Few days ago, the newly elected African National Congress (ANC) provincial leadership held its first meeting. Millions of people in this province are looking forward to the work of the new leadership with a great deal of interest.
It should be noted that a day after the election of this leadership, this province was engulfed with optimism. The conference finished with a renewed spirit ignited by the Provincial Executive Commitee’s (PEC's) determination to unite the movement and the people of this province.
Delegates left Steve Biko Campus with a new sense of revival which was felt instantly in all branches. It is not surprising that the atmosphere of despair has been transformed radically with messages of unity echoing throughout the corners of this province.
It is indeed encouraging that the first PEC meeting put on top of the agenda - discussions around unity and preparations for the upcoming general elections.
Judging by the mood prevailed in the first meeting of the PEC, this term of office will be characterized by efforts aimed at sustaining unity within the ANC and its alliance partners.
The PEC has already signalled the beginning of an era that will be characterized by strong, honest and regular engagements with Alliance structures. This province look set to see efforts intensified at all levels to promote open debate, political development and sharing of information.
Over the years this province has had a strong alliance. Based on this experience, it is impossible to maintain unity within the ANC if any Alliance partner is plagued by internal divisions, nor can the ANC lead a united Alliance if the ANC is itself divided.
President Oliver Tambo always said that Unity is the rock on which the ANC was founded. This means that when unity is shaken, the very foundations of the ANC are threatened. For this reason, every loyal and disciplined member of the ANC has to jealously protect the unity of the ANC at all times.
Unity is the requirement for effective service delivery by ANC controlled government machinery, for it is impossible for a divided leadership to focus on serving the people when they exhaust their energies in fighting destructive battles which do not serve the overall interest of the ANC.
Unity of deployed cadres of the ANC and unity in ANC structures is the only basis for convincing the population that their confidence in the ANC is not misplaced.
The basis of the victory of the ANC in the next general elections in 2019 is the unity of the ANC in the branches and in the regions.
Unity is the requirement for taking the ANC to the 110th anniversary celebrations in 2022. It would be ironic that when the ANC was founded to unify the people of this country, ANC leadership in KZN reports a hundred and ten years later that such unity has been eroded. This would be the betrayal of all the trust and the hard work of the founders of this movement.
The objective of the formation of the ANC was to unify all the people of South Africa, black people in general and Africans in particular to defeat the oppressive system and usher in democracy and to create a better life for all our people.
Critically, during the past provincial elective conference, commissions were hard at work to chart the way for a stronger ANC and added significant value in guiding the ANC in implementing its programme of action.
Consequently, as the PEC starts its work officially, a great deal of attention will be paid to the subject of organizational renewal and improvement of the membership system.
More emphases will be on building credible and strong administrative machinery at branch levels as this is essential to create stronger branches capable of managing growing membership.
This will also assist to reduce the tendency of concerned groups that are frustrated by poor capacity to manage the branches and inability to manage political debates and inevitable differences of opinions. This is a requirement for preserving unity within the ANC branches especially as the ANC work hard to remain the leader of society.
This PEC look set to mount strong efforts aimed at ensuring understanding of social dynamics in a manner that enables the ANC to attract large numbers from minority communities in keeping with the objective of building a non-racial South Africa.
Emphasis will also be placed in the intensification of programmes of induction and political development of ANC members to deepen their understanding of the values, character and history of the ANC. The PEC will also reach out to the ex-combatants and veterans trained in this area by the ANC.
Political education has now become an urgent task as there are large numbers joining the ANC from other political organizations and young people born in the post-apartheid South Africa and are growing up under the ANC rule.
From this PEC meeting, the message to all members has been clear and direct. They are being galvanized to rise to work for the overwhelming victory of the ANC.
The vibrancy and energy injected by the ANC Youth League into the voting campaign will ensure that nothing stops the ANC’s march to a decisive victory.
A year after the 2019 general elections, the PEC will begin to mobilize for the overwhelming victory in local government elections.
The PEC will ensure ANC victory in all the wards and councils it previously won in the last local government elections and advance to take over those previously held by the opposition.
Serious work will go towards ensuring that the ANC take over the majority of the wards and municipalities once and for all!
Written by Ndabezinhle Sibiya.
Sibiya is the former spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal premiers Zweli Mkhize, Senzo Mchunu and Willies Mchunu. Sibiya now works as the Head of Content and Knowledge Management in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. He writes in his personal capacity