APC PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH AT THE NATIONAL SUMMIT ON LGE 2011
National Summit on LGE 2011.
04-05 September 2010. Durban, KwaZulu Natal
Revolutionary greetings and welcome to all of you leaders and cadres of our glorious party.
It is always heartwarming to be with the rank and file leaders of the APC. We are gathered here this weekend to chart the way forward for the APC’s effective participation in the upcoming local government elections (LGE 2011).
Before I go any further may I say, Happy Birthday to you Comrades. As you all know tomorrow, the 5th September, marks three years since the APC was formed. In those three years, we can be proud of what we have been able to achieve. The future of the APC, indeed, looks very bright. Through your creativity, heroism and self sacrifice, you have transformed the APC from just being an idea into this viable, credible and progressive party that it is today. Long live APC.
Comrades, our party has traversed a long road since its inception. There are numerous milestones that are discernible, and I would like to state them. In September 2007 we announced the formation of the APC, and three months (November 2007) later called a National Convention in Bloemfontein to confirm for all to see that the APC was not just its leadership, but represented a growing membership. The Convention was a huge success. In March 2008, we had the official launch of the APC in Gauteng. This event was attended by thousands of enthusiastic members. In November 2008 we held a national summit in Durban to prepare for the General Elections. The decisions of that summit, took us successfully through the arduous process of elections. In 2009, the APC successfully contested in the General Elections.
The all important Politburo meeting of the 19th July 2009 resolved that we should call for a National General Council (NGC), which was held in September 2009 in Kempton Park. The historic NGC that produced the programme of the party, contained in the document ‘MAKOMBA NDLELA... The Revolutionary Programme of the APC’. It was this NGC that threw the party on a new trajectory. This successful and historic NGC pulled together all the scattered ideas and programmes in the APC and condensed them into our visionary document, MAKOMBA NDLELA.
Here we are today, following on that long established tradition of coming together to discuss and collectively determine a way forward for our party in the light of the upcoming elections. We have already achieved success by merely having been able to assemble here. I am convinced that we will have, as always, fruitful deliberations that will guide our activities towards LGE 2011.
Comrades, we have always sought to build the APC on a different platform from the rest. We are a party that is steeped in the values and traditions of the Liberation Movement, of people-centeredness and popular democracy. We have made the revolutionary MassLine to be the distinguishing political feature of our party. We are a party of campaigns. We take up issues that affect our people consistently.
The APC is proud that it is the only party, as far as I know, that has a clearly defined vision, mission and motto. This attests to the leadership position of our party. We have openly and boldly stated our vision, thus, “To be a viable, credible and progressive alternative governing party”. Our mission as “Meeting the political, social, economic and cultural needs of our people through mass mobilization”, and our motto as “Discipline, Respect and Hard work”. This in brief defines who we are, and should form the basis of our work amongst the masses.
Comrades, we are approaching the LGE 2011 with a lot of hope and confidence. We have taken valuable lessons from the National General Elections. Since those elections, we have covered a lot of ground. There is no question about the fact that the governing party has failed hopelessly in running municipalities. The overwhelming majority of them are almost dysfunctional; they lack capacity because they employ people who have neither political integrity nor professional competence. Corruption, fraud, theft, abuse and misuse of state resources are the order of the day. There is a huge gap between elected councilors and the masses. The people feel disempowered, ignored and only remembered during elections. Our approach Comrades must be different. We must engineer a political revolution in terms of how as leaders we relate to the people, the need to raise the consciousness of the people about the powers they have in a democratic society.
I wish to state Comrades that in relation to the current issue of some Members of Parliament claiming travel allowances that appear too high, you can relax in the knowledge that the APC is 100% uninvolved in this matter. I have not claimed even a cent. Comrades, the public servants strike has brought to light a few things. The wage gap in South Africa, between the highest and lowest paid is too big and needs to be narrowed. This is so in both the public and private sectors. Government’s handling of the wage negotiations has not been proper; also, the Cabinet has not led by example in terms of prudent usage of state resources. They tell civil servants to tighten their belts whilst they live lavishly without any due consideration to the economic conditions of the country. We must be steadfast in our support of the workers.
These shortcomings and contradictions call upon us to build the APC as a viable, credible and progressive alternative home for all. The most revolutionary thing for us Comrades is to build the APC. Recruit members, build structures and pursue the revolutionary MassLine. That and that alone, is what will save our country from degenerating into a predator state of unbridled corruption.
The APC, the thinking person’s Party, is a home for all.