Youth claim vanguard role

The ANC Youth League has claimed victory for initiating certain radical policy positions its mother body discussed at its policy conference in Midrand this week. The league has been neutralised since the expulsion of its leader, Julius Malema, but it believes its policy proposals dominated the agenda at the conference.

In his keynote address, President Jacob Zuma called for radical policy changes, despite his earlier assurances that there was no need to change current economic policies.

Youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola told the Mail & Guardian on Thursday that Zuma’s “shift” was a vindication of the league and its leaders, who had been targeted and disciplined for adopting radical policy positions.

While Zuma did not specify what kind of radical changes were needed, the youth league has been lobbying the ANC-led alliance to consider nationalisation of mines and other key sectors of the economy as policy. It also called for the expropriation of land without compensation.

“It is the nature of the youth league to influence the ANC and you can see that all the issues we have raised were on the agenda of the policy conference,” said Lamola. “What we will continue to do is to defend what the youth league is trying to achieve and future generations will continue to push for nationalisation and land expropriation without compensation if it’s not achievable now.”

Youth league supporters pointed out the similarities between their positions and Zuma’s on key issues:

On the compromises made by the ANC during the Codesa negotiations, the youth league said: “There must be a point where the sun rises and maybe we have now reached that point … where we must agree those sunset clauses belong to […] history.”

Zuma said: “There were sunset clauses but no sunrise clauses (in the Constitution).”

On the economy, the league said: “We need to break the apartheid economy we received in 1994. White people are still living a Hollywood lifestyle … while the majority are still living a third-world lifestyle.”

Zuma said: “The structure of the apartheid-era economy has remained largely intact … The ownership of the economy is still primarily in the hands of white males …”

Earlier this week, the majority of the 11 commissions on the ANC’s strategy and tactics policy discussion document rejected the second transition document, which has been championed by Zuma.

The second transition dominated debate during the first two days of the conference, with Zuma telling delegates that the country had completed the first transition – which was mainly about political freedom – and now needed to shift into the second transition, which focuses on economic and social transformation.

Compromise language calling for a “second phase of the transition” was adopted as the M&G went to press.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories