ANC Mangaung conference latest news Day 4 - Times LIVE
Thu Apr 27 03:21:38 SAST 2017

ANC Mangaung conference latest news Day 4

Sapa, Reuters | 2012-12-19 09:39:09.0

Here is the latest news on ANC's conference taking place in Mangaung.

Health problems in Mangaung Sapa

Fatigue, allergies and chronic illness have caused many delegates to consult doctors at the ANC conference in Mangaung.

At the University of Free State, delegates walked long distances from the student residences to the main marquee, thus exposing themselves to high temperatures.

The air-conditioning in the tent was also not working, and dancing and singing struggle songs pushed the mercury even higher.

There were two major health stations on campus -- one next to the main marquee and another next to Callie Human Hall, where the gala dinner was held.

In every spot where people had been gathered for commissions, business breakfast and voting, at least two mobile clinics were stationed to help delegates with health problems.

Keith Khoza, spokesman for the African National Congress, confirmed on Wednesday that a male delegate from Mpumalanga had died on Sunday after experiencing respiratory problems.

"We handed the matter to the provincial leadership to ensure that they go and meet the family of the deceased," Khoza said.

Isaac Moisi, team leader of the medical station next to the main marquee, said the facilities were like a fully furnished clinic, complete with nurses and doctors.

"Most people who came for treatment were suffering from fatigue because of lack of sleep and temperatures which were high in Mangaung," he said.

Some of the patients consulted the clinics to get medication for their chronic illnesses. Fundile Nyati, a medical doctor and CEO of Proactive Health Solutions, treated a number of journalists with the same problems.

On average, his mini-clinic based at the media centre was open for over 12 hours at a time.

"Some of the problems that people came for were pre-existing such as high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and wanted to check how they were," he said.

"Some were on treatment and wanted to know if the stress related to their job could have made things worse."

Other patients discovered that they were diabetic or had hypertension, something they did not previously know.

"Some delegates came to do HIV tests while others wanted condoms."

The main ailments were problems associated the sinuses and throat.

These were mainly related to the pollen that is found on campus because of the trees, Nyati said.

Most people had nasal blockages, sinus headaches and sore throats -- all allergy-related illnesses.

"There was a lot of fatigue, because people were not eating at regular intervals, and not eating proper food, so they come here with low blood sugar.

"Whenever you are going to have a gathering where you are going to have many people, it is important as part of your planning to also anticipate it that in such an environment there will be those who will not be healthy," Nyati said.

Storm halts ANC's Mangaung conference Sapa

As the sky over Bloemfontein darkened with rain clouds on Wednesday, delegates at the ANC's national conference were asked to leave the plenary tent.

People streamed out of the tent at the University of the Free State, where the conference was being held.

Delegates said they were told to go to the "solid buildings" where they held commissions, because it was too dangerous to be inside the tent.

The plenary discussion on policies would be put on hold until the weather cleared.

ANC draft policy supports windfall tax on miners Reuters

The African National Congress (ANC) has rejected calls to nationalise the country's mines but supports a windfall "resource rent" tax on mining firms, according to a draft policy document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

"The state must capture an equitable share of mineral resource rents and deploy them in the interests of long-term economic growth, development and transformation," the draft of party's economic policies said.

The "resource rental tax" is effectively a windfall levy of 50 percent that will kick in after investors have made a "reasonable return". As such, it is meant to leave marginal or junior operations unaffected.

The ANC also recommended increasing "the supply of coal at competitive prices with the aim of containing energy costs" but did not provide any details of how to achieve that end.

At a five-yearly conference in the central city of Bloemfontein, the party has been at pains to strike a business-friendly note after strident calls this year for radical policy shifts to help solve South Africa's myriad social problems.

The election of millionaire businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC deputy president has been interpreted as favourable to investment and the economy, particularly if Ramaphosa is able to push through plans to boost long-term growth.

The ANC also said monetary policy should stick to its current inflation-targeting regime, squashing calls from the party's union and communist party allies to broaden the central bank's mandate to include jobs and growth.

The party also said the government should consider tax breaks for employers to hire young job-seekers to tackle the chronic unemployment that is fuelling unrest among the millions of blacks who have seen little improvement in their lives since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Cosatu wants economic reform out of Mangaung Sapa

The ANC's alliance partner Cosatu is looking to the party's conference for economic reform.

The government could not just focus on creating an environment for business to invest, Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on the sidelines of the ANC's Mangaung conference on Wednesday..

He said the state was a critical player in the economy.

"So when you talk about land reform you want to see a stronger role from the state. When we talk about industrial policy... we want to see a stronger role of the state."

Cosatu's second largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, wanted a "freedom charter moment".

This included people owning the country's land and mineral wealth.

"In particular a state that is going to intervene and make sure that intervention is in the interest of the ordinary people," Vavi said.

Whether it was agriculture, land reform or food security, the state had to have a central role.

Cosatu did not believe in the wholesale nationalisation of mines, but that the state needed to play a more strategic role.

This was one of the recommendations proposed at the ANC's national policy conference earlier this year.

"It [the state] must carefully consider where it wants to involve itself," said Vavi.

"We must not develop state capitalism. We know the disastrous consequences of that, but we want an active state."

The government needed to have a serious role in the mining industry, which included strategic nationalisation of particular minerals. This could help with other objectives such industrialisation, he said.

Vavi said land redistribution in South Africa was taking place too slowly and land which had already been distributed was not being utilised.

"Seventy percent [of land] is lying idle, not being used. This is a problem."

What was needed was a government which intervened, but also one that would be active in ensuring aspirant farmers were trained to use the land.

Land could not just be about "assisting colour", but also about food security.

"[What] everybody seems to be ignoring is that the Constitutional Court did say that the state can proclaim land for the purposes of redressing the past and the purposes of development, and can set the price thereafter," he said.

"That's what we want. That's what we need in South Africa."

Zuma walkabout with business Sapa

President Jacob Zuma did a walkabout of the Progressive Business Forum (PBF) exhibition tent at the ANC's national conference on Wednesday.

The newly elected African National Congress leader was joined in his tour by his new treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize.

PBF conveners Renier Schoeman and Daryl Swanepoel led Zuma to each stall.

Joining the large group of journalists following Zuma around the marquee was eNCA puppet reporter Chester Missing, who joked with Mkhize and ANC spokesman Keith Khoza before Zuma's arrival.

At one stall copies of a special ANC centenary coffee-table book were being sold for R1000.

Another had bottles of wine by "Lords" bearing the faces of Zuma and of former ANC leaders.

At a Vodacom stall free smoothies and coffee were being handed out to guests, delegates and journalists.

Zuma greeted and joked with vendors.

He visited stalls for Cell C, Absa and African Rainbow Minerals, among others, and posed for a

Report corruption: Manuel Sapa

Journalists who have information on corruption must report it to law enforcement agencies, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said on Wednesday.

“If you have any evidence of corruption, before you write about it, take the evidence to the law enforcement authority," he told journalists at a Progressive Business Forum breakfast in Mangaung. The forum was hosting the event on the sidelines of the African National Congress's elective conference.

“As an active citizen you have that responsibility.”

Manuel explained to the business community how the National Development Plan sought to find long-term solutions to South Africa's problems.

He said the redistribution of land had to be done differently. The government had to deal with land redistribution as a constitutional imperative, as 2013 would mark 100 years since the passing of 1913 Land Act.

“Let's be sensitive in dealing with it so that we ensure that the agricultural sector provides jobs and also gives people a decent standard of living.”

Manuel said shouting slogans would not help. Long-term solutions would change things and restore food security provided by the agricultural sector.

The development of young entrepreneurs was also crucial in growing the economy, as identified in the NDP.

However, the youth had to drop the "entitlement attitude".

“There's no entitlement in life. We've got to get over that issue of entitlement.”

He said the youth had to be supported with business plans.

“We're not going to be able to build an economy on ‘ag shame'. We need to be pretty tough… I think the tougher we are on young entrepreneurs, the better the quality of entrepreneurs we will create in this country.”

Manuel said in the NDP the planning commission had identified accountability as an important factor in dealing with service delivery.

“When there is no water in a town, who is responsible? Is it the mayor or the minister of water affairs. We have to fix those things and know who is responsible,” he said.

Chikane warns on ANC divisions Sapa

Former presidency director-general Frank Chikane has warned that the ANC may lose voters if it does not heal its divisions following the national conference in Mangaung, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

"You can come here and dance and win but actually the masses will judge you," Chikane told the paper in the run up to Tuesday's election.

He said the party had to move away from factionalism as it was costing the ANC good leaders and needed skills.

Mpumalanga premier and provincial chairman David Mabuza told the paper that talks to create leadership consensus and unity started "too late'.

"We thought we will discuss leadership after nominations, but the delayed conferences derailed us," Mabuza said.

He called on Zuma to bring the party together and tolerate contrary opinions.

"We will always have differences but that does not mean we must part ways," Mabuza said.

Voting for NEC starts at Mangaung Sapa

ANC delegates queued on Wednesday morning to vote for the rest of its national executive committee (NEC) members at the party's elective conference being held in Mangaung.

They chatted to each other while standing in the morning sun.

Some whiled away time by reading newspapers.

Delegates filing into the university grounds, where the conference was being held, were visibly quieter for the second last day of the gathering.

The area in front of the main gate had been a scene of celebration and partying ahead of the election of the party's "top six" leadership positions on Tuesday.

The sidewalks at the entrance were still taken up by vendors selling ANC branded products, but trade had drastically declined.

On Wednesday, 295 nominees were up for a place in the party's powerful decision making structure.

Only 80 will make it through.

Delegates nominated their preferred candidates for the NEC on Tuesday evening.

Amongst those were former police commissioner Bheki Cele, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, a former presidency official Frank Chikane, and AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

A string of Cabinet members were also on the list.

Tuesday's proceedings culminated in President Jacob Zuma securing a second term as African National Congress leader alongside a new deputy, billionaire Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma's challenger Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe not only lost the race for party presidency, but he also declared himself unavailable for the NEC.

It was rumoured Motlanthe would soon depart as the country's deputy president, but his spokesman, Thabo Masebe, said he was unaware of this.

Others who declined nomination include presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, Northern Cape ANC chairman John Block, and struggle stalwart Jay Naidoo.

Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, National Union of Metalworkers of SA general secretary Irvin Jim and National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni did not accept nomination either.

Free State ANC chairman Ace Magashule withdrew his nomination at the last minute.


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