Declaration of the 2013 ANC Parliamentary Caucus Lekgotla, Parliament - Cape Town
2 March 2013
We the members of the African National Congress Parliamentary Caucus held our annual Caucus Lekgota in Cape Town from 1-2 March 2013, under the theme: "Consolidating People`s Power for Social and Economic Development".
The Lekgotla was attended by members of the ANC Caucus: members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, including members of the executive. In the spirit of strengthening co-operative governance, the Chief Whips of ANC Caucuses in provincial legislatures and metropolitan municipal councils were also present.
The lekgota took place at the start of the month in which South Africa marks Human Rights Day on 21 March. Caucus condemned in the strongest terms the unacceptably high levels of sexual and gender-based violence in our society as well as incidents of illegal actions by certain members of some of our law enforcement agencies. Caucus committed itself to ensuring that members address these matters through their oversight roles as well as in their constituencies by joining forces with all stakeholders.
We have met in this annual Lekgotla under the theme: "Consolidating People`s Power for Social and Economic Development", signifying the earnestness with which the African National Congress in Parliament shall undertake the critical tasks of socio-economic emancipation during this second phase of our transition.. We are strengthened by the profound and insightful inputs of the leaders of the movement in their various capacities, as well as the robust and open discussions by participants during the two days of this annual Lekgotla.
We reaffirm our commitment to the progressive resolutions of the 53rd National Conference of the ANC, including the National Development Plan, and the programme of action of the National Executive Committee Lekgotla. As the ANC in Parliament, we will pursue these resolutions with vigour and conviction to fundamentally and speedily transform the quality of life of all South Africans.
Over the last two days, we have conducted a frank assessment of our performance since the last Lekgotla, extensively explored the primary tasks of the legislature (and our key role within it) as the site for transformation of our society, and have thus emerged with the programme of action we shall implement this year.
We affirm that dedication, commitment, discipline and joint effort shall be the foundation upon which the tasks we have agreed on, informed largely by our 2009 Elections Manifesto which served as a contract between our organisation and the people, will be realized during this final year of this Parliamentary term.
We echo the caution given to us during this Lekgotla by the Secretary General that: "We must be reminded that positions do not bestow respect to one, it is the behaviour befitting the position that earns you respect". The hopes and aspirations of millions of our people have been placed on the shoulders of those afforded the privileged task of being MPs to provide moral and disciplined leadership in this institution. This is a revolutionary task we dare not betray!
Consistent with the spirit and intent of the movement`s `Decade of the Cadre`, at the heart of which is the programme of cadre development, we shall embark on a deliberate effort to improve the technical capacity and know-how of MPs, with a view to ensure the laws this Parliament produces are constitutionally sound and are tailor-made to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and joblessness. The programme of developing cadres, inculcating moral, ethical and disciplined leadership as part of the `Decade of the Cadre`, will also radically improve ththe ANC in Parliament shall at all times win by the force of its arguments as the majority party in this institution.
As the five-year-term of office draws to a close, we resolve to deepen partnership amongst the various legislative spheres with a view to intensify a coordinated robust and fearless legislative oversight across all levels of government. This Parliament shall intervene decisively where necessary, take up service delivery issues instantly and directly, and follow-up their implementation to ensure outstanding issues we committed to in our Manifesto are accomplished. We will also forge greater coordination amongst committees at all levels of the legislative sector - Parliament, Legislatures and Councils - in an effort to strengthen synergy in oversight work. This would be done through, amongst others, the joint forum of whips drawn from the three spheres of the legislative sector.
Consistent with the system of participatory and accountable democracy we shall, through the one-stop centre Parliamentary Constituency Offices, continue our visibility amongst our communities. Deliberate effort will be made during this final year of the parliamentary term to use constituency work as a platform for public representatives to account to our people on our success and achievements during the last five years.
We draw inspiration from the words of President OR Tambo during the movement`s 73rd anniversary, who profoundly defined the cadre of the ANC thus:
"The distinctive feature of the revolutionary cadre is a high level of discipline, dedication and courage in carrying out the tasks assigned by the movement. Such cadres are guided by our goal of a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa. They accept that our path to victory lies in a combination of the all-round activity of the ANC, united mass political action…international solidarity and support."
Despite the challenges of today and the difficult tasks that lie ahead - we confidently declare: social and economic victory is certain!
ANC LIVES, ANC LEADS! AMANDLA!
Adopted by the Lekgotla of the Parliamentary Caucus of the African National Congress on 2 March 2013
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