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Vol. 9 No. 1: 18-24 April 2014

Re-Introduction of HLOMELANG by Mzwandile Masina




Re-Introduction of HLOMELANG by Mzwandile Masina
Hlomelang – Arming Our Youth With Knowledge
The ANC Youth League NTT took a decision to revive the Hlomelang publication as a tool for our members to interact on topical political issues, weekly. The first publication of Hlomelang was issued in 2005 to address the visible lack of correct coverage of ANCYL views by the South African media. Thus, it became necessary to continuously arm our youth in general and our members in particular, with knowledge and discussions that are taking place amongst ANCYL structures. >>> More
Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe
ANC Manifesto: What is in it for young people?
As a point of departure, all positive thinking people, on basis of evidence, can summarise the past 20 years of the ANC in government as a good story to tell, with enormous progress made. While the ANC has made enormous progress over the past 20 years, it acknowledges that the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality still persist. >>> More
Viewpoint by Rebone Tau

Viewpoint by Rebone Tau
America's position on Crimea
America continues to play the role of a bully in the world and cannot sit back and not interfere in other regional politics; we have seen it in Zimbabwe and Libya in recent years. They still don't want to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe even after elections that were, by most accounts, peaceful and credible. In Iraq, the American intervention resulted in huge losses of innocent lives that are on-going to date. >>> More
Recent Speech by Mawethu Rune

Recent Speech by Mawethu Rune
21st Anniversary Chris Hani Commemoration Lecture delivered at the University of Western Cape
10th April 2014 marks exactly 21 years since Cde Chris Hani was brutally murdered by right wing cowards and his sin was to devote his life and be loyal to the cause of realizing a better life for all. Cde Chris Hani was an embodiment of the sacrifice, boldness, passion, loyalty, all-rounded cadre, and most importantly carried his political tasks of the alliance both in the immediate and at strategic leveli…>>> More

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Re-Introduction of HLOMELANG by Mzwandile Masina

Arming Our Youth With Knowledge

The ANC Youth League NTT took a decision to revive the Hlomelang publication as a tool for our members to interact on topical political issues, weekly.

The first publication of Hlomelang was issued in 2005 to address the visible lack of correct coverage of ANCYL views by the South African media. Thus, it became necessary to continuously arm our youth in general and our members in particular, with knowledge and discussions that are taking place amongst ANCYL structures

HLOMELANG was born as a weekly publication issued on a Friday because the ANCYL members and young people in general have less academic activities on weekends, thus have sufficient time to engage our publication than during the course of the week. The NTT's task is to rebuild and revive the good of the ANC Youth League and the best that the ANC Youth League is. We do not seek to re-invent the wheel as began by President Lembede, Tambo, Sisulu and Mandela.

The last issue was in 2012 December in Volume 8, meaning that it was our 8th year of publishing HLOMELANG. As we continue where the publishing ended, we resume at Volume 9 making 2014 our 9th year of publishing HLOMELANG.

We have no intention of forsaking the day of issue of Friday, as it provides more time for our comrades to read our material and the weekend will afford those who would like to respond or prepare a different article to do that.

Comrades are encouraged to send opinion articles to the editorial team by Tuesday every week for publication the same week on Friday. Articles published will not necessarily represent the views of the ANC Youth League but views expressed must be within the confines of the ANC and ANCYL policy and constitutional parameters. The e-mail address and related details for submission of articles will be on the last page of the HLOMELANG publication and will be visible placed on the ANCYL website at www.ancyl.org.za.

As an opener to this revival of HLOMELANG, one would reflect on the recent developments on the international arena. Our movement has always understood the conditions of the National Democratic Revolution within the context of both the domestic and global balance of forces.

This means that our struggle for social change interfaces with situations that are conditioned by the nature of the global balance of economic and military power. Thus, we are compelled to take interest in the dynamics of power in the international situation in light of the fact that they have a direct impact on our capacity to effect certain necessary changes in the South African political economy.

There are various developments that have taken place in both continental and Eastern Europe that are of particular significance to the configuration of power in the global environment. Firstly, since the beginning of the international financial crisis the Eurozone and the United States has experienced great economic turmoil.

The countries that congregate to form the European Union have experienced a consistent decline in economic performance which led to continuous mass protests by the working class of that region. In international terms, this economic crisis has also signaled the steady decline of the hegemony of these Western powers over the developing world since their most potent weapon (economic manipulation) has been significantly eroded.

All of this has coincided with the rise of Russia's political power in a manner that is almost close to the period of the Soviet Union. In geopolitical terms, Russia enjoys enormous power relative to all other European powers because of its command of the energy sector in Europe. The European energy regime is centred on gas, and with Russia providing most of this energy to the rest of Europe; it has significant leverage on political matters in that region.

The most explosive demonstration of Russian power began with the Syrian crisis in which the United States and many other western powers were initiating an imperial offensive against the Syrian government. The action of Russia, alongside South Africa in the United Nations Security Council and other emerging economies, to denounce the interference of the United State confirmed the shift in the concentration of global power away from the historical monopoly of the United States.

There have been numerous other developments that have been indicative of this shift in power. The recent referendum in Crimea to secede from the crisis-ridden Ukraine to Russia has fuelled interesting political developments. The European Union, coerced by the United States, has been mooting sanctions against Russia that have not taken effect. This intention has obviously been limited by the fact of Russia's economic, military and energy upper-hand in that region compared to any other economic power, including Britain.

All these developments therefore suggest that the developing world has gained significant leverage over economic and political self-determination. The rise in debt of the United States and European economies means that the financial aid that they easily deployed to manipulate weaker economies is on the decline. The amount of funds spent on military budgets for political aggression has also taken a knocking. Effectively, there is much room for self-determination of both political and economic developments in third world countries more than there has ever been in the past 25 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

If the above was in doubt to any of us, the European Union-Africa summit that was held on 2 April 2014 has confirmed this more than ever. Typical of imperial arrogance, the EU attempted to design the nature of this summit on behalf of Africans and to decide which Africans were to attend, despite the fact that the summit itself was meant to discuss the continent of Africa.

A considerable number of African countries rejected this behavior and thus boycotted the summit. Explaining why South Africa had decided not to honor the summit, President Zuma said "I think that time must pass wherein we are looked at as subjects, we are told who must come and who must not come,... I thought the African Union and the European Union are equal organisations representing two continents, but there is not a single one of them who must decide for others. "

 The statement made by President Zuma magnifies the fact that our agitation for radical economic transformation in our country is now in a better position to succeed than before. For the past 20 years, South Africa was constrained by the political power and economic hegemony of continental Europe and the United States at many levels.

The declining capacity to absorb South Africa's raw minerals by these western economies suggests that there is growing space for us to exercise minerals sovereignty in our country and use them to develop finished goods that can be traded in other markets. Whatever their wishes may be in determining the trajectory of economic production the world over, their declining capacity to finance this system of production and their contested military power by Russia and China makes it difficult for them to impose their will as they normally do.

It is our duty as the cutting edge of the National Democratic Revolution to capitalize on the global weakness of the west in the international environment. We have a duty to campaign for strategic changes to our economic relations in light of the weak position in which imperial powers find themselves in. Our strategic alliance with China and Russia through the BRICS economic block provides an opportunity for us to exploit this market for trade in whatever new products we can produce in South Africa.

(Mzwandile Masina is the National Convener of the ANC Youth League National Task Team).

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

Viewpoint by Magasela Mzobe

ANC Manifesto: What is in it for young people?

As a point of departure, all positive thinking people, on basis of evidence, can summarise the past 20 years of the ANC in government as a good story to tell, with enormous progress made. While the ANC has made enormous progress over the past 20 years, it acknowledges that the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality still persist.

It is now a common cause that:

  • Statistics South Africa on 3rd April 2014 released a report which indicates that between 2006 "“ 2011, the number of South Africans living in poverty has reduced by 4 million.
  • Social grants, between 2006 and 2011 rose by 46%, especially the child support grant. In 2002, 13.4-million people fell within the self-declared hunger bracket, while in 2011 - 6.6-million people were in the same bracket.
  • When the global crisis took place, 1 million jobs across all sectors in the economy were lost. Those jobs have been recovered due to the 1 trillion infrastructure roll out.
  • Since 1995, 1.7 million new jobs for youth.
  • Currently 6.1 million youth in jobs out of 15 million people at work
  • Between April 2009 and September 2013, Expanded Public Works Programme created 3.7 million work opportunities.
  • R2.7 billion for loans and grants for young entrepreneurs through the NYDA, IDC and SEFA.
  • National Rural Youth Service Corps from the present enlist 14,000 to 50,000 in the next five years.
  • National Students Financial Scheme increased from R3.1 billion in 2009 to the current R9.6 billion, non-payment by poor students on FET sector, no fee schools more than 80%, social assistance is now reaching 16 million South Africans to alleviate poverty and unemployment.

ANC Manifesto promises stronger State intervention capacity on the economy

ANC has committed itself, for the next five years, on the overarching trajectory of building state capacity to lead radical transformation of economy through massive industrialisation and infrastructure development, which will ensure sustainable and distributive growth anchored by sustainable job creation.

Various mechanisms of training and empowering youth in and outside the workplace provide a solid basis for each and every young person to possess one or another form of skill. Research has proven that with better skilled people there are better chances of employment.

We must be particular pleased as young people in that every working space will be training space, including the State and its entities.

The announced massive infrastructure program, local beneficiation and new technologies provides a firm commitment that the State will strive for 70% local content.

This is a very important step as it sets massive job and business opportunities for young people in productive sectors. We must welcome that public servants and public representatives will be prohibited from doing business with the state.

Quality education for the youth

There is no doubt that in 2014 education of young people has to be fashionable and anchored on economic freedom in our life time. Therefore the unflinching commitment by the ANC to progressively introduce free education in all levels is critical.

From the 2013 academic year results, not only Matric but all grades, it is clear now that our basic education system has stabilized and is on the upward trend in providing pupils a solid start in life.

While there is commitment to improve quality of education with announced intervention, the provision and access to education warrants an investment on infrastructure. Hence ANC's Manifesto commitment of building 1,000 new schools to expand access to education and respond to the challenges of rural schooling and urban population growth.

Acknowledging the need for highly trained teachers, teacher colleges linked to universities will be re "opened and in "service teacher training intensified.

Young women must also take up opportunities, such as school feeding schemes, which are mooted to be the terrain of Women Local Cooperatives for supplying schools with food, such as vegetables. They should do so not only to secure income but to affirm the overall call of making education a societal matter and for all persons in the locality to participate in the functioning of the school.

The introduction of two (02) years of compulsory preschool education and strive for fuller integration of Grade R educators, will go a long way in developing solid foundation for all children, regardless of class or race so that early childhood development is not a landscape of only privileged children. If indeed it is on our imprints that history is written, we must advance and promote the teaching of South African history and our national anthem in schools, and install South African flags in all public schools.

With the misnomer on South Africa's post schooling dispensation on huge numbers in tertiary education against FET, emphasis on increasing quality over quantity. Further Education and Training is good and commitments from the ANC's Manifesto is that FET institutions will enrol more than one million students in in 2014 and enrol an additional 500,000 students in the next five years, will work towards resolving this misnomer. In addition, twelve (12) new campuses for FET colleges will be completed in 2014.

Students from FET colleges and universities of technology will be placed in workplaces to gain practical work experience. Opportunities for workplace "based training and experience will be created through greater partnership between the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA's), workplaces, and education and training institutions. Every workplace must be a training space including that of government and its business entities.

Young people will take active participation in ensuring food security and in that regard Agricultural College education will be strengthened through Skills Development Fund.

The ANC remains committed to progressively introducing free-education as it is currently ensuring that no academically deserving student is denied to study and that NSFAS allocations continue to increase. In the next term of government, the building of two new universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape will be completed and a third dedicated Health Sciences University will be built.

With the demand for doctors always on the rise, the number of doctors trained locally and abroad, an average of 2,000 doctors a year, is not sufficient. The building of a university dedicated to Health Sciences will go a long way towards ensuring that our society's medical emergency and overall health needs are met.

As young people, we have to continue voting for the ANC, as it is the only political party that has been thorough on how it envisages improving the quality of life of each young person.

Moreover, an additional 50,000 student accommodation residences will be provided through partnerships with the private sector and direct state initiatives.

On empowering youth

On general empowerment of young people, the ANC Manifesto is bold and assertive.

Public Works schemes will introduce to work atleast four million young people. Our ANC has committed its 2014 "“ 2019 government to massively expand public works programmes to create six million work opportunities, many of which will be for long duration, with 80% of new participants being unemployed youth. Greater attention will be paid to skills development and subsequent employment.

60% of jobs on new infrastructure projects will be set aside for young people.

On rural development: the ANC government will deliberately increase the number of youth participants in the National Rural Youth Service Corps from the present 14,000 to 50,000 in the next five years.

Public agencies responsible for co "operatives and small enterprise development will be required to develop special programmes targeting youth co "operatives and youth enterprises.

While discussion rages on, we must, as a matter of principle, express that initiatives to encourage even private sector to create jobs must be supported.
As youth, we should welcome employment incentive schemes for as long as the schemes does not displace unsubsidised workers.

This is necessary in order to avoid a multi "tiered labour market within the same sector in respect of wage categories.

While social security is often associated with young children and the elderly, there exist a category of young people whom are extremely vulnerable. Therefore we must be interested in urgent finalisation of policy discussions on proposals for a comprehensive social protection policy that ensures that no needy South African falls through the social security net.

While there are small enterprises of young people and co-operatives in existence, the major stumbling block has always been access to markets. Therefore we must affirm the progressive implementation of the target of buying 70% of goods and services from South African producers as this will go a longway in opening markets even for young people.

The State and its entities' procurement will be deliberately transformative and various incentives will be introduced to induce financing of industrialisation and investment on productive sectors.

Consistent with the essence of the ANC Youth League position, the ANC Manifesto affirms that strategic minerals will be identified with active measures taken to ensure security of supply of these minerals to achieve national objectives such as industrialisation and local beneficiation. With State owned mining company working on being strengthened to capture share of the market.

Infrastructural investment will drive industrialisation, value addition and manufacturing further unlocking the vast mineral wealth of the country and support real industrialisation that attends to apartheid spatial distortions that diversify and compliment mineral belt and almost ensuring local beneficiation and participation of all nine provinces.

Macro-economic policy will back accelerated growth and long-term economic stability, creating basis for faster industrial development and job creation.

A trend is observed that, as young people strive for best in their lives; they are tricked and lured in living far beyond their means and take excessive credit that they cannot afford.

The ANC Manifesto says that measures will be taken in curbing reckless lending, implement measures to reduce high bank fees and charges and encourage commercials banks and also Direct Foreign Investments to support investment in productive economy.

Provision of Energy

The effects of climate change and some major opportunities that it presents for young people are pronounced in the energy sector with assurance that provision and security of energy will be complimented with combinations of grids anchored on green energy as to ensure our sustainable future, today.

Young people stand to benefit most on government programmes aimed at averting the challenges of global warming and climate change.

Expansion and use of ICT

It is very clear from the ANC Manifesto that going forward, ICT is going to play a major influence in connection and provision of services with 90% of communities having access to broadband by 2020 and work towards reducing communications costs, thus reducing the cost of doing business.

The construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project by 2016will lead to investment in high "tech engineering and ICT infrastructure will provide a world of opportunities to develop skills in science and technology for young people. Hence, the setting aside of 1.5% of GDP for research is appropriate. As this investment on innovation and research capabilities will benefit mostly, young people.

Provision of water

The ANC must be highly commended in that in the 20 years of governing it has provided access to clean water to more than 95% of population and remains committed to universal access to water which in the process empower, educate and employ young people.

Social Cohesion

Young people are very involved and active in many strides of political participation and ANC government's investment as stated in the cultural and creative industries, particularly in film, music, arts and craft, books and publishing is very pleasing.

Equality and decency in the workplace

As young people, we must welcome the investigation in the modality for the introduction of a national minimum wage as young people are the most vulnerable and exploited.

We should appreciate the strengthening of the enforcement of provisions of the Employment Equity Act that require all employers to report on disproportionate income differentials at all wage levels to unsure, in our regard, equal pay for work of equal value.

Taking steps to ensure that collective bargaining takes place in all sectors of the economy will go a long way in protecting our vulnerable youth particularly in sectors such as retail, farm workers, security, services sector, salons, and domestic workers etc.

Rural Development

Considering that majority of young people continue to be found in rural areas, investing more in rural development through Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, which focuses primarily on the provision of social and economic rural infrastructure, remains strategic.

The support for co "operatives in marketing and supply activities to enables small scale producers to enter formal value chains and take advantage of economies of larger scale.

Young people have been particular frustrated by the pace of land reform, re "opening the period for the lodgement of claims for restitution of land for a period of five years, commencing in 2014 is a proper commitment, coupled with the acceleration of the settlement of remaining land claims submitted before the cut "off date of 1998 must not only be done but also be seen to done.

Human Settlement

The provision of one million housing opportunities for qualifying households in urban and rural settlements over the next five years will be of major benefit to many young people and restore their dignity.

With young people entering the workplace, affordability and approvals of various loans, including bonds, by commercial banks will always be a huge problem, hence it must be supported to increase supply of affordable housing, including mobilisation of housing allowances for teachers, nurses, police officers, office workers and many others in the gap market.

An additional 1.6 million home connections to the electricity grid, over the next five years, will bring huge relief to many of young people and their families.

Health and Social Security

We must be firm in supporting an introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI) as it will address universal provision of quality healthcare; social solidarity through cross "subsidisation; and equity. This will deliver free quality health care at the point of service.

With the private healthcare fast becoming unaffordable for young people at lower income levels, the commitment to reform private healthcare and its acceleration to significantly bring down the cost of private health care will be indirectly necessitated by the NHI.

Bold steps in the ANC Manifesto are pronounced and there is a commitment to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and other goods needed in hospitals for patient care. Hospital CEO's will be empowered to order directly from suppliers, this will go a longway in creating state capacity to attain the needed medical supply on-time, improved affordable provision of quality service, while curbing potential corrupt practices.

Further insourcing of essential support services such as catering, cleaning, laundry and security over the next five years, is consistent with above commitment to empower the state to do it internally than outsourced so that it can be affordable.

With South Africa turning the tide on the fight against HIV and AIDS, endeavours of the ANC government must be supported to ensuring that the number of people on antiretroviral will be doubled from the present 2.4 million to 4.6 million by 2016.

This will increase four "fold, to four million, we must unsure as young people that we decrease the number of those infected and support those already infected by among other things ensuring that these drugs do not end being smoked in our villages and townships.

All structures of young people must partner in action with the ANC government in introducing measures to reduce unwanted pregnancies with a special focus on teenage pregnancies, promotion of healthy lifestyles to reduce risk factors associated with non "communicable diseases, such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise, specifically among young people.

Conclusion

The ANC Manifesto represents a bold step forward in assuring young people that it is their insurance of the future.

No other political party has profound and bold policy proposals than the ANC.

The ANC with experience of over 20 years, makes realistic action plan that, as a Party in government, it will be able to implement over the next five years. The ANC did not come up with an unrealistic wish list.

It is only the ANC that can stand boldly and say it is proud of its past and confident of the future.

Let us move together as young people and in unison vote the ANC once more on Wednesday, 07 May 2014.

It is only through voting the ANC that we can be assured of a peaceful and economically sound South Africa, wherein young people are benefiting in the State led interventions into the economy.

(Magasela Mzobe is the National Coordinator of the ANC Youth League National Task Team.)

Viewpoint by Rebone Tau

Viewpoint by Rebone Tau

America's position on Crimea

America continues to play the role of a bully in the world and cannot sit back and not interfere in other regional politics; we have seen it in Zimbabwe and Libya in recent years. They still don't want to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe even after elections that were, by most accounts, peaceful and credible. In Iraq, the American intervention resulted in huge losses of innocent lives that are on-going to date.

In Libya, they were part of NATO, which led to Libyan leader Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi being killed like a dog. America's arrogance was bare for all to see through the then American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (who is currently President Obama's International Relations Special Advisor), who was very arrogant at the UN Security Council when responding to African leaders who were concerned about the brutality of NATO in Libya. Libya, up to date, is still not stable since the so-called "Arab Spring ".

Now we see them interfering in the Crimean region of Ukraine. Despite their desire to play big brother to Ukraine, their interests are hardly altruistic, and this is clear as their actions are undermining the will of the people. The results of the referendum held on March 16, 2014 showed that 96.8% of the people of Crimea wanted to be part of federal Russia again. The American government and the EU therefore need to respect the will of the people, expressed through a democratic, free, fair and credible referendum.

It seems as if this concept of democracy is malleable in the eyes of the West in order to fit their interests, and must be based on terms and parameters defined by the EU and the Americans to give them a free hand to interfere on the sovereignty of other countries. This idea that democracy should be a Western concept is really worrying, as many countries, including African countries, are forced to do things according to Western interests.

A brief historical background of Crimea exposes American dishonesty on the matter. In 1954, the then leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, transferred the Crimean region to the then Ukraine SSR. President Putin has also argued recently at that there was no referendum in Khrushchev's time to transfer Crimea to the then Ukraine SSR. The American position does not mention this historical fact, and this cannot be a fault of incompetence on the part of American policymakers; it is a deliberate downplaying of the fact that Crimea was once part of Russia.

Maybe this might be linked to the Syrian issue, as we know that Russia vetoed a Western sponsored resolution at the UN Security Council with regard to Syria and hence foreign troops cannot interfere in Syria as we have seen NATO go into Libya. President Obama's leadership skills are in question as we have seen how he tried to lobby British Prime Minister to join him, as he wanted to send American troops to Syria and the British parliament ruled against that and he found himself standing alone.

Now the Americans have offered to loan Ukraine $ 1 Billion, an action that signifies that Ukraine will be a battleground for Western versus Russian interests. Given the well-documented Cold War history of satellite states and influence battlegrounds, it is hard to tell whether this would be beneficial to Ukraine at all. In addition, prominent American politicians such as Congressman Ron Paul are worried that the American government will be loaning Ukraine the $1 Billion without any incentives for Ukraine to fix its financial crisis.

This is evidence enough that we need to support the position of the South African government that there should be 5 permanent seats for Africa in order to protect and advance our interests as a continent. Africa cannot and should not depend on other countries with veto powers for protection. We cannot be a powerless voice, to be given a chance to talk, or even shout at the top of our voices, but not to be listened to.

Whether on far away issues like Crimea or homeland crises like Libya, Africa must be able to not only expose Western hypocrisy at the UN Security Council but must also be able to block any actions by the West if necessary, much like Russia has done with regard to Crimea and Syria.

It is important that we learn a few things from the leadership style of President Putin, moving forward as Africa we need to be decisive and consistent for a better world and for us to have a better, stable continent.

Aluta Continua!!!!!

(Rebone Tau is the International Relations Head of the ANC Youth League and a member of the ANCYL National Task Team.)

Recent Speech by Mawethu Rune

Recent Speech by Mawethu Rune

21st Anniversary Chris Hani Commemoration Lecture delivered at the University of Western Cape

"Socialism is not about big concepts and heavy theory. Socialism is about decent shelter for those who are homeless. It is about water for those who have no safe drinking water. It is about health care, it is about a life of dignity for the old. It is about overcoming the huge divide between urban and rural areas. It is about education for all our people. Socialism is about rolling back the tyranny of the market. As long as the economy is dominated by an un-elected, privileged few, the case for socialism will exist." - Chris Hani

10th April 2014 marks exactly 21 years since Cde Chris Hani was brutally murdered by right wing cowards and his sin was to devote his life and be loyal to the cause of realizing a better life for all. Cde Chris Hani was an embodiment of the sacrifice, boldness, passion, loyalty, all-rounded cadre, and most importantly carried his political tasks of the alliance both in the immediate and at strategic level.

Since this lecture is presented within a university, it is probably not useful to present or cite the autobiography of Thembisile 'Chris' Hani, as it is available on a click of a button, especially considering the ICT infrastructure improvements and availability of wireless connection in this institution, which demonstrates strides made by ANC government on accessing information. The purpose of the lecture will be to critically draw on the lessons and experiences on life of Chris Hani, but essentially to articulate how we can relate these lessons and experiences on our contemporary challenges.

It is a pleasant symbolic gesture in commemorating Cde Chris at the Chris Hani Hall in University of Western Cape, a university which has played a critical role as a sphere of activism of left and progressive politics in the republic, in particular in the 1980's. It is therefore not a coincidence that many activists owe their ideological and political training from this university when they were either expelled or denied admission from all over the country they found the University of Western Cape as an institution of choice.

Cde Chris was born on the 28th June 1942, Cofimvaba, Transkei and (now Eastern Cape), in rural part of these country. He was introduced to the politics of social inequality early in his life, when his father had to leave their rural home in search of work in the urban areas of South Africa. One raises this issue so that we invite a discussion on the historical spatial political set-up of the South African economy, and the strides made by ANC alliance government in diversifying the economy and thus opportunities for employment.

This then left a young Cde Chris had to be exposed to his mother struggles in providing for them. This time was to later prove to have serious implications in grounding Chris Hani's humility, passion and charisma to being a fearlessly champion of the interest of the poor.

The burning fire in Cde Chris is best captured in words of Karl Marx when he says "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. "

It is therefore safe to say Cde Chris, the revolutionary was born by the conditions of the people he was part of, with courage and fearless attitude born by determination to abolish domination of one by another. For him poverty and unemployment was not abstract or a statistics but hard day to day reality that burnt inside him.

The economic characterization of the South African economy remained the one wherein few largely white male owned means of production and subsequent wealth, while majority whom are largely blacks and African, and only contributes to be reserves of labour, which is sold at exploitative levels to bosses. Having been born within these conditions of subjudication, oppression and poverty, Cde Chris convicted himself to fundamentally alter this absurd human engineered scenario.

We learn that Cde Chris matriculated at age of 16 years and graduated at tender age of 20 years. This is surely profound for a rural black boy considering the heightened state of repression in South Africa at the time (i.e. early 1960s).

Rhodes University was largely a white institution. Of crucial relevance in Cde Chris Hani's life is that Cde Chris became exposed to the Marxist ideology while within institution of higher learning. Of further interest is the choice of degree that Cde Chris enrolled at university, which was a BA degree in Latin and English.

One interpretation of Cde Hani's enthusiasm in language is that it was informed by comprehension that language is instrumental in shaping ones thinking, values, culture, outlook and developing one's content.

But more importantly we have to trace and confirm that education remains at the core developmental issues if we are to ever succeed with radical phase of second transition as resolved in Mangaung ANC conference.

History bears testimony that students have played a critical role in propelling revolution forward. It was as early as 1921 that students attempted the idea of forming one student's organisation transcending race lines. It was young graduates whom formed ANCYL and revolutionised ANC in the 1940's.

Moreover, it was students whom re-kindled the fighting spirit in the 1960's, when the congress movement organs were banned and leadership either in exile or imprisoned.

Moreover, even the rise of "˜black consciousness' during the time when the people were starting to lose hope was equally student's project.

In the 1970's students rejected Apartheid not because it was uncool but they understood its economic, cultural, ethics, domination of Afrikaans as an enforced language and the implications of consolidation of the broader Afrikaner state.
Moreover, even in the 1980's, the UDF and much civil disobedience to make apartheid unworkable, students were at the forefront. Therefore we must be like Chris Hani and make education fashionable as it the only instrument for majority of South Africans to escape systematic underdevelopment and poverty.

Having graduated as a bright young star from one of most renowned universities in South Africa, Cde Chris could have easy gone to live a comfortable and pleasant life anywhere in the world.

However his passion and devotion to his people's cause made him sacrifice the possibility to comfortable life for that of a selfless servant of people's revolution.

He would later remark about this in these modest but yet profound words: "What right do I have to hold back, to rest, to preserve my health, to have time with my family, when there are other people who are no longer alive -- when they have sacrificed what is precious, namely life itself?"

Cde Chris Hani was a loyal member of ANC and loyal member of the SACP. He understood the national content of class struggle and class content of class struggle. Cde Chris appreciated that NDR is the shortest route to socialism.

Cde Chris knew that any self-respecting communist in South Africa had to support and be actively member of ANC, and contrary actions would not only demonstrate reactionarism but plain selling out people's camp.

On the role of trade union, Cde Chris comprehended sentiments shared by Cde Slovo when he states: "It is however, vital to maintain the distinction between trade union politics and an overall revolutionary leadership.

A trade union cannot carry out this dual role. If it attempted to do so it would have to change its basic character and risk committing suicide as a mass legal force. In addition, the very nature and purpose of the trade union disqualifies it from carrying out tasks of a revolutionary vanguard."

Comrade Slovo would go further to say trade union "A trade union is the prime mass organization of the working class. To fulfill its purpose, it must be as broad as possible and fight to maintain its legal status.

It must attempt, in the first place, to unite, on an industrial basis, all workers (at whatever level of political consciousness) who understand the elementary need to come together and defend and advance their economic conditions. It cannot demand more as a condition of membership. But because the state and its apparatus is an instrument of the dominant economic classes, it is impossible for trade unions in any part of the world to keep out of the broader political front."

Equally in slogans, COSATU would declare: "no worker is a good member of congress unless he is also a trade unionist. No trade unionist is a good trade unionist unless he is also a member of Congress ".

Cde Chris was open, frank and courageous leader, unswerving and with conviction of his views, he subscribed to borrowings from Mao Zedong, for example he never would let: "Things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate.

Or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and the individual are harmed. This is one type of liberalism.

To indulge in irresponsible criticism in private instead of actively putting forward one's suggestions to the organization. To say nothing to people to their faces but to gossip behind their backs, or to say nothing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards. To show no regard at all for the principles of collective life but to follow one's own inclination. This is a second type.

To let things drift if they do not affect one personally; to say as little as possible while knowing perfectly well what is wrong, to be worldly wise and play safe and seek only to avoid blame. This is a third type'.

Cde Chris was courageous and fearless if not daring and he appreciated that there is no contradiction between being disciplined and militant.

He was thus a disciplined revolutionary and militant, whose militancy arose from the material conditions that he and his people experienced.

As he demonstrated during difficult moments that democratic centralism is central to organisational discipline and therefore once a collective and or higher organ has taken a decision it is binding to all without exception or special treatment.

This martyr while learned but was holistic revolutionary and never action shy, he internalized Lenin words that "Practice without theory is blind, theory without practice is sterile and theory becomes a material force as soon as it is absorbed by the masses". These are some of the reasons as to why he was at the forefront of battles, and yet led from the front again when the Communist Party was called into discussion table or thrashing theoretical strategic questions.  

As we remember Cde Chris we must defend the institutions of democracy in this instance the Public Protector while resolute in that if we are to deepen democracy all state institutions must never be above public reproach lest they become law to themselves.

It is not being in contempt or undermining Public Protector when we state that the media crusade and media lock ups when PP releases report even before party concern receives report is unfair.

It is not contempt to state that permanent leaks and piece meal release of report, worsened by timing of its release cannot be ignored.

It can never be an attack, if one state that the report is littered with innuendoes and cut aspersions on person of President Zuma but its findings state categorically that:

  • President did not build his private dwellings with public purse;
  • President did not misled parliament on his representation in parliament;
  • President did ask for security upgrades let alone approve designs and or contractors; and
  • There was no political interference from President or any of his ministers.

Therefore, we must be very suspicious as to why President is still required to pay un-quantified portion with no legal provision cited for such action. In totality therefore the conclusion can only be that this is political mischief design to pull wool of faces of electorate.

We must equally never be silent when to the two Induna's and Makhadzi whom have installed themselves as life time presidents in their organizations with no democratic process let alone convening conferences in Holomisa, Malema and Ramphele.

These people know fully well that they do not have any prospect of winning anything meaningful to dent the dominance of the ANC and have no clue what they are offering electorate, however they continue to be hell bent on illegitimating IEC and cast doubt on outcomes of elections.

We must be vigilant that these Induna's who are refuges of democracy and now are preparing to undermine the collective will of South Africans on government they want by projecting themselves as fighting corruption they are, when in actual fact it's a ploy to erode public confidence in IEC, this must be rejected forthrightly.  

Vote for ANC... be like Chris Hani love ANC... love SACP... love Cosatu.

(Mawethu Rune is the member of the National Committee of the Young Communist League of SA and a National Organiser of the ANC Youth League and a member of the ANCYL National Task Team. He is also a former President of SASCO.)

The contents and views expressed in HLOMELANG do not necessarily reflect the policies and positions of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).