Statement of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus following its Ordinary Caucus Meeting

19 August 2022 

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus held its first meeting on 18 August 2022 of the third  quarter of Parliament following the mid-year constituency period, which enabled ANC  MPs to work with the people in different parts of the country.  

Caucus began the constituency period with a Mandela Month Outreach Programme  at Port St. Johns in the OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape, where it worked with  communities to address their challenges after facing the adverse effects of climate  change floods. 

As Caucus celebrates women’s month, we pay our respect to the heroines who  shaped the cause of struggles for the emancipation of women and South Africa under  the most challenging times of oppressive apartheid regimes. 

The Caucus paid its respects to the ANC Deputy Secretary General (DSG) Comrade  Yasmin Jessie Duarte, who passed on in July 2022. Caucus will hold a memorial  service on the 25th of August 2022. Caucus also mourn the passing on of Comrade  Anastasia Motaung, who was a member of Caucus serving in the Social Development  Study Group, and our struggle veteran and stalwart Mama Rita Ndzanga, a former  trade unionist, ANC underground operative who served in the first Gauteng Provincial  Legislature (1994-1999), second and third democratic Parliament (1999-2009). 

Economic situation and Cost of living 

Caucus raised concern about the rising cost of living, which negatively impacts the  poor and unemployed the most, whilst household incomes have declined, and prices  of basic goods and services have increased due to increasing fuel costs. 

The geopolitical situation and the Russia/Ukraine conflict are causing inflationary  pressures and increasing the cost of living. The ANC led government should continue  to implement programmes that lower the cost of living.

The level of unemployment, particularly amongst the youth, and poverty levels and widening inequality is a critical focus of the Caucus. The acceleration of the Economic  Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is an urgent imperative, and the Caucus noted that  the GDP grew by 1.9 percent and unemployment decreased by 0.8 percent in the first  quarter of 2022, reflecting economic recovery. 

Caucus raised serious concerns regarding power disruptions and undertook to  heighten its oversight to ensure that interventions by the government at Eskom yield  intended outcomes to end blackouts and supply efficient and low-cost electricity in the  long term. 

State Capability 

Caucus has expressed its concerns on recurring under-expenditure by different  spheres of government whilst the people require various basic services. Caucus will  have a coordinated approach to address this problem to ensure accountability and  consequence management as this has a negative impact on the government’s efforts  to address poverty, unemployment, and economic stagnation. 

Caucus is dismayed by the slow implementation of assistance interventions in areas  affected by the floods disaster and calls for urgent intervention by the National  Government on outstanding assistance to KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and North  West. The Caucus will speed up efforts of the Ad-Hoc Joint Committee on Flood  Disaster Relief and Recovery to accelerate the delivery of all basic services. 

Rising and pervasive levels of violence and social ills 

Caucus expressed its grave concern about the high levels of lawlessness and violence  and called for strengthening state security agencies to strengthen the fight against  illegal mining, a haven of criminal activities that have inflicted violence and harm to the surrounding communities. Caucus condemn all criminal syndicates and Illegal  immigrants participating in these illegal mining activities. 

Caucus will continue to urge the Ministry of Police and other security agencies to  strengthen efforts to combat rape, gender-based violence and femicide, rising levels  of murder, drug syndicates, and robbery, which undermine the safety of South Africans  and the authority of the democratic state. 

Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture Report 

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus welcomes the report as it will assist in strengthening Parliament. The ANC Caucus will respond to the various recommendations affecting  Parliament. Although the recommendations are not binding, the ANC Caucus will  champion the implementation of recommendations which will strengthen Parliament. 

Motions by some opposition parties on the Phala Phala Game Farm Matter 

We welcome the decision of the National Assembly Speaker to appoint an  independent panel to conduct a preliminary inquiry on the ATM motion to determine whether sufficient evidence exists as outlined in Section 89 of the  Constitution of the Republic. The ANC will submit proposed names for the independent  panel of three fit and proper, competent, experienced and respected South Africans. 

Caucus also welcome the decision of the Speaker to refer security aspects of the  matter to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence which is an appropriate  Committee. The ANC Caucus will accord competent state agencies and relevant parliamentary processes the space to conduct their investigation.  

The ANC Caucus notes the unprincipled and opportunistic ganging up of some  opposition parties against the ANC based on innuendo, untested allegations, and a  rushed attempt to pre-empt proper investigations and to try and achieve political power  through the back door after losing the 2019 general elections. 

The ANC Caucus rejects the call by the DA for the establishment of an Ad-Hoc  Committee on the robbery at the Phala Phala Game Farm. There is a relevant Portfolio  Committee responsible for oversight over the SAPS. 

We welcome the commitment by the President to fully cooperate with all law  enforcement agencies investigating the matter. This is what is expected from a leader  who respects the Constitution and laws of the Republic. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa remains the torch bearer and champion in the fight against  corruption. We support the President and the collective he leads in the endeavour to  build an ethical and capable developmental state to bring about socio-economic  transformation. 

There is an attempt by the DA to deflect public attention from the racial problems  confronting the party. The racism embedded in DA politics will continue to alienate  black members who continue to resign due to the realisation that it continues to  represent backward and racist interests.  

The recent appointment of Siviwe Gwarube as the DA Chief Whip is a pathetic attempt  to appease Black DA members.  

Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, Comrade Pemmy Majodina