ANC will tackle challenges facing it - Oscar Mabuyane

Eastern Cape ANC chairman Oscar Mabuyane
Eastern Cape ANC chairman Oscar Mabuyane
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

As we cast our ballots in the 2019 general elections, the ANC is pleased with its election campaign that was anchored on a frank engagement with the people of this country about current challenges, solutions to end each challenge and ideas for a  forward direction for growing SA.

Each election is an epitome of ongoing engagement we have with the people of SA about processes of transforming our country.

Going into this election, the ANC faced a tougher battle of state capture, allegations of corruption against some of our members and heightened internal differences within our movement that project it badly.

We have been open about these weaknesses of leadership.

Because we seek to liberate our movement from the yoke of wrongdoing, the ANC has rebuked wrongdoing and set a course to ensure an honest and capable government that is not derailed by any form of capture.

Throughout this campaign, in our meetings with voters during visits to their homes; interactions with voters in the shopping malls, taxi ranks and streets; and visits to various churches South Africans expressed their anger at these challenges with patriotic vigour.

President Cyril Ramaphosa captured our collective resolve during his speech at our Siyanqoba rally on Sunday when he said: “Let us declare, here and now, that we will never surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture.

“We will not submit and we will not retreat.

“We will fight with every means at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest.

“Over the last year, we have taken decisive steps to fight corruption across society,” he said.

With the same patriotic vigour, each of the voters we engaged with directly, and indirectly through newspapers, radio, TV interviews, adverts, opinion pieces and material that we put on billboards, we placed our commitment to work with South Africans to grow our country.

This is why the ANC spent every second every day of the campaign focusing on rebuilding its relationship with the voters so that we solidify the work we have done before to give each a better life.

Much as we face state capture challenges, the ANC has delivered progress in transforming the economy as we now have more black people owning businesses, and employed in various levels of management in both the private and public sectors of our economy.

Many previously disadvantaged people are now free to engage in any business, study any course, buy shares in any business and conduct any trade of their choice to earn a decent income.

This does not mean we have completed the struggle of liberating our country.

There are still challenges in our path that require our collective vigour to remove for total liberation of all.

One of the challenges of this election is that the focus on the wrong attempted to dwarf the good work done by the ANC in constructing houses, increasing road construction, increasing numbers of farmers producing for trade through our support, the number of students studying at tertiary institutions, creating jobs, providing healthcare and education, and  rolling out public safety programmes to protect our people.

Because the people of this country trust the ANC, knowing what the ANC-led government has done to increase numbers of people with access to water, electricity and  social grants, and  provide bursaries for education, including free education for those from financially challenged families, we are confident that the ANC managed to convince voters to give us another mandate to continue growing SA together with it.

That is why each ANC member must realise that the responsibility of this organisation is to give South Africans a better life  in everything we do.

The personalities and characters of members must decrease as members so that the values and character of the ANC increases in what we do.

When this happens, each of us will appreciate the responsibilities of servanthood and this will ensure that the task of developing our communities is given priority each day.

Unlike other political parties, our focus, which is inspired by experience, is to focus more on improving the quality of education so that our youth gets quality education.

When they get quality education from an improved system, we will ensure a skills revolution that produces competent people who will start their own businesses and get decent jobs to grow our country.

We do this because we are mindful of the words of former president Nelson Mandela stressing the importance of education in changing a person’s life.

Since the last conference of the ANC, we have committed ourselves to the renewal of the movement, which was built by the people of this country.

For this renewal to be meaningful to the sons and daughters of the founders of this movement and future generations, we must do everything in our power to roll out what we have committed in our manifesto and make sure no wrongdoing derails the realisation of the aspirations of our people.

 ANC members are mindful of the need to urgently resolve the complaints we received from voters and by implementing the manifesto commitments of the ANC fully, with speed and honesty.

Only this will grow SA  and give our people a better life.

For this to happen, if the ANC wins the elections, as we are confident we will, our movement has a duty to place skills and competence performance as the key criteria for deploying members to lead government departments.

During our election campaign we put our differences aside and worked together for the ANC.

We must continue with this commitment for the benefit of our people and their movement, the ANC.

Each of us must take to heart words from Ramaphosa, “We have been working to rebuild structures that are in touch with the people and which take forward the struggles of communities.

“We are working to ensure that public representatives serve their communities diligently, selflessly and honestly.”

To unify this movement, we need to embrace each other, black and white, male and female, young and old.

This must not be according to loyalty to factions or personalities, but it must be according to commitment to the people of this country and the ANC.

- Oscar Mabuyane is ANC Eastern Cape provincial chairperson