Efforts to jump-start the economy after an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are set to feature prominently on the agenda of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) Lekgotla.

The two-day virtual meeting starting on Friday and continuing on Monday, is attended by ANC members deployed in all three spheres of government, alliance partners, business and labour among others.

The ANC NEC Lekgotla takes place in the midst of the worst economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus. The local economy plunged 51% on an annualized basis in the second quarter, during the hard lockdown.

Unemployment remains stubbornly high with inflation rising and growth stagnant. It will now be all hands on deck at the governing party’s NEC Lekgotla to find ways to re-ignite the economy.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe expressed that the meeting will also have a particular focus on corruption.

“The ANC today resumed its first virtual National Lekgotla to primarily deal with the issues of economic recovery, largely on infrastructure development, resource financing and investment mobilisation, development of key economic sectors, peace and stability, as well as fighting corruption, mobilising society and building social compact, building a capable development state, local government and implementation of the district development model.”

Corruption remains an issue that would be hard for the ANC to ignore this after the recent countrywide police swoop on people accused of corruption. Some of them include high-ranking party members like former member of parliament (MP) Vincent Smith and former Mangaung Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli.

The ANC says is watching this with keen interest.

”We have noted a number of developments in the country including arrests that have taken place occasioned by the work of the State Capture Commission. The ANC is watching all these developments with keen interest and will be able to comment broadly when some of these processes have been concluded,” says Mabe.

Political Analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni says these arrests could be sparked by a number of reasons.

“The realisation of how expensive the Zondo Commission has in terms of what has been allocated to it and therefore, people might not be in the mood of yet another commission and note results and the third one might be that law enforcement officers were still doing their thorough investigations to make sure their cases are watertight and of course, they have come in taking too much time whilst revelations were coming through the Zondo Commission and other court cases so from all sides the pressure has been mounting.”

Meanwhile, the outcomes of the ANC NEC Lekgotla will feed into the next Cabinet Lekgotla and will probably form the basis of the mid-term budget presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni later this month.