7 June 2012
The African National Congress Youth League (ANC YL) and the South African Students Congress (SASCO) held a highly successful bilateral on 6 June to prepare for the ANC policy conference scheduled for the 26-29 June 2012 in Midrand. We had frank discussions on the many socio-economic and political challenges facing our country. We deliberated on the ANC discussion documents prepared for the policy conference and critically assessed their proposals in addressing these challenges. Amongst the strategic issues we agreed upon are:
As the ANC YL and SASCO we strongly disagree with the conceptualisation of the theory of our revolution as contained in the ANC discussion document titled 'The Second Transition'. This document misguidedly claims that the past 18 years should be viewed as a period for democratisation (political transition) and that next 30 or 50 years should be dedicated to a thoroughgoing socio-economic transformation in the country. We reject the mechanical binary that the 'Second Transition' draws between political and economic transformation.
As the ANC YL and SASCO we believe that political and socio economic transformation is not a two stage process. Our struggle has always been about the liberation of African people in particular and blacks in general from all forms of political and economic bondage. We call for a strategic shift in the characterisation of the ANC as a disciplined force of the left to be a radical force of the left committed to the meaningful implementation of the Freedom Charter. The ANC should further reaffirm white monopoly capital as a strategic enemy of the NDR until we make significant inroads in achieving the NDR objectives.
Free education for all in higher education
As the ANC YL and SASCO we are particularly disappointed at the ANC discussion document on education which is a simply a cut and paste of progress reports of the government's education departments. We are extremely worried that there is no concrete and coherent plan on how free education is going to be progressively realised. We reaffirm our call for Free Quality and Compulsory education until undergraduate level. We will lobby the ANC Policy Conference to resolve on timeframes for the progressive realisation of free education.
We further call for a compulsory provision of National Youth Service for two years, with the first six months dedicated to theory and the last 18 months providing vocational training. The National Youth Service should form part of the requirements for all acquiring a degree or diplomas for those enrolled in institutions of higher learning and further training. Furthermore we will call for the abolishment of SETA's because they have been reduced into cash cows for private companies and not so different from the youth wage subsidy which we uncompromisingly reject. Not only are SETA's another form of wage subsidy, they have also failed to address the skill deficit in our country.
On Economic Transformation
The ANCYL and SASCO strongly agree on the need for radical shift in the economy. Nationalisation of the mines and other strategic sectors of the economy must form an integral component of this radical shift. The realisation of Freedom Charter objectives can no longer be postponed. The ANC YL and SASCO are combat ready for an ideological warfare against the rented free marketers and spokespeople for white monopoly capital opposed to our call for nationalisation of the mines and other strategic sectors of the economy.
Nationalisation of strategic sectors of the economy and land redistribution, the amendment of Section 25 of the constitution needs decisive political leadership. Necessary changes must be effected on the Constitution of the Republic to enable people to share in the country's wealth. The liberal approach of the ANC on economic transformation is worrisome. The discussion documents assure and safeguards the interest of the bourgeoisie at the expense of the poor and the working class which constitute the motive forces driving our struggle. We will continue to oppose the plan to introduce the youth wage subsidy and fight for the total abolishment of labour brokers and other precarious forms of employment.
A need for an egalitarian development trajectory
ANC YL and SASCO will lobby for the immediate abolishment of the neo-liberal development trajectory in our country. There is no doubt that the deepening of poverty, unemployment and inequality is a direct outcome of the neo-liberal development path being pursued by our government. We will call for the immediate removal of the neo-liberal Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) and the New Growth Path (NGP) and its immediate replacement with an egalitarian development path buttressed by decent work and increase on social spending.
A clarion call to all ANC YL and SASCO structures
The national leadership of ANC YL and SASCO calls upon all our structures in all levels (branch, regional and national level) to hold bilateral to consolidate our common perspectives as we prepare for the ANC Policy Conference in June. We call upon our structures to actively participate in ANC structures to propagate for a thoroughgoing and radical policy shift in the ANC and the government it leads. The national leadership of the ANC YL and SASCO have committed themselves to work together, particularly in dealing with the conflicts between the two PYA components in institutions of higher learning and further training.
Issued by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and South African Students Congress (SASCO)
Kenetswe Mosenogi, ANC YL Deputy Secretary General, 081 338 0936
Themba Masondo, SASCO Secretary General, 079 199 3421