[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Cosatu on leadership
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Sep 11 07:38:18 BST 2007
(Four Cosatu strategic papers are being launched today; are they the last intellectual gasp of the corporatist project, or something more stimulating??)
COSATU paper on the leadership challenge
COSATU's Ninth National Congress was a watershed and historic in every respect. It took the leadership and the union movement into uncharted waters, and made decisive pronouncements with clear timeframes for delivery.
In particular, the Ninth Congress made clear that COSATU has a class interest in who leads the ANC and what policy direction the ANC and the state develop and pursue. The first Central Committee after the congress has been given a responsibility to "identify leadership which can best pursue a programme in the interest of the working class." This Central Committee shall be held on the 17 - 20 September 2007.
In order to help situate the challenge of leadership, we need to repeat some of the key observations and concerns that the congress raised and locate them in a brief analysis of developments in the NDR and in the Alliance. We then propose a framework to interpret the resolution; clarify why workers should take an interest in this matter; and lay down principles and criteria for an ANC leadership collective.
In this context, COSATU must reflect on the politics of quotas, and whether they can be used to take forward our class interest. We must also consider the relations between the NEC and other decision-making structures of the ANC, for example the relationship between the NEC and the NWC; the role of the ANC Secretary General's Office; and the accountability and power of cadres deployed in government.
2 The Congress resolutions
The Ninth National Congress expressed concern over a lack of democratic participation, with COSATU and the SACP and to some extent the ANC itself sidelined from policy development due to the centralisation of power in the office of the Presidency, which has been a driver of policy direction.
In response to this and many other challenges outlined in the resolution on the Alliance, Congress called for the restructuring of the Alliance. Central to this would be development of a pact between the parties with conditions and agreed minimum goals. It would include agreements on deployment quotas, independent caucuses and power to recall. Further the congress called for a debate on combating centralisation and patronage, confronting and debating ideological differences, confronting growing class contradictions within the ANC, and strengthening the independent programmes of Alliance partners.
Congress expressed serious concerns at the class composition of the ANC structures. It observed that,
"While the historic constituency of the ANC remains the black working class and the poor majority, the national leadership of the ANC is increasingly becoming capitalist and middle-strata in composition and character. Furthermore the ANC is also dominated by cadres drawn from the state and that there are far too few cadres from outside the state. Working class leadership has been weakened within the national leadership structures of the ANC."
Further the Ninth Congress stated that whilst COSATU will continue to support the ANC in the next period, currently the ANC is dominated by the interests of capital rather than the working class.
Lastly, the congress called on the CEC to develop "a set of policy objectives against which to measure the extent to which the ANC is able to shift to represent the interests of the working class." The congress then set four criteria to measure this. They include
· implementation of nationalisation provisions of the Freedom Charter,
· an end to privatisation and commercialisation/commodification of government functions,
· adoption of an economic policy that ensures redistribution of wealth, and
· abolition of anti-worker legislation.
The CEC Political Commission that prepared for the February 2007 CEC noted that the resolution marks a departure from COSATU's historical position that it would not get involved in internal ANC leadership questions.
The Ninth Congress set key tasks for the federation to be reviewed in June 2008. These include restructuring the Alliance and arriving at an Alliance Pact for Development.
The Congress resolution means that the political choices facing the Federation are not comfortable but have to be confronted. Otherwise we risk continued weakening of the Alliance and the ANC itself. The mandate emerging out of the COSATU Congress is a tough one signalling an end to open-ended debate about the nature of the Alliance and its minimum programme.
3 Assessing the NDR and developments in the Alliance
The 1994 breakthrough represented a leap forward with a favourable domestic balance of forces, but in a hostile international climate. In that context, the debate revolves around strategy and tactics to realise the vision of the Freedom Charter and the RDP. It is in this context that the acrimonious debate around macro-economic policy should be understood and debated.
The democratic space and removal of formal restrictions for black people opened a vista of possibilities for upward mobility. This created the illusion of a South Africa full of possibilities that can be exploited if one only exerts him/herself enough.
For a time, this vision of a 'rainbow' nation seemed plausible as many blacks move up into the middle strata. But three realities soon emerged:
· Mass unemployment persisted together with low pay for most black workers, with most job growth in recent years in retail and construction and only a tiny minority of black people actually experiencing substantial improvements in economic terms.
· Relations in the workplace remained oppressive and conflict-ridden for most workers, with one African worker in seven reporting racial abuse on the job.
· Black professionals soon hit a glass ceiling, leaving them dependent on state support to further their careers as capitalists.
COSATU and the SACP together with many formations of the working class have reached the conclusion that in economic terms the bourgeoisie made more gains from democracy, if measured by the restoration of profitability, possibilities for exploiting international markets and reduction of corporate taxes. President Thabo Mbeki has also made a point that business had the best of times in the first decade of democracy.
In short, South Africa is still marked by acute inequalities in terms of race, gender and class. However, the upper class has been slightly deracialised with the emergence of a small black bourgeoisie and a black political leadership.
In the Alliance, these realities have led to intensive contestation over the ultimate aims and the extent of progress of the NDR. Ultimately, the question is whether the class differentiation arising from liberation can be managed in favour of the majority of our people. The working-class character of the revolution is under constant challenge, with intense debate over economic policy in particular.
Some in the liberation movement have arrived at their final destination. Possibilities now exist for them to accumulate and to be rich, especially if they can mobilise state support under the banner of BEE. Yet the working class still faces daunting challenges and mass poverty.
We must remember that the liberation movement emerged as a united front of the working class and the black middle strata under the leadership of the working class. The goal of this multi-class alliance was to eradicate the political and economic system spawned by apartheid and 'racialised' capitalism. As such, we were fighting for thoroughgoing transformation of society rather than a simple deracialisation, to insert new black elite in the echelons of power - both political and economic.
This multi-class alliance is now under threat as a few black leaders seek to use state power to advance their own class positions, rather than the interests of the majority. Yet a broad front of workers and other classes committed to a radical change certainly has more power than a narrow worker movement. The question is whether we can maintain this alliance without too much compromise on our ultimate goals.
The answer depends, in part, on how effectively we can manage our relationship to the ANC and the Alliance.
Congress after congress repeatedly demonstrated that workers see the Alliance as the principal weapon to engage with transformation. The Alliance has continued to be the most potent weapon in the hands of our people to advance their interests, defend the gains of the revolution, and support thorough-going and radical transformation of our society.
For this reason, all Alliance formations have agreed that during this period the Alliance remains relevant and must be strengthened. The Alliance continues to share the commitment to use the democratic space we have gained to build a prosperous South Africa where all shall have a better life. The Alliance has fought elections together. COSATU itself spends millions during elections, while our members put in long days and sometimes risk danger in order to ensure that the ANC is returned to power with an ever-greater majority.
New challenges have however arisen. The ANC is now the government of the day. This should imply that the Alliance as a whole is in government. But the ANC being in government has not translated into the Alliance as a whole driving transformation, or even into the ANC democratically guiding state policy.
Throughout this period concerns have been raised mainly by COSATU and the SACP that the Alliance is only made relevant during the elections and once this is over they are marginalised and excluded from major policy decisions.
Similarly, in the post-1994 environment, the ANC is struggling to maintain internal democracy and give members space to influence policy directions. Outside the broad framework developed at national conferences ANC members and branches cannot influence government policies. The clear examples are that GEAR and ASGISA were introduced to the movement as faits accomplis. The danger of bureaucratisation of the liberation movement and over-reliance on state power is looming very large.
The ANC has no capacity to monitor compliance with its policy directives at any level. In the ANC, the representatives of the Executive effectively form the most powerful faction, since only they have capacity to develop policy and to monitor implementation. Other groups can only raise problems at major meetings such as the NGC or conference. Even there, reportback on implementation of ANC policy is left to those deployed to carry it out - hardly the basis for an unbiased evaluation.
The ANC Secretary General largely performs organisational tasks such as monitoring work of the Provincial Secretaries and organisers to undertake organisational programmes. His Office has no capacity to do anything else. It is not a centre for monitoring implementation or an inner political centre. Instead, the inner political centre is the Presidency in government, backed by the Cabinet.
The Stellenbosch conference of the ANC called for the creation of an ANC institution to drive policy development and monitoring. This has not been taken forward.
The ANC through its President and Secretary General has been pointing out at these dangers for some time now. No systematic organisational development process has thus far been undertaken to address these challenges.
This situation means that the ANC's branch structure, like the Alliance, is really mobilised only around elections campaigns. According to the Secretary General's report in 2005, only 50% of ANC branches were functioning in the wards in the country. The whole organisational section of the report makes a very depressing reading.
We recognise that the ANC is a powerful force in society and that workers have invested a lot to build it. Still, while the ANC remains a broad church, a conservative bloc has attempted to move the movement to the centre left. This is manifest in the hollowing of the internal organisation, poor internal democracy and locus of power centred in the state; change in the key cadres driving the ANC; and in economic policy, which now originates primarily in government departments. There is also a tendency to use the ANC as an instrument of individual accumulation whether via the state or through business connections.
This environment is not static, but rather subject to intense contestation. The principal task of the working class is to recapture the ANC as a progressive and radical liberation movement.
4 Key Challenges facing COSATU and working class formations
At the recent bilateral with the SACP we pointed out that the working class formations face daunting challenges in this period. These include some of the following:
· Building a counter-hegemonic bloc to the agenda of monopoly capital. This should be translated into a challenge to the dominant discourse and the fight for policy shifts in areas of fiscal and monetary policy; social development; and employment and industrial strategies.
· Building unity of the liberation movement around the Freedom Charter vision. We must avoid endless, vague and abstract debate which channel energy towards proving who has the correct reading of classic or historic texts. Rather, debate must focus on how the contemporary trajectory lives up to the vision of the movement and the concrete steps to attain our long-standing goals in the current conjuncture.
· While asserting the hegemonic position of the working class as a primary motive force, a key question is how to maintain the historic bloc of forces around a vision of society that addresses class, gender and racial contradictions. It is pointless to achieve recognition of the working class as a primary motive when policy disproportionately favours the elite. In that context, the working class must articulate a vision that will draw the broadest section of people, particularly the middle strata. To that extent the vision should demonstrate that there is a common cause between the working class and the black middle strata and to an extent the emerging black bourgeoisie to fight for the radical transformation of our society. This can take the form of campaigns like the financial sector campaign, agrarian reforms and breaking the stranglehold of white monopoly capital.
· The Alliance must form a centre to drive transformation and policy development. In this context we need to fight for a qualitative shift in the functioning of the Alliance. If Alliance means strategic coming together of independent formations, then this must be reflected in the manner in which government policy is set and driven. Furthermore, the ANC ought to be empowered to drive policy rather than tailing behind government.
· Galvanise a progressive movement made up of the liberation movement working with progressive elements of civil society. In this regard the aim would be to marshal social forces to buttress a progressive state in a way that tilts power in favour of the working class. As such mass mobilisation will be important to counter the power of capital, defend the revolution and expand the envelope of the possible.
· The ANC remains an important progressive formation for the working class. The challenge is how we retain its progressive posture and working class leadership under the current conditions of intense contestation. As ANC members we need to defend the progressive strand in ANC policy and its continued bias towards the working class. This will require an examination of how the ANC is affected by current developments and in what way it reflects working class bias in its policy and leadership structures. Without doubt we know that leadership contests can either place an organisation on a higher growth path or lead to paralysis and disintegration. For that reason, as we approach the ANC conference we need to exercise maximum caution not to destroy the movement due to narrow factionalist positions. Neither should we allow a sense of paralysis or helplessness to creep in as we tackle leadership questions. We must shift debate from personalities to what collective will take the ANC forward and retain its progressive working-class bias.
· The SACP will debate how it positions itself in the political landscape. COSATU does not have views at the moment and will have to grapple with the implications of whatever decision the Party arrives at, in particular in relation to whether the SACP should stand on its own for elections. However, we remain unshaken in our belief that a strong Party rooted among workers is our insurance to advance the struggle towards socialism. It is from this context that we have called on the SACP to unite the left and convene a conference of the left.
· The Alliance has to build a coherent international policy and progressive movement. This should be consistent with our vision of building a humane and just international order. To that end the minimum platform of such a vision is to challenge the tyranny of neo-liberalism; decolonisation; and democratisation across the globe. We have to fight for a fair and just international trading regime.
Further concerns for COSATU arise in the present threats to democracy.
The South African Constitution and current practise largely lay a firm foundation for a democratic and vibrant society. Our Constitution allows for an open contest for power as well as the separation of power between the executive and the judiciary. There are a series of check and balances that would make it hard for any person to drive our society to an open authoritarian state.
The access to judiciary and to influence government programmes is however mediated by unequal access to power and resources. The rich have an unfair advantage over the less resourced. The following point to the dangers arising from this reality.
· We remain concerned about allegations that some in the executive manipulate independent institutions such as the NPA and SABC for narrow factional reasons.
· The so-called hoax e-mail saga has not been resolved in a manner that helps unite the NEC of the ANC. It appears that technicalities and legalities were used to dismiss the report commissioned by the NEC of the ANC. The report seemingly pointed to deepseated political problems that have not been resolved.
· The current proportional representation system undermines independent thought as individual careers depend on those in Party leadership and the deployment committee. COSATU has supported the call for a strong constituency element to be introduced in the electoral process at national and provincial level.
· The problems are aggravated by floor-crossing legislation. Although the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of these laws, floor crossing subverts the political process and undermines the will of the people. It fosters a new culture where individuals position themselves to serve other individuals instead of serving the people.
· Political party funding is another threat to democracy if it is not subjected to public scrutiny. Chequebook politics can subvert the will of the people exercised through the right to vote, as we have seen in other countries like the United States.
· The ANC has no 'independent' instrument to effectively monitor compliance of government with policy directives of its constitutional meetings or to evaluate progress against its own goals. This has led to a situation where those in the executive basically monitor its own performance.
5 The leadership challenge
Leadership can be defined as the ability of an individual or leadership collective to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members. Typically it involves an element of vision. A vision provides direction to the influence process. A leader or collective leadership can have one or more visions of the future to aid them to move a group successfully towards this goal.
The democratic movement has always emphasized the leadership collective rather than relying on an individual leader. No matter how brilliant and gifted the individual leaders, they are only good if they build collective.
This is a very important principle that should not be lost. Any individual, no matter how good they are overall, will have weaknesses that if left alone could destroy organisations and movements. As a minimum, every individual has the inherent weakness of wanting to accumulate more power and influence. The popular saying that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" did not arise as an empty slogan but from concrete experience.
Rosa Luxemburg once said "the leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and must be recreated from the masses and out of the masses." In a way, the COSATU Ninth National Congress was speaking to this when it took the extraordinary decisions summarised above.
We need leaders who can guard against the phenomenon so well articulated in Frans Fanon's book, Wretched of the Earth. There is no law of nature that prescribes that political movements must change character at the point where they assume political office.
The first such change which in some cases happens over time is the conversion of the liberation movement into a political party. In this situation the broad liberation movement tends to fragment into different constituent elements and certain new elements come to play a dominant role.
This is accompanied by mass demobilisation of the revolutionary forces. The masses role as agents of change is transformed and masses become spectators that are called upon during national elections and to celebrate national days. Former revolutionaries are preoccupied with survival as individuals and tend to focus less on common project for change. In this situation the Party becomes dependent on the state machinery and less on its mass base. The Sandinistas lost the elections not only because the masses were war weary but also because for long periods after the victory of the revolution the mass base was demobilised. Of course there are examples that paint a different picture including the Cuban experience.
Another tendency was to blur the distinction between the State and the Party. While it is necessary to deploy a trusted cadreship into the state machinery, often this is done at the expense of the party. Under these circumstances the party becomes the ladder for economic opportunities and the line is determined increasingly in state institutions rather than party structures. Under this circumstances state institutions are used to settle political scores in the party and patronage deployed to weaken internal vibrancy of a movement. Further, factionalism rears its ugly head as people contest to control the organisation.
The 2015 Plan also represented a response to these challenges. Principally the 2015 Plan is a programme to build the power of the working class so that it can play its leading role during this period. The programme revolves around strengthening the Alliance and calls on members to swell the ranks of the ANC and the SACP.
But the working class can't be expected merely to swell the ranks. The recognition that the working class is the primary motive force for the liberation struggle should go beyond a mere recognition and/or adding just to foot soldiers in the branches. The working class must take leadership of the NDR not for the sake of power in itself, but as a means to address the challenges still faced by our society and our movement.
6 Framework and criteria for election of leadership
We have summarised above the reasons behind COSATU's Ninth National Congress taking extraordinary and unprecedented decisions such as to call for a debate on the ANC leadership and to help identify leaders for the ANC.
The greatest mistake when electing leadership is to ignore the relationship between individuals' capacity to turn the ship around to achieve the destination we want. We cannot allow emotions and a beauty-contest mentality to drive our thinking when we are presented with a historic opportunity to correct historic mistakes and wrongs and save our revolution.
Before we can even begin to think about individuals, workers should go back to lead the ANC. Before emotions take their toll on all of us and before we get trapped into pro this and anti that caucus, we must agree on the framework and criteria for electing leadership.
Leadership that should emerge in December 2007 should take us to the opposite route to this phenomenon we have described above. We want no less of a commitment to respect of internal democratic processes. Leadership must respect of the culture for robust internal debates. Leadership must be tolerant and encourage different views whilst at the same time ensuring respect for majority views once the democratic processes have taken their course.
We therefore present the following framework and criteria to be considered by the leadership and members and for debates in the COSATU Central Committee in September 2007. The first part considers issues around all leaders, with a final section on how to strengthen representation of the working class.
6.1 General requirements
1. Commitment to the radical NDR and thorough-going transformation: The NDR is not a narrow de-racialisation project. It is radical because it must address three interrelated forms of oppression - gender, national and class oppression. Whilst it recognises that political liberation does not represent the resolution of the class contradictions, it nevertheless seeks to shift the balance in favour of the working class. It is in this context that the NDR is not hostile to socialism (at least that what the ANC 1969 Morogoro conference said).
The leadership that must lead an ANC rooted amongst our people and led by the working class must have an unquestionable commitment to this mass-based NDR. It must have an ambivalent commitment to all the demands of the Freedom Charter including its call for nationalisation, redistribution of wealth and land, and free and compulsory education.
To ensure commitment to the NDR in the long run requires revolutionary morality, organisational discipline and general reliability. We need to ensure that our candidates will not be bought by those with more wealth than any worker movement can envision. A problem is that anyone who takes a position of power today faces a combination of endless temptation and massive pressure from bureaucrats within the state as well as from international capital and "advisors." How do we ensure the people we nominate cannot give in to those who oppose real change?
2. Proven commitment to the Alliance: Workers have had enough of shouting tired empty Alliance slogans and hollow commitment to the Alliance whilst the record proves otherwise. If all accept that the Alliance is a weapon in the hands of our people to effect fundamental transformation, then this must be accompanied by equal commitment to make it work. Leadership must be committed to the following principles:
a. While led by the ANC, the partners should recognise one another's independence in the Alliance and accord each one equal status;
b. Work for mutual benefit in which there is respect and recognition of the role of each component of the Alliance while forging maximum unity;
c. Strengthen one another's formations, including providing time and resources for organisational building of the Alliance;
d. Manage the tensions in the Alliance by consulting one another through meeting regularly and hammering out the issues; and
e. Promote debate and discussion within the Alliance through democratic participation of the components of the Alliance and strive to resolve such debates through discussion and consensus.
The programme of action agreed upon in the Ekurhuleni 2 Alliance Summit must be implemented, and in particular:
a. The Alliance must co-ordinate its activities and provide leadership to social transformation in all spheres of society, including civil society and the state;
b. The process of policy development and its implementation should be informed on an on-going basis by collective endeavour;
c. In order to carry its programmes and maintain unity going forward, the Alliance Secretariat should meet every two weeks to co-ordinate and implement agreed-upon programmes and address other issues that may arise from time to time;
d. The Alliance ten-a-side, which is meant to address policy matters of importance, should meet quarterly for a full day to consider matters advanced by the Secretariat of the Alliance;
e. The Alliance as agreed upon must be convened to develop a longer-term programme of the Alliance on the specific questions that were canvassed in the recent (2006) bilaterals between COSATU and the ANC;
f. The structure of the Alliance must be reviewed so that all the partners will play a meaningful role in pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution in all battles of the struggle for both national and social liberation.
g. The interactions of the Alliance should be led by all Alliance partners' leadership, in particular the top six leaders of each Alliance component.
h. The political centre must be properly defined and constituted as a representative force of the Alliance capable of executing the tasks set by the National Democratic Revolution.
i. The structure of the Alliance must be reviewed such that all the partners will play a meaningful role in the pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution in all battles of the struggle for both national and social liberation.
j. There should be thorough preparation for the transition programme from capitalism to socialism. The radical character of the National Democratic Revolution remains high on the agenda of the working class and must become the guiding force for a coherent Alliance programme aimed at eliminating all forms of inequality.
k. To initiate a debate within the Alliance in the build-up to the 2007 ANC conference and SACP 11th Congress around the restructuring of the Alliance to make it an effective tool for social transformation. This debate should include the following:
i. Combating centralisation and patronage;
ii. Confronting and debating ideological differences within the Alliance;
iii. Confronting and debating growing class contradictions within the ANC, including the current accumulation path, which is creating a black bourgeoisie, and the need to maintain a pro-working-class, pro-poor agenda and leadership within the ANC and the Alliance;
iv. Strengthening the independent programmes of the Alliance partners, e.g. debates about the SACP putting forward candidates should not be seen in opposition to the Alliance strategy;
v. The need for a more structured "pact" between the parties, with conditions and agreed minimum goals. This should include agreements on deployments and quotas for representation of the different Alliance partners at every level, with independent caucuses and the power of recall to ensure accountability.
l. An Alliance-led deployment committee should oversee the whole process of deployment.
m. Mutual respect should be observed between all members of the alliance.
n. Sufficient time should be given to engage on crucial matters for consideration. This will lead to less tension between the partners of the Alliance.
3. Commitment to the unity of the ANC and the democratic movement: Unity is power. Without unity and cohesion our movement is weaker. Unity has been undermined as reflected in this paper, not least by the lack of democracy and consultation within the ANC, the Alliance and with other organisations in the democratic movement.
We need leadership that can better unify the ANC and help it regain its character as a progressive, working-class-biased, multiclass liberation movement that unites all our people. Attempts to rush it into becoming a party capitalism or centre left must be reversed. The rise in anti-communist sentiments must be defeated.
Unity goes beyond just unifying the Alliance. What we need is leadership that would actively rebuild a congress movement.
4. Commitment to make this decade truly a decade of workers and the poor: There is seemingly a consensus that in economic terms the real beneficiaries since 1994 have been big business. We need leaders
a. who can work with civil society to set ambitious targets to reverse this trend, and who can force the state to account in terms of these targets,
b. who are not afraid to build coalitions that will confront entrenched business interests to achieve transformation, and
c. who will ensure that the Alliance, representing the majority of our people, shapes the basic strategies to transform the economy.
5. Internationalism: The ANC is anti imperialist and internationalist in character. The ANC for many decades has played a critical role in world affairs aligning itself with progressive forces in a struggle to build a better world. In the recent period whilst leading government the ANC has played a pivotal role to create a new image of the African continent as well as coordinating developing and progressive nations to resist colonisation of our world by the super powers. The ANC together with the Alliance formations has taken resolutions calling for the creation of the international platform that will unite all progressive forces behind a minimum programme.
The leadership core that must emerge must have a total commitment to cement the leadership role South Africa has played in the African continent and in the world. It must have a commitment to build a minimum programme working with other progressive political formations, trade unions and civil society. This new block of progressives must serve as a countervailing force against the hegemony of the US imperialism and neo liberal programmes.
6.2 Working-class leadership
There is a consensus that the working class is the primary motive force of the revolution. The working class earned this not because they are most disadvantaged social force but because of its superior organisational capacity to prosecute and sustain the struggle.
Quite clearly in the recent period the working class has been displaced in the leading structures of the ANC. The debate is how this should be corrected in the context of debates currently underway within the ANC. COSATU Congress has agreed to a quota system, but we need to consider carefully how to ensure that it both fosters democracy and ensures a consistent and strong voice for the working class.
In this context, some critical issues are:
1. Working class representation does not literally mean finding workers in the factories and mines or the unemployed. We need to develop cadre from working class backgrounds, particularly shopstewards. But we mean primarily those who have a progressive pro-working class outlook and who are embedded in organised labour. We need to define how we can identify and select candidates who will retain a working class position even when under intense fire. Even so we need to recognise that the ANC is a broad church and this must be reflected in its leadership. But as we have argued the working class leadership has over time been displaced and this need to be corrected.
2. We must guard jealously the independence of COSATU. If more COSATU leaders sit in the ANC, how do we ensure the independence of the trade union movement? Critical step will be
a. to limit who from the COSATU CEC can stand for election to the ANC NEC, and
b. to ensure regular report back and accountability to the COSATU CEC.
3. Leadership must be well schooled and strong on policy so that they cannot be manipulated by bureaucrats, hostile international interests and reactionaries seeking to roll back whatever gains we get from the change of leaders.
4. We should also consider a limit on participation by other interest groups, particularly Cabinet members and big business. Cabinet members, in particular, should not be strong enough to compel the NEC to adopt their policies unquestioningly. More so we are aware of the dangers posed by the domination of business and its interests in ANC structures.
We need to consider the modality of a quota system. Possibilities include:
· Firstly COSATU may choose to accept the quota system as proposed by the political paper prepared in 2006 by the political committee of the ANC. In this regard the debate may be about whether the proposals are adequate or not. The ANC paper had argued that at least 4 seats be reserved for the trade union movement in the ANC NEC.
· Secondly in the context of the 50%-50% women representation debate the Federation may consider extending this debate to embrace all quotas necessary to ensure representatively of all ANC structures including in parliament. This may include argument to ensure a representative quota of the working class which makes 80% of society and more than that of ANC voters. Youth representation would be critical in this regard. It is generally accepted that 60% of our population is below the age of 35. In order to ensure that 50% women quota is itself representative it must also be subjected to the criteria that 80% of our population is working class and 60% youth.
· A third option will be to subject the whole quota debate to the political process. Informed by the general agreement that the leadership structure be more representative of the ANC core constituencies broadly represented by the quotas in the second option, the ANC constitutional structures would as far as possible seek to ensure that the composition of leadership reflect firstly on the working class bias and leadership and general representation of the core constituents of the movement.
All these options would only work if the working class is politically and organisationally strong. If not strong enough all these options and attempts to make the ANC more representative, more progressive and pro working class will simply be ignored. The call to swell the ranks of the ANC and the SACP would only make an impact if this is also accompanied by empowerment of the working class so that it is conscious of the fact that it is a proletariat that has particular interests that could not be taken forward by every Tom or Thandi.
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