Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, June 29, 2007

ANC Policy conference roundup
Right, so by all accounts yesterday was a very heated day at the conference with discussions centering around two contentious areas - the economy and the party presidential candidacy.

The first point saw the Mbeki-ites placating the left with a statement outlining the need for a more "developmental" economy. ANC delegates are calling for more government intervention in the economy, to assist in poverty alleviation primarily. They went to great lengths though to state that this was not a major move away from the market-led economy, and was more a 'tweak'. As I've said before, there are many Western governments have have more left-leaning economies than ours, and I believe that the majority of the ANC delegates understand that our current economic platform has been built solely off the back of a market-led economy. What they are looking for is greater emphasis on poverty alleviation and the pulling back of the Gini coefficient.

The second area of conflict was the one we would expect; the decision on whether the party president should automatically become the state presidential candidate. From reports of this discussion, it seems that this was a very heated debate with plenty of disagreement all round. It seems as though there is more support for the continuation of the status quo - that being that the party president automatically becomes state president - but I would imagine there may be some way to go in this debate.