Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 21:01:54 -0200
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Organising Department Now Re-organised
Mayibuye, Vol. 6, no. 3, July 1995
The ANC organising department had to undergo a thorough transformation after last year's election. But, reports a correspondent in the department, it is now back on track.
After the election, the organising department had to be set up afresh, with new personnel and a new mission which took account of the new situation. We first had to define together with the political leadership of the movement questions like: how was the ANC going to operate as a majority party in government of national unity as well as a liberation movement.
As the organising department we defined our role as continuing to build the ANC so that it remained the main force for change in the country. As part of this we had to develop and run campaign at all levels, consolidate the unity within the alliance and other democratic forces and win the local government elections.
Within the organisation itself, the organising department has been at the fore front of the restructuring process. We were charged with the task of ensuring that provincial, regional and branch structures of the ANC were up and running. After the election our structures were at a stage of near collapse after the absorption of experienced leadership into government structures. Before the election the ANC was structured according to 14 regions. With the creation of the nine provinces, the ANC had to establish structures along provincial lines.
Some branches and sub-regions which had formerly been in one ANC region, now fell geographically into another province. This caused problems in some cases, where comrades on the ground were resisting such moves. Our organisers had to do a lot of 'fire-fighting' in resolve such problems. In most instances the problems have been resolved. There are however areas that are still problematic.
We have now finished restructuring the department and have set up regional and provincial offices which all have staff and offices. We have nine provincial offices and 91 regional offices throughout the country. We are able to reach even the remotest parts of the country. We are constantly training national, provincial and regional organisers, administrators and membership officers
We have also set up constitutional structures - Provincial Executive Committees - in all the nine provinces. At regional level the process is still under way. We expect this to be completed by the end of July.
At the beginning of the year we had set ourselves the task of reviving branches and ensuring that all our branches hold their annual general meetings to elect new leadership. Although this is an enormous task, a great deal of progress has been achieved already.
Together with the ANC National Elections Team (NET), our organisers were centrally involved in the local elections registration campaign. They also helped the NET set up election structures at provincial and local level. We are involved in organising list conferences in all local areas where we will put up candidates.
In the same way, we are assisting provincial RDP Coordinators to establish RDP councils through out the country.
A feeling of general apathy within our communities after the election has weakened branches. In addition, opportunistic formations and individuals are currently inciting people against the ANC, claiming that it is not delivering.
Although our membership continues to grow, some active members of the ANC are not conscious of the need to renew their membership yearly. The assumption is that once they have paid joining fees they remain life members and do not need to renew their membership.
Unless we address the problem of dormant structures, an RDP which is people-driven will remain a pipedream.