ANC Youth League calls for changes in Constitution

Ronald Lamola. (Gallo)

Ronald Lamola. (Gallo)

“All our issues are locked there in section 25 of the Constitution,” league deputy president Ronald Lamola told reporters in Centurion, Pretoria.

The youth league discussed policy at a workshop on the weekend ahead of the ANC’s policy conference later this month. It decided a “minister of land expropriation without compensation” should be appointed.

Section 25 of the Constitution refers to property rights and sets out conditions for the expropriation of land with compensation.

Lamola said the ANC should not apologise for changing the Constitution – which would require a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

“The ANC must amend section 25 without apologising to any investor or anybody ... The ANC must amend its own Constitution when it deems necessary,” he said.

If white South Africans did not hand land over to poor blacks, there could be land invasions like those that took place in Zimbabwe, he warned.
“The nature of the inequalities ... they are creating a situation where it’s impossible for us to maintain stability,” Lamola said.

The league disapproved of a youth wage subsidy, and said it wanted a job search subsidy instead. This would involve feeding unemployed youths so they would have the energy to study and search for jobs.

Lamola said this had worked in Brazil.

He said the nationalisation of various sectors of the economy was inevitable. “The whole world is moving towards nationalisation ... nationalisation is inevitable. Every society that is serious about changing inequalities ... is nationalising and is having ownership of the strategic sectors of the economy by the state.”

Despite the youth league’s perceived disorganisation, with three of its top five leaders suspended or expelled, Lamola said it was still influential within ANC structures.

“The youth league remains a very influential league and critical body of opinion ... it remains a very important organisation.”

This meant it would be able to influence a change of leadership at the ANC elective conference to be held in Mangaung in the Free State, in December.

“Change in leadership at Mangaung is inevitable. ... The league is going to influence the policy conference of the ANC,” Lamola said.

The league is said to prefer Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. It said it still considered Julius Malema, who has been expelled from the ANC, as its president.

Spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said it would respect the internal processes of the ANC, but “we reaffirm our president remains our president”.

Pule Mabe, who the league dismissed as treasurer general last month, had not been reinstated, Lamola said.

It was reported that Mabe was reinstated after ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe intervened. Lamola said the ANC had written to the youth league with recommendations on how to deal with Mabe.

It said the ANC had not suggested that Mabe be reinstated, but that he should be subjected to due process including possible charges. The nature of the charges was not clear.

In other policies, the youth league called for free education by the end of 2013, and that the ANC dictate policy to the government, and not the other way round.

Deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi said the ANC’s main policy discussion document on the second transition was a “cut-and-paste” of the National Planning Commission’s diagnostic report.

The ANC was thus being influenced by government, she said. “It’s the ANC that must set the agenda for government ... not the other way around.” – Sapa

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