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Statement of the African National Congress Youth League on the upcoming 53rd National Conference of the ANC

14 December 2012

The National Conference of the African National Congress is the highest decision making body of the organisation. It is a parliament of the branches of the ANC, gathering to evaluate our progress in the current phase of the National Democratic Revolution, and providing their input on how their movement should accelerate the creation of a National Democratic Society that is non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and united.

The 53rd National Conference to be held in Mangaung is no different. The 4th National Policy Conference of the ANC held in June 2012 called for this to be a "watershed" conference. The realisation of this call and indeed the recognition of any conference as being watershed, is a judgment for future generations to make. Future generations that will of necessity inherit the African National Congress from the current generation. Future generations that must look back on the decisions we shall take and define this epoch as the period the African National Congress made a decisive break from legacy of apartheid colonialism and continuing suffering of the black majority of South Africa.

As we advance to Mangaung, the African National Congress Youth League`s strategic mission is clear - the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime as political freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless. Branches have mandated the African National Congress to be a radical force of the left, adopting and implementing policy to effect fundamental change and consolidate our democratic gains. It is in Mangaung therefore that the African National Congress must reaffirm the centrality of the Freedom Charter as the lifeblood of our movement and the attainment of its objectives as the political programme.

It is this centrality of the Freedom Charter and the rejection of any attempt to give it a liberal interpretation, that must be the starting point of the vision and posture of the African National Congress on economic transformation. Directed by the demand that "The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all 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 as a whole; all other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people; all people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions", Manguang is expected to respond to the very urgent demand for the people to share in the country`s wealth.

The African National Congress Youth League shall reaffirm the policy positions adopted at the Policy Conference and continue to call for a radical programme plan of action towards the realisation of economic freedom in our lifetime with the following as its cardinal pillars

  1. Expropriation of land without compensation for equitable redistribution and the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to give effect to this imperative
  2. Nationalisation of mines and other strategic sectors for Industrialisation
  3. Inclusive and Decentralised Economic Growth and Development
  4. Land Restitution and agrarian reform
  5. Building of a Strong Developmental State and Public Service
  6. Massive investment in the development of the African economy
  7. Provision of quality education, skills and expertise to the people

We will be responding to the call for a definitive input on the minerals to be strategically nationalized by basing this decision on firstly the economic importance of the mineral or sector concerned and secondly the risk associated with the supply thereof to safeguard our economic and political sovereignty. To this end, we shall be proposing nationalisation of the following minerals: iron ore, magnesium, platinum group minerals, vanadium, manganese, coal and zinc. We will further call for the renationalisation of SASOL,Acelor Mittal And Kumba Irone ore as strategic assets that should be under the stewardship of the state for the broader benefit of all south South Africans.

The African National Congress must further place greater emphasis on youth development to liberate young people from the structural legacy of apartheid and its triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Compulsory Youth Service for the purposes of vocational training, job creation and social cohesion as well as the implementation of the Job Stipend are proposals that we shall be advancing to enlarge the security net for youth whilst providing them the necessary skills and support to play a meaningful role in the economy.

The 53rd National Conference must, of necessity, represent a break with the past 18 years and an ushering of new ways of doing things. The Conference must also set in motion the process to review the micro economic policy framework and set a redistribution strategy that will redistribute the wealth of the country for the benefit of all South Africans. Interested stakeholders including the recently vocal banking and business sectors would do well to engage these policy proposals to define how they will be implemented rather than whether they will be implemented.

Issued by the ANC Youth League