Obed Bapela. Picture: Deaan Vivier
Peace and stability is of concern locally and internationally following numerous acts of terrorism this year, as well as US President Donald Trump’s pronouncement on moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Here’s what the 54th ANC conference has resolved on peace and stability policy discussions:
• The country is “relatively stable”. However, the escalation of terrorism in Africa is concerning. This is a diversion from months of ANC position that the country is under threat of regime change.
• The conference resolved to recognise and resource community safety forums and allow traditional authorities to play a role.
• The number of police must be increased from one police officer for 300 citizens to one officer per 150 citizens in five years to deal with issues of visibility.
• There needed to be a discussion on, and possible regulation of, private security using the same uniform as law enforcement.
• The use of paraphernalia by all disbanded structures – such as the Azanian National Liberation Army, uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association, and the Broederbond, must be regulated.
• There was a need to look at using defence as an innovation hub and creating revenue from industrialisation and other opportunities.
• Military veterans support must be extended to families of deceased former combatants.
• There should be stability in Zimbabwe.
• The committee expressed concerns about the US decision on moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, these were the Education, Health and Technology resolutions:
• Speedily implement free higher education for students from poor and working class background and provide support for families in middle strata from 2018. Urgent summit will be convened to discuss financing issues.
• Recognition of demand for decolonised education but need to expand on what exactly it means.
• Support for expansion of Technical Vocational Education and Training sector for skills development.
• Engage private sector & non-governmental organisations about providing further experiential training to graduates.
• Work more closely with universities to incorporate work-related skills for graduates.
• Intensify steps to accelerate national health insurance (NHI) and expand the number of pilots towards NHI goals.
• Conference reaffirmed the commitment of government to increase the expenditure towards science and technology. Intention is to increase GDP spend on science, technology & innovation from 1% to 5% in 2020. This is meant to increase South Africa’s competitiveness and to respond to opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
• Intensify public engagement programme to make sure that young people are aware of opportunities available in science and technology.
• Intensify attention to rural education and improve infrastructure.
• Intensify and expand the Funza Lushaka Bursary programme in keeping up with the need to produce teachers to replace those exiting.