Hlomelang: Official Online Publication of the ANCYL
ANCYL Constitution: as amended and adopted by the 25th National Congress September 2015
Hlomelang: Vol. 13 No. 1: 25 July  07 August 2016
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This paper was initially developed for the legislatures and governance task team of latures and governance task team of the ANCYL and was subsequently tabled and debated at a national workshop on 25 March 2000. The strategy has subsequently been refined and expanded and discussed by the NWC. It has now been adopted as a Discussion Document of the ANCYL. The aim of the paper is to articulate a structured model of engagement with governance for the Youth League. We try to deal with the following questions:

  • Why do we need to engage with structures of governance?
  • What has been the nature of our engagement since 1994?
  • What are the correct sites of engagement for us?
  • What strategy and tactics are appropriate?
  • How will we measure the success of our engagement strategy?
  • What are the organisational implications of the above?

Put simply, governance refers to the institutions and processes involved with running the country. The central institutions of governance are the elected bodies, the national parliament, provincial legislatures, and local councils; Cabinet; and the bureaucracy. Of course there are other public bodies, which are sites of influence and decision-making such as the judiciary, statutory commissions, and parastatals; but these are not the central institutions of governance and will not form the central focus on this document. In terms of processes of governance, these are ongoing in the daily work of Cabinet members, councillors, departmental officials, and so on; but the key identifiable processes of governance are policy formulation; legislation; implementation; and monitoring and oversight. Governance is inherently political and contested, not only in the content of policies but also in the style and processes of governance.

We need to be clear that engagement with governance can never be seen as an isolated area of activity for us an organisation. It is rather an extension of our overall programme of action, taking our objectives to another terrain of struggle. This should be mutually reinforcing with other aspects of our programme, such as campaigns, organisational development, or education.

As mentioned above, when we speak of structures of governance, this refers to the national, provincial, and local levels. Although this paper tends to focus on the national level, many of the points are relevant for all levels. In discussing our strategy at provincial, regional, and branch levels, comrades may need to adapt it somewhat. We also need to take into account the specificities of engaging in different political terrain`s e.g. Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

This paper does not raise these issues in a vacuum as there have obviously been past discussions in various fosions in various for an on engaging with governance. The resolutions from our 20th Congress do not speak clearly as to what strategy we should adopt, although there are references in the resolutions on Policy and Governance to (inter alia) the need for us to take interest in the youth development work that is taking place in other government departments and that mechanisms should be developed to ensure that youth development takes place at local government level. The paper developed by Cde Andries Nel for the extended NEC meeting made headway particularly in terms of the role and responsibilities of youth MPs and MPLs, and issues raised in that paper are not repeated here.



The 20th National Congress of the ANC Youth League reaffirmed the mass based character of the ANC Youth League and further reaffirmed the imperative of reaching out to all the sectors of youth (i.e. the "intellectual" youth, the unemployed youth, the rural youth, the religions youth, etc). In defining the role for the ANC Youth League in the legislative and governance matters we should fully take into cognizant out mass character and our leadership role in the ANC and society by constantly embodying the aspiration of youth piration of youth and mobilizing them to be active participants to determine their own destiny and future.

Our intervention in Governance should always be located within the context of the twin tasks of the ANC Youth League of championing youth interests and reinforcing the ANC by mobilising youth behind its vision.

Thus our intervention must articulate for the placing of youth interests at the centre of governance processes and simultaneously reinforce the strength of and influence the ANC in governance matters (i.e. both in the state and outside).

Our task on legislative and policy making process derives principally from our broad strategic objectives which has been elaborated in a range of Congress Policy decisions and other related policy documents inter alia the Youth Policy document and the Youth Employment Strategy. In providing an ongoing strategic and political leadership to the youth movement around governance and legislation within the context of the above paradigm the following must be our key critical areas of program;

  • Building a strong PYA around a common program of action.
  • Networking and collaborating with the progressive NGO sector around research, advocacy and lobbying.
  • Strengthening our link with the youth around governance.
  • Invigorating our role and participation in the ANC led alliance is policliance is policy structures.
  • Mass mobilisation reclaiming the streets and public opinion.
  • Identifying priority areas for youth in the current term of governance (Accelerating change - Youth Priorities).

Thus our approach in this regard cannot be confined to merely making inputs on pieces of legislation and policies before Parliament but should include the capacity to lobby for legislation and policies armed at advancing our strategic objectives with a special bias to our sectoral interests.

The policy formulation environment within which we are going to operate is not given but riddled with contestation across ideological and sectoral divide.

At times our policy articulation and proposals will meet resistance from within our own ANC led movement due to a range of considerations inter alia :

  • Broad national interests as opposed to sectoral interests.
  • Conflicting interest of sectors and broad developmental goals.
  • Ideological contestation.

This will then require on our part a rigorous networking with other interest forces on the policy front and a strong capacity to get our views accepted within the ANC led movement.

We need to be clear that an honest and consistent engagement with governance will not in all cases mean unconditional support for legislation. We will need to be prepared to analyse relevant legislation on a case-by-case to assess the extent to which it both advances youth interests and takes the mother body in what we feel to be an appropriate direction. Where we feel that these criteria are not met, we must be able to raise our concerns clearly and constructively and to propose viable alternatives.


With the advent of the new democratic dispensation post 27th April 1994 process of legislation making has also undergone fundamental transformation by introducing the values and principles of popular participation by forces outside the state through public hearings.

Unlike the pre-April 27th 1994 where public policy and legislative formulation processes were the exclusive domains ohe exclusive domains of State institutions (i.e., Departments Cabinet and Parliament), the new democratic dispensation has opened up a space for forces outside the state to advocate and initiate legislation or public policy.

More often many pieces of legislation and policies passed since 27th April 1994 until now recently have been points of fierce contestation amongst forces in the civil society representing a broad array of conflicting social interests. These forces are largely a replica of social interests represented by various political parties in Parliament.

A frank assessment of our engagement with governance since the democratic breakthrough of 1994 indicates that we have lacked a coherent organisational strategy. This is not to say that we have had no effect, the YL certainly has made an impact through individual comrades taking forward youth issues, political pressure, and submissions on selected issues. Such engagement has, however, been mostly ad hoc rather than as a conscious and co-ordinated approach.

A change since the elections of last year is that we now have Youth Leaguers directly sitting in parliament, including the President. This has increased the youth voice in parliament, for example during debates.


We have selected COSATU to use as a case study of parliamese study of parliamentary engagement. It is necessary to note upfront that there would be obvious differences between the approaches of COSATU and the YL to parliament. While COSATU is an autonomous alliance partner, the YL is structurally integrated with the ANC as its youth wing. This suggests not only that there are less likely to be sharp differences between the ANC and the YL, but also that there would often be different channels of taking disagreements up (Alliance structures and processes vs. internal ANC channels). This suggests that the YL`s engagement in parliament is likely to be less confrontational than the COSATU experience has been, although there would inevitably be points of contestation.

Furthermore, although both the YL and COSATU have MPs emerging from their ranks, in the YL case these cdes remain members of the League, which is not the case with COSATU. Cdes coming from COSATU play little formal role in taking COSATU views forward in parliament, although they would presumably be more sympathetic to such views. In the YL case, although cdes are there on an ANC mandate they can and indeed must articulate youth interests.

The COSATU Parliamentary Office was set up in 1996, although earlier submissions were made on an ad hoc basis. Close to a hundred submissions have been presented to the various portfolios and select committees up to this point. COSATU`s approach iCOSATU`s approach in its submission has been guided by three broad imperatives:

  • Advancing the direct interests of COSATU members, both as workers and as breadwinners in their families and communities;
  • COSATU`s historic role as part of the mass democratic movement and tripartite alliance, struggling for the liberation and democratisation of South Africa;
  • Through a vision of "transformative unionism", shaping social transformation by participation in structures of policy and law-making along with other progressive social forces.

Due to the broad nature of organisation resolutions adopted at Congresses and other constitutional gatherings, COSATU often finds itself in a position of having to take a position on an issue on which no detailed official policy exists. The parliamentary office is thus thrust into a role of dynamic policy formulation, using organisational resolutions as a starting point and extrapolating/applying them on different issues. In a YL context, the political leadership would obviously have to be central where such situations inevitably arise.

In terms of strategy and tactics, the tools which COSATU uses to advance its positions rely not so much on American-style "wining and dining", but more on the strength of submissions and the political weight of the organisation. Other tools used include thr tools used include the following:

  • Formal advocacy e.g. participating in ANC Study Groups
  • Political processes such as Alliance meetings, bilaterals between the political leadership of COSATU and the ANC etc.
  • Mass mobilisation to strengthen their hand in parliament, such as happened during the negotiation of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

In terms of identifying which issues should be dealt with, limited personnel means that COSATU cannot engage on everything, which it would like to. Different models were considered for selecting issues:

Trying to cover everything of relevance to workers, obviously in limited depth

Honing in on a few carefully selected issues of prime importance to workers and dealing with them great detail

A mixed approach, prioritising certain strategic issues and making symbolic interventions - either in support or opposition - on other issues.



The stage at which legislation is finally tabled in parliament is the culmination of a long process. Were we to wait for this stage, we would be likely to have a limited impact on the legislation. Depending on the legislation in question, the following stages mn, the following stages may be involved:

  • A Discussion Document
  • A Green Paper
  • A White Paper
  • Portfolio and Select Committee deliberations
  • Tabling process in the House
  • Readings and passage
  • Referral to NCOP and concurrence.

Whilst we may not be able to engage with all stages of the process due to limited capacity, it would be ideal to have at least some engagement with the relevant department on key pieces of legislation. There tends to be more scope for influencing legislation the earlier an intervention. Points of intervention in governance are thus not restricted to legislative bodies alone, but also to Departments. Such intervention could include submissions to Departments on Discussion Documents, Gree Documents, Green and White Papers and draft legislation or regulations; meetings with Directors-General and other senior officials to advance our positions, and so on.

Study groups are important sites of influence for the YL, as decisions are often taken here rather than in portfolio or select committees. They also allow for freer and more robust debate in the absence of opposition parties. We should endeavour to secure the participation on non-MP L&G sub-committee members in relevant study groups.

A special focus is needed in relation to the Joint Monitoring Committee on Youth and the Disabled. This is a key point of intervention for championing youth interests, particularly as a number of our YL MPs are deployed there. An approach is needed which takes maximum advantage of this space, whilst guarding against youth issues being "ghetto-ised" there.

The Youth Parliament needs to be taken up as a way of raising the understanding of governance amongst youth as well as putting youth issues at the centre stage. However, ways need to be found of taking this initiative beyond a small group of youth leaders to youth more broadly. Youth Parliaments can also be replicated at provincial and local levels. They should go beyond mere symbolic events to actually grapple with youth issues and generate concrete solutions.

Mechanisms also need to be found fo need to be found for the YL to engage directly with the Executive on issues of greatest importance to us. Meeting with the relevant Ministry and securing political agreement can often be a speedier and more effective way of advancing our positions than going through departments. The Presidency of the YL would need to play a leading role in this regard.

In addition to parliament, government departments, and the Executive, an active strategy for impacting on governance cannot exclude other key centres of decision-making within the public terrain. This includes parastatals and statutory bodies. These are not dealt with extensively in this document, but as our engagement strategy evolves over time and our capacity increases we would need to put more emphasis on influencing these bodies.


A more challenging issue for the League is whether we are satisfied that our institutions of governance are sufficiently transformed or whether, in our engagement with them, we also want to impact on their structure and functioning. This relates to our interpretation of the twin tasks of the Youth League: is our second task just to reinforce the ANC in a "neutral" manner, or also to steer it in what we believe to be an appropriate direction? The founding fathers of the League, the Mandela`s and Sisulandela`s and Sisulu`s certainly believed in the latter option and indeed fulfilled that historical task.

As pointed out in an ANC Legislative and Governance discussion document, parliamentary reform has become a central plank of the agenda of centre-left parties. For example, the Labour Party in the United Kingdom made the reform of the House of Commons one of the central issues in its efforts to revitalise social democracy in the UK.

Our democratic institutions have indeed changed dramatically; what we need is to consolidate this transformation and to further take it forward. The task of transforming parliament into a popular tribunal of our people remains critical to the role of the ANC Youth League and this will be measured partly by the extend to which we place the youth at the centre of transformation and democratisation process. Ways in which our institutions of governance could be further democratised include the following aspects:

  • Increasing public participation in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of legislation. Whilst public participation has certainly increased since 1994, there is still much to be done. As could have been expected, the organisations which have taken advantage of the increased space have often been well resourced (both in terms of finances and skills) and representing the more powerful sectionmore powerful sections of South African society. Democratic institutions should be able not only to "level the playing fields" but to actively empower and advance the interests of the historically marginalised sections, in line with our African, working class bias.
  • Enhancing the power of our democratically elected representative`s vis-vis unaccountable bureaucrats. Whether because of capacity constraints or because of the way the legislative process is structured, elected legislators often seem to have insufficient power to shape legislation. State Law Advisors also need to have a more appropriate role in some instances they attempt to influence the content of legislation by "ruling" as to which proposals are feasible and which are not. There is also the specific case of Money Bills where parliament has no amendment powers. Legislation facilitating parliamentary review of regulations would also be crucial in this regard.
  • Strengthening the oversight role of elected representatives. This is discussed in more detail in section 3.3 below.


Legislation is but one aspect of governance and it is important that the YL`s approach to governance not be limited to this. There are crucial processes, often wi processes, often with ample space for intervention, both prior to and subsequent to legislation. Furthermore, they`re huge areas of policy, which are never expressed in legislation but which are of critical importance.

While legislation will remain a central function of legislatures, with time the focus may shift increasingly to monitoring and oversight. All too often this takes the form of bureaucrats jetting in to make glossy presentations to Committees and hand out Annual Reports, without providing sufficient information, including on obstacles faced in delivery, to empower MPs to meaningfully engage and to steer departments/institutions in the correct direction.

The recent report on oversight commissioned by the national parliament argued that:

The oversight role is often seen as that of opposition parties alone, designed to police and expose misadministration and corruption. Such a view is limited and deficient. Oversight and accountability helps to ensure the Executive implements laws in a way required by the Legislature and the dictates of the Constitution. The legislature is in this way able to keep control over the laws that it passes and to promote the constitutional values of accountability and good governance. Thus, oversight must be seen as one of the central tenets of our democracy because through it the legislature can ensure that the executive is carrying out ive is carrying out its mandate, monitor the implications of its legislative policy and draw on these experiences for future law making. Through it we can ensure effective government. Seen in this light, the oversight function of the legislature complements rather than hampers the effective delivery of services with which the executive is entrusted.

Our understanding of parliamentary reform should not counter-pose the legislature to the role of the executive. Instead, as part of the governing party we should aim at enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Cabinet.

The recent disclosures around the huge amounts of allocated resources which have not been spent in areas such as welfare and health, where there are massive social backlogs, underlines the role of Portfolio and Select Committees in ensuring that funds are productively spent and y spent and meet their intended objectives. The solution is not cutting budgets but increasing the active and consistent role of parliament as well as enhancing departments capacity to deliver.

The opposition parties tend to have a narrow, reactionary, Euro centric approach to the role of parliament. They see a tussle between independent legislative and executive arms of government, with parliament acting as a "check" on Cabinet`s power. This simplistic and unnecessarily confrontational approach ignores the role of the legislature in development and delivery and undermines their potential as active drivers, even initiators, of legislation. A further danger of the opposition`s approach "especially that of the Democratic Party" is that by relentlessly attacking the ANC in the media, in parliamentary question time and elsewhere, our own comrades are forced to be overly defensive. This may have the consequence of framing debates on the opposition`s terms rather than allowing valid debates and honest interrogation of our own successes and failures to be played out. We need to encourage a situation whereby caucus and study groups become real for a for meaningful engagement and robust debate, where comrades are free to express their views on any issue and have these views taken seriously.

Over and above the role of parliament and the legislatures in oversight and accountability, accountability, the bureaucracy is responsible for the day-to-day implementation and this is clearly a major site of struggle for us. Considerable challenges lie ahead in transforming the bureaucracy, and deployment of our cadreship in departments is one aspect of this. As discussed in strategy and tactics below, the YL also needs to intervene directly in departmental processes to ensure that the interests of youth are advanced.

Our membership has a key role to play in implementation and delivery. Aspects of this include publicising transformative gains amongst communities and making people aware of their rights; detecting corruption, incompetence, or blockages to delivery and reporting this through the appropriate channels; and mobilising people as partners in implementation.


These should include the following:

  • YL MPs, particularly the President, needs to take the leading role in advancing our views in parliament, and similarly within legislatures.
  • We need to use tools of lobbying and advocacy to ensure that our views find support beyond the comrades we have actually deployed in parliament and legislatures. Former YL leaders and young MPs/MPLs would be key here, but we should try and bring as many comrades on board as poon board as possible.
  • We should make maximum use of study groups in advancing our views, in order to reach maximum consensus prior to engagement with other parties in the portfolio or select committees.
  • The use of mass mobilisation: In accomplishing its historic mission the ANCYL should continue to ensure that its strength reside with the masses of young people. In doing this it should continue to identify the interests of its constituency and unite it behind a coherent program of mass action for transformation. Critical to this question of mass action is a need to define forms of mass action applicable/relevant to a specific set of circumstances.
  • Strengthening our capacity in policy and research. There is a blurred line between policy formulation and policy advocacy - advocacy is hindered if it is not based on rigorous and progressive research and policy formulation, and at the same time in the process of advocacy our policy positions can become modified or refined. We already have a full-time functionary with responsibility for this and have established the Legislation and Governance. There is a need for the Youth League to harness more resources for policy and research. It will also be important for ANC policy capacity to be continuously enhanced to ensuously enhanced to ensure the positions are taken forward in all spheres of governance.
  • This committee must be a pacesetter for our policy and legislative. We should then find a meaningful way of linking this Committee to the ANC Subcommittees to ensure our sustained interventions on ANC policy initiative.
  • We must further find an innovative way of utilising the resource base of the National Youth Commission for our research needs. This should extend to Government departments through Ministries.
  • The NWC must further conduct an audit of the NGO`s and identify the ones we can enter into strategic partnerships with a wide range of research and policy initiatives.
  • These processes should be replicated at all levels of the organisation and a conscious capacity building for all our structures around policy matters must be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
  • The National and Provincial Youth Commissions should be our priority in our policy initiatives. We must conceptualise our clear strategic tasks in supporting and profiling the work of the Youth Commission. The Youth Development Sub-Committee should be mandated to undertake these tasks urgently. Amongst other key priorities for the current terms of Governance for youth deveGovernance for youth development should be formulated with a concomitant plan of action.
  • This approach must not be confined to Parliamentary and government processes but captures broad issues contested in the civil society e.g. participatory structures of governance (i.e., School Governing Bodies, Community Policing Forum and programmes around development and delivery in our communities).


We reflect briefly here on an example of an issue, which could be an important site of intervention for the YL: the budget. The budget is a political statement on priorities, and a practical plan for the raising and spending of resources for the coming year. There are numerous interest groups, which analyse the budget in terms of the effects on their particular constituency. Ways in which the YL could engage with the budget process include the following:

  • Participation in the planning process from the start, as waiting for budget day itself is too late to exercise any influence. This means being involved in the budgetary cycle from the previous year.
  • Impacting on the process itself to make it more inclusive and transparent.
  • Analysing the budget itself in terms of issues, which affect f issues, which affect youth, in particular, such as the education budget, child maintenance grants, expenditure on HIV/AIDS, public works, or SMME promotion.
  • However, we should not confine ourselves to narrowly conceptualised "youth issues" as youth are obviously part of the general population and are affected by expenditure on welfare, water, communications, housing, and so on; and we cannot remain silent on these and broader macroeconomic issues.
  • We need to link up with the `Children`s Budget` initiative, which analyses the impact of the budget on children.

Engagement with the budget should also be a priority issue of engagement for provincial, regional, and branch structures of the YL with respect to budgets for the relevant levels of government.

The Budget could be one of the flagship interventions to raise the profile of the YL in our engagement with governance. A couple of other key such issues should be picked on, to complement our ongoing engagement.



The PYA through the leadership and initiative of the ANCYL evolved and designed a youth platform, which elaborate a program of action cutting across the sectoral interests of youth that we seek to represent.

This program was essentially aimed at rallying youth behind the electoral program of the ANC and the task of unleashing a programme of action around Governance and legislation requires the strengthening of the Progressive Youth Alliance at all levels of organisation. This can be done through an elaborate common program of action aimed at placing the youth at the centre of transformation.

Although the implementation of this joint program could not record much success due to lack of capacity for joint planning and implementation, it remains our priority to rebuild and strengthen the PYA around a common program of action.

The ANC Youth League participated in the ANC election campaigns in the most innovative way which tended to draw participation of youth more effectively in the elaboration of challenges facing them and spelling o them and spelling out how the ANC Government could tackle them through youth forum.

This process enabled us to interact directly with the youth to share their experiences and frustrations and thus making them active participants in the course of social change. We can not relegate this exercise to the times of elections but must rather find a way of planning this at the centre of the ANCYL program through sectoral forum where we continuously brief the youth, share experience with them about the challenges facing government in accelerating change. For example the ANCYL could convene public forum of parents, teachers and learners mainly to get a sense of the bottlenecks affecting the learning environment etc.

It is our task to assist in enhancing the participation of the PYA and the progressive youth sector broadly in matters in governance.


The key question for us which should be a test for our intervention in Governance should largely be the extent to which we have impacted on a range of legislation`s passed over the recent past. This should apply not only to us as the ANC Youth league but to the broad democratic movement led by the ANC.

The measure of success of the ANC YL on Policy and Legislative front can not be measured by number of interred by number of interventions we make at any given point alone but by our ability to make our policy inputs and proposals accepted by Government and the movement particularly.

The following will constitute key test for our success in policy and legislative front:

  • Pro-activeness: We should be upfront in identifying legislative and policy interventions and not wait for a legislation to be tabled. This requires capacity to initiate legislation.
  • Resonance with our policy positions: Standing policy positions should guide our policy interventions. For instance we should identify areas of our resolutions for translation into Government programmes and legislation. This requires a strong push through ANC structures and parliamentary structures.
  • Changing the conditions of life of our people, youth particularly: The extend to which our policies alters the undesirable conditions of our constituency is a key test.
  • Qualitative, structural and complementary role in the ANC Policy Sub-committees: The ANC sub-committees dealing with policy should not be a secondary task for us but integrate this as central to our overall work. We must invigorate these committees and ensure that they take issues affecting young people seriously. This is where we must place our issues/pol our issues/policy interventions.


Pursuing an engagement strategy with structures of governance, such as has been outlined in this document, would obviously have implications for the functioning of our structures. It is crucial that engagement with governance does not just become the prerogative of the "leadership" tier within the organisation. Engagement with governance should be integrated within the daily work of all structures of the organisation. All structures should ideally be able to formulate policy proposals on issues directly affecting youth within their area and to advocate such proposals though the appropriate channels.

We must have a standing item on our agenda at all levels dealing with governance. The NWC must provide guidelines on periodic basis deriving from specific sets or priorities at a given point e.g. Legislative and Policy landscape capturing on key legislative and policy initiative at National, Provincial and Local level, the impact of the organisation, strategies, etc.

At the same time, we should guard against becoming excessively "governance-centric", in the sense of becoming obsessed with structures of governance to the exclusion of other activities. We already have a situation in some branches, including ANC branches, where the branch meethere the branch meeting agendas and the branch programmes and determined almost exclusively by the agenda of the local council. This suppresses the space for organic initiatives which the YL itself can take up.

In terms of organisational structures, we are recommending that the current task force on legislative and governance become a standing sub-committee of the NEC. Membership of the sub-committee would need to be reviewed by the NWC. Space should also be provided for the participation of non-NEC members. Such a structure could be replicated at provincial and possibly at regional and branch levels.

We need to reflect on the appropriate functioning of the sub-committee, which would probably need to meet more regularly than most other sub-committees. Optimally, it would need to convene on possibly a fortnightly basis to prioritise issues and identify channels of taking them up. For example, the sub-committee could identify key issues for questions, motions, and interpolations and co-ordinate with the whippery to ensure that space is provided for. This approach would encourage a situation where issues are taken up as part of a coherent organisational approach rather than on an ad hoc individual basis. While it would be ideal to have a full-time functionary concentrating on providing back up for our engagement, this would not be feasible at this stage and we need to look instea need to look instead at the role of the Policy Co-ordinator.

A further issue in terms of organisational implications is the relationship between the L&G sub-committee and our other sub-committees in engaging with governance. There needs to be a dynamic relationship between sub-committees and their respective sectors the education department with the education Ministry and department; the EDC with economic Ministries and departments, and so on. We obviously do not want a situation where the L&G sub-committee is the "gatekeeper" to all processes and institutions of governance. The relationship should be one in which the L&G sub-committee frames a general strategic approach for engagement, and there be joint involvement in actual interventions. For example, if the YL were to make a submission on an education Bill tabled in parliament, theliament, the education sub-committee would have a leading role to play in analysing the Bill in relation to positions of the YL on the issue; while the L&G sub-committee would have a leading role to play in developing the strategy and tactics of winning the issue in parliament (e.g. lobbying). It is, however, probably not useful to over-theorise the relationship in abstract as dynamic working relations would evolve in practice.

A further issue to flag in terms of organisational implications is the line of accountability of YL MPs. As comrades have been elected on the ANC list, they are obviously mandated by and accountable to the ANC; however, they are have a mandate of championing youth interests. How should comrades group themselves in terms of the ANC caucus should there be a specific YL caucus to strategise on the taking forward of youth issues? If this route is pursued it is proposed that it be open and inclusive (amongst ANC MPs of course) rather than exclusive which could potentially open up allegations of factionalism or "cliquism". The practicalities of this may require further discussion.

Also in terms of strengthening the organisation, the Youth League needs to participate more decisively in the debate in the ANC around sectoral deployment. Should the youth sector be a specific sector for deployment of some MPs, possibly in addition to their geographic to their geographic constituencies? On the one hand, this could result in more attention being devoted to youth issues, but we should also guard against them being "ghetto-ised" as mentioned elsewhere in this document.

A final point to mention under this section is the need for an organisational strategy for young MPs and MPLs who are not YL members. There are a number of MPs and MPLs below the age of 35 who either have never been YL members, are lapsed members, or who are passive members. The Legislative and Governance sub-committee in conjunction with the Organising Department needs to recruit and mobilise such comrades to increase our influence in governance.


This paper is an attempt at stimulating debate and ultimately at enhancing our capacity as the League to engage with governance. It does not begin to touch on the actual issues which we should focus on this is covered in a separate paper on "Accelerating Change" Towards a Youth Programme but rather to sketch out a broad strategic approach. As mentioned in the introduction, it has also tended to concentrate on the national parliament. There are also areas such as local government and the participation of civil society broadly which are not adequately dealt with here and which will have to further flesh out within the organisation.