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Political Report by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema to the ANCYL's 1st National General Council

25 August 2010, Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime

  1. SALUTATIONS

    1. Chairperson of the Session
    2. African National Congress National Chair cde Baleka Mbethe
    3. The ANC delegation to the National General Council of the ANC Youth League 
    4. Alliance partners, SASCO, COSAS and YCL
    5. COSATU, SACP leadership present today
    6. International Guests from youth wings of former liberation movement. 
    7. International guests from progressive youth formation across the world.
    8. The leadership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth and International Union of Socialist Youth. 
    9. Former leaders of the ANC Youth League and broader Youth 
      Movement.
    10. The ANC Women's League and Veterans League. 
    11. The MKMVA, Commissars and Commanders of Umkhonto WeSizwe Young. professionals and representatives of business in South Africa.
    12. Religious leaders 
    13. Delegates to the 1st National General Council of the ANC Youth League
  1. The National General Council of the ANC Youth League is in session. It is on session to discuss, review, revise and re-affirm the many organisational, political and ideological resolutions and positions we took in the ANC Youth League 23rd National Congress in 2008.

  1. The National General Council of the ANC Youth League also serves as the biggest political school of our organisation, because out of deliberations here, delegates will derive useful lessons of our organisation's history, character and strategic vision in a manner that will sustainably contribute to their political development.

  1. The NGC takes place during the Women's Month, a month in which wherein we commemorate and celebrate the massive contributions women made to the political, social and economic emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular from colonial apartheid bondage.

  1. The role of women played by women in history and in the present conjuncture should never be underestimated because women were amongst the first organised formations to confront the apartheid regime, even at time when men held a hollow conviction that the colonialism and the apartheid regime could only be destroyed through endless negotiations and deputations to the colonial Masters in Britain. In celebrating the role played by revolutionary women, we should also celebrate the role of ANCYL young women in the ongoing struggles against triple oppression that is struggle against gender and national oppression as well as class exploitation.

  1. We should do so based on clear program to enhance their participation in our revolution because as the late FRELIMO President ,Samora Machel correctly argued that liberation of women is a fundamental necessity of our revolution, a guarantee of its continuity and a precondition for victory'. The role young woman play in the politics of ANCYL should also be commended with intentions and clear programme to upgrade their involvement.

  1. We stand before you proud of the many achievements we have thus far made as a militant, youth political organisation. When we accepted nomination for leadership in the 23rd National Congress of the ANC Youth League in April 2010, the undertone politics that defined the contest which happened in Mangaung was that of generational change.

  1. The leadership contest was about, but not exclusively, generational handover from the generation of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) of the late 1 980s and ANC Youth League of the early 1990s.They handed over leadership of the ANC Youth League to ourselves, a generation which cut its tooth in the politics of students' movement after the unbanning of political parties and release of political prisoners in the 90s.

  1. The 23rd National Congress 1st leg happened amidst all the politics, and the 2nd leg provided a space for all of us to discuss politics within a stable environment, where leadership contest was not the overriding factor. In the 2nd leg 23rd National Congress, delegates were provided with an opportunity to deliberate and discuss in great detail the future of South Africa and set themselves a task to define and shape the kind of South Africa we want to live in. The resolutions and declaration we all adopted at the end of Congress continue to inspire the actions and programmes we are engaged in as a revolutionary young wing of the ANC.

  1. In closing the 2nd leg of the 23rd National Congress in Mangaung, we said political education will be the most reliable remedy to many organisational and political challenges we encountered in our congress. We will later speak in great detail how political education is vital and part of the ANC Youth League's programmes to stabilise the organisation moving forward. We are in a factory of politics and every day we are being sharpened and polished to become the best of best revolutionaries committed to the fulfilment of the National Democratic Revolution.

  1. In our leadership of the ANC Youth League, we came to appreciate that this organisation is not a Junior League of the ANC, but a revolutionary young wing of the ANC, whose actions and activities are meant to redefine the kind of society we are living in. The ANC Youth League was formed nearly 66 years on the 10th of September 1944 as an organisation of disciplined, inspired and dedicated younger activists of the African National Congress.

  1. We now are gathered here in Johannesburg, which has been one of the theatres of many of South Africa's revolutionary actions, including the launch of the ANC Youth League and adoption of the Freedom Charter, to discuss how best we realise ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME. This National General Council is gathered under the theme "YOUTH ACTION FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME", and the outcomes of this Council should reflect that indeed we are determined to realise economic freedom in our lifetime.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM?

  1. There is every reason to celebrate and commemorate the ANC Youth League, because the history of South Africa's political, social and economic change cannot be told without mentioning the vital role of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE. For the benefit of all of us who are here today, maybe we should start from the beginning and speak in great detail about the correct history of the ANC YL. It is important that we do so, because many amongst us believe that the ANC YL was only formed after the unbanning of political parties and release of political prisoners in 1990.

  1. The ANC's idea of forming the ANCYL began in the early 1 940s, as a result of young people's impatience with the manner in which the ANC and the entire National Liberation Movement responded to apartheid repression. Young people said then that they are tired with peaceful resistance and struggles, which recognised and respected the oppressor and the colonial masters.

  1. The Youth in the ANC said it could never be correct that the most revolutionary activity of the ANC was sending of petitions and delegations to the Queen in Britain, asking for some rights within the semi-colonial Union of South Africa. Mxolisi Majombozi came with the idea of radicalising the ANC, through formation of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE, which will give new energy and fighting spirit to the National Liberation Movement.

  1. In 1942, the ANC Conference noted the growing militancy amongst the Youth and resolved that the Congress Youth League should be formed to mobilise young people behind the banner of the ANC, somewhat not considering that the young generation, inspired by the struggles of the workers in South Africa at the time, will not only mobilise behind the vision of the ANC, but will influence a radical change of its character and outlook as a Liberation Movement. In 1943, the ANC took another resolution to form the ANC Youth League and concretely mandated the National Executive Committee of the ANC to take concrete action on the formation of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE.

  1. A provisional committee of the ANCYL was formed in early 1944 with William Nkomo as its Chairperson, Mxolisi Majombozi as Secretary, and Wafter Sisulu and Congress Mbatha were Co-Convenors. We are aware that former President of the ANC J.T Gumede fully supported the formation of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE, arguing in the 1943 Conference of the ANC that the formation of the ANC Youth League will make the ANC to live forever. We will always hold President J.T Gumede in high regard for his ground breaking and inspiring leadership.

  1. In September 10, 1944, the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE was officially launched as an organisation in Bantu Social Centre, Johannesburg and elected Anton Lembede as its first President and Oliver Tambo as its first Secretary. Walter Sisulu was elected as the first Treasurer of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE, Robert Sobukwe, Congress Mbatha, A.P. Mda, Robert Resha, Duma Nokwe and Nelson Mandela were part of those elected to the first National Executive Committee. We should clarify here that Nelson Mandela or Walter Sisulu were not the first National Secretaries of the ANC Youth League.

  1. Nelson Mandela says this in his autobiography that Oliver Tambo was the first Secretary and the biographies of both Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu confirms this fact. The ANC was not always a fighting revolutionary movement until the idea and practice to form the ANC YL in the early to and mid 1940s. The formation of the ANC YL undoubtedly gave new impetus, energised and radicalised the ANC into a fighting force tor the liberation of the oppressed majority.

  1. The generation that founded the ANC Youth League (Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, William Nkomo, Mxolisi Majombozi, Anton Lembede, Congress Mbatha) declared "FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME" in 1944 and 50 years later in 1994, they were a generation that ushered in political freedom to the African majority, which were under colonial and apartheid repression for more many years. Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu who are the founder of the ANC Youth League were at the forefront of ushering political freedom in South Africa.

  1. We have no doubt that Anton Lembede, A.P. Mda, Mxolisi Majombozi, Godfrey Pitjie, Robert Resha, Patrick Moaloa and many other who founded the ANC Youth League would have been at the forefront of political liberation had they lived long. We always say that it only took the ANC Youth League 5 years to radicalise and energise the African National Congress into a mass movement and fighting force for people's liberation. Within the first five years of its formation, the ANC Youth League was able to decisively influence the ANC to adopt a more radical, forthright and confrontational political programme which fundamentally transformed the ANC into a mass mobilisation movement and campaigner against racial segregation and economic subjugation.

  1. The transformative 1949 ANC Conference had to elect a relatively inexperienced and young leadership of President James Moroka (who had just joined the ANC) and Secretary General Walter Sisulu (aged 37) because the older and more organisationally experienced generation was unable to adjust and adapt to the new strategies and tactics proposed by the Youth League to fight racial oppression and segregation.

  1. The 1949 Programme of Action led to the Defiance Campaign, which goes into history as one of the most successful campaigns to be led by the African National Congress. Recalling the fruits of the Defiance Campaign, E.S. Reddy says, "the Campaign generated a mass upsurge for freedom. The membership of the A.N.C. increased from 7,000 to 100,000 during the campaign and it became a truly national organization of the people. The Campaign also led to the formation of the Coloured People's Congress and the Congress of (white) Democrats, and then a "Congress Alliance" which played a crucial role in promoting multi-racial resistance to apartheid in subsequent years".

  1. This National General Council's discussion document on organisational renewal observes that, "If the reading of history was mechanical, it could be simplistically deducted that the transformation of the ANC into a truly national organisation of the people, and the formation of the alliance are direct consequences of the formation of the ANC Youth League in 1944. Yet history evolves in far much complex and systematic realities than that, because the combination of prevailing material conditions of that period and the subjective determination of the founding leadership of the ANC Youth League dialectically called for decisive action and defined history.

  1. Certainly, the passage of time spelled a different trajectory with regards to how the Youth League relates to the African National Congress, yet notably the ANC Youth League's founding generation's commitment to "freedom in our lifetime" took practical shape and was led by that particular generation. It is important to understand that the founding generation of the ANC YL was not only fighting for political freedom, but were also fighting against ideological, social, economic domination and colonisation of the majority by a minority.

  1. It is this realisation that made the founding generation of the ANC YL to fervently mobilise for the adoption of the Freedom Charter, first by the People's Congress in 1955 and by the ANC in 1956. Nelson Mandela was Volunteer in Chief in the Defiance campaign and the mobilisations towards the adoption of the Freedom Charter was anchored and given shape by then ANC Secretary General Walter Sisulu.

  1. The Freedom Charter is currently the nerve and lifeblood of the African National Congress and entire National Liberation Movement. When adopting the Freedom Charter in 1956, the ANC said that its not a patchwork of reforms, but a revolutionary programme, which is also a beacon of hope for the people of South Africa. The Freedom Charter affirms that South Africa belongs who live in it-black and white, and this affirmation in repeated in South Africa's democratic Constitution adopted in 1996.

  1. Under the clause "the people shall share in the country's wealth", the Freedom Charter says:

"The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people; 
"The Mineral Wealth Beneath the Soil, the banks and Monopoly Industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people"

"All other trade and industry shall be controlled for the benefit of the people" 
"All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions"
.

  1. As much as the Nelson Mandela generation led the struggle for attainment of political freedom for majority of our people, we have made it our responsibility and dedicated focus that economic freedom is realised in South Africa. Economic Freedom should come through the realisation and actualisation of the Freedom Charter clause that reads that the Mineral Wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industry and banks should be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole'.

  1. The Nelson Mandela generation of the ANC Youth League changed history and did everything in their power to ensure that the cause for struggle is never betrayed, nor compromised for anything below the sky. The founding generation dedicated their lives to the cause for freedom and were prepared to sacrifice their lives so that we can all live in freedom. Their battle cry was FREEDOM IN OURLIFETIME, underpinned by the dedication to attain Freedom or Die. Our battle cry as this generation of youth is attainment of ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME. Like Nelson Mandela, we will do everything in power to realise economic freedom in our lifetime.

THE BALANCE OF FORCES, NDR AND STRATEGY AND TACTICS

  1. Our political programme for economic freedom in our lifetime requires a thorough reading and understanding of the balance of forces in order to properly define the strategy and tactics we should adopt towards attainment of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). In most cases, discussions about the NDR are abstract, general discussions which do not end up on development of a concrete political programme, and we need to move away from that because we have immediate tasks at hand.

  1. We carry a responsibility to transfer wealth from the minority to the majority and that is not an easy task. Our Strategic goal is total attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives and our vehicle towards the attainment of the Freedom Charter objectives is the NOR, which should resolve the national, gender and class contradictions, but also create a non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

  1. So towards the Freedom Charter, we need to understand who our allies are and who our strategic opponents are. Such an understanding is important because sometimes we tend to think that the strategic opponents of our revolution are merely political opponents we meet in our periodic ANC electoral politics.

  1. And yet the opponents are much broader than that. They include social forces such as big business that do not directly enter day to day electoral politics, but wield enormous political power by virtue of their ownership of key economic resources such as the bank and the mines and other monopoly industries. But we need to analyse if domestically and internally, conditions are conducive for some of the radical changes to happen without major hindrances and disastrous consequences. The Strategy & Tactics we adopted in Polokwane said, "overall, since 1994, the balance of forces have shifted in favour of the forces of change. It provides the basis for speedier implementation of programmes to build a truly democratic and prosperous society. The legal and policy scaffolding for this is essentially in place. Most of society wants this to happen". Did this analysis change or it still obtains in the present conjuncture?

  1. The ANC should be more honest about analysis of balance of forces because we have to take decisions on how we move forward now. We understand that in 1994, certain decisions could not be taken because both domestically and globally, the balance of forces favoured imperialists and therefore hostile to progressive change. The situation has changed now with China being the alternative economy in the world and operating relatively different to what the imperialists did over the years.

  1. The raise of china has set better global economic conditions for developing countries to determine their political and economic direction. China unlike the United States and European Union forces does not interfere with local politics for them to invest. They respect the terms and conditions you set for them and only concentrate on doing business.

  1. This is an interesting feature of the Chinese foreign policy. The imperialist forces on the other hand, they manipulate local politics and even remove governments so that they can steal resources without stricter regulation from stable political authorities.

  1. We need a deeper analysis of all these factors, because much as we need to change society for the better, we should also take into account the extent to which our immediate proposals for change will not have disastrous consequences. Our conclusive view now is that conditions domestically and internationally are favourable to radical change of economic policy and nationalisation of Mines. We have not yet encountered a credible argument that suggests that conditions are not favourable. As revolutionaries, we also carry a responsibility to change balance of forces to favour our political programmes.

  1. Our strategic enemy remains white monopoly capital, whose interests are expressed through the exclusion of the black majority and Africans in particular from economic emancipation. White monopoly capital's interests are expressed through brutal-exploitation of workers and natural resources in South Africa's Mines, farms and monopoly industries.

  1. Politically, the interests of white monopoly capital are expressed by minority white political parties such as the Democratic Alliance, and socially, their interests are safeguarded by the reactionary media and justified by white bourgeoisie oriented intellectuals concentrated in white business sponsored think tanks and historically white universities. This analysis does not blind us to internal enemies of the revolution; those that seek to divert our attention from the strategic goals by raising petty unrelated squabbles and lead factional wars in the movement.

  1. Despite all these diversions and existence of a strategic enemy, the African National Congress continues to be the true voice of the people. The ANC carries the political, electoral and legitimate power through Parliament, government and other institutions to change the lives of our people for the better. The ANC carries power through Parliament, government and other institutions to transfer the wealth of the land from the few to the majority. The question that arises is whether the current ANC leadership is willing to decisively use the power it has to economically emancipate and empower the black majority and Africans in particular.

  1. Whether the will and courage to radically transform society, in particular the economy exists in the current ANC leadership is an issue that this National General Council should discuss. As ANC Youth League, we should be worried of the re-emergence of a tendency that seeks to please the Queen in Britain and generally imperialists in the name of safeguarding investors.

  1. The reason the ANC Youth League was formed in 1944 was exactly in reaction to the very same tendency of reporting to the Queen in Britain and pleasing colonialists as if they have the interests and aspirations of the people of South Africa at heart. The 1944 generation of the ANC Youth League had a programme on the leadership of the ANC that wanted to please the Queen and our generation will out of the political programme we have, determine what we do with the re-emergence of such tendencies.

  1. This generation of the Youth League is calling for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime. Simply put, economic freedom in our lifetime means that all the economic clauses of the Freedom Charter should be realised to the fullest. It means that: 1) The people should share in the country's wealth, 2) The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, should be restored to the people; 3) The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry should be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole; 4) All other industry and trade should be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people; and 5) All people should have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions. These clauses are in no way a contradiction to each other as some sought to suggest elsewhere.

  1. This is what we mean by economic freedom in our lifetime, and when people ask you what is meant by economic freedom in our lifetime, you must simply respond by saying that all the economic clauses of the Freedom Charter should be realised to the fullest or simply say we mean that the PEOPLE SHOULD SHARE IN THE COUNTRY'S WEALTH. Nationalisation of Mines is but one of the components of realising economic freedom in our lifetime, and we should never compromise on that principle.

  1. This national executive committee collective has since our national political school in July 2009, been doing what the 23rd national congress said we should do, i.e. mobilise society and convince the African National Congress to nationalise South Africa's Mines. Every platform we took since then and every meeting we attended, we made it a point that South Africa's Mines should be transferred to the ownership and control of the people as a whole.

  1. We rightfully became very impatient with those who opposed nationalisation of Mines. We are impatient because it can never be correct that 16 years into democracy, more than 80 percent of the population does not control more than 5% of South Africa's wealth. Africans remain in the margins of our economy, despite the fact that this economy is built by their labour.

  1. Since the debate begun, there are certain points that we can safely say are not commonly agreed upon and should be made known to all our structures. In the ANC and entire alliance, we now agree that:

    1. The Freedom Charter remains the strategic goal of the National Liberation Movement and constitutes a key element of the NDR objectives.
    2. That the Freedom Charter says, "the mineral wealth beneath the soil, banks and monopoly industries should be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole".
    3. That in the ANC, this has been understood to mean amongst other things that Mines, bank and monopoly industries should be nationalised.
  2. Walter Sisulu said of the Freedom Charter that," it [The Freedom Charter] is the basic law of our liberatory movement, a declaration of principles uniting all the people in our land, except for the few reactionaries, who see in the Charter the end of their long established domination and exploitation. The Charter is the picture of future South Africa, in which oppression and exploitation shall be no more".

  1. President Chief Albert Luthuli, who was President of the ANC when the Freedom Charter was adopted for this to say; "In modern society, even amongst the so-called capitalistic countries, nationalisation of certain industries and commercial undertakings has become an accepted and established fact. Only the uninitiated and ignorant would suggest that the Union of South Africa is going to Moscow because its Railways, Broadcasting and Post Office services are nationalised".

  1. 1956, Nelson Mandela: "It is true that in demanding the nationalisation of the banks, the gold mines and the land the Charter strikes a fatal blow at the financial and gold-mining monopolies and farming interests that have for centuries plundered the country and condemned its people to servitude. But such a step is absolutely imperative and necessary because the realisation of the Charter is inconceivable, in fact impossible, unless and until these monopolies are first smashed up and the national wealth of the country turned over to the people".

  1. In his first public address after release from prison, former President Nelson Mandela said, "nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industry is the policy of the ANC and a change or modification of our view in this regard is inconceivable.

  1. Our emphasis throughout is that we need to nationalise South Africa's Mines not only because the Freedom Charter says we should nationalise Mines, but because there are so many benefits that society as a whole can derive out of nationalised Mines. In the submission we made to the Mining Portfolio Committee on the establishment of State Owned Mining Company, we said the following: 
    Mines should be nationalised in order to achieve the following purposes:

    1. Increase the budget of the State for social development purposes, e.g. Health, Education, Rural development, tight against crime and job creation.
    2. Lay a very tirm basis for the country's minerals to be locally beneficiated and industrialised.
    3. Change the South African economy from over-dependence and reliance of exporting of natural resources and importing of finished goods and services.
    4. Create new economic centres of development outside of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
    5. Could improve the working conditions and salaries of Mine workers.
  2. The government revenue that is generated from taxes will not be able to build better lives for all South Africans. Government cannot solely rely on taxes to deliver better services to majority of our people. South African will not be able to deal with the housing backlog, free education access, better healthcare, safety and security, employment of particularly youth if we are not in control of the key and strategic sectors of the South African economy. The wealth of South Africa should benefit all who live in it.

  1. It is an open secret that ordinary workers in Mines are the least beneficiaries of mining in South Africa either as recipients of salaries and stakeholders in mining. Mineworkers in South Africa are underpaid and work under difficult conditions and unsafe Mines. Their workplaces and socio-economic existence expose these workers to fatal diseases and accidents. Nationalised Mines should be beacons of safer working environments and better working conditions, as they will not be in narrow pursuit of profits at the expense of community and human development.

  1. With State ownership and control of Mineral Resources, South Africa will be able to attract industrial investors, who will contribute to the growth of the economy, transfer skills, education and expertise to locals and give them sustainable jobs. It can never be correct that an absolute majority of the Minerals we produce is exported to other countries, with very little efforts to build internal capacity to beneficiate these minerals.

  1. Nationalisation of Mines will lead to greater local beneficiation, industrialisation, growth of the economy and jobs for majority of our people. The industrial strategy adopted by government will never succeed unless we have State control and ownership of the natural resources. We need metals, iron ore, gold, platinum, COAL, chrome, manganese and many other minerals to industrialise. South Africa's skills development efforts should be dynamically (not exclusively) linked to the industrialisation of minerals wealth.

  1. Although related to the above component, it is important to highlight the fact that the South African economy as it currently stands bears strong features of all colonial economies. Primarily, all colonial economies were positioned as sources and reserves of primary goods and services for the colonisers' economies. Nationalised Mines ought to lead to a Spatial Development Framework that should necessarily decentralise development. Areas such as Sekhukhune, Rustenburg, Burgersfort, Emalahleni have far greater economic potential because of the mineral resources underneath the soil. These should be deliberately developed, beneficiated and industrialised to enhance and harness economic and human development in these territories".

  1. Additional to these benefits and reasons mentioned above, Nationalised Mines will also mean the following:

    1. Increased fiscus and therefore more resources for education, housing, healthcare, infrastructure development, safety and security and sustainable livelihoods for our people, including paying our public servants, nurses, police and teachers better salaries.
    2. More jobs for our people because State owned and controlled Mines will increase local beneficiation and industrialisation of Mineral resources. This will in turn reduce the high levels of poverty, which is consequent of joblessness.
    3. More equitable spatial development because State owned and controlled Mines will invest in areas where Mining is happening.
    4. Better salaries and working conditions in Mines because State owned Mines will increase the Mining wage and improve compliance to occupational health and safety standards.
    5. Greater levels of economic and political sovereignty as the State will be in control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, which produces minerals resources needed across the world.
  2. This generation of youth will never stand on the sideways to bemoan and complain about the compromises and tactical retreats that were taken by generation before us. We understand that in order to attain political freedom, certain retreats and compromises had to be made in order to usher in a democratic government. Our task now is to carry on the spear to tight without any compromise for economic freedom in our lifetime. The reality of all these issues is that whilst important, political freedom without economic power is nothing. We can have the right to vote after every five years, but if we do not have access to economic power, those votes are useless. We have to emphasise these central points on Nationalisation of Mines and speak in great detail because there are those who continue to believe that the ANC Youth League does not have reasons for Mines in South Africa to be nationalised.

  1. We should be alert of the emergence of an ideological current from within the ANC that undermines and disregards the substantial work we do on nationalisation of Mines. Some in the ANC utilise administrative process to undermine the process of openly discussing nationalisation of Mines. They should be cautioned that whatever they do, the discussion on Mines' nationalisation will never be suppressed by anyone successfully. We are the youth and history burdens upon us the responsibility to radically reshape society, because conditions for a revolution are conducive.

REVOLUTIONS ARE ACTIVITES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

  1. This generation of youth should understand that the task of transferring wealth from the minority to the majority is its task. We should appreciate and get used to the idea that all major political, social and economic changes (revolutions) are activities of the youth. If for once we believe that the older generation will just accede to our demands and make radical changes, then we are misled. In our case, we understand that as working class youth, we carry the responsibility to reshape history and society for the better.

  1. We are working class youth because we do not own anything and most of us are prevented from absolute poverty by monthly salaries, which if they can be taken away, we remain homeless, and without food. Our own organisation, the African National Congress is a living proof that the ideas of the youth and their actions are the ones that best shape history than any other component of society.

  1. A question should arise from many of us here as why the idea of founding the African National Congress is attributed to Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, yet he only became its 5th President, 18 years after the formation of the ANC. in the article published in the ANC Today in October 2009, Comrade Jeff Radebe argued that "there is no doubt that Pixely ka Isaka Seme was the originator of the idea to found the ANC and he tirelessly worked to ensure its fruition, arguably more than anyone else".

  1. Pixley ka lsaka Seme was only 31 years old when the African National Congress was formed in 1912, yet at the age, he was able to gather and give ideological direction to the middle class intellectuals, renowned Africans, and royalties from as far as Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia and those of tribes and kingdoms from within South Africa, and included Kings, Princes, Paramount Chiefs and Chiefs who attended the launch of the ANC in January 8, 1912. What this means is that the ANC was founded by ideas of a young person and only got to adopt conservative strategies of struggles because the older generations was used to the older way of doing things.

  1. Again in 1949, the ANC was radicalised and given new energy by young people and activists of the ANC Youth League. Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Mxolisi Majombozi, Anton Lembede, A.P. Mda and those who founded the ANC Youth League were in their late 20s and early 30s when the conceived of the idea ot changing the ANC into a fighting force for the liberation of our people. Walter Sisulu became the engine of the ANC in its most important part of history only when he was 37 years old.

  1. Oliver Tambo was elected into the ANC National Executive Committee at the age of 31 in 1948, became its Secretary General at the age of 38 in 1955 and Deputy President at the age of 41 in 1958. First President of the ANC Youth League was directly elected to the ANC National Executive Committee at the age of 31 in 1945. Nelson Mandela was elected to the National Executive Committee of the ANC at the age of 32 in 1950 and became President of the ANC Youth League and that of the ANC in the entire Transvaal at the age of 34 in 1952. He was by then the Volunteer in Chief of the Defiance Campaign.

  1. Taking this notion to a different level, perhaps we should speak about the most celebrated revolutionaries in the history of politics. Vladimir Lenin, who led the world renowned Great October Socialist revolution in 1917, was aged 33 when he came with the revolutionary strategy and ideology of Bolshevism and mobilised the Russian peasants and workers to overthrow the regime of the day.

  1. At the age of 47, Lenin had inspired many other revolutions across the world and was recognised as one of the most outstanding revolutionaries. Fidel Castro was aged 33 when he became the Prime Minister of Cuba, after successfully leading the Cuban Revolution against Batista. His accomplices, in particular Che Guevara were in the late 20s and early 30s. Che Guevara, who is today the world's most celebrated revolutionary, particularly amongst the youth, died at the age of 39, yet he had fought so many battles across the world and had defeated colonial and repressive regimes.

  1. We are mentioning all these realities because this generation of young activists should appreciate that the revolutionary programme we are pursuing, "economic freedom in our lifetime" will not be left to some older people who seem to have accepted that the massive wealth inequalities cannot be changed. The reason they go to the Queen to account and report is because they believe that such is the only way to do things even with the political power that was given to them by the people of South Africa.

  1. When we speak about generational mix and development of second layer leadership in the ANC, we are not just referring to replacement of leaders in elective conferences, we are calling for younger, more energetic and radical leaders of the liberation movement to take serious responsibilities in regional, provincial and ultimately national structures of the ANC.

  1. The 2012 Conference of the ANC will of course celebrate 100 years of the ANC's existence, but it should be a platform to re-energise and re-radicalise the African National Congress like the 1949 Conference of the ANC in Mangaung did. The Conference of the ANC in 2012 should not only resolve on Nationalisation of Mines, but should take more decisive resolutions on the establishment of a State bank, more radical land reform programme, and a concrete plan on how monopoly industries are transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.

  1. We have to take these decisions because in 2014, we will be reaching 20 years as a democratic government and cannot continue to blame apartheid for our inability to redistribute wealth.

  1. It should be understood that wealth redistribution is not only about service delivery. While service delivery is important, our people should begin to benefit through ownership, control and quality employment from the country's strategic resources. All spaces in South Africa should be developed to the fullest. Our government should begin to take bold decisions and establish, finance and maintain concurrent Industrial Development Zones not only in Coega, but also in Sekhukhune, Rustenburg, Witbank, Newcastle, Kuruman, Welkom, and other areas that have substantial natural resources to could sustain a local economy for a longer period.

  1. Coupled to establishment of IDZs, our government should begin to take the task of building institutions of higher learning very seriously. Our government since 1994 has not built even a single University, yet some of our provinces need institutions of higher learning. Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape should not stop with the campaigns for the building of quality Universities in their Provinces. Many young people should be schooled in the home Provinces and be given sustainable jobs where they stay. We cannot continue to celebrate migrant labour as if we are in a colonised country. All negative colonial features should be dealt with decisively.

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

  1. In December 2010, South Africa will be hosting the 17th World Festival for Youth and Students, which is an anti-imperialist gathering of young people from progressive formations across the world. These young people are organised under the banner of our organisation, the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The relationship between the ANC Youth League and WFDY is profound and will need the whole day to explain, and WFDY's struggles against apartheid are forever commendable. So it is not by surprise that the WFDY Council chose South Africa as a host of the 17th World Festival for Youth and Students.

  1. The 16th World Festival for Youth and Students was hosted in Caracas, Venezuela and had more than 17000 participants from 144 countries. The ANC Youth League has already met with the leadership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), participated in the Preparatory meetings in Venezuela and North Korea and more than ready to host a successful world festival. What is relieving about WFDY is the fact that it is openly and unapologetically anti- imperialist and opposes any form of oppression in the world.

  1. WFDY has a long history of mobilisation against apartheid and revolutionaries in the South African National Liberation Movement have had programmatic interaction with WFDY. Ruth First was once a leader of WFDY, Walter Sisulu attended the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1949, Ahmed Kathrada spent 9 months in Budapest as Vice President of WFDY before he was tried alongside Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu in the Rivonia Trial. Comrade Yawa from the Eastern Cape is a former President of WFDY, and the incumbent leadership of WFDY made it a point that they visit his family when they were in South Africa last year.

  1. Hosting the World Festival for Youth and Students will also help to tell the long standing history between WFDY and the National Liberation Movement in South Africa. WFDY opposed apartheid for a very long time and its existence should forever be consolidated to oppose any form of injustice across the world. Whilst appreciating our participation in the International Union of Socialist Youth, we have taken a conscious decision to revive and strengthen our participation in WFDY, because that is where our ideas of a just society are properly and uncompromisingly expressed.

  1. The ANC Youth League should use the World Festival for Youth and Students to call for a more progressive international perspective from South African government. Our foreign policy cannot be about pleasing the interests of imperialists at the expense of progressive forces, Our position on Zimbabwe should be revised and a policy that seeks to strengthen the national liberation movement in Zimbabwe be adopted. Our relationship with national liberation movement such as ZANU PF cannot be just defined by how we relate with them in the past, but what they do in the current period to fight against imperialism, eo colonialism and exploitation.

  1. Like the ANC instructed in Polokwane, the ANC Youth League will continue with efforts to interact and strengthen former liberation movements in particular SWAPO in Namibia, FRELIMO in Mozambique, MPLA in Angola, Chama Cha Mapindudzi (CCM) in Tanzania, the Communist Party of Cuba, the Communist Party of China and all the progressive forces, which contributed to our liberation from apartheid bondage. The ANC Youth League should engage in a radical political programme that seeks to politically liberate people of Swaziland. How King Mswati participates in international platforms alongside South Africa escapes our imagination. We will engage the ANC to take a clearer position on Swaziland and not be trapped into pleasing the King even when the people of Swaziland are suffering. We must continue with our international solidarity programmes in Western Sahara, Sudan and Palestine including the campaign on the release of Cuban five.

WHAT WERE THE MAJOR POLITICAL EVENTS UNDER OUR TERM OF OFFICE?

  1. In the 1St National Executive Committee meeting of the 23rd Congress National Executive Committee, the ANC Youth League's observation was that the then President of the Republic Thabo Mbeki was not helping the ANC outgrow the divisions that characterised the ANC towards the Polokwane Conference. Our honest observation was that he was at the centre of the political challenges confronting the ANC and was hell-bent on undermining the leadership elected in Polokwane.

  1. The decision to recall President Mbeki was an excellent demonstration that the ANC is bigger than all of us. It is not a secret that the ANC Youth League was amongst the first to gain the courage of openly calling for the recall of former President Thabo Mbeki before the end of his term of government. The recall of former President Thabo Mbeki led to the formation of COPE by those who were not elected in the Polokwane Conference of the ANC, because they thought the recall of President Mbeki meant that all of them will be destroyed.

  1. Before COPE was formed, the ANC Youth League was the first to say boldly that those who want to leave the ANC for factional purposes should do so as soon as possible. When the ANC was still holding meetings with Mr. Lekota, the ANC Youth League was the first to accept the divorce papers.

  1. We said that because our conviction was premised on the observation we made during our 65th anniversary celebrations, that "The African National Congress is a dynamic organisation, capable of rising above storms and many huddles. It matures with age and adequately adjusts to variant material conditions. It cleanses from within itself, obstacles and predicaments that prevent it from moving forward". We had to courageously pronounce that those who want to go can go because some even from leadership of the ANC were beginning to be intimidated by the formation of COPE, which will die very soon.

ELECTIONS

  1. The contribution of the ANC Youth League to the ANC General Elections victory was profound and will go in history as one of the most decisive, innovative and fun form of contributions. After the general elections, the ANC commended the role played by the ANC Youth League and admitted that the notion that we were driving votes away from the ANC was simply untrue.

  1. The 2009 General elections re-affirmed our status as defenders of the revolution. The contributions we made in mobilising young people to register and ultimately vote for the ANC is incomparable. Whatever can be said, the ANC YL is proud that the number of people who voted for the ANC in 2009 has increased as compared to 2004. This means that the ANC's support in particularly the traditional support base of the ANC has not been eroded. The myth that the articulations of the ANC YL leadership drive voters away is but a myth which was dispelled by the huge turnout of youth voters to vote for the ANC. Our generation should pride itself over the reality that we have made South Africa's politics more vibrant and trendy, particularly amongst youth.

  1. No amount of misanalysis will intimidate us into cowardly retreat of the actions and strategies we took to mobilise youth to vote for the ANC. We lived up to the expectations of our predecessors and previous generations of the ANC YL. We campaigned for the ANC in a manner suitable and typical of the ANC YL, and we are proud of the contributions we made to the overwhelming victory of the ANC. Nothing we did and said as the ANC YL during the elections period is inconsistent with what the previous generations did. We are glad that members of the ANC YL stood in defence of the leadership when our detractors and media distorted what we have always said. We promised to do everything in our power in defence of our leadership and we indeed went all Out to campaign for the ANC to achieve the victory we achieved in the 2009 general elections.

  1. An absolute majority of ANC Volunteers and foot soldiers across the country were young people and they did everything in their power to retain the African National Congress to power. The creative and new campaign methods and attire was a direct product of youth initiatives and creativity as lead by the ANCYL. The ANC YL was able to attract the modernised youth in the manner as we were able to attract voters from rural communities and townships. We gave the campaign new energy and excellently complimented the great job done by the ANC. There is no youth formation, alliance partner or league of the ANC that ever claim to have attracted votes than the ANC YL did and we should pride ourselves of that particular reality.

  1. The ANC Youth League also took a conscious decision to deploy young people as Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Legislatures in what we thought is a way to make Parliament more vibrant. We should however use this opportunity to deliberate on whether it is advisable to take young activists of the ANC Youth League to Parliament, instead of prioritising recent graduates of the ANC Youth League who can also raise youth and developmental issues with the same vigour that the youth deployed can.

  1. The ANC Youth League Secretary General will report that during our term, the National Youth Development Agency was launched and a National Youth Policy adopted under our guidance and political leadership. We however seem to be contronted with more difficulties under this NYDA than we faced when we had previous institutions.

  1. This however should not make think that we can go back to the powerless, toothless and dysfunctional Youth Commissions and Youth Funds, we need to objectively analyse our weaknesses with regards to the successes and failures of the NYDA. If the weaknesses of the NYDA are subjective, we must say so and if they are objective and based on structural realities, we should also say so.

  1. The National General Council should give the National Executive Committee guidance on what should be done with the NYDA because thus far, what we promised will happen from the NYDA did not happen. We still have not established Provincial Advisory Boards and Municipalities do not have the one stop shop for youth services as we had initially promised. If the NYDA is being used to tight factional battles, we should say so and defeat such agendas, because we can never use instruments of youth development to fight battles for self-aggrandisements and promotion.

  1. Young people are awaiting the services of the NYDA and that is where we should concentrate. This leadership of the ANC Youth League adhered to 23rd National Congress resolutions on the actualisation of a political education programme. The National Executive Committee developed a political education programme that was presented in the ANC YL National Political School in July 2009 and subsequently used in some of the Provinces and regions that invited the political education task team to come present the programme. The ANC Youth League political education programme was introduced with an assessment model, wherein participants in the political school write tests and assessed as to whether they thoroughly understood what was taught in the classroom.

  1. Now that almost all Regions and Provinces have convened their Provincial Congresses, the focus of the leadership in the build up to the National Congress in 2011 should be political education. All branches of the ANC Youth League should have undergone a political education programme as part of preparing for the National Congress.

  1. Members should be taught of all the themes used in the national curriculum, in particular 1) the history of the ANC Youth League, 2) Organisational Democracy and Discipline, 3) National Democratic Revolution, and 4) Economic History of South Africa and Nationalisation of Mines.

  1. Throughout our term of office, we were involved in social responsibility work, not because we sought publicity, but because we genuinely care about the wellbeing of our people. Today we stand proud to affirm that there are people who are at school with their fees paid up, because we have assisted. There are also people who have decent roofs above their heads because we have built them houses, there are orphanages and old age homes that have better facilities because we have on behalf of the ANC Youth League assisted them. The ANC Youth League never stood on the sideways when parliament called in submission on the banning of Labour Brokers.

  1. In our submission to Parliament, we said, "Labour Brokering does not I it anywhere in the kind of society we as youth want to live in, and we call upon Public Representatives to illegalise Labour Brokering in South Africa and safeguard the future of many young people who are brutally exploited in various factory floors without rights. We will stop nowhere in fighting for the illegalisation of Labour Brokering in South Africa because it does not in any way tit to the kind of society we are going to live in". We made this submission because, our 23rd National Congress mandated us "lobby and campaign the illegalization of labour-brokers and agencies that unethically exploit young people".

  1. Fighting labour brokers to us is coupled with fighting for quality jobs for youth. We carry a responsibility to ensure that all young people in South Africa have access to quality, proper paying jobs. Whether the wage subsidy for youth will fultil this objective is a question this National General Council should answer. In the 2005 National General Council of the ANC, we correctly rejected a two tier labour system, which was proposing to introduce different rules for young workers, effectively taking advantage of the desperation to work.

  1. The wage subsidy for youth is not a resolution of the ANC 52nd National Conference and is not part of our Manifesto, so the ANC should express itself on whether it is suitable before it is implemented. We appreciate the fact that in our term of office, the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), which the ANCYL is part of, won SRC elections in campuses we previously did not control. We won SRC elections at the University of Free State, Wits University, North West University (Vaal Campus) UNISA, and improved our majority in the University of Cape Town. Almost all SRC elections that we contested by the Progressive Youth Alliance did not present us with major challenges, proving the fact that we continue to enjoy hegemony across all spectrum of youth, including in institutions of higher learning. For 2010 SRC elections, we should work with our PYA partners to ensure that none of the structures of the PYA contest against each other. Avoiding these contestations also requires strong, disciplined structures of the ANC YL in campuses.

  1. Contesting SRC elections should be accompanied by thorough, convincing programmes to transform higher education. Incidents of racism, unfair financial and academic exclusions, lack of proper teaching and learning support materials continue characterise our institutions of higher learning. Our branches in campuses should tight for conducive learning environment and not use SRCs as a means to become popular in campuses and misuse funds allocated to SRCs. We have to continue with battles to ensure that the National Students Financial Aid Scheme provides for all the needs of students, including paying for accommodation, food, tuition fees, and stipend for all poor students. Government should also invest heavily in the maintenance of historically disadvantaged institutions of higher learning.

  1. Institutions of higher learning should produce innovative young entrepreneurs who will unashamedly contribute to the development of our communities, including through provision of honest services to government. The labels of tenderpreneur should never intimidate those who intend to provide services to government away from doing so. If young people are not the ones who gain experience through building of government houses, construction of roads and other infrastructure, who is going to do it? This should be coupled by development of skills, including on areas where African youth are marginalised, in particular accounting.

  1. We need as many Chartered Accountants as possible from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they help Municipalities, government at all levels and young entrepreneurs to properly account for and excellently manage finances. One issue we should forever emphasise is that political, social and economic progress of young people should not be a licence to multi-sexual relationships.

  1. Multi-sexual relationships cannot be a fashionable trend amongst youth, in particular those that feel like they have made progress in politics, socially and economically. HIV/AIDS is a reality and our campaign on One boyfriend-One girlfriend should be intensified. This campaign is very important because it has potential to massively reduce HIV infection rates in society, in particular amongst youth. HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest problems in society and we should never undermine the devastation it cause society.

  1. Our overall and honest assessment is that since 2008, the ANC Youth League has grown stronger and is a formidable force not only in the country's politics, but also in what we have got to say in the African continent and globally. Our strength is indeed attributed to the fact that we have strong structures on the ground, which despite challenges, continue to mobilise young people behind the vision of the ANC and champion their interests.

  1. The fact that we have been able to convene an absolute majority of regional and provincial congresses in record time for the National General Council, not elective National Congress proves the point that our organisation is intact and much focused. We then have adequate time and space to organisationally and politically prepare all our structures for a successful National Congress in 2011.

  1. Our organisational strength does not however mean that we have not encountered challenges. We have over the past few weeks noticed agent provocateurs, who take the organisation to Court in order to resolve internal organisational matters. There can never be any sound reason why disciplined, tried and tested cadres of the movement can take the organisation to Court.

  1. Many of our members and leaders are tried, but not tested. Tested cadres are those who appreciate that in the ANC, there is always tomorrow and that the organisation can at times accuse you wrongly, yet you remain loyal to the cause for total emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular. It can never be correct that we harbour amongst us, people who believe that it is either they are leaders of the organisation or it dies.

  1. We would like to assure Council and the entire membership of the ANC Youth League that under our leadership, those who believe that they have a divine right to lead by hook or crook will never succeed. We carry a responsibility to safeguard this organisation of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Anton Lembede and peter Mokaba. If it means we sacrifice our lives in defence of the ANC Youth League, so be it.

  1. Organisation in a revolutionary sense should have the following features; clarity of thought, dedicated leadership and determination to selflessly contribute to change. Without these, there can never be any progress. This should inspire all of us in doing organisational work in all provinces, regions and branches.

  1. Some of you might not identify the immediate benefits of building a strong organisation, but will live to appreciate that it is primarily through strong structures of the Youth League that we will live to inherit a vibrant and focused ANC. We should in this context condemn practices in Provinces and regions that seek to undermine and fraud our organisational processes and audit for narrow factional politics. It can never be correct that leaders of the Youth League take pride in defrauding organisational processes towards regional congresses because they want to safeguard their narrow personal ambitions.

  1. The ANC Youth League should forever be a revolutionary organisation, which in the process of mobilising young people behind the vision of the ANC and championing their interests, make sure that we agitate revolutionary changes in society. An organisation by its very nature is a formation of disciplined people who pursue a common strategic objective and goals. As a force of the Left, the ANC YL should at all times display a certain degree of ideological clarity, hard work, commitment, selflessness and dedication to fight for the poor, helpless and vulnerable.

Aluta continua, We shall overcome.