ANC Parliamentary Caucus Lekgotla Media Statement

5 November 2020

Members of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus met from the 17 - 19 October and on 05 November 2020, in our annual Lekgotla, which was held for the first time in the history of Caucus on the virtual meeting platform.  

We convened under the theme: “Economic Reconstruction, Growth and  Transformation - Enhancing Caucus and Parliamentary oversight”. The theme focused discussions on the enormity of the challenges facing our country, continent and the world, and the responsibilities of the ANC Caucus to provide decisive leadership.

Our deliberations were enhanced by the Opening Address by the President of the ANC and the Republic Comrade Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa and Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jesse Duarte, presented political and organisational perspectives and decisions of the ANC NEC to Caucus. The Minister in the Presidency, comrade Jackson Mthembu, articulated the strategic priorities of government for this term and the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Comrade Pemmy Majodina, presented the Caucus organisational report since the last Caucus Lekgotla held in September 2019.

Meeting in the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the Caucus Lekgotla noted that the number of new cases per day were at their highest level globally since the start of the pandemic. The Caucus Lekgotla paid tribute to ANC MPs as well as over 19 000 South Africans who have passed on after succumbing to the virus.

The pandemic has worsened many of the social and economic challenges that have plagued our nation for some time, with a number of people living in rural and underdeveloped areas still lacking basic services, social and economic infrastructure. The Lekgotla felt the pain of the 2.2 million workers who have lost their jobs, families that have lost incomes and food security. The Lekgotla was heartened by the spirit of generosity shown by many South African citizens and corporates who donated to the Solidarity Fund and other forms of solidarity with the most vulnerable members of society. ANC MPs also contributed to the Solidarity Fund.

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus has full confidence in the capability of the President and the government leadership collective, working together with social partners, to lead the reconstruction and recovery of the country. Government’s response to the pandemic has amplified possibilities for enhanced state capability. This was demonstrated when government introduced social and income support interventions to provide safety nets for the poor, unemployed and companies in distress.

Our health system was rapidly equipped to manage the pandemic and our education system operated through the risk adjusted approach which has relatively minimised the loss of schooling time for learners. Temporary shelters and supply of water to schools and communities showed the latent capability of the ANC government to deliver basic services. The national effort to defeat Coronavirus and other health problems facing the country will be strengthened through the programmatic implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI).

We are proud that our Caucus led the process which kept Parliament open and through Portfolio/Standing/Select Committees, maintained oversight on government during the various Alert Levels of the national lockdown.

However, we share the disappointment about the cases of fraud and corruption related to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), the payment of social grants and income support funds reported by the Auditor General in some government departments and public entities. In this regard, Caucus has called on ANC MPs to ensure that all the affected Portfolio Committees conduct robust oversight and expose corrupt individuals and companies without fear