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Polokwane resolution #1: Political school

Mmanaledi Mataboge

As the ANC goes to its elective conference in Mangaung, we look at the resolutions made at the 2007 Polokwane conference. What have they achieved?

The ANC has resolved to build a political school in Vredefort. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

How much progress has the ANC made on their last set of goals, before they look to setting new resolutions at the Mangaung conference? Look out for our series of reports on how the party's wishes have been achieved under president Jacob Zuma's leadership. 

Resolution: Conference resolves that the establishment and institutionalisation of the political school should be one of the key organisational priorities of the next five years. The school should run on a formal and professional basis, offering accredited courses covering all areas of ANC work – including theory, organisation and mass work, governance, economic and social policy and international relations.

Progress: The ANC will build its political school in Vredefort in the Free State. This will be the ruling party’s own leadership university to equip its members on different skills the party needs to effectively run itself and government.

Land has already been bought on a farm in Vredefort in the Free State where the school that’ll be known as the ANC Political School and Policy Institute will be built.

The political school will be compulsory for all the party’s elected officials, from branch leaders to Cabinet ministers. The ANC's political school will be modelled on the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (Celap), a Shanghai-based leadership and governance institution established by the ANC's ally, the Communist Party of China.

The building plan was approved by a national executive committee meeting last year, but construction is yet to begin because several government departments need to do assessments as the site is a world heritage site.

The ANC plans to professionalise the school and lessons by getting professional tutors and producing modules for courses, which will cater for different positions in the party and in government for ANC deployees. Services of academics who are ANC members will also be enlisted for voluntary teaching.

Unlike political schools the ANC had started convening, members will be required to stay at the new school for the duration of the course. The ANC Political School and Policy Institute will boast, among other things, accommodation, a swimming pool, halls, a fitness centre, a pharmacy and a small shopping centre.

Until the school is complete and functional, the ANC will continue to convene political schools at all its levels and send its leaders for political education tours to its counterpart in China. 


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