We send you greetings on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League, a militant, fighting organisation of our young people and an autonomous wing, but integral part of the AFFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS.
We are inspired and very proud that KwaZulu Natal is convening its 7th Provincial Congress with more than 530 branches of the ANC Youth League in good standing and almost all regions of having gone to their regional congresses.
We should congratulate the leadership of the ANC Youth League at Provincial, regional, and branch level for showing the utmost dedication to build structures of the ANC Youth League in this Province, which at times can become very difficult to mobilise.
The first President of the ANC Youth League, President Anton Muziwakhe Lembede is from this Province and in his commemoration, members of the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu Natal should work harder in appreciation that one of the founding leaders of the ANC Youth League is from this Province.
KwaZulu Natal as a Province has played a very significant role in the struggles against colonial oppression and domination.
The Bambatha rebellion that was fought proved to the colonial forces that they were not untouchable and has inspired many struggles against colonial domination.
The first President of the ANC, John Langalibalele Dube is from KwaZulu Natal and the President Albert Luthuli, who spearheaded the adoption of the Freedom Charter, is also from this Province.
The current President of the ANC, President Jacob Zuma is from this Province.
The most outstanding element and feature about KwaZulu Natal is that it has always produced disciplined and dedicated comrades and leaders of the ANC and the revolutionary movement.
Despite its massive contribution to the formation, growth and development of the ANC, KwaZulu Natal has never sought to own the ANC. This Province has always appreciated that to be a good leader; you should at some stage be led.
You cannot be a leader before you are led because you will make many mistakes.
We are more than convinced that the delegates gathered in this Congress will show the necessary discipline and courage that characterised Anton Lembede, John Langalibalele Dube and Chief Albert Luthuli.
This Province is also home to one of the most outstanding intellectuals of our revolution; COMRADE MZALA. The Legacy of Comrade Mzala Nxumalo should be revived and celebrated by all people, particularly the youth.
Like Comrade Mzala Nxumalo, African young people should never leave the space of robust intellectual debates to certain people only. We have a responsibility to feed our revolutionary practices with proper revolutionary theories, not some distorted theories which protect the interests of WHITE MONOPOLY CAPITALISTS.
We should mention that in the process of producing good leaders, this province also produced factory faults such as Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who in CODESA argued for the total independence of KwaZulu Natal.
If the ANC did not resist the reactionary proposals of the IFP, we would not be here today addressing the Congress of the ANC Youth League, because Buthelezi would have declared a one Party State and declared all of the people of KwaZulu Natal to be members of his cultural organisation called IFP.
You proved that the ANC could win an outright majority in this Province and even garner the confidence of the IFP to vote ANC.
We are addressing this Congress in the second year since our election into the leadership of the ANC Youth League in April 2008. We have travelled a long road since then and we have a longer journey ahead of us.
Whoever can say what, the reality is that the ANC Youth League is stronger and more focused than it was in 2008.
Under our leadership, we have more branches of the ANC Youth League and majority of regions across the country are functional.
All Provinces, except the Western Cape are ready for Provincial Congresses before the National General Council in July 2010.
We have been able to put very important issues on the agenda and have not addressed issues of youth development at the point of rhetoric only, we took practical action to establish the National Youth Development Agency and convince government to adopt a National Youth Policy for the first time since the democratic dispensation.
We successfully defended the ANC against reactionary forces that left the ANC to form CONFUSION OF THE PEOPLE, which will die very soon.
The National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League is still intact, cohesive and has outgrown the divisions that characterised our politics towards our 23rd National Congress in Mangaung.
That is what Congress mandated us to do and we will consolidate on these successes and many others towards the National General Council of the ANC in September this year and our 24th National Congress next year.
All of us carry a responsibility to build strong structures of the ANC Youth League because the journey ahead of us is going to be very difficult.
We have a responsibility ahead of us to make sure that we realise ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME, and as we said before, NATIONALISATION OF MINES is part of the efforts to realise ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME.
As youth, we carry the responsibility to fulfil this mission because generations before us gave us the political freedom to make sure that people of South Africa share in the country`s wealth.
NATIONALISATION OF MINES is on the agenda of the ANC and will be discussed in the NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL IN September 2010 AND CENTENARY NATIONAL CONFERENCE in 2012.
In our last NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, we mentioned that our research and study programme on NATIONALISATION is continuing.
We visited ZIMBABWE and VENEZUELA and will still visit other countries to learn more because learning does not end.
In ZIMBABWE, We learnt that
The courageous and militant land reform programme has contributed substantially in the empowerment of the people of Zimbabwe. From the 4000 white farmers who used to own farms and land in Zimbabwe, there are currently more than 350 000 Zimbabweans who are in farms and agriculture. Young African people are involved in agriculture and not reliant on few white farmers who do not have the interests of the people of Zimbabwe at heart. In essence, the State`s greater role in land redistribution and mechanisation will contribute a lot in durably empowering the people of Zimbabwe.
The indigenisation and economic empowerment policies constitute a very brave, militant but very correct methods of transferring wealth from the minority to the majority. There will be challenges in the implementation of these policies, but they have a potential to give the people of Zimbabwe real economic power as they will be in ownership of more than 51% of Zimbabwe`s wealth.
The resilience, dedication, courage and fearlessness of the Zimbabwean political leadership, particularly the Zanu PF leadership has far much greater potential to bring Zimbabwe to stability.
The ANC Youth League will continue to interact with Zanu PF Youth in order to give it more strength and discourage it from possibilities and reports of violence and counter-violence for political reasons.
Today, we can stand up firm and say that the stories you read about Zimbabwe in imperialists Newspapers are not true. Zimbabwe has its own difficulties, like many other countries, but it has potential to recover and become a very good example to the people of AFRICA.
In Venezuela, we learned a simple fact which we argue in the discussion document on Nationalisation of Mines that nationalisation can be used to increase the State budget for social development purposes.
The Venezuelan case beefs up the argument of the ANC Youth League that nationalisation can increase the State budget to address issues of education, health and social development.
The budget which the Venezuelan government uses for its free education, free health and affordable social services is sourced from the country`s control and ownership of oil.
The people of Venezuela immediately benefit from the oil, which is owned and controlled by the State. The State uses its ownership and control of oil to give fuel to the people of Venezuela for almost free.—Oil is very affordable in Venezuela because the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is in control and ownership of oil production.
We have learnt in Venezuela how people can be empowered by the State`s ownership and control of its natural resources and such lessons will inspire our confidence to make sure that Mineral resources in South Africa are nationalised for the benefit of all people.
Here in South Africa, we have the world`s biggest reserves of platinum, gold, chrome, manganese and many other important minerals, yet majority of us have never seen how these minerals look like.
Many South Africans have never benefited anything from the country`s control of Mineral resources and we can never be quite when such is the case.
Other people can go around the world to make assurances that Mines will not be nationalised, yet the reality of the situation is that nationalisation of Mines is currently on the agenda of the ANC and will be resolved by the National General Council in September 2010 and National Conference in December 2012.
Throughout our term of office, we have always emphasized that all these aspirations we have for the future will only happen if we have a better organized, more effective and disciplined ANC YOUTH LEAGUE.
We are in the season of regional and provincial congresses, and we should as leadership at this level be firm and ready to provide leadership to our members, even against empty threats of WAR and disruptions.
We should never allow disgruntled forces and those who are loosing Congresses to hold us at ransom and try to loot our organisation. We should be firm and be consistent on the organizational principles we have outlined in our engagements and should forever be honest with each other.
If we allow disgruntled forces to divide the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE, they will do the same to the ANC.
They will go around spreading lies that this leadership of the ANC YOUTH LEAGUE does not support PRESIDENT ZUMA.
They are spreading these lies because they want to test if the ANC Youth League will backtrack on its support for President Zuma.
They are testing waters because they want to hijack the ANC and turn it into something it is not.
We will never allow people to hijack President Zuma and the outcomes of POLOKWANE for their narrow agendas.
We respect the instruction of the ANC National Executive Committee that the succession debate has not started, and we would be more than ready to speak if it was open.
We are aware of the divisions a succession debate can cause to the ANC and we will never be dragged into that debate even under whatever circumstances for as long as it is not opened.
We will however continue to defend and stand by our former leaders, because if we allow them to be undermined, we will be headed towards the same direction of being undermined as well.
We will unashamedly defend Malusi Gigaba, Lulu Johnson and Fikile Mbalula. These are leaders of the ANC Youth League who continue to play very important roles in the ANC and will lead it tomorrow and forever like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo.
The ANC YOUTH LEAGUE will never betray PRESIDENT ZUMA and will never go around gossiping about our PRESIDENT as some people seek to suggest.
PRESIDENT ZUMA is a leader of the ANC and therefore a leader of the REVOLUTION. Undermining President Zuma is equals to undermining the ANC`s efforts to better the lives of our people.
Those who go around spreading lies and rumour linking the ANC Youth League to big business people should stop doing so because it is not funny anymore.
Some of the rumours spread about the leadership of the ANC and ANC YOUTH LEAGUE have potential to destroy our collective and individual integrity and should be stopped.
OUR COMMITMENT and READINESS to defend the ANC will never be doubted, because we know it is this ANC that has liberated all of us and we stand to inherit in the future.
After this CONGRESS, all members of the ANC Youth League are expected to go a spread the word of ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION IN OUR LIFETIME and NATIONALISATION OF MINES.
WE are not opposed to State`s control of other sectors of the ECONOMY, such as banks and monopoly industries, but our current focus is MINES.
We should attend all Branch General Meetings of the ANC in preparation of the NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL, which will be hosted here in KWAZULU NATAL in September this year.
YOUTH LEAGUE Members should always have something to say in all meetings of the ANC at branch, regional and provincial level. You should refuse to be silenced and should not silence yourself.
We need to be discipline at all times cause discipline is a core of our organisational values and we should not be tempted to use it to muzzle debate in our organisation.
51.Muzzling debate in the youth league by whoever in the name of code of conduct of the leagues or the mother body will be to dig a grave for our movement and we dont think there`s a grave big enough to burry this gaint called the African National Congress Parliament of the people.
We recently appeard before the DC of the mother body to answer for our own sins and that appearence before the DC should serve as a cornfirmation that no one is above the ANC and all of us moving forward should subject ourself to the discipline of the ANC irrespective of our struggle credentials and our positions in both the ANC and the state.
I come out this disciplinary process as a cadre of our movement who`s not bitter at all but better, bigger and bolder.Im happy that i have retained my ANC membership cause it has always been my wish to remain a member of the ANC until i DIE.U can take everything else from me including this position of being the president of the youth league as long as u dont take away my ANC membership .
The most important lesson i learned in the disciplinary process is that in politics anything is possible and never in your political life rely on an individual.