Statement by the ANC Gauteng Province on the Outcomes of the Special PEC Meeting of Wednesday, 29 July 2020

30 July 2020

The African National Congress (ANC) Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) held a virtual Special Provincial Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

The meeting noted that this was the first Provincial Executive Committee meeting since the untimely and brutal passing away of comrade Mapiti Matsena at the hands of an assailant on July 15. His absence was felt especially his sharp mind and calm character when dealing with complex issues, even under difficult circumstances. The passing of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe Ntate Andrew Mlangeni including his sending off was also observed.

The two comrades join a galaxy of mass democratic movement stars who are departed and have left behind a legacy of committed service to society as a whole and now continue to watch over the pursuit of a just and equal society they both laboured for.

The Special PEC meeting was attended by PEC members, NEC deployees and the Leagues. The meeting received reports on Harry Gwala Centenary Celebrations, Eskom and Load Reduction and the Covid-19 Procurement Process.

HARRY GWALA CENTENARY

This year marks the Centenary of one of the gallant and fearless fighters of our movement, Umto’mdala, the lion of the Midlands, Comrade Harry Gwala who was born on 30 July 1920. The Special PEC meeting drew inspiration from the life of this selfless leader of our movement who remained true to the revolution until his last day on earth.

Comrade Harry Gwala taught us that we must always prioritise the needs of our people, listen to their concerns and work with them to resolve their problems. The ANC in Gauteng has today (July 30), since 07h00 engaged in various activities aimed at celebrating his life.

In retracing the footsteps of Cde Harry Gwala, the programme started in Boipatong township, where the Boipatong massacre took place that saw the killing of 45 people and several others maimed in the early 90s during a period of heightened political tensions.

The commemorative programme then moved to Sebokeng Zone 07 where the Nangalembe massacre also known as Night of massacre happened. This is where 30 people were killed and 40 more injured while attending an all-night vigil to pay their respects to community leader and activists, Comrade Chris Nangalembe, who was brutally murdered on 5 January 1991 by unknown assailants following his kidnapping.

In the afternoon the programme will move to Thokoza township in Ekurhuleni, where the Khumalo Street was a hype on serious confrontation between Thokoza residents and Hostel dwellers in the early 1990s. Many people lost their lives in the bloody political conflict that ensued. This led to the erection of the Thokoza Monument in 1999 to honour hundreds of people who died during this period.

The celebrations will end in KwaZulu Natal Province this evening where ANC President cde Cyril Ramaphosa will address the main lecture on the life and times of Cde Harry Gwala.

ESKOM AND LOAD REDUCTION

The PEC expressed the need to find a lasting solution to persisting electricity supply challenges that have seen communities up in arms.

It has been a common occurrence that Eskom would issue a notice indicating areas to experience load reduction. Whilst this prior communication is appreciated, there are instances whereby it takes days before power can be restored. In this regard, community members would lash out at Ward Councillors as they become frustrated by the cold nights without electricity.

The Special PEC meeting has commended the team of experts brought together by the City of Johannesburg to find ways to circumvent this problem of spending days without electricity. The Special PEC has urged other municipalities to explore a similar approach of putting together a team of experts.

Furthermore the Special PEC highlighted the importance of communities working together with Eskom to address the supply risk posed by illegal electricity connection.

COVID-19 PROCUREMENT PROCESS

The 13th Provincial Conference defined a clear strategic perspective informed by cardinal pillars that would underpin the work we do during our political term. The Conference resolves that everything we do and say should be anchored on the desire to unite the ANC, being of service to the people, to demand the highest ethical standards and integrity from all our members and to renew our commitment to the values of the movement, including renewing our interaction with the people.

The Special PEC meeting also took into consideration the ANC’s 54th National Conference resolutions on integrity, the serious impact of the matter at hand and how it affects the ANC’s standing in society and that due process and principle of engagement should be observed when dealing with such matters.

In this regard, the Special PEC meeting recieved a Provincial Working Committee report pertaining to the COVID-19 procurement process in the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH).

The Special PEC noted the legislative framework within which those deployed as executive authority (MEC - Member of the Executive Council) function. In particular, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) clarifies the division of responsibilities between the Head of Department (Accounting Officer) and the political head (called the ‘executive authority).

The MEC is responsible for policy choices and outcomes and to approve and present the departmental budget to the legislature for voting. The accounting officer on the other hand prepares the departmental budget for approval by the MEC and is then responsible for implementing and managing that budget.

Furthermore, Section 62 and 64 of the Public Finance Management Act clearly spells out financial responsibilities of executive authorities and executive directives having financial implications.

In the light of the above delineation of responsibilities, the Special PEC appreciated the fact that the selection and appointment of suppliers in this instance as has been the norm throughout was overseen by the Chief Financial Officer reporting directly to the Head of the Department who is the accounting officer.

Not withstanding the current investigation by the Special Investigative Unit, the Special PEC has called on the Gauteng Provincial Government to take the public into confidence and provide clarity and an explanation on measures being taken to decisively deal with the serious allegations surrounding COVID-19 related procurement in the Gauteng Department of Health.

Allegations that have since surfaced about questionable amounts paid to companies alleged not to have met the minimum requirements to firstly do business with government and some scoring contracts to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) when they are not in the business of medical equipment supply cannot be taken likely.

The Special PEC furthermore rejected the opportunistic behavior of companies who have never supplied even a pen or any health equipments to the Gauteng Department of Health who have suddenly emerged claiming that they are owed. We urge government to exercise vigilance and protect the public purse.

COVID-19 procurement should not be seen as an opportunity to make a quick cash but a call for quality intervention, value for money and ability to play a critical role in helping the province and the country to offer a comprehensive health response that will help curb the spread of Coronavirus and save lives.

The Special PEC took a moment to commend the Gauteng Department of Health and the Gauteng Provincial Government as a whole of the work that has been done to date to mitigate against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in communities. We call on the Premier and the collective executive council to continue with the good work more so now that we are entering the peak period.

*LEAVE OF ABSENCE*

The Special PEC welcomed the decision by PEC member comrade Khusela Diko to take a leave of absence from her government duties as the Presidential Spokesperson. It further resolved that comrade Bandile Masuku who is deployed as the Gauteng MEC for Health should take leave of absence as MEC and comrade Loyiso Masuku who is deployed as the City of Joburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Group Corporate and Shared Services should also take leave of absence from being MMC.

The taking of leave of absence by the three comrades from their official responsibilities is in keeping with the resolutions of the 13th Provincial Conference and the 54th National Confernce and is a demonstration of their unwavering commitment to place the ANC and the people of Gauteng first.

We commend the three comrades who have, furthermore, voluntarily asked to appear before the Provincial Integrity Committee to present their cases. The PIC has been mandated to finalize this matter within four weeks from the time the cases are formally brought to it.

CONDOLENCES

The Special Provincial Executive Committee took time to pay homage to everyone who has passed on due to COVID-19 and our fallen comrades who departed whilst in pursuit of the aspirations of the people.

To comrade Mapiti Matsena we say your simplicity, humility and compassion in the service of your people will serve as a constant reminder that we ought to at all times be one with the people we seek to serve and that through your revolutionary ethical leadership, you have set the bar high for all of us to emulate.

To comrade "uGogo" Ruth Bomvana we say your principled stand, first against the oppressive apartheid regime and later on against underdevelopment in our communities will always be a reminder to never betray the public trust placed upon us by the masses of our people.

In honour of their memory we shall labour tirelessly to ensure that we fulfil the mission for which they dedicated most of their lives to – which was to realise a better life for the people of Gauteng and ultimately South Africa.

Issued by ANC Gauteng Provincial Secretary
Jacob Khawe

For Enquiries

Bones Modise
Head of Communication / PEC Spokesperson
ANC Gauteng Province
082 545 5553

ANC Gauteng Province:
* Province twitter - @GautengANC
* Province facebook - @ANCGauteng
* Instagram - @ancgauteng
You Tube - ANC GP
#GrowingGautengTogether