Fikile Mbalula: The ANC does not fear any minister; we call them to account

The African National Congress (ANC) held its National Executive Committee meeting this weekend in Johannesburg. ANC SG Fikile Mbalula provided an update on the meeting on Wednesday. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

The African National Congress (ANC) held its National Executive Committee meeting this weekend in Johannesburg. ANC SG Fikile Mbalula provided an update on the meeting on Wednesday. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 18, 2023


Secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Fikile Mbalula says that while the party was focused on service delivery and stabilising state-owned entities, they were not fearful of any minister and have called them to account.

Speaking at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Mbalula responded to a recent media report claiming that he apologised after lashing out at “unprepared” ministers who were called to provide reports on the state of their ministries.

“I saw a report that I apologised. I did not apologise to anyone. I was addressing a matter that could have given the impression that we were pitting ministers against each other. Comrades, understood how we presented the matter ... We are very hard on delivery, and it is non-negotiable.

“Budgets have been passed, and so ministers and [Director-Generals] must ensure they get implemented,” he said.

Mbalula said the party was focused on delivery as they were left with a few months until the national general elections.

“We have raised our issues in relation to stability in terms of [State-owned enterprises]. We got full commitments from our ministers and our president that these matters would be attended to and resolved.

"We are no longer playing where people repeat themselves and give long answers to account for the state of affairs. We want progress,“ he said.

In providing an update on the outcomes from the ANC’s NEC meeting, Mbalula said it committed to continue strengthening efforts in enhancing the delivery of services to people as the term of the sixth government administration nears its conclusion and with the upcoming national general elections nearing closer.

The NEC meeting discussed and re-asserted its commitment to accelerate service delivery on electricity, ending load shedding, water provision, sanitation, combating crime, road infrastructure, and re-orienting all SOEs to be developmental.

On the critical aspect of load shedding affecting households and businesses to the detriment of economic growth and development, Mbalula said the NEC acknowledged that the appointment of a dedicated Minister of Electricity was beginning to pay dividends. As a result, he said there was now a precise schedule to increase the energy availability of all power stations per unit based on their installed capacity.

“The result is that load shedding is beginning to ease, and the staggered admittance into the grid of generation units from Kusile power station will add over 3,000 megawatts of power to the grid,” he said.

The NEC received various interventions from Eskom and the Gauteng Provincial Government to replace those transformers and re-energise township households and businesses. The ANC called on Eskom and the Gauteng Provincial Government to align their efforts towards replacing the stolen and vandalised transformers.

The NEC also received an extensive account of measures to address water and sanitation delivery across the country. Mbalula said they were encouraged by the positive developments and progress made in as far as water provision was concerned and can confirm that South Africa was not faced with any imminent crisis in so far as the provision of safe, drinking water was concerned.

The NEC further welcomed the programme to move freight from roads to rail, amid challenges on the Transnet rail.

It said that rolling out trains in various corridors would tremendously help reduce the travel costs of commuters and included the installation of safety and logistics measures such as signalling systems.

The committee also received a report on the imminent deployment of over 8,000 security personnel to protect passenger rail infrastructure.

The NEC also welcomed the reconfiguration and stabilisation of the Transnet Board, saying it believed this would help accelerate the rail challenges and the consequent challenges of constrained transportation of bulky goods out of the country, particularly mineral resources such as coal.

In a commitment to organisational renewal, Mbalula said they would continue engaging all veterans, including former presidents of the country.

“The work of the Integrity Commission is at the top of the agenda of the ANC. In this regard, the ANC will dedicate a special NEC to focus solely on the work of the Integrity Committee.

“As part of the renewal of the organisation, the ANC has set thorough and stringent criteria for the selection of candidates to parliament and legislatures. We are pleased with our progress to date, wherein 67% of our branches have met the required threshold for nominating candidates. This process is ongoing,” Mbalula said.

In addition, he announced that the January 8 Statement would be delivered in Mpumalanga. Following that, the Mayihlome Rally is scheduled to be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, and the Siyanqoba Rally will take place in Gauteng at the FNB Stadium.

[email protected]