Coloureds and Indians- still remains fundamental to the advance of our non-racial project in the present situation. Without such a unity the attainment of our nation-building and reconciliation will be delayed. Historically Indian and Coloured communities have played the most important part in the stimulation and intensification of the struggle for freedom. It then makes sense that their continued active involvement in the democratic movement should never be lost. The mere fact of historical oppression will not by itself draw these communities closer to the movement, the 2011 local government elections revealed it further that they are politically contested and they can be swayed by the liberal virus. So we must step up our mobilisation work in these communities.

Since the liberal ideology as articulated by the DA has replaced the apartheid ideology, whose political representatives were the Nationalist Party and some conservative elements of white South Africa, they have thus retained the overwhelming majority of white electoral support as their main base. And almost unapologetically, their non-racial project is launched from the white community as their core constituency. In their sheer hypocrisy, it is "nonracialism" when the overwhelming majority of whites and a small percentage of blacks vote the DA. And yet, they don't find it odd to nonracialism when the white voters continue to ignore the ANC despite its historical record of nonracialism, reconciliation and an impressive transformation and service delivery record since 1994.

With regard to Coloureds and Indians, the liberal ferment tries very much to create a gap between these groups and the Africans and even recruit substantial numbers of them for active support. They are unrelenting in their attempt to create confusion about the objectives of the transformation project of the ANC. More particularly, the liberals try very much, and at times with success, to feed on the insecurity and dependency which is often part of the thinking of the formerly oppressed minority groups. They try to raise doubts in the minds of Indian and Coloured communities about whether there is a place for them in the liberated South Africa. They have already spread the slander that at best for the Coloureds and Indians is that White domination will be replaced by a Black domination.

The democratic victory of 1994 over apartheid was an important step on the long road that our country must travel to erase the legacy of the historical social formation of apartheid and colonialism. With the revolutionary momentum of April 1994, let us build and march to a truly democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and egalitarian society!

Gunnett Kaaf is an ANC and SACP activist based in the Free State.

REFERENCES

Pallo Jordan, Ruth First Memorial Lecture, 2000
African National Congress. (1969). ANC Strategy and Tactics, as adopted in at the Morogoro Consultative Conference, 1969
South African Communist Party. (1962). The Road to South African Freedom: Programme of the SACP
Samir Amin. (2006) Beyond US Hegemony: Assessing Prospects for a Multipolar World, 2006
Rosa Luxemburg (1900). Reform or Revolution.

The decline of jazz, a sociological perspective
Leslie Mxolisi Dikeni

Jazz in all its richness, variety and forms occupies a special place in the national heritage of South Africa. The moods and rhythms of jazz have sent ripples through every branch of the arts, inspiring poets, writers, painters, sculptures and photographers of the twentieth century (Lombard, 2008).

It has also been said that individuals, in societies and nations the world over, are the architects, procures (even victims) of their own history. In short, we write our own tales of glory and infamy. Some women, men and even children take up the challenge to record and preserve memory, to be witness to that which was special to people who passed this way and touched our lives... (Materra, 2008).

Jazz is a dynamic art form that has been evolving over the years is still going through changes. It is music of universal freedom and is impossible to define. It allows musicians to think on their feet as they improvise their solos and it draws on their musical teachings and feelings, which they pour out their audiences. This results in no musician being able to play the same solo twice in a repeat of the same song.

Jazz has always been on the move in South Africa, from the early boogie-woogie of the USA, which developed into our own marabi, to the marching funeral bands and parades of New Orleans that influenced our township brass bands, to swing that brought us mbaqanga. Like elsewhere in the world, local sounds and music are fused with jazz to bring out new sounds. The Salvation Army taught the youth how to play instruments and other church organisations followed suit (Mahlaba, 2008).

One may even suggest that jazz is an aesthetic intellectual art form that over the years influenced different individuals and groups in South African society and elsewhere to think better, write better and to remain socially conscious. This process not only changed different individuals and groups, but helped to change societies in different ways. As a music form, the sound of jazz has fought its way through and established itself as an avant-garde art form, remaining timeless.

In South Africa it has composed and produced some of the best musical artists in the world. Most of these artists, to use Gramsci's concept, were (in my view) true organic intellectuals. They were self-taught in the art of jazz, they constantly improvised (most of the time with no financial resources), in other words they were simply true contortionists. Through this process they shaped the contours of jazz in South Africa.

They did all of these things, under the harsh and repressive conditions of Apartheid. In fighting back against the apartheid system, they use jazz music as an instrument to entertain in a way that created social consciousness about the repressive system of apartheid. Those musicians whose works were not consciously engaging thrived within the industry and those whose work were consciously engaging often faced the threat of being banned, censored or simply being not acceptable to the captains of the music industry.

The works of the latter group was often labeled as 'abstract', 'not meeting the standards of the music industry' and sometimes 'too political in content' and thus may upset the 'authorities' concerned.

As Mahlaba recalls, in the 1930s, South Africa was caught up in the excitement of ballroom dancing with gramophones providing the music for dancers. These instruments were like gold dust and records were imported. Local bands sprung up to fill this vacuum, playing at all venues where dancing was in demand. These were the Jazz Maniacs, The Harlem Swingsters, Casa Lomama Band, Merry Black Birds and a host of others that produced some of the best musicians the country had ever known. The Inchape Hall and Bantu Men's Social Centre in Johannesburg were places where people had to be seen.

It is this rich 'social historical' trajectory of South African jazz that this piece would like to interrogate and understand in the sections to follow. And that is, to understand if over the years this is what Jazz as a musical art form in South Africa has achieved, what changes the art form has undergone and why. Also of importance in this piece, is to understand the different impacts and interpretations of public, state and private sector on the art form.

Politics and Jazz

As often stated (see Dikeni, 1996), the closing years of the twentieth century represented a dramatic shift in the conflictive nature of South African politics and society. This process was influenced by global political events in the form of sanctions and the breaking of the cold war syndrome. National, provincial and local events in the form of protest actions resulted in the establishment of a new paradigm for the resolution of conflicts in South Africa.

Negotiations for conflict resolution amongst different political parties and groups with different ideological interests finally became possible. This process also represented a shift in the power relations between, on the one hand an undemocratic regime with institutional and hegemonic power, and on the other, different political groups and different social movements (some cultural, some religious, some sports) with different ideological interests.

In my view, these political and wide influences of factors affected in different ways the relationship of many South African musicians with the state and in general the production of music within the country. Jazz as a 'musical art' form did not escape these and many other problems faced by the music industry.

The decline of jazz

As already stated elsewhere in this article, there were many artists (jazz artists included) who used their artistic skills for social consciousness and thus had a limited market. There are those who did not do so, and whose musical products thrived within the market and was accepted by the 'captains of the industry.'

To illustrate this point, let us examine two apparent contrasting examples of this problem. The jazz album 'Jika' by Winston Mankunku Ngozi, which was recorded in 1986 in Cape Town, whose lyrics depicted the social realities of the time and legitimately protested the state repression during that period is one such example of how most jazz artists faced censorship and restrictions from the state and some captains of the musical industry in producing their products.

On the other hand was the album by Brenda Fassie, 'Weekend Special' produced during the same period and also recorded in South Africa. In my view, the lyrics (and as they confirm) of the music in the album depicted nothing of the social conditions of the time except for contradictions in relations between and amongst lovers. This album thrived within the market, did not face any censorship from the state and was promoted strongly by the captains of the music industry and by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Obviously, these are just two examples of how the contrast between producing what is acceptable to the status quo and producing artistic products that are intended for social consciousness played itself out within the cultural domain. There are many musical artists (as well as writers and painters) who suffered immensely through this process and still continue to do so. And this is the point that this article wants to deal with.

This particular phenomena and/or problem, is well explained by sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu (1993) in his concept of a 'linguistic market' and as he puts it:

"...There is a linguistic market whenever someone produces an utterance for receivers capable of assessing it, evaluating and setting a price on it. Knowledge of linguistic competence alone does not enable one to predict what the value of a linguistic performance will be on a market. The prince that the products of a given competence will receive on a given market depends on the laws of price formation specific to that market."

There seem to be a continuity of this problem of the past in South Africa today. On the one hand, the shift might be that captains of industry have changed and have embraced the new musical discourse in South Africa (now that there is no state repression and censorship). On the other hand, on the basis of their terms of what the market demands, they decide what must be promoted or not. It seems that Jazz has just once again been unfortunate and faces that same censorship of the past albeit in a different way.

That is, the captains of industry, some state bureaucrats and other actors within the private sector do not see a demand from the market for this sound. Thus jazz musicians as artists are faced with the choice of producing sounds censored and controlled by these powerful actors in order to suit the demands of these very actors.

To conclude, Jazz as a musical art form, an intellectual and aesthetic art form, falls within the field of cultural production and thus, occupies a dominated position in the field of power. As with artists, writers and more generally intellectuals, jazz artists are a dominated fraction of the dominant class.

They are part of the dominant, in so far as they hold the power and privileges conferred by the possession of cultural capital and even, at least as far as certain of them are concerned, the possession of a volume of cultural capital great enough to exercise power over cultural capital. However, writers and artists are dominated in their relations with those who hold political and economic power. To avoid any misunderstanding, I have to emphasize that this domination is no longer exercised, as it use to be, through personal relations (like that between a painter and a person who commissioned a painting or between a writer and patron, but it takes the form of a structural domination, exercised through very general mechanism, such as the market... (Bourdieu, 1994).

Finally, to those South African Jazz artists out there (affluent or struggling), let us stay true to the cause the way Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Diyani, Kippie Moeketsi and many other legends who stood the test of time have done. We must not seek to gain face nor loose face, but rather continue with the task of producing works of art and intellectual products that, in a dynamic way, shape the lives of others and through this way shape different societies.

This article was first published in Ndivuwho, Edition 3, 2009. Reprinted with kind permission of the author. Leslie Mxolisi Dikeni is a visiting Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and Development Management at the University of Witwatersrand, Senior Researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra). He is co-editor of the book "The poverty of ideas: The retreat of intellectuals in new democracies" and author of a forthcoming book "Projects and development. Actors' perspectives: The conflictive nature of 'people' and 'spaces.'"

References

Bourdieu, P (1994) In other Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology, Cambridge University press, Cambridge
Dikeni, L (1996) Habitat and Struggle: The case of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. MSc Thesis Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands
Lombard, R (2008) In All that Jazz: A Pictorial Tribute, Highbury Safika Media
Mahlaba, M (2008) In All that Jazz: A Pictorial Tribute, Highbury Safika Media
Mattera, D (2008) In all that Jazz: A Pictorial Tribute, Highbury Safika Media

The centre of power vs. political centre debate
By Mlatji Sepeke Davis

This analysis serves as a critique of prevailing assertions on the above matter, as put forward by ANC members and cadres, by analysts, politicians and laymen. The ANC is more than an organization, it is a movement that is revolutionary, born out of and evolved through struggle. Within it, it therefore embodies different currents that include both contrasting and concurrent ideologies, which unfortunately can become buzzwords that demean our real focus. Fortunately, the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) defines the character of the ANC and its focus on the solution of the national question. This characterisation of the NDR has been expressed at all national conferences - the highest decision and policy-making forums of our movement - since the Kabwe consultative conference in 1985.

The 'locus standi' of power

The prevailing currents have more to do with our understanding of power and its locus standing. Power mainly refers to the authority and/or capacity to influence, especially decision-making. More specifically, power cannot be debated outside of a key institution such as the state. Our understanding of the state is that of an institution characterized by a set of interrelated-relations, with power at its centre. Power in this case, is both subliminal and literal or real.

We must start our debate by defining this power called the state. State power is very broad, and encapsulates government, parliament, the civil service and other public institutions and entities, as well as territorial arrangements such as your borders, rivers, plateaus, mountains, etc. It is thus separate from - though linked to - other institutions such as families, religious bodies, business or the media.

All of the above institutions have contributed to the assertion of the ANC as 'the centre of power.' However, this article argues that the ANC is not and never will be a 'centre of power.' Instead, it is correct to say that the ANC as a movement does constitute 'the political or strategic centre of power.' This role as a 'strategic centre of power' is set out in the ANC's Strategy and Tactics documents, that at a maximum level emphasises strategy, while placing tactics at minimal level, each complementing the other to advance the main objective as defined by our National Democratic Revolution. Thus the revolutionary movement strives for the liberation of Africans in particular and blacks in general.

The ANC and the state, with government as its primary organ

The ANC, despite its uniqueness, experiences ruptures like any organization, with good and bad periods throughout its lifetime. However, despite these ups and downs, it has survived for a century. This has been a result of some of its unique characteristics that have evolved over decades of struggle. For example, its multi-class character, highly contested though it might be, reflect strands that may be liberal, democratic, bourgeois, socialist, capitalist and so forth. Despite this diversity of perspectives, all these respect and are united by the revolutionary ideal that the ANC sets to advance as represented by the motive forces, instead of each narrowly pursuing their own sectional agenda.

The 1994 breakthrough has in the ultimate laid the basis for this question, represented by the overwhelming victory of the ANC since the first democratic elections that year. As a result, we have usurped government as the primary organ of the state, and we contest the right to continue to do so every five years in elections as prescribed by the Constitution, Act 108 of 1996.

Government and the state are not the same: the state includes government (as well as other public institutions), though it uses government as the primary organ to exercise power. Furthermore the three arms of government include the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Government and its three arms, we are therefore saying, constitute the primary organs of the state that exercises authority over all other secondary organs of the state - including the security forces.

The ANC as majority party is the strategic centre that provides political management, leadership and control of government, exercising such power in the interest of the motive forces it seeks to represent. Thus, the ANC remains the leader of the Alliance and a disciplined force of the left until such time that the national question is resolved. Furthermore, as an internationalist movement, the ANC also strives for the unity and development of our region at the southern tip of our continent.

The state as political superstructure and its contested nature

All institutions of the state, including government, reflect the power relations in society. In particular, it reflects a society consisting of classes that are mainly unequal and antagonistic. It is therefore relevant to also conceptualise the state as an instrument of class rule and oppression. Each state has its defining ideas and the ideas that reign supreme are always the ideas of the ruling class. Fortunately in our circumstances, the ANC as revolutionary movement in partnership with the Alliance structures has agreed on the motive forces and consent to exercise state power in the interest of these motive forces.

It is therefore necessary that each member and cadre have a common insight into this question, without digressing into unhelpful avenues that evade the real issues of the day. We should therefore at all times build a movement that rallies and unites behind an organizational programme, rather than behind personalities. We must guard vigilantly against the abuse of state resources, which suffocates the revolutionary gains we have made. We must fight the emerging tendencies of tearing each other apart, even tried and tested comrades and our alliance partners. As junior and senior comrades, we know the history of our movement and the centrality of focusing on the strategic objective of our struggle.

The central objective and fundamental drive of the ANC and its cadres must remain the creation of a national democratic state and society. This is what makes it the most progressive liberation movement in our country. The assertion about the centre of power should therefore be put in abeyance for a while, so that we avoid being detracted from focusing on the real business of building a development state to dismantle the racial divide, fight poverty, unemployment and inequality and the lack of skills. These are the real challenges facing our country, and the ANC must remain our nation's beacon of hope.

Democracy through public participation, politics as concentrated economics

To take forward this progressive agenda, we should not avoid the trajectory of public participation as we advance democracy and the developmental state. Central to participatory democracy is public participation in development and governance. Nowadays even global institutions like the World Bank have shifted from their elitist 'external expert' stance to also focus on 'public participation' in development planning. The approach of public participation has also received popular support in continental initiatives such as NEPAD and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

The ANC as it evolved over the decades is guided by and abides by the approach of collective and vigorous public and people's engagement. Thus it continues to play the role of the political centre of power, and using political power to leverage economic power. Political scientists and academics alike hold the view that 'politics are economics in concentrated form.' The role of politics is therefore to dissect economics into simpler and readymade products, and away from its concentrated form. As we do this through our labour power, each should be awarded according to his or her ability, much as on the factory floor each worker is awarded according to his or her ability and contribution to the creation of surplus value.

Political power is thus used by any political formation to achieve its objective. For example, prior to 1994, the then regime formalized apartheid to further the interests of the minority block it represented. We should therefore say thanks to both the Groote Schuur and Pretoria Minutes, and the power of the masses, which ushered in the 1994 watershed. The struggle against apartheid and colonialism and the reconstruction and development process after 1994 has not been an easy road for South Africa. If it were not for the power of the masses, the advances made by the ANC in alliance with the SACP and the trade union federation COSATU would not have been possible.

From eBhayi NGC to the current epoch with its practices

One of the concrete experiences of the first ANC National General Council held in eBhayi (Port Elizabeth) in July 2000, was the discussion in the commission on the National Question. At this commission, comrades Pallo Jordan and Thandi Modise served as resource person and convener respectively. The commission through robust discussions dealt with the critical issues of the national question that were eventually endorsed by the NGC plenary. Amongst other things the NGC identified the Triple Cs that posed a threat to the National Democratic Revolution. These triple Cs are 'corruption, complacency and careerism,' later complemented with opportunism. Thus a year later saw the revolutionary intervention by the National Working Committee in the form of the well-argued discussion document - Through the eye of the needle - a document subsequently adopted by the Stellenbosch National Conference in 2002.

This document continues to be critical as a guide, as we prepared for the 2011 local elections. Municipalities are important spheres of government and should be the fountains of democracy and public participation. We should therefore, as mandated by that important 2001 document, safeguard the movement's internal democracy against corrupt individuals who may use 'individual ambition, lobbying and self-interest' when determining cadres to advance local democracy for concrete service delivery. What we need is a leadership that will seek to unite and guide both the movement and the state in advancing a better life for all. Our revolutionary movement, through its local government nominations and list processes, must be seen as a deployment agent for change and not an employment agency.

A critical issue in this process is the request for change and continuity, and how this is understood. It should mean that change will be done to weed out non-performance and to bring in new experience, and continuity maintained on the basis of merit and performance. To ensure that this happens, we need hands-on and credible management by leadership of the process of nominations and confirmation of councilors on the deployment onto lists throughout the country.

Epitome of ANC as agent for unity since its formation

The ANC has been, and should always be, a movement that is relevant and suitable to advance the unity and cohesion of our people. At all times, the senior cadres of the ANC must guide and provide leadership in the movement, with due respect to the founding policies, principles and guidelines that have ruled our movement since time immemorial.

The launch of the ANC was in the making way before the ceremonial occasion of 1912 in the city of Bloemfontein. It will always be the ANC, with it epitome ranges for many years since the colonial conquest and subsequent heroic counteractions of kings Cetshwayo, Ngungunyani, Sekhukhune, Makgatho and others. Indeed, this glorious movement should always defend South Africa and the soul of its entire people who identity themselves as South African irrespective of their colour, creed, religion, sex and other forms of discrimination.

Mlatji Sepeke Davis is an ANC member from the Sekhukhune district in Limpopo, and a member of the provincial SACP Social Transformation Committee.

HISTORY

Prelude to the formation of the ANC
by Nathi Mthethwa

From the time alien rule was imposed in South Africa there has been - historically speaking -unbroken resistance to domination. It has taken different forms at different times but it has never stopped.

For the first 250 years there were regular armed clashes, battles and wars. African communities from the Cape to the Limpopo waged heroic resistance to colonial occupation. They were led by Kings like Dingane, Hintsa, Cetshwayo, Makana, Ngungunyane, Dalasile, Moshoeshoe, Galeshewe and Sekhukhune , they led our people in difficult and countless battles and wars in defence of our country.

Despite superior military arsenal of the enemy, our people showed rare stoicism in many battles. However, their resistance was fragmented among and within various ethnic groups, and could not stand the tide of superior armed force backed by a developed economic and political base of the imperial powers. The defeat of the Bambatha Rebellion in 1906 marked the end of the wars of resistance.

This period was characterized amongst others by the following:

Africa's normal economic and political development was arrested and set back. Her people were deprived of self-government, alienated from their ancestral lands and driven to work as forced labourers on white owned plantations, mines and other enterprises. Colonialism was driven by economic interest. Colonialists created new states to further their aims of domination and to exploit resources, control labour supplies, monopolise investments and markets, and strengthen themselves for imperialist wars. In the South African context, this laid the foundation for the intersection of race, class and gender oppression

Emergence of social forces

Towards the end of the 19th century, new social forces began to emerge in South Africa. African ministers of religion, teachers, clerks, interpreters, small traders, peasant farmers and workers. These forces were to play a critical role in our struggle for liberation.

The process of proletarianisation of Africans was also conditioned by essentially coercive or extra-economic activity, the continued existence of the pre-capitalist sector; and the institutionalization of migrant labour, low wages, and many other disabilities.

To a great extent, the African position was determined by the profit motive of the mining magnates and by the greed of the White miners. Two main extra-economic methods, namely the legislative power of the state and the monopolistic recruiting organization, were employed to ensure the exploitation of minerals by cheap African labour. The tax and pass laws brought African labour to the mines and controlled it once it was there.

The pass laws were introduced under direct pressure from the Chamber of Mines in 1896. They stipulated, amongst other things, that African miners must wear a metal plate or a "badge" on the arm as a form of identity and control of their movement.

Religion and its role in the anti-colonial struggle

The introduction of Christianity in South Africa was a complicated process, which affected many aspects of African society. In the late 1700's missionaries flocked to our country. The conversion of Africans to Christianity was an act of cultural aggression by colonialists. The missionaries saw their role as part of the 'civilizing process' of European domination and preached an acceptance of colonialism.

There were a number of African converts who rose to prominence in various denominations. Amongst them were the following: Ntsikana son of Gaba; Tiyo Soga, the first ordained African Minister of the United Presbyterian Church in Scotland; Nehemiah Tile Wesleyan Minister from Thembuland; and Moses Mangena Mokone, a Wesleyan Minister, who was born in the Transvaal in 1851; a leader of the Ethiopian movement. To mention but a few of those who played a critical role in the Africanisation of Christianity in South Africa.

Due to the fact that one cannot separate what is specific and generally a practice in society from what is practiced in the Church tensions and contradictions soon emerged within the church. Nehemiah Tile and Moses Mangena Mokone amongst others played a significant role in the formation of African independent churches.

It is significant to note that the first mass movement on the national scale was a religious one. They began as a revolt of the black members within the missionary churches. African Christians soon noticed that there was a colour bar in the White Churches. They were treated as children, they were refused the right to be ordained, or if the right was granted they were always put in a position where they had to take orders from white masters.

At the back of it all was the growing feeling of national consciousness and revolt against the whites, not only in religious matters, but in everything. The industrialization of South Africa was beginning to take root. Africans of different tribes were meeting one another as labourers on the railways and mines in Kimberly and later in Witwatersrand. The seeds of national consciousness were laid.

It is during the same period that we saw the emergence of young African intellectuals who came from mission schools established throughout the country. They helped in establishing of what later developed to be an African press. They wrote articles in English and African languages. Amongst the pioneers of the African Press we can mention John Tengo Jabavu, and Walter Rubusana. It is indeed important to mention that the two differed in their approach. In essence Jabavu argued for people to be patient things will come right, while Rubusana was of the view that people need to take the initiative and their situation will not improve if they depend on other people.

Prelude to the ANC formation

The first political organization of Africans formed was Imbumba Yama Afrika {Union of Africans} in the Cape in 1882, led by John Tengo Jabavu, it advocated African Unity as opposed to denominational diversity.

In 1884 two additional organizations were formed, again in the Cape, namely the Native Education Association and the Native Electoral Association which were concerned with electoral politics. In those days Africans who resided in the Cape and had accumulated certain level of wealth could vote.

Mohandas Gandhi soon after he arrived in Natal in 1893, founded the Natal Indian Congress for the property-owning class specifically from the Indian community in that colony.

In 1899, what is often referred to as the South African War while others know it as the second Anglo-Boer War broke out and continued up until 1902. This war sealed the fate of the African masses. From here on one right after another were eroded.

The growing awareness and consciousness of a need for a political organization of Africans on a broader basis led Martin Luthuli, Saul Msane and Josiah Gumede to meet Harriet Colenso to discuss the formation of an African Political organization. In July 1900, the Natal Native Congress was formed under the leadership collective of Martin Luthuli.

In 1902, in the Western Cape, the African People's Organisation {APO} came into being among the Coloured property -owning class. This organization was led by Dr. Abdul Abdurahman.

The ANC was formed at a time when South Africa was experiencing economic changes. Diamonds had been discovered in 1867 and gold in 1886. Mine bosses wanted large numbers of people to work for them in the mines. Laws and taxes were designed to force people to leave their land. The most severe law was the 1913 land Act, which prevented Africans from buying, renting or using land, except in the reserves. In 1910, the British government handed over power to the white racist government in South Africa.

As colonialism took new forms, so did new forms of resistance start to emerge. The African National Congress (ANC) was founded in 1912 with the express purpose of uniting the African majority against the colonial Union in pursuit of non-racial democracy.

A product of the local and international historical period, the ANC developed over the years to forge fighting alliances with organisations of the Coloured and Indian communities, as well as white democrats. Industrialisation also meant the emergence of a working class from traditional communities, as well as their proletarian organisations in the form of the Industrial Commercial Union (ICU) under the leadership of Clements Kadalie, Communist Party of South Africa and the trade union movement. All these organisations coalesced into a national democratic alliance against colonial domination

The nationalism of the ANC in this early period sought to unite the Africans in the struggle against colonial domination, it instilled a feeling of belonging to an oppressed people whose existence was threatened, it sought cohesion, consolidation, a defence of national values and an assertion of national identity.

The process of nation formation depends on objective conditions such as the fact of an integrated national economy, the historical evolution of a nation-state, national identity and so on. This objective environment is itself a product of human activity; in our case represented broadly in the act of colonisation and the struggle against it.

Our country was known throughout the world because of its system of apartheid. A special form of colonialism which was carried to extremes under the Nationalist Party. Nowhere else in the world were national and racial oppression practiced so nakedly and shamelessly, with such systematic brutality and disregard of human rights.

Racism and national oppression developed into its extreme forms with the development of capitalism. Capitalism everywhere in the country had used race for its benefits. Many communities immediately lost their land because of the Land Act. For millions of other black people it became very difficult to live off the land. The Land Act caused overcrowding, land hunger, poverty and starvation.

In the final analysis, the emergence of the national movement of the oppressed in South Africa was in a very direct way influenced by the development of capitalism. It was the colonialists that introduced the capitalist mode of production, thereby greatly disorganizing and destroying the African people's hereditary means of subsistence. In this way they were forced, under the threat of starvation, into proletarians- producers and consumers within the capitalist system of the British Empire. Marx and Engels described such a process in the Communist Manifesto: 'The bourgeoisie compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeoisie mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e become bourgeois themselves.'

Capitalism in South Africa formed a national market binding various African ethnic groups by economic unity. In the mines and factories, workers from all groups produced the country's wealth using the same means and instruments of production. Individual tribesmen were meeting wider and wider sections of people, and this provided a favourable ground for the birth of a national movement of liberation, which also, at a subjective level, built national consciousness and a desire towards the formation of their own national state over the whole of South Africa, which they rightfully considered their native land.

The foundation had been laid in the preceding decade by the formation of provincial Native Congresses in Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange River colony. The act of the Union stimulated the leaders to meet the challenge of a single, central white government. The South African Native Convention, held at Bloemfontein in March 1909, had elected an executive "to promote organization and to defend the interests of the natives against the colour bar in the draft Act of the Union.

50 years since the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe: A tribute to Comrade Samuel Zuka Baloyi
Mazwi Zono and Vuyo Adonis

On December 16th 2011, Umkhonto weSizwe will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. MK constituted the nucleus of a revolutionary army, and was a critical component in pursuing one of the four pillars of our struggle, when we fought the system of racist domination and white supremacy. It is befitting that as we observe this crucial and critical anniversary in our political calendar, we take stock of the contributions that were made by our heroes and heroines, who made it possible that today we should be reaping the fruits of a liberated South Africa. Also, as a build up towards the 50th Anniversary celebrations, it is incumbent upon all former MK cadres to relate their experiences orally and in writing both in combat and in the broad political theatre of struggle. This is informed by the understanding that we should serve as authors of our own history and not rely on some traditional historians who might sometimes distort our own history.

This tribute to Cde Zuka Baloyi was meant to be delivered at the Free State January 8th Provincial Rally.

As we celebrate the 99th birthday of the African National Congress as the Free State Province, necessity and not chance, compel us to celebrate the wonderful and worthwhile lives of our gallant heroes and heroines of struggle. These immortal heroes and heroines of our struggle have been true, honest and loyal to the ANC until their last breath and body ceased to exist.

It is important to note that this stadium called Zuka Baloyi, in Welkom, Free State, which is the venue for the celebration of our significant birthday, has been named after one of the greatest hero of our struggle and a combatant of Umkonto we Sizwe, Comrade Samuel Zuka Baloyi.

As we celebrate our birthday today we must also pay tribute to comrade Samuel Zuka Baloyi. It is important to extol him as his humble and immortal life serves as an embodiment and miniature of ANC values and integrity. He represents the moral rectitude of our movement, humility of its leadership and unity of purpose of our people consistent with our clarion call and an old and inspiring African adage that " Kopano ke Matla"- " United we Stand, Divided we Fall". His immortal being echoes and reverberates the innate expression made by President O.R. Tambo that " unity of our people is the rock from which the ANC was founded". His immortal life is a monument of unity of our people and our movement which all of us must embrace, internalize and emulate. This unity is a strength that must be an arsenal through which we collectively and concertedly defeat alien tendencies of disunity, greed, manipulation, factionalism, self-aggrandizement, populism and patronage which are all corrosive to our integrity as a movement and very repugnant to our value system. In the midst of all this, who is comrade Samuel Zuka Baloyi?

Comrade Samuel Matate Zuka Baloyi was born and bred at 741 Molai Street, Thabong on the 22 November 1967. He is a second son of Gezani Baloyi and Kholiwe Magdeline Baloyi. He started his schooling journey in 1974 and completed his primary education at Thembekile Primary School. Whilst at Thembekile Primary School, he together with his bosom friend and comrade Mazwi Mtshini Zono, proved themselves to be agile sport activists who excelled in soccer. In 1981 their under-14 side participated in a National Under 14 Soccer Tournament, which was organized by SAFA. These games were hosted at George Goch, Super Stadium in Attredgeville and Orlando Stadium. The Free State side came in second position after Natal at the end of this competition.

He later became a strong defender of the senior soccer team for Thembekile High School. As a sport activist he also excelled in tennis and soft-ball. He pursued his sporting activism at Teto high School and Lebogang High School and beyond South Africa because of his passionate fond for the sporting activity and his revered inclination to remain physically fit and healthy as a young person. At a very tender he was imbued with the spirit of " no normal sport in an abnormal society". A clarion call that rallied all sporting communities not to promote apartheid South Africa and that the international sporting must not play with racist South Africa and boycott every sporting with racist South Africa.

In 1983 the militant Zuka Baloyi enrolled at Teto High School and in 1985 at Lebogang high School. He never completed his secondary education because of his inescapable and inevitable political involvement in the struggle against the socio-economic milieu fragmented by colonialism of a special type.

His high school years exposed him to the evils of gutter education and steeled him to fight this citadel of apartheid and colonialism. Lebogang High School was a typical Bantu education institution that was highly infested with a demon of tribalism and inferior education system. A chronic shortage of qualified teachers and a huge supply of under-qualified teachers, and the inhumane corporal punishment were pillars of tuition for fellow African children at that institution. Because of the venom of tribalism, the Bantu education authorities decided to chase away all the Xhosa speaking students from Lebogang High Scholl behind the silly and sinister pretext that they are troublesome and are consequently infesting the so-called political agitation to other tribal groupings. This was just another ploy but apartheid South Africa to divide the progressive student body and further weaken the struggle against apartheid and its siamese twin colonialism of a special type. All the Xhosa speaking students were removed from Lebogang High School to Teto High School.

From its inception Teto High School was manned and managed by racist white teachers from Windhoek who were periodic members of Koevoet. At the helm of the management of that school were Jordaan and Hanekom who were racists to the core and never shy to tell Black students that they are stinking and that they are baboons or monkeys. It is at this school that Black students were instructed by those ill-equiped and ill-educated racist white teachers, who consistently told Black students that their brains are too small to handle Maths and Science. That they can only be allowed to do Maths and Science in Standard Grade and that Higher Grade was not for Blacks as it will blow their brains. This naked and overt dehumanization of Black students mobilized him into being part and parcel of the progressive mankind against apartheid and racist South Africa. It is at this school that he joined the militant student movement called the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in 1984. In 1985 he went to Lebogang High School where he was also involved in the struggle against gutter education and all its ramifications.

His stay at Lebogang High School was not long as he heeded to the call by the ANC President, Comrade O.R. Tambo, calling on young people to swell the ranks of Umkonto we Sizwe. He internalized the clarion call made that "every patriot a combatant and every combatant a patriot". He was inspired by the yearnings of our progressive and our stuggling people's intolerance with the obnoxious system of apartheid and their united and concerted resolve and the battle cry that"freedom in our life time".

He left the country with his close friend and comrade, the late Comrade Billyboy Mokobo. They joined the Young Detachment of Umkonto we Sizwe known as the Young Lions. They trained together at Barney Molokoane Military Camp in Angola in the region of Malange, in 1985. In the tradition of Umkonto we Sizwe, when you join the ranks of Umkonto we Sizwe, you cease to be yourself. Your name, activities, attitude and behaviour change. He was named Gugulethu Mthethwa as his combat name. The behaviour and attitude were that of a disciplined soldier of Umkonto we Sizwe.

After completing his general commander's course, he was appointed as a Platoon Commander of the military engineering specializing unit. The unit specialized in covert and overt operations using sabotage, hot and cold demolition, landmines and the destruction of the enemy infrastructure. In 1986 he was sent to Cuba for an advanced military training in military engineering and tactics. Towards the end of 1986, he was sent to an Underground Military Camp, called Pango in the northern part of Angola, as a military instructor of tactics and military engineering. He had an arduous task of preparing soldiers by training them for short terms so that they are ready fight the enemy inside the country. He met Comrade Billyboy Mokobo who was already an instructor of military engineering at Pango underground camp.

Late in 1987 Umkonto we Sizwe established a military battalion to wage war against the savages of Unita that joined the racist South African Defence Force in attacking FAPLA ( Angolan Defence Force), SWAPO and Umkonto we Sizwe. That Military Battalion would join forces with adjacent camps of Umkonto we Sizwe, like Camp 13, Camp 32, and Pango in thwarting the military attempts of Unita. The Military battalion consisted of, inter alia, comrades from Lejweleputswa Region such as Zacharia Phori, Thabiso Nteso, Vuyo Adonis, Tototo Bhenjani, Mtshini Zono, Andrew Manisi, Stimela Phiri ( late), Nyembezi Dyabuza ( late), Malusi Jama, Rankgwatha Makokomale, Teboho Seleke, David Mahloko, Steve Makae ( late), Shego Lesupi, James Macala, Mohlabane Segalo, Martha Tiro and Mohoje Tiro.

Whilst responsible for preparing soldiers to fight inside the country, he fought side by side with these commanders and commissars of Umkonto we Sizwe in the battlefields of Ucua, Phiri, Parede, Quibaxe, and Pango. He proved himself in those battlefields of the northern front, that he was a true cadre and fighter of Umkonto we Sizwe. He fought courageously, displaying an innate military knowledge and experience. He understood very well that Angola is the firm trench of our revolution and therefore, she needed to be defended by all progressive mankind. Imbued with the revolutionary spirit of comrade Che Guevara, he understood very well that the will be no peace in Africa and the world over as long as Angola is still ravaged by an imperialist war. He imbibed the war cry "forward to war to end war".

After 14 months of a war against Unita, the ANC was made a condition by apartheid for the implementation of Resolution 435 of the United Nations that called for the Namibian independence. Apartheid South Africa called for the ANC to leave Angola if Namibia is to be granted her independence. The ANC acceded to the condition because we did not to be a stumbling block to the freedom of the peace-loving people of Namibia.

The ANC had to leave Angola and established the first camps in Tanzania, in Mgagao, in the region of Iringa. He together with some of the comrades mentioned above, opened a military camp in Tanzania, called Yusuf Dadoo Camp. In 1989 he came inside the country to fight the enemy of our people and was stationed at Gugulethu in Cape Town. He established underground units of Umkonto we Sizwe and carried out covert military operations in the area of Cape Town and neighbouring towns.

He was later killed by the notorious Askari in Gugulethu. Amongst those assasins of Askari that killed him, were two bastards that knew him very well, that pulled their triggers to finish him up as they feared him dearly. The other one was from Thabong and the other one was a guy he trained at Pango from the Eastern Cape. He died on the 22 February 1990 in Gugulethu ,Cape Town and was buried in Thabong.

We dedicate this day, which is the fruit of your contribution, to pay tribute to our revolutionary forebears. You cut the trail we follow today. You are the pioneers of our freedom, the Masupatsela of our dignity. Through your resolute struggle, preparedness to sacrifice and determination to serve your people, you have set the example that we strive to emulate. We salute those who paid supreme sacrifice, that fell in the field of battle: you are the warriors who have given us freedom and dignity and your spirit lives on amongst us. Our freedom has been in the glorious light of dignity thanks to your heroic decisions of you bold patriots of our country. You acted boldly and correctly in that bleak and hopeful time.

As we celebrate this precious life, let us learn from his legacy, what it means to be patriotic, what it means to contribute selflessly to the freedom and dignity of our people. Let us dip our revolutionary banners in honour of our forebears, and make a covenant with all our matyres, to respect their memory by serving our people. Let us not submit to the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance.

In their name , let us forge unity of purpose and rebuff all attempts aimed at sowing divisions within our movement. Let us strengthen the ANC led alliance and reverberate in words and in actions that the People shall govern. Let us commit ourselves in defending the gains of our revolution and conduct our revolutionary duty with discipline, respect , dignity and humility. On this day as we celebrate this precious life, let us vow never to hate each other because of personal differences, and never, and never again to set comrades against comrades. Never and never again to allow our differences to turn into animosity that will afflict the unity of our movement. We must continue to understand that this freedom we are celebrating and enjoying today did not come on a silver platter, but many precious lives were lost, a lot of sacrifice was made and heavy prices were paid to realize this day.

In honouring heroes like Comrade Zuka Baloyi and many others that fell in the struggle, let us respect ourselves, the movement and the people of South Africa. We owe it to them to demonstrate to all and sundry that their sacrifices did not go in vain. Let us start today as we get out of this venue to demonstrate true and honest comradeship and cadreship of the ANC that led the victorious struggle for freedom and peace in our beautiful land.

(Mazwi Zono and Vuyo Adonis are members of the ANC Gauteng Political Education Team and MKMVA members)

INTERNATIONAL

50 years of the Non-Aligned Movement

The Ten principles of Bandung

1. Respect of fundamental human rights and of the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
2. Respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.
3. Recognition of the equality among all races and of the equality among all nations, both large and small.
4. Non-intervention or non-interference into the internal affairs of another -country.
5. Respect of the right of every nation to defend itself, either individually or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
6. A. Non-use of collective defense pacts to benefit the specific interests of any of the great powers.
B. Non-use of pressures by any country against other countries.
7. Refraining from carrying out or threatening to carry out aggression, or from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
8. Peaceful solution of all international conflicts in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
9. Promotion of mutual interests and of cooperation.
10. Respect of justice and of international obligations.