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ANC YL statement on the principle of African Leadership and Non-Racialism
13 August 2009
The ANC Youth League re-affirms its position on the principle of African leadership particularly on key economic cluster responsibilities in all the spheres of society, including government and private sector. In our re-affirmation of this principle, we have never said that we doubt the capabilities of the incumbent leaders in the economic cluster, particularly those of Finance, Trade & Industry, Economic Development, Planning, Public enterprises and Reserve Bank. The ANC YL is fully confident of these leaders and certain that they will carry out their duties with the necessary diligence.
The ANC YL understands the National Democratic Revolution and its intention to resolve the national, class and gender contradictions through social and economic emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular, whilst building a democratic, non-sexist and non-racial society. The ANC YL understands that when the progressive women movement calls for the inclusion of women in key and strategic positions, they are not being sexist, yet concerned that when we call for the inclusion of Africans in strategic positions, some misperceive such as racist. In all our actions, we are guided by the need to achieve the NDR and Freedom Charter objectives, and will never compromise, nor over-exaggerate any component of the NDR over the other. There is therefore nothing retrogressive in the observations of the ANC YL as this is located within the context of National Democratic Revolution and aimed at building a truly democratic, non-sexist, and non-racial South Africa.
The principle we wish to re-affirm amidst the misinterpretations is that the principle of African leadership should not be compromised when future appointments are made, as that could play into a racist perception that Africans are incapable to perform key economic roles in government and corporate sector. We will engage with the leadership of the ANC to further clarify our position, and emphasise that we have confidence in the entire cabinet and therefore not calling for the reshuffling of anyone. There is completely no contradiction between non-racialism and the principle of African leadership in a South Africa characterised a racist past.
Issued by the ANC Youth League