The National General Council (NGC) held this past weekend provided a necessary pause for leaders of our movement to reflect on its solid achievements while also honestly evaluating what has not gone right. The way in which the NGC dealt with uncomfortable but necessary issues is encouraging and bodes well for the movement, if we are to achieve organisational renewal and sustainable support for the ANC. Much was made about the impact of factionalism on the movement. President Zuma correctly pointed out in his opening address that most of these factions were fuelled by greed and self-interest, as opposed to ideological difference.
As the ANC in Gauteng we have long been aware of the need to discourage such factions in order to move forward in building a responsive, stable movement that leads with humility in Gauteng.
Hence we have worked hard to create harmony between the party and the party provincial leadership, for instance, we have often declared publicly our unwavering support for Premier Makhura’s 10-point plan and are now on a solid footing towards achieving focused and accelerated service delivery in the province.
Since the appointment of Premier Makhura and his cabinet, there is no question that service delivery has gained momentum in our province, and that there is a renewed energy and greater clarity for citizens on how we are tackling our priorities, such as infrastructure development, education, health and other service delivery imperatives. This clarity of purpose and renewed energy around implementation of key programmes is fueled by the solid bridge that was built by taking the lead in advocating for unity between party and provincial government after the 2014 elections.
The ANC in Gauteng has moved swiftly to renew focus on service delivery and implement programmes for economic development at a rapid pace. Given the resolutions that have now come from this past weekend to focus on strengthening local government and winning back ANC support, it is even more critical that the Gauteng ANC cannot have sympathy for those sowing division within the province, whether at provincial or local branch level.
We are fully in support of the resolution to announce mayoral candidates as we move towards the 2016 elections.
We believe that this will focus our members’ efforts on bolstering support for the party as opposed to focusing their energy on lobbying for individuals.
We expect members in Gauteng to throw their full weight behind the mayoral candidates and deliver an aggressive campaign to lead us to victory in 2016.
The ANC is a broad church that encourages open debate and the aim in Gauteng is not to stifle this but to be conscious of the destructive nature of factionalism.
Let us disagree on principles but still be able to move forward as one, especially where the interests of our people are at stake.
Let us all fight corruption, increase the pace of service delivery, and support efforts to build infrastructure that enables economic development. If we do this while keeping an open ear and a responsive attitude towards the Gauteng public, then all else must be viewed as side shows.
As we come out of the NGC, it is an appropriate time for us to use the opportunity to reiterate the unity of purpose within the Gauteng leadership in the party and in the province.
We are energised by all the resolutions adopted at the NGC and will move forward with determination to win back our support.