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ANC Youth League Perspective For The 24th National Congress—statement On The Launch Of Congress Discussion Documents:

12 April 2011

The African National Congress Youth League 24th National Congress will happen between the 16th and 20th of June 2011 in Johannesburg under the theme “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime”. In our recent past National Executive Committee, which happened in Port Elizabeth between the 6th and 8th of April 2011, we said that “This theme is not just a congress theme. It is a generational theme, which should guide the movement in this phase of struggle. This theme should find resonance and meaning in all structures of the movement, particularly the leader of the liberation forces in SA, the ANC. Our 24th National Congress is but a battlefront in the war for economic freedom in our lifetime, and even the 53rd National Conference of the ANC is a battlefront in this war”.

Today, the 12th of April 2011, we officially launch the discussion documents for the 24th National Congress, which have been extensively processed by both the National Working and Executive Committees of the ANC Youth League. The ANC Youth League 24th National Congress will be guided by the following discussion perspectives and documents:

1. A clarion call to economic freedom fighters: Programme of Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime.

2. Social Transformation for economic freedom in our lifetime.

3. Youth Development perspective for economic freedom in our lifetime.

4. International Relations for economic freedom in our lifetime.

5. Communications, Media and the Battle of Ideas.

6. Gender Transformation perspective.

7. Education and Health Perspective

8. Organisational character, renewal and development.

9. Constitutional review discussion document.

Succinctly, the discussion documents broadly speak about and address the following important questions:

1. A clarion call to economic freedom fighters: Programme of Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime:

This economic transformation perspective is at the centre of Congress and defines the parameters of economic freedom in our lifetime. In spelling out concrete actions and programmes that should be embarked on towards realisation of economic freedom in our lifetime, the document identifies 7 CARDINAL PILLARS FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME, and these are:

a. Expropriation of strategic sectors of the economy without compensation.
b. Nationalisation for Industrialisation.
c. Radical Land Restitution programme.
d. Inclusive and decentralised economic growth and development.
e. Investment in the development of the African economy.
f. Building of a strong developmental state and public service.
g. Provision of education, skills and expertise to our people.

These pillars are positioned and expatiated in a manner that will sustainably respond to South Africa’s developmental challenges, particularly high levels of unemployment and poverty.

2. Social Transformation for economic freedom in our lifetime.

This document analyses progress made on social transformation issues, particularly on issues relating to:

a. Youth unemployment and poverty
b. Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse.
c. Youth and Sports, Arts and Culture.
d. Human Settlement.
e. Social Cohesion
f. Rural development
g. Food security
h. Youth and crime.
i. Environment and climate change.

3. Youth Development perspective for economic freedom in our lifetime.

The document on Youth Development provides a balanced and fair critique of youth development institutions and agenda adopted in the post democratic dispensation. It also deplores the lacklustre attitude of some components of the State to Youth Development. The document provides a critique of the proposed youth wage subsidy, and substantially deals with the following central questions:

a. Representation and participation of youth in government
b. National Youth Service, its implementation and impact
c. Rehabilitation of young offenders
d. Access to government services and information
e. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals and role of youth
f. Organisation of youth as a tool for struggle.
g. Critical Review of the NYDA and instruments of Youth Development in South Africa.

4. International Relations for economic freedom in our lifetime.

The international relations perspective traces the development of ANC foreign policy from 1912 and poses critical questions of whether some of the recent practices are consistent with the African agenda adopted by the ANC since its formation. The perspectives propose the manner in which the ANC Youth League should participate in the International Union of Socialist Youth and the World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Broadly, the perspective speaks to issues of regional integration and solidarity campaigns and programmes as it relates to the following countries:

  • Sudan
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Zimbabwe
  • Swaziland
  • Western Sahara
  • Palestine

5. Communications, Media and the Battle of Ideas.

This document provides a critical analysis and review of the battle of ideas, media and communications environment in South Africa. It concretely proposes for the urgent establishment of the Media Appeals Tribunal and applauds efforts towards creation of a Youth Station out of Radio 2000.

6. Gender Transformation perspective.

The documents provides a critical review of gender struggles in the ANC Youth League and how certain interventions should be perfected to ensure genuine and real empowerment of women cadres outside quotas in leadership structures. The document questions some of the religious and cultural practices that undermine the struggle for the emancipation of women. The document asks a question of whether continued criminalisation of sex trade and the manner in which laws around it are enforced the best model for South Africa.

The other issues dealt with in the document include but not limited to:

a. Women and Health issues.
b. Women and the Child Support Grant.
c. Contextualising the Sanitary Towels Calls.
d. Appraisal of our gender campaigns.

7. Education and Health Perspective

The Education and Health perspective proposes concrete actions and programmes that should be considered in the struggle to educate and skill the nation, whilst keeping it healthy. Amongst other things proposed by the perspectives is the issue of centralising all financial aid and bursary schemes of government and private sector so as to appropriately quantify the amount and extent of resources available for education funding.

The perspectives deals substantially with programmes that should be embarked upon to combat HIV/AIDS, fight teenage pregnancy and build healthy communities. As part of fighting HIV/AIDS, an intensification of the campaign on male circumcision is proposed and mandatory contraception of girls above the age of 13 is proposed to combat teenage pregnancy.

8. Organisational character, renewal and development.

The Organisational character, renewal and development perspective encapsulates part of what the 1st National General Council of the ANC Youth League in August 2010 discussed, but speaks to new issues, particularly on:

  • Building a campaigning organisation.
  • Engaging in practical programmes of building a politically conscious middle class.
  • Re-establishment of the Young Pioneers Programme (Masupatsela)
  • Defining the character of the ANC Youth league.

9. Constitutional review discussion document.

The Constitutional Review document proposes changes to the Constitution, through amongst other things, the inclusion of the Freedom Charter in the oath which members should swear upon joining the organisation. Furthermore, the document proposes the constitutionalization of automatic expulsion for all members who take the organisation to Court.

Conclusion

These documents will form part of the 24th National Congress and will from tomorrow, be dispatched to all structures of the ANC Youth League and posted on its website for members of society to access and contribute in shaping the future of South Africa. These documents do not constitute final policy positions of the ANC Youth League until they are duly adopted by the National Congress. The ANC Youth is fully aware of the intolerance of those who are intellectually weak, ideologically misguided and politically directionless, for they have potential of trying to suppress the views of the ANC Youth League and suppress its development.

The 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League will be a resounding success and these can already be detected from the progress made thus far in preparation of the National Congress. Majority of branches have elected delegates to Congress and those that have not done so will do so before the end of this month. All logistical preparations are in place and members ready to meaningfully contribute to a successful congress of the ANC Youth League.

Issued by the ANC Youth League
Contact Floyd Shivambu, ANC YOUTH LEAGUE SPOKESPERSON
0828199474