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ANC Youth League Press Statement
20 August 2014
The ANC Youth League National Task Team held its ordinary plenary session from 17 August to 18 August 2014 at the St George`s Hotel and Conference Centre in Tshwane. This ordinary meeting was convened as part of our quarterly review meetings in order to evaluate the progress made with respect to organisational work and reflect on the political state of affairs in country and the world in general.
The meeting acknowledged that we met at a time where there is evident political turmoil in Gaza which seeks decisive intervention from the powers that be and the global community at large. The people of Palestine continue to be butchered and subjected to the inhumane acts of Israel as the world watches. We condemn this in the strongest possible terms and restate our call for the isolation of the Israeli state by all nations of the world. The world needs to communicate its unequivocal rejection of genocidal acts and must use economic sanctions to register this point.
Our participation in the recently held massive march in Cape Town that saw more than 200 000 people filling up the streets of the city was part of our activism around the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The South African government must expel the Israeli Ambassador as part of the necessary isolation of Israel until they cease with the use of violence against an unarmed and defenseless people.
As the ANC Youth League, we are concerned that in this month of August, where-in women are celebrated yet we are witnessing an increase in the number of violent atrocities where women and children are being murdered. We call upon authorities to find culprits responsible for senseless murders of (North West lesbian) and child found murdered in Reiger Park). These acts are regressive and undermine the progress which has been made in the democratic dispensation to protect our children and liberate women.
We cannot articulate about a National Democratic Society if women are not an integral part of its realization The NTT Meeting reflected on the work that the ANC Youth League conducted in the build-up to the May 7 General Elections. The meeting conceded that the ANCYL went to the election campaign confronted with demanding internal challenges of organisational rebuilding, yet still the commitment of our members in laboring to mobilize South Africans behind the vision of the ANC and around its progressive manifesto was commendable.
We reasserted our conviction that the process of casting ballots on May 7 was not an isolated event but a crucial point in a series of political events. These events include the progressive resolutions of the 53rd National Congress of the ANC held in 2012 and the Manifesto commitments for which the people of our country gave the African National Congress a resounding electoral mandate. The ANCYL thus commits itself to discharging its role of advocating for the implementation of the manifesto promises that were tabled before the people of our country.
As we had advocated during the development of the ANC 2014 Election Manifesto, we call for the speedy rollout of the manifesto promise of the procurement of 75% of the State`s goods and services from youth enterprises and cooperatives. There must be visible strides towards the building of productive capacity in areas where there is none in order for this initiative to be an effective reality. The initiation of this strategy of economic transformation is consistent with our strategic programme of "Economic Freedom in Our lifetime" and the related centrality of young people in economic production.
Young people remain entrapped in systematic exclusion which limits and restrains their ability to participate economically. As the ANC Youth League, we remain committed towards our generational mission of realizing economic freedom in our lifetime. We call on our structures to actively monitor and agitate for the implementation of this resolution in all spheres of government; Nationally, Provincially, Regionally and at Municipal level.
We noted that the 53rd National Conference of the ANC took a resolution on the need to establish a State-Owned Mining Company. This was viewed as an important attempt to restructure the mining sector and to diversify the revenue streams of the state. At the same time we understood this to be part of the state`s bid to retain minerals within the economy as industrial inputs that are critical in industrial development.
The NTT meeting called for the speedy implementation of the Centralized Tender System as adopted in Mangaung and carried in the Manifesto. This must be done with urgency as a crucial measure to cab the widespread challenge of graft and corruption in the state.
State of Readiness for the 25th National Congress
Key amongst the tasks of this meeting was to assess the progress and state of the ANC Youth League structures in the build-up to the 25th National Congress scheduled to take place from 24 September to 28 September 2014. The organisational report for the National Coordinator appraised the meeting on the state of readiness of structures in this regard and on the work of various committees that have been put in place as part of our 25th National Congress preparations.
The ANCYL has an organisational presence in virtually every corner of South Africa. These structures organize into 53 Regions across 9 Provinces. Following the reconstitution of the majority of ANCYL structures around the country, a process of rebuilding these structures ensued; starting with Branch Elective Congresses known as AGMs, to Regional and Provincial elective congresses. We have delivered 40 Regional Congresses out of the 53 Regions that make up the whole country. This has also seen the convening of 5 Provincial Congresses out of the 9 Provinces of our country. This progress bears testimony to the fact that the ANC Youth League is well on course to meeting the deadline of 24 September 2014 at which all our structures must have held their respective Congresses.
The 13 outstanding Regions and 4 Provinces are all on course to convening their respective Congresses within the timeframes we have set ourselves.
The NTT meeting reflected on the substantive situation in the organisation at the present moment compared to what we inherited.
We came to the conclusion that the organisational situation in the ANCYL has significantly stabilized and a great degree of political coherence has been cultivated. We also noted that organisational rebuilding is not an event but a lifelong process of adaptation and change; to the extent that this rebuilding of the ANCYL will continue beyond the 25th National Congress.
The NTT meeting also received discussion documents from our subcommittee responsible for Content Development. This Content Development subcommittee was composed of a broad array of people from within and outside the NTT and other structures of the organisation.
The NTT meeting received the discussion documents and commended the work of the subcommittee as this work took a lot of their time and attention. Having authorized the release of the discussion document, the NTT noted that these discussion documents were not policy positions of the NTT but are rather designed to initiate discussions within our structures and South African society at large as we go to the 25th National Congress.
In total, we have 9 discussion documents which shall be released to the public later today via our website www.ancyl.org.za. These documents cover the areas of Organisational Development and Renewal; Political and Economic Transformation as well as International Relations and Influencing Public Discourse. They shall be the basis of discussions in organisational platforms as we prepare for the National Congress.
The Generations debacle
On Tuesday, August 19, the ANCYL met the 16 cast members of Mzansi`s number 1 soapie, Generations, who have had a fall-out with the management of the SABC and the production house responsible for Generations. The dispute follows unresolved matters pertaining to salary negotiations, conditions of employment, and the payment structure of royalties both retrospectively and moving into the future.
Our talented actors are still battling to receive UIF, Pension Funds, Housing Allowances, Car Allowances, Medical Aid and all other benefits that decent work is supposed to cater for. They are categorized unfortunately as freelance workers and this is tantamount to labour broking. Workers of Generations unfortunately have restrictive clause which are prohibiting their abilities to grow and maximize their career life spans. Given the obscure nature of their contracts, they are not in sustainable and secure jobs. Effectively these people are employed on a permanent basis but under conditions that disqualify them for a salary structure of permanent employees.
Negotiations have dragged on since October last year and none of the preliminary agreements agreed to have been met by the SABC. These agreements include proposed rates of payment that the producers of the show agreed to but the SABC, as the body that commissions the production of Generations, has not fulfilled.
As the ANC Youth League, we call on the SABC management to rescind those letters of expulsion and #BringBackTheGenerations16 immediately.
Their demands are valid demands that every honest citizen and employer should understand. As part of our `living wage campaign` we call on the bosses at the SABC to pay the rates that were agreed to with the producers as an immediate intervention. The other strategic demands concerning the conditions of employment and benefits must continue to be negotiated and even sent for arbitration if a deadlock cannot be resolved.
SABC`s refusal to meet these demands because of a pedestrian explanation that these actors want to be paid like Hollywood stars is insulting to say the least. We value local production and local content more than this Hollywood that they seem to romanticize. In fact, we believe that local actors should be treated better than Hollywood actors in their own country. We reiterate our call for an increased airing of local production over and above imported content which at times is stale and lacks substance like Stone Age soapies such as Days of our lives etc. As a public broadcaster the SABC has a public duty to create conditions for the development of local filming industry and the growth of black film producers and actors.
As the ANCYL we firmly believe that we cannot sit back and watch on as South African talent is exploited and compensated in a manner that is not consistent with its performance. In our discussions with the cast members, it emerged that their dispute is not just a normal negotiation of salaries. It also deals with the highly untransformed creative arts industry in which basic requirements of the Labour Relations Act are undermined. This reality also assisted us to understand the real reasons why many artists end up in conditions of squalor and some of them die under humiliating circumstances as if they have never worked in big film projects.
As the ANCYL we have undertaken to pursue the transformation of the creative arts industry working together with all citizens who work in that field. Our struggle for Economic Freedom includes the rights of artists and actors to decent remunerations and contracts that promote the values of decent work. All our actors and artists should actually pledge their support to the dismissed cast since their dismissal was not for selfish reasons but for the benefit of all other actors.
We shall be engaging all relevant departments to use this crisis of Generations as an indictment of the transformation deficit that exists in the creative arts industry. The departments of Arts and Culture, The Department of Communications and the Department of Trade and Industry must speedily come on board to effect progressive transformation in this sector as an urgent intervention to rescue our acting and artistic talent from conditions of exploitation and unfair labour practices 20 years into our democracy.
Issued by ANC Youth League NTT
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