All hail SA's 'only democratic party'
Julius Malema: On May 18 2011, all patriotic and peace-loving South Africans are called upon to descend on polling stations across the country to vote for the African National Congress, the oldest national liberation movement on the African continent.
The ANC is a national liberation movement whose concept of liberation has always been centred on the aspiration to attain the social, economic and political emancipation of those denied economic opportunities by the repressive apartheid regime, whose remnants continue to shape and define South Africa's political, economic and social outlook.
Liberation, in the ANC, means that South Africa's wealth should be shared among the people.
The ANC's strength lies in its ability to promote values enshrined in the country's constitution, unlike other political parties which enclose open toilets built for poor black communities in the Western Cape only when they are ordered to by a court.
When confronted by a similar situation in the Free State, the ANC did not oppose the Human Rights Commission, but promptly responded by enclosing the open toilets and put in place mechanisms to hold accountable those who had faltered.
The other political parties which tragically won some of the municipalities in some provinces are hellbent on treating black people, Africans in particular, as subhuman.
In Cape Town, for instance, there is no refuse removal in areas such as Mitchells Plain, while, in the meantime, the DA is using millions of rands to build bicycle lanes in the suburbs of rich people.
In areas where ANC municipalities face challenges, ANC provincial governments consistently and recurrently place these municipalities under administration and engage in efforts that seek to revive the financial and administrative viability of these municipalities.
The ANC does not, and will never, defend corrupt and useless councillors and councils, hence the majority of the councillors whom communities complained about have been changed. This principle will apply to all incoming councillors of the ANC, who will be under scrutiny and close supervision to check if they follow the manifesto of the ANC.
Democracy in the ANC is not a wish, but an innate value system that has not been displaced in the past 99 years.
The ANC is the only political formation in South Africa with a profound commitment to the values of democracy, respect for human rights and the socioeconomic upliftment of all South Africans - in particular, those denied access to basic services and opportunities. Over the past 17 years, the ANC has made profound progress in bettering the lives of our people.
In 2011, almost all needy South Africans have access to electricity, clean water, sanitation, healthcare and many other basic social services provided for by the ANC government at all levels.
The South African government is among the very few governments in the world to provide free social housing for the needy. It is only in South Africa that needy citizens are provided with free housing, water, electricity, social grants, healthcare, access to no-fee schools and state-aided access to higher education.
The ANC is the only political formation in South Africa which organically involves the people in policy formation, accountability and selection of candidates. This unique feature of the ANC makes its policies and programmes people-driven and able to respond to the most pressing challenges confronting various communities.
The ANC candidate selection process was inclusive in ANC structures and was extended to communities. In instances where some violated the process, the ANC immediately made sustainable corrections.
All this is evidence that the ANC is not only democratic, but has strong internal democratic mechanisms and systems.
None of the political parties have internal democratic practices, with some relying on the courts to decide internal organisational matters and some calling for assistance in what would otherwise be an internal organisational process.
The organic and mass character of the ANC helps the movement to acknowledge the challenges and limitations confronting South Africa's socioeconomic development and progress since the democratic breakthrough.
One acknowledgment made by the ANC is that while we have made profound progress in the delivery of basic services, we are still confronted by the reality of joblessness.
More than 80% of the South African economy, particularly land, continues to be owned by less than 10% of the South African population and multinational corporations.
The interests of those who own the economy are not consistent with the interests and values of the democratic movement. This explains why job creation is not a priority for those who should create jobs. Private corporations continue to complain about the cost of labour in South Africa, despite the fact that more than 50% of workers are paid less than R2500 a month.
In acknowledging the reality of joblessness, the ANC government has decided that job creation will be spurred and driven by a decisive land redistribution programme and greater state participation in the ownership and control of the economy, particularly mines and monopoly industries.
This will lead to the creation of many job opportunities for the unemployed. Our ambition is to create five million jobs by 2014. It is only the ANC government which will embark on and sustain such a political programme. We will achieve economic freedom in our lifetime, because political freedom without economic power is meaningless.
Malema is president of the ANC Youth League