Home South African Scrap redundant deputy president position and overhaul the constitution, says ANC discussion...

Scrap redundant deputy president position and overhaul the constitution, says ANC discussion paper

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The discussion paper itself starts by dismissing the notion that one of the solutions to the current paralysis of the ANC is having a mix of young and old leaders.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy David Mabuza. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng-African News Agency (ANA)

THROWING a cat among the pigeons ahead of the ANC’s national elective conference in December this year, a discussion paper recommends that the governing party must implement a range of reforms, one of them being to scrap the position of deputy president and another to overhaul the constitution.

The discussion paper which was leaked to Independent Media is titled “Notes on the Renewal of the ANC” and it was prepared by Eddy Maloka, a visiting professor at the Wits University School of Governance.

It was then delivered and debated on Saturday during a national workshop of a group of Cosas Generation of Young Lions National Team (NTT) in partnership with the activists of the 1980s.

The legitimacy of the paper was confirmed by Jabu Kumalo, who is in charge of the secretariat of the NTT.

Kumalo said the motive was to spark “honest and constructive discussions to add to efforts being made by the ANC to implement programmes aimed at serving our people best also focusing on organisational renewal and organisational design”.

He also confirmed that the workshop also received inputs from ANC national executive committee (NEC) member, Ronald Lamola, who was representing the ANC.

Kumalo said Lamola’s input was on the Renewal Commission of the ANC which was announced in January this year.

“He (Lamola) clarified various aspects of the commission. These included the reasons for the establishment of the ANC Renewal Commission, the objectives of the commission, its programme, its plan to receive contributions from various stakeholders and the commission’s programme of action,” Kumalo said.

The discussion paper itself starts by dismissing the notion that one of the solutions to the current paralysis of the ANC is having a mix of young and old leaders.

“Some comrades have jumped the gun, and are already talking about the solution, the most famous of which is ’generational mix’. In our comradely effort to develop a diagnosis, we tend to equate the renewal of the ANC to individuals (and their age) – to the question of the Who’s Who of leadership.

“Fair enough! However, our contention in this paper is that the renewal of the ANC should start with ideas, a vision of the ANC of the future … Admittedly, leadership is at the core of our current crisis,” the discussion paper says.

The paper then goes deep to say the ANC’s top six must be reconstituted and scrap some positions both in the party and the state.

“We need to reconfigure our cabinet model to get rid of redundancies such as the position of Deputy President which was created for De Klerk. We could explore the possibility of introducing a Prime Minister system with a directly elected President. Parliament could be involved in the appointment of Cabinet through some form of oversight like confirmations,” it said.

Independent Media understands the matter of deputy was discussed and it became awkward as Lamola is in a slate that advocates for him to be elected the deputy president to Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of the ANC.

The discussion paper concludes by recommending issues for a way forward and that’s where the issue of overhauling the constitution came up.

“A renewal committee proposed in the January the 8th Statement is a step in the right direction … The next national conference should give the new NEC leadership the mandate to remake both the state and the ANC … We should overhaul our country to establish a 2nd Republic. A referendum on the new Constitution may be necessary. This referendum will mobilise our people and ANC structures. Parliamentary route for constitutional reforms is elitist.”

It was also stressed that it won’t work, in the next elections, for the ANC to go back to South Africans with tactical promises like job creation and fighting corruption because: “Our people no longer trust us. We have failed them in many ways. Instead, we should change tack and sell to South Africans a new vision for the future of our country – a vision of the 2nd Republic that is suggested in this paper.”

Political Bureau

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