February 23, 2011

YCLSA National Meeting


20 February 2011

The YCLSA held its annual National Committee Lekgotla from the 18-20 February 2011. This was the first constitutional meeting of the YCLSA after our successful 3rd National Congress, and was attended by representatives from all the provinces and all the 52 districts of the YCLSA.

The National Committee Lekgotla was also taking place within the backdrop of a successful and youth-led revolution in Egypt which ultimately saw the fall of a 30 year dictatorship rule by Mubarak. The youth of this country, in the view of the Lekgotla, should draw lessons from the active involvement of Egyptian youth in the political affairs of their country. The lessons drawn from Egypt are symbolic of what happens when the socio-economic conditions of our people deteriorate, levels of corruption are rampant, inequalities deepen and the gap between the rich and poor widens. We also hope that those who are in power and the capitalist elite have learned lessons that as long as the conditions of our people do not improve, and that they continue to live a lavish lifestyle parallel to poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS, the poor would take their share of the cake. We hope that the youth of Egypt will not tire in ensuring that the military regime speedily initiates free and fair elections, and that ultimately, a government of the people and by the people is elected in that country. We also condemn the hypocrisy of the US in trying to impose a leadership that will bow to its dominance and control of the middle-east.

The National Committee also observed the concluded WFDY International Students and Youth Festival last year. We thank the many local and international delegates that participated in that festival, and will ensure that the declaration as adopted by the festival, recommitting youth formation to an anti-imperialist struggle, is implemented. We are worried that some of the issues being reported on how NYDA, National Lottery and government resources were abused for purposes of self-enrichment by individuals deals with the integrity of WFDY and cast doubt on the leadership of the NYDA and those of the festival organisers. We call on the auditor general to investigate the entire procurement process of the festival, including later reports that public funds were abused in organising private festivals, and that individuals who are found to be guilty of having misappropriated funds are brought to book.

The Lekgotla was pleased with the turn out of thousands of South Africans who went to register to vote in the forthcoming local government elections. These elections are yet another opportunity for our people to participate meaningfully in the election of their local leaders. We have interacted with the Election manifesto process of the ANC, we will continuously input to ensure that the needs, interests and aspirations of our people are covered. We are worried, as reports and accounts by many of our members and activists were given in the Lekgotla, that there seems to be in some instances an abuse of the public participation process in the nomination and election of candidates for counsellors. In some instances, there are incidents of violence and abuse which will ultimately drive away the public from this democratic and open process. The ANC belongs to the people, and that those who are elected in its various structures should never undermine the will of the people. In the same vein, we condemn the assault of the ANC provincial secretary in the Eastern Cape and many other isolated and disruptive incidents related to the local government.

We also condemn the killing of people in KwaZulu Natal who are said to be leaving the IFP to the new NFP. We hold no brief for Zanele Magwaza, but any violence meted against people who express their democratic views should be condemned, lest it take us back into the 80’s and 90’s, or even worse, degenerate our politics into violence.

We are pleased that many young communists and communists who are members of the ANC have been nominated to become counsellors nationally, and know that they will ensure, upon their election, the implementation of the Manifesto of the ANC and the needs and interests of our people. This is the confidence required from our people to ensure that clean governance, government of the people, broad people participation, quality service delivery and jobs for youth are realised.

On our part, we will continue to mobilise young people to apply for ID’s and register in the second weekend that will be opened by the IEC. We call on the IEC to intensify its mobilisation and messaging in order to ensure that all our people turn up for registration. We will in the course of time release our Local Government Election campaign programme.

The National Lekgotla expressed its confidence and welcomed both the State of the Nation Address and the Reply by the President. We are especially pleased that government has ultimately prioritised the creation of jobs as the most important task in the next four years. We are also pleased that most of the resolutions from our Jobs for Youth Summit will be implemented through the various policy interventions and government spending in the economy. We particularly welcome the firm move towards industrialisation, investment in public infrastructure, beneficiation, movement towards the establishment of a State Owned Mining Company, the creation of a state bank through expanding the role and focus of Post Bank, dedication of R9bn to youth entrepreneurship and the commitment towards decent jobs. All of these were central to our resolutions in the Jobs for Youth Summit. Included in this, we will intensify our call for the complete banning of labour brokers as a new form of slavery, and ensure that quality jobs for all are created.

We are also pleased that the president committed government to provide free sanitary towels for poor women, a campaign the YCLSA initiated and engaged with various government departments, progressive youth alliance and civil society three years ago. Every cent spent on sanitary towels will go a long way in ensuring that we implement the Millennium Development Goals focusing on education, healthcare and the Maternal mortality rate

We also welcome commitment by government to ensure that education is made accessible and is of quality. We agree with the President that the state of education in the Eastern Cape in particular is almost a disaster, and that all stakeholders in that province and nationally should move towards ensuring that this situation is reversed through restoring learning, teaching, school feeding schemes, infrastructure improvements and provision of textbooks in time. We declare it being criminal to deny the child in the Eastern Cape and anywhere else their education.

The National Lekgotla received inputs from the Minister of Health, and in that regard, we are concerned with the state of public health institutions in our country. We are worried by the mortality rate, and the fact that many of the deaths in our country could have been prevented had we stopped with multiple and confusing messages on HIV/AIDS. We maintain our call that those who presided over this state of affairs should be held accountable for having led to so many deaths. We call on all young people to ensure that they know their status by testing for HIV/AIDS, and thus help to prevent the scourge of this dreadful disease.

We call on all stakeholders to ensure that we hold our hospital accountable on the six standards as laid by the Minister of Health. We will in the near future be announcing details into our contribution towards the introduction of a National Health Insurance (NHI). This is not going to be an easy battle, but we will ensure that the profits of health care monopolies and their dominance of the health sector are finally broken, and that a people’s health system is brought into place.

The National Lekgotla discussed the New Growth Path, and endorsed the five job drivers as proposed in the document. We however share the concern that the NGP does not represent a shift in the macro-economic paradigm, and will therefore be developing a further and detailed response in this regard.

The National Committee also elected its National Working Committee and appointed full-time officials to be based at the National Office. We will also be intervening into our structures to ensure that they are vibrant, campaigning and implement our resolutions. The National Committee further committed itself in ensuring that we have a successful 90th Anniversary Celebrations of the SACP, our mother body, and champion of the working class.

Issued by the YCLSA Head Office

For more information


Gugu Ndima

National Spokesperson


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