Today is a special day in the history of this country. The pathfinder of our democracy the Rev John Langalibalele Dube, the former President of the African National Congress (ANC) was born on the 11th February in 1871.
Mafukuzela went on to establish Ohlange School in Inanda and the founding philosophy of the school was to ‘teach the head to think, the hands to work and the heart to serve’. Dube died today, on the 11th February in 1946
The President of the first democratic South Africa Nelson Mandela was released from prison on the 11th February in 1990. The two leaders fought so hard for the political freedom that the people of this country are enjoying today.
On this historic day, young people across the corners of this province must pause and ponder what would be their contribution in taking forward the national democratic revolution.
The young Provincial Executive Committee of the African National Congress in the province has convened a two-day Lekgotla to chart the way forward. This meeting coincide with this special day in our history.
The most critical task of the provincial leadership is to refine the programme of the ANC announced in January 8th statement and in the election manifesto.
Today, the leadership is also expected to brainstorm what the ANC-led provincial government needs to do to in order to deliver a better life for the people of KwaZulu Natal.
Another important task of the ANC is to manage both the electoral process and to ensure a smooth transition into the next term of government guided by the principle of continuity in change.
This principle guides the leadership to reflect on the achievements of the term we are completing while at the same time, maping out the programme for the next term and thereby merging the two terms to reflect the consistency of the ANC as the governing party.
The energetic PEC has undoubtedly inherited a very solid ANC-led government in this province. An experienced trade unionist and seasoned politician - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu, has helped in steering government in the direction.
Having been part of the provincial legislature and government since 1994, he has provided the much needed experience and ensured continuity from the previous premiers – Sbu Ndebele, Dr Zweli Mkhize and Senzo Mchunu.
Under the ANC premiers, the provincial government has succeeded in strengthening co-operative government and building partnerships with communities and leaders of society.
The ANC-government has maintained good working relations with political parties. There are regular briefings with leaders of political parties through multi-party committee chaired by the premier.
Notwithstanding the challenges of the past ten years, the delicate manner in which the affairs of the ANC have been handled in this province, is a source of inspiration.
The ANC NEC continues to look at the ANC in KwaZulu Natal to reflect the stability, maturity, unity and cohesion for which the movement is well known for.
It should be noted that despite the unprecedented assault from certain sections of the media and lifelong foes of the liberation struggle, the ANC PEC has remained steadfast, committed and loyal to the movement.
The enemy of the revolution was humbled by the show of unity, maturity and the dignity with which branches and cadres approached the list conference process towards the end of last year.
I am therefore convinced that the PEC will use this Lekgotla to empower regional leadership to ensure that in 2019 - each day of the week, and each week of the month - ANC members are encouraged to analyze the political environment under which the ANC operate.
It is important for ANC membership at regional and branch levels to assess the balance of forces and their influence in the success of the programmes of the ANC as the ruling party.
Inevitably, every hour ANC members need to continuously look at the forces opposed to the programmes of the ANC led government and the ANC as a ruling party.
In reality the role of opposition parties and certain forces that have traditionally stood against the direction of our liberation struggle merit continuous evaluation and characterization.
These are the forces whose interests may hamper the progress towards the fulfillment of the clauses contained in the Freedom Charter. Every hour, ANC members need to characterise all those forces that do not share a common programme with the ANC.
ANC members need to accept that of this array of the opposition parties and NGOs, while they are an important cog in the wheel of democracy, very few of them - if any - have the genuine interests of South Africans.
They are some that are opposed to free education. Some do not want indigenous people to have access to the land and others are opposed to ANC policies aimed at fasttracking the entry of indigenous people into the mainstream economy.
There are forces whose main occupation is to take ANC government to court while others have a sustained programme aimed at ridiculing ANC leaders - pitting them against each other and against society.
However, the ANC in KZN must continue to demonstrate the caring humane and mature leadership as this is what will make the ANC strong.
Critically, during this period it is important to remember that making the ANC a formidable force in this province took many years of hard work and perseverance from those who were given the task of leading this organization.
These leaders were ready to sacrifice everything while working amongst the people neither expecting praise nor reward. They had courage to stand up for the people and took pride in fighting for a better life for all.
Therefore, more and more attention must be paid by the ANC as a party to the voice of the poor and unemployed. After all they are the reason for the existence of the ANC.
The bubbling feeling of optimism since 2019 started is an indication that the public, community leaders and captains of industry have confidence in the provincial leadership both in the ANC and government.
This spirit of unity and cohesion must be maintained as we approach the general elections. This will allow communities to freely vote for the ANC back into power to drive forward the agenda of building a stronger KZN economically and socially
Ndabezinhle Sibiya is the Head of Content and Knowledge Management in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government Communications. He writes in his personal capacity