Politics

ANC on PRASA, The Hawks vs. Pravin Gordhan and Eskom vs. National Treasury

Gwede Mantashe
ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the African National Congress (ANC) met in an ordinary scheduled meeting on Monday, 29 August 2016. The NWC is responsible for the day-to-day work of the ANC; it carries out the decisions and instructions of the organisation and is accountable to the NEC.

The NWC was pleased that meetings to assess and act on Local Government Election Outcomes with the branches have started as directed by the NEC. In these engagements we are receiving candid feedback from the structures and will continue until we have reached all structures of the ANC. These will be followed by sectoral and community meetings across the country. It is our hope that the members of the ANC and society at large will use these meetings to provide the leadership with frank and honest feedback. Listening to and rectifying any instances of manipulation in the candidate selection process will follow the series of meetings in the regions.

In the next coming weeks, Councillors of the ANC in all municipalities will also be signing Performance and Accountability Agreements with the ANC. These agreements are in fulfillment of the ANC manifesto commitment to improving accessibility, accountability and responsiveness of our councilors.

The NWC meeting further considered the following matters that have dominated public discourse in recent days and resolved as follows:

Allegations of impropriety at the PRASA

The ANC has noted and categorically rejects allegations claiming that the organisation received a bribe of R80 million on a contract to supply locomotives awarded to Swifambo Rail Leasing by PRASA.

We place it on record that the ANC has not received any money from PRASA or the said company. We distance the ANC from any correspondence that would have transpired between the protagonists in this matter. We further denounce the peddling of the name of the organisation by individuals in any improper deals they may have been involved in. Companies and individuals that are duped into believing they are dealing with bona fide representatives of the ANC must report these matters to the ANC to halt this indiscriminate practice that brings the organisation into disrepute.

Corruption, perceived or real, must be challenged and exposed unapologetically wherever it rears its head. Accordingly, the ANC calls for an investigation by the law enforcement agencies into these bribery allegations. Action must and will be taken where any conduct by the organisation or of its members is inconsistent with the rule of law and our own disciplinary code.

The Hawks vs. Minister of Finance, Cde Pravin Gordhan

The ANC echoes the sentiments expressed by both the President and Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa on the undesirability of clusters of government seemingly being “at war” with themselves. The continued speculation and the public spectacle that has resulted from the Hawks’ investigation into the so-called “Spy Unit” at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) is hurting the economy and could be dealt with better.

The ANC reaffirms its unreserved confidence in the Minister of Finance, Comrade Pravin Gordhan and the work of the National Treasury. We do however caution them against taking a public posture that seems to isolate them from the rest of government and position them as victims to be protected by society.

Our position remains unchanged; all parties to the dispute are encouraged to cooperate in the investigation. This matter serves no one by being debated in the public domain. All structures of the ANC, including the Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), should not enter the fray as they contribute to the cacophony of noise, which promotes general confusion, and the perception of a politically motivated persecution. Government has a responsibility to safeguard the economy by dealing with this matter away from the public glare.

On Eskom and National Treasury

It has been unfortunate that Eskom and the National Treasury have also taken their disagreements to the public domain on matters relating to procurement practices at the State Owned Enterprise. The ANC calls for an urgent meeting between the Ministries of Public Enterprises, Treasury and Energy to decisively deal with this matter in a manner that promotes public confidence.

Pretoria High School for Girls and the need for a National Review of Discriminatory Practices at schools

The African National Congress commends steps that have been taken by the democratic government to transform education. The South African Schools Act represented the fulfillment of the aspirations of our people to have a say in the running of their schools and for our democratic order to create a climate conductive to learning in all our schools.

We should however not rest on our laurels as recent events have proven the very real possibility of the reversal of our democratic gains. The recent events at the Pretoria High School for Girls, which we believe are symptomatic of a greater problem, demonstrate the need for society to work together to rid all our schools of racial discrimination and enforced cultural assimilation. We commend Gauteng MEC for Education, Comrade Panyaza Lesufi for speedy action against the racist action at Pretoria Girls High. We also encourage more students to come to the fore to expose racism wherever it presents itself. ANC Branches working with School Governing Bodies must be vigilant against any racist practices in schools and take up campaigns to review if necessary, the Codes of Conduct.

Organisational Matters

The ANC has noted the call by the ANC Youth League for an early elective Conference to be convened. Structures of the organisation are urged to deal with calls for a Conference as provided for in the Constitution of the African National Congress.

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