ANC lekgotla: Focus in mining, student funding & political investment in WC

The ANC held a news conference to disclose the outcome of its top-level lekgotla that was held at Irene outside Pretoria this past weekend

FILE: ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says the government must implement a system to ensure students from poor households receive fully-subsidised grants for their first year of study from next year.

It also says students from the middle strata should be subsidised through a system of grants and affordable loans.

The party says its Lekgotla has also resolved to look more closely at the mining sector and to avoid focusing only on the short-term issue of the spat over the mining charter.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says their policy on higher education funding comes from one central thought.

“We’re informed by one issue only and that issue is no child should be deprived the right to development because of the economic status of the family.”

MINING CHARTER

Mantashe’s also announced that the ANC’s economic transformation commission will now coordinate an approach that looks beyond the dispute between the Mineral Resources Minister and the mining industry over the new mining charter.

Mantashe says the importance of mining to the economy means people should not just focus on the short-term issue of the mining charter

“Therefore, we need to talk to the growth and the role of the mining sector to the economy of the country and not deal with short-term issues of just the charter here."

And he says the mining industry should not be dealt with in a way that is seen as punitive.

“We must deal with the industry in a way that provides leadership to make the industry perform so that it can make the contribution.”

But Mantashe says the party is not undermining Zwane.

DULLAH OMAR REGION

The NEC has also overruled the Western Cape ANC’s decision to disband its Dullar Omar region.

It's claimed that the region supports Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC after December.

“There needs to be serious political investment in the Western Cape in order to realise our vision of regaining political power in that province as early as 2019.”

Mantashe says that this ANC region is not a region of angels.

MONDLI GUNGUBELE

At the same time, Mantashe says party MP Mondli Gungubele’s claim that he will vote against President Jacob Zuma in a parliamentary confidence vote is simply unacceptable.

The party’s national executive committee has also decided to ask its economic transformation commission to help the mining sector as the chamber of mines is taking mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane to court over the new mining charter.

The ANC’s NEC met in a policy Lekgotla over the weekend.

Mantashe says the ANC is not a party of free agents and that MPs must toe the party line.

He says the Gauteng ANC must follow the KZN ANC, which is disciplining another MP, Makhosi Khoza.

“Don’t ask for details what will happen to Mondli, please ask Gauteng what it will do. But his behaviour is unacceptable. Simple”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)