Talking points at the National Convention

The first day of Lekota’s National Convention has passed and, by all accounts, been a success, with almost 5000 delegates in attendance. On the convention’s website, there is a useful summary of what the speakers said (a list that includes Mosiuoa Lekota, former Cosatu stalwart Willie Madisha and Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana) .

In her weekly online newsletter, leader of the DA Helen Zille explains the reasons for attending the convention. Click here for more.

Below are the talking points listed on the convention’s website, outlining what is being discussed:

  • The Convention will have to determine whether the current, existing structures are sufficient to deal with the challenges facing our democratic institutions today. Is there a need for a new progressive movement? This movement should have as a core principle a deep commitment to fighting poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment as well as entrepreneurship, wealth creation and economic growth.
  • Enhancement of the fights against corruption in the public and private sectors. Debate should take place on political morality and ethical behaviours across all the spheres of our political totality
  • A review of the electoral system, starting with the Slabbert Report on how we can mix the “Constituency System with the Proportional Representation System”
  • The direct election of President, Premiers and Mayors to make them accountable to the electorate.
  • Maturing of democracy and the role of Political Parties and Civil Society. What are things that are needed to strengthen democratic institutions. The strengthening of think tanks, media, tertiary institutions and research outputs should be encouraged. These, however, should represent the diversity of opinion in South Africa.
  • Regular elections in a democratic setting are held to test the will of the people, whose preferences should change on a continuous basis. How do we create institutions that are permanently enterprising, that consistently test existing policies and ideologies, and provide platforms for the testing of new ideas – a society engaged in “relentless erudition” of existing and new policies. This should go with a systematic critique of the emerging “anti-intellectualism” in South Africa’s political discourse.
  • Democracy suffers when Premier Political Parties behave in an vindictive manner while exercising power in a democratic setting. How do we strengthen democratic cultures among major political parties? In the ANC, people joined as members thus resulting in equality of status among members, yet the Alliance partners have sought to have extra authority in the ANC over their status as members of the ANC.
  • Defending the clear separation of party and state, and clear separation of state and institutions such as religion, academy, etc.
  • Clear definition and commitment to the long held principle of the separation of powers.
  • Policy interventions to continue South Africa’s economic growth efforts, and some of the interventions that are needed to continue building this winning nation
  • Creation of multiple levels of leadership, especially across generations. The issue of inter-generational dialogue is critical.
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