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South Africa ANC pledges to overcome continuing unity challenge | Coastweek

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African President Jacob Zuma (front) addresses the celebration of the 105th anniversary of the establishment of the African National Congress (ANC) at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. Ruling party ANC celebrated its 105th birthday here on Sunday. XINHUA PHOTO - ZHAI JIANLAN

South Africa ANC pledges to overcome continuing unity challenge

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Sunday celebrated its 105th anniversary, vowing to overcome challenges to its unity.

"Today, our Movement faces serious challenges to its unity. Divisive tendencies such as factionalism, gatekeeping and manipulation of internal processes exist at all levels of the ANC, the ANC Leagues, the Alliance and the Mass Democratic Movement," the ANC said in a statement.

These tendencies inhibit its ability to give decisive leadership to society, the party said.

The party held a mass rally in Soweto, Gauteng Province to mark the event, with the participation of thousands of ANC supporters.

"The people have told us that we are too busy fighting each other and we do not pay sufficient attention to their needs.

"Our own research and interactions with members of the ANC demonstrate clearly that the people abhor the apparent preoccupation with personal gain," the ANC said.

South African people’s main priorities are jobs, fighting crime and corruption, and the ANC’s task is therefore to grow the economy, create jobs and rigorously fight crime and corruption, the party said.

"Above all, we must commit to the unity of the ANC and the only noble fight that we must engage in is a fight to serve the people and not ourselves!" said the ANC.

Public support for the ANC has dropped considerably these years mainly due to internal fighting and a series of corruption scandals.

In the local elections last year, the party lost some major metropolitans to opposition parties such as Pretoria, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, the greatest setback for the party since it took power in 1994.

"The ANC must unite so that we are able to unite the people against our common enemies—unemployment, poverty and inequality," the party said.

ANC members must guard against distrust, which breeds disunity and has begun to creep into the party’s broader body politic, the ANC said.

The conduct of some elected representatives in Parliament, various legislatures and other platforms illustrate that the various political parties seem to be unable to disagree without such disagreements descending into ugly and immature displays, the party said.

Leaders across the political divide must foster agreement around the need for all South Africans to unite for the sake of our country and our future, the party said.

"We can disagree as South Africans and still engage one another respectfully.

"The people elect us to represent them and their interests and we must perform these duties with honesty, integrity and mutual respect," said the ANC.


South Africa’s ANCWL renews call for electing first female ANC president

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) on Saturday reiterated its call for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to elect its first woman president in December 2017.

African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma "is the only suitable candidate at this point in our history to lead the African National Congress in December 2017," the ANCWL said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

The ANC will hold its elective conference in December this year.

The ANCWL made the statement after holding its National Executive Committee (NEC) conference from January 6-7 in Irene, Gauteng Province.

The NEC of the ANCWL met at a crucial time when the ANC marks its 105th birthday. This meeting preceded the much-anticipated ANC policy conference and ANC elective conference to be held later this year.

The call for the first female ANC president has gained relevance and necessary significance, the ANCWL said.

"We have successfully raised and achieved the call for equal representation of women both in public and private sectors of our society. In principle the ANCWL resolved to pursue the 50/50 representation not only in the ANC NEC but in the ANC officials," said the ANCWL.

After the end of apartheid, Dlamini-Zuma served as the country’s health minister, foreign minister and minister of home affairs until her election to the AU Commission Chairperson in 2012.

"It is through her sterling work as the AU Chairperson that the ANCWL firmly believes that Dlamini-Zuma will and is able to lead South Africa in being a leader not only in the African continent but in global politics as well," said Meokgo Matuba, ANCWL Secretary General.

If elected as ANC President, Dlamini-Zuma will automatically become the President of South Africa.

Apart from the ANCWL, the ANC Youth League has also been actively campaigning for Dlamini-Zuma to become the party and the country’s first woman president.

South Africa’s ruling party denies censorship allegations

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Friday denied allegations that it would censor news related to its 105th anniversary.

The ANC notes information being disseminated on social media platforms regarding arrangements for the broadcast of its 105th birthday celebrations to be held on Jan. 8, the party said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

TV channel eNCA claimed on social media that the ANC is trying to control how the celebrations will be broadcast.

The broadcaster said it is only allowed to transmit President Jacob Zuma’s speech through a feed controlled by the ANC, and that the party is trying to control how and when it films members of the crowd during that speech.

"It is regrettable that the incorrect information being circulated on social media has served to create confusion and impute sinister motive to the organization," the ANC said.

Broadcasters have been informed that the ANC will provide a live feed from the celebrations, available for all media to use at no cost.

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa defended it as a common practice for convening of large events around the world, including sports, political and other events.

The provision of a central feed makes it easier for broadcasters to obtain a diversity of footage of the event, Kodwa said.

All accredited broadcasters are allowed one camera on the pitch, which is also standard and common practice at the hosting of large events of this magnitude, he said.

It is also incorrect that broadcasters will not be permitted to conduct interviews with the audience as so-called "vox pops" as this has been agreed to in a technical meeting held on Friday, he said.

Furthermore, feeds from pitch cameras will not be "monitored" as some have claimed on social media, Kodwa said.



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