ANC launches its political school
GAUTENG African National Congress (ANC) chairman Paul Mashatile said on Sunday the party was serious about increasing its capacity to lead society and the state.
About 600 provincial, regional and branch leaders of the ANC were on Sunday in line to graduate during the official launch of the Walter Sisulu Leadership Academy, a new ANC political school.
"We have been recruiting a lot of people in the ANC and subsequently electing a leadership that is not properly trained. This is dangerous," said Mr Mashatile.
This comes on the back of an organisational renewal document discussed at the ANC national policy conference in June. The discussion document noted that political education must be institutionalised, urgently, for the survival of the ANC and its success as a governing party.
It proposes wide-ranging reforms to address the ANC’s weaknesses — including its social distance from its main power base, the masses, and institutionalised factionalism, ill-discipline and disunity.
The ANC – Africa’s oldest liberation movement – celebrates its centenary faced with a qualitative decline in its broader membership.
Political education is seen as one of the key interventions in dealing with the challenges facing the party.
Zwelinzima Sizane, Gauteng ANC director of political education and training, said on Sunday the party will sign a partnership of five years or shorter with the University of Johannesburg, who will present the course under its name.
Under the agreement, the ruling party will produce the content and provide assessors to run the course.
Courses offered by the academy will include organisational skills, ANC and South African history, ANC strategy and tactics, governance and tools of analysis. It is expected that the modules will be accredited at level four of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), with the Education, Training and Development Practice, a sectoral education and training authority.
Gauteng ANC spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said the graduates had begun the programme early this year. Mr Ntuli said the training had been offered by senior ANC provincial leaders across the party’s five regions, and will now be centralised at the University of Johannesburg.
Mr Mashatile said the ANC "must change gear". "It must modernise, it must do things differently and it must be relevant," he said.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the demands of running a complex modern society could only be met through education.
Mr Motlanthe said there was no justification for ANC members not choosing to further their studies for their own empowerment.