ANC sticks to agenda at sitting on policy documents

A special sitting of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) took place yesterday to ratify policy proposals ahead of the party’s policy conference in June.

The party has placed radical economic transformation at the centre of its agenda for this year and expectations are that this shift will be reflected in its policy documents to be discussed in June and finalised at its December national conference.

The ANC is under pressure from the electorate to quicken economic growth and stem unemployment.

It is also under pressure after suffering losses in key metros in August’s municipal elections.

The NEC approved the policy documents before their public release in the coming weeks.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party had stuck to its agenda and discussed only its policy proposals, despite speculation that there would be calls for the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan by President Jacob Zuma loyalists.

The Treasury and Gordhan are at the centre of the debate around radical economic transformation.

Zuma said at the party’s lekgotla last month the department was an obstacle to effective policies to transform the economy.

Calls from the ANC structures loyal to Zuma – including the women’s league, youth league and military veterans – for Gordhan’s removal have increased in frequency, putting pressure on the finance minister in the run-up to the delivery of his budget tomorrow. Former Eskom acting chief executive Brian Molefe’s swearing-in as an MP, set to take place this week, has fuelled speculation of the pending cabinet reshuffle that could see Gordhan leaving the Treasury.

Molefe has been tipped to take over from Gordhan since last year.

Molefe’s new post as an MP has split the ANC in the North West, with former leaders charging that it was procedurally flawed as he was not a member of a branch in the province, the ticket used to ease his entry into parliament.

ANC alliance partner the South African Communist Party also rejected his entry into parliament, with its provincial office in Limpopo saying the move strengthened the “public outcry about corruption and the capture of the state by the parasitic bourgeoisie”.

The ANC in Limpopo said: “This is against the principle of legality where someone is fingered in a corruption report and . . . promoted.”

Civil society and opposition parties have also opposed the move.

Molefe was a central figure in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report. – BusinessLIVE

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