The African National Congress (ANC) will on Saturday host its annual January 8 statement with an anniversary rally in Polokwane.
Party president Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the January 8 Statement during the celebrations that will take place at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The January 8 Statement paves way for the party’s plans for the year and provides a broad framework with the country’s president ahead of his State of the Nation Address next month.
Below is a list of some of the 2021 priorities the ANC made during its January 8 Statement:
Restoring the economy to growth and creating jobs
- Economic recovery and reconstruction are as important as protecting the health of our nation. The pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of economic contraction and job losses.
- We have to achieve higher levels of economic growth and investment. We have to create jobs and bring more black South Africans, women and youth into the mainstream of economic activity.
- In the relief phase of our social and economic response to the pandemic, we put in place a number of emergency economic interventions.
Our country’s energy security remains a priority
- The ANC government will in the year ahead focus on building massive new electricity generation and transmission capacity, in the process creating jobs.
- This will include diversifying our energy mix to ensure a significant proportion of new generation comes from renewable sources.
- The easing of regulations for electricity self generation by firms and municipalities will unlock significant investment and job creation potential.
Tackling poverty and improving people’s lives
- In the course of this year , we will intensify all measures to improve the lives of the poor.
- Many families are in great distress at this time, with the effects of the pandemic exacerbating widespread unemployment and rising living costs.
- The social relief measures introduced by government in April last year  – including the temporary top-up of social grants and the special COVID-19 grant for unemployed people – proved vital in supporting the poor at their time of greatest vulnerability.
- As these emergency measures come to an end because of our limited resources, we need to intensify other poverty alleviation measures alongside the economic recovery.
Education and skills for a changing world
- Although South Africa has made great strides in improving educational outcomes over the last 27 years, our education system falls short of preparing young people for the society and economy of the future.
- Education was severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and the disease will continue to pose challenges for effective schooling in the year ahead.
- It is a testament to the determination of educators, lecturers, administrators, learners, students and parents that much of the academic year
- It is this determination that is needed as we pursue a skills revolution.
Safe and secure communities
- It is the right of every South African woman, man and child to live in safety, secure from crime and violence.
- It is also a prerequisite for inclusive economic and social development.
- We must work towards greater police visibility, more effective training of police and the greater involvement of community policing and safety forums in fighting crime.
- We welcome the progress that has been made in combating gangsterism and organised crime, but these efforts needs to be stepped up significantly as such criminal behaviour is taking a great toll on communities across the country.
- The ANC must continue to be at the forefront of the fight against gender based violence and femicide. We commend the work done in particular by the ANC Women’s League and our Alliance partners in consistently campaigning on this issue.
Accelerated land redistribution and rural development
- The struggle to ensure that the land is ‘shared among those who work it’ remains a historical and economic imperative.
- Land reform is central to meeting the aspirations of the Freedom Charter, and to redressing the wrongs of the past.
- During the course of this year, we expect Parliament to approve an amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution, clearly outlining the circumstances in which land may be expropriated without compensation.
- This will give effect to an important resolution of our 54th National Conference and will contribute to the acceleration of land reform.
- We will strengthen existing policies to ensure fair and equitable redistribution of land.
Forging ahead with the renewal of the ANC
- Only an ANC dedicated to the historic mission of building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa can galvanise the energies of our people to confront the grave challenges of the present.
- It is only a focused ANC that can place our society, once more, on the firm path of building a better life for all.
- The task of renewing the ANC is therefore not just a matter of organisational self-interest. It is what our society needs and deserves at this critical juncture
in its history.
- Although progress has been made since our 54th National Conference, we have yet to give full and decisive effect to its resolutions on rebuilding and renewing the organisation.
- During the course of this year, we will focus on the vital task of building unity of purpose and unity in action.
- This unity must be founded on a common commitment to the core values of the ANC and serving the South African people.
National General Council that enhances renewal and unity
- The NGC will be held in a few months and must help us to review progress since National Conference and address challenges facing our nation.
- It must serve as a platform to build unity of purpose around the ongoing task of renewal.
- We must all, especially as leadership, commit towards these objectives for the sake of the movement and the people of our country.
Achieve a decisive mandate in local government elections
- Local government remains critical to the project of social transformation and a better life for all.
- Therefore, as we prepare for local government elections later this year, we must intensify provision of basic services, decisively tackle local weaknesses and speed up the introduction of the District Development Model.
- Building on the gains made in recent by-elections, we must reach every voter and engage those not yet registered to convince them that the ANC remains the best instrument for strong developmental local government.
- This must be part of our work to deepen democracy and public participation.