The ruling African National Congress (ANC) drafted an ambitious to-do list at this weekend’s national general council (NGC) meeting.
Below are some key resolutions adopted during the mid-term review conference in Midrand.
Ditch the International Criminal Court (ICC)
The ANC wants South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it believes that court has lost its direction. This comes against the back-drop of the arrest saga around Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.
“The principles that led us to be members [of the ICC] remain valid and relevant… however the ICC has lost its direction unfortunately and is no longer pursuing that principle of an instrument that is fair for everybody,” international relations subcommittee chair Obed Bapela said.
In his closing address at the NGC on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma said the ANC disagreed with the ICC’s “double-standard and selective actions”.
Hit the media hard
The ANC wants to deal with the negative way in which it is being portrayed in the media and will accelerate a parliamentary inquiry into establishing a Media Appeals Tribunal. It wants the parliamentary inquiry into the tribunal to start as soon as possible.
“The feeling is… the ANC as a liberation movement, and as a ruling party, is being relegated either to the back pages or, if anything, a lot of what is reported is something which is only on the side of the negative,” communications subcommittee member Lindiwe Zulu said.
The ANC again resolved that the number of provinces should be reviewed and said the implementation of a presidential commission looking into this needed to be fast tracked.
Give half of farmland to workers
The ANC wants the government to strengthen the security of tenure for farm workers. The party proposed that commercial farmers give 50% of their equity to their workers and replace the “willing buyer, willing seller” land distribution policy with the Property Valuation Act of 2014.
The Act would regulate the valuation of property identified for land reform as well as property identified for acquisition or disposal by the Land and Rural Development Department.
Clamp down on school governing bodies
The ANC wants the powers of school governing bodies reviewed and for inspectors to be reintroduced in schools. The ruling party will engage with the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) on issues like teachers being at school on time and in class and teaching for at least seven hours a day.
Although not an ANC NGC decision, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) called for the review and regulation of private schools.
“The issue of not regulating is a problem, because there are so many private schools mushrooming up everywhere,” ANCWL secretary general Moego Matuba, who has a child in a private school, told News24.
“We want the government to regulate them, because it is not about money. Whatever they teach should be in line with the Department of Education.”
Get National Health Insurance faster
While not clear on how quickly this would be done, the ANC wants to fast track the implementation of the National Health Insurance. According to the party’s subcommittee on health and education, a lack of funding was slowing down the NHI’s roll-out.
“It was [the delegates’] view treasury should be encouraged strongly to ensure resources are available and NHI financing was finalised so the NHI white paper can be put into the public domain,” committee member Naledi Pandor said.
Root out corruption
The ruling party resolved to root out corruption in government and the private sector, with the NGC proposing four recommendations:
* Periodically rotate civil servants, including those in the security cluster, to different employment sites to circumvent unprofessional and frequently corrupt relationships; * Expedite the vetting process for government employees and its related entities;
* Implement a single state vetting agency to vet all “strategically” placed civil servants, including those in state-owned enterprises, and people who turn down a promotion even though it comes with an improved remuneration package and
* The ANC deployment committee must ensure proper vetting prior to cadre deployment.
The ruling party challenged the private sector to subject itself to financial interest disclosure, vetting and lifestyle audits.