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Policies, pressure and proxy wars: A roundup of the ANC's policy conference

1 August 2022 1:09 PM
Tags:
State Capture
Cyril Ramaphosa
2022 ANC policy conference
Step aside rule

EWN's Tshidi Madia speaks to Refilwe Moloto about the main points coming out of the ANC policy conference.

-The ANC's three day policy conference discussed a myriad of pressing issues

-Among them are the Eskom crisis, step-aside rule, state capture, reserve bank nationalisation and unemployment

-These policy recommendations pave the way for another contentious national elective conference in December

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the closing address at the party’s 54th national conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on 21 December 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/Eyewitness News.

From our worsening energy crisis, the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, the soaring cost of living, to the contentious step-aside rule- this weekend's ANC policy conference was a battleground for heated debate on the country's most pressing issues. The three day conference took place at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg to prepare draft policy resolutions that will be adopted at the party's 55th national elective conference in December this year.

With the party's ongoing factional battles placing pressure on ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, it seems he emerged from the conference unscathed.

EWN's Tshidi Madia spoke to Refilwe Moloto about some of the most contentious issues at the conference.

A lot of members from KZN and Limpopo, the ANC's largest provinces, wanted the step-aside rule scrapped. Even though they failed at this conference, they will push for it to happen in December.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

The policy conference purely makes recommendations. It doesn't make decisions. It makes proposals for the future, which are then taken to the elective conference in December. Those who still want the step-aside rule to be moved have conceded to a loss at this point in time. But they've already said, in December, they will kill this.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

The policy conference also endorsed the State Capture report, which has implicated more than 200 ANC members in state capture. Former president Thabo Mbeki said its likely the party will institute action against these members by the end of August.

While the Phala Phala scandal has dominated South Africa news headlines in recent weeks, it seems this was a non-issue at the conference.

I think the ANC tends to not take seriously the issues that we as a society takes seriously. A lot of the provincial leaders were saying they're going to wait for the national leadership and they haven't really touched on it. So Phala Phala was just a shadow.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

One heated topic of discussion - which affects the life of every South African - was the spiraling cost of living in the country. The party recognises they need to find extraordinary and urgent measures to try and address issues around inclusive growth, create employment and alleviate poverty.

My criticism of the ANC is that they are very good at diagnosis. They are good at agreeing with us on the problems. But they are short on implementation.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

On Sunday, the ANC also re-emphasized its position that the Reserve Bank should be nationalised, as per a resolution adopted by the 54th national conference in 2017. Ramaphosa reaffirmed that the bank should be "fully owned by the people of South Africa."

The question now is whether this is still something that can be pursued. The criticism against Ramaphosa's leadership is that they do not pursue the calls they agreed on in December 2017. These include issues like land expropriation without compensation- which some say they're not pushing fast enough to resolve that.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

The ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee head Mmamoloko Kubayi said this was not practical. So there's been a pushback for Ramaphosa to come out and say we've endorsed the 54th conference resolutions. They are reaffirming and reassuring their own mandate that the decisions taken in 2017 stills stand.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

Policy recommendations will now be discussed by ANC branches. These policy proposals are not cast in stone and will be tabled at the national elective conference in December.

They [ANC members] get so caught in the race for leadership that these things don't get the necessary attention. These issues become part of proxy wars. The Reserve Bank nationalisation conversation was part of the 2017 battles around former president Jacob Zuma. The idea of the RET faction came from the radical socio economic transformation commissions about what the ANC's vision was for transforming the economy. That became used as a proxy battle and we continue to see that today.

Tshidi Madia, EWN reporter

Scroll up for the full analysis.




1 August 2022 1:09 PM
Tags:
State Capture
Cyril Ramaphosa
2022 ANC policy conference
Step aside rule

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