Letter: Call for metro ANC Youth League to be disbanded

The call by the NEC youth league to disband the province of the Eastern Cape was both refreshing and welcome. The former PEC have been the apologists and defenders of the current NMB ANC Youth League.

It is clear even to the most ardent supporter of the PEC that they lacked the necessary tools to capture the imagination of young people, both for voter registration and on election day.

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency. Therefore, this would have been a serious crisis if this decision was taken a day later – the timing could have not been more perfect in order to salvage the youth league before it spontaneously combusts in our province of legends and martyrs.

How I wish that this progressive dissolution spills over to the region of Nelson Mandela Bay, where the youth league is completely dysfunctional and ineffective. Others may claim differently. However, a lie told often enough becomes the truth, according to Vladimir Lenin.

The youth league of the metro has failed dismally and has been at the centre of the steady decline of the organisation in the metro. A case for disbandment of this region would be an open-and-shut case, with the charges overwhelmingly in favour of disbandment. These charges would read as follows, in my opinion:

1 Lack of intervention in the northern areas education crisis (ANCYL constitution, Article D, point 7 – “strive and work for educational upliftment of the youth”);

2 Mandate of the REC lapsed in February 2016 (ANCYL constitution 10.2 (A) – “regional congress shall be held once at least in 18 months”);

3 Failure to advance young people in council during the list conference and other key strategic posts (ANCYL 12.2 (e) – “implement the policies and programmes of the youth league and advance the interests”);

4 Failure to capture young people during voter registration, especially on campuses, (ANCYL 12.2 (e) – “implement the policies and programmes of the youth league and advance the interests”);

5 Negative headlines in the public domain – a case in point would be the trip to China by the ANCYL chairperson and the dubious false advertising of events which claimed that national artists would perform in the metro during elections. These actions put a huge and irremovable stain on the youth league, to the extent that these incidents were mentioned in parliament to the embarrassment of the ANC parliamentarians (ANCYL constitution – Discipline – “Any violation of the principles of the organisation and standard of behaviours of members, which seriously threatens the safety, property and good name of the organisation, shall be considered a serious offence”);

6 Confusion over branch leadership (Discipline, Section 3.2.8, ANCYL constitution);

7 Chopping and changing of REC members; and

8 Failure to address the national question. The constitution of the ANCYL is clear on this matter. In article A of the preamble of the constitution, it is clear that the ANCYL is committed to a “non-racial” South Africa) The youth league should at least reflect the various nationalities, more especially in a metro such as ours, either through direct election into the REC or co-option.

The list could go on until my ink runs dry. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of dissolution of this region. I sincerely hope the NEC will move in this regard.

The ANCYL is a key component for the ANC. We cannot continue in this fashion. When the centre cannot hold, all things fall apart.

This youth league cannot take us to conference, nor can it advance the popular view of a woman president, to which I and many others subscribe.

There is no youth league in the metro organisationally – it is a paper youth league. The league must rebuild and at the centre of our renewal must be political education.

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