“After winning the award and after the resolutions taken at the national congress, particularly that of contesting state power, it requires us to do more in building a strong YCLSA and SACP,” Mashaba said.
“It requires branches in each and every corner of the district. We need to grow YCLSA both qualitatively and quantitatively,” he said.
Mashaba said getting the award would not be possible without the ‘unwavering support’ of former YCL leaders, the SACP as well as the support from the YCL provincially.
“This award belongs to all our active branches in the district,” he said.
The young communists say the powerful ANC politician has ‘collapsed’ all municipalities.
The young communist league in the Gert Sibande region has taken a position that challenges what they say is the ‘Sgudlarisation’ of the ANC and its government.
Regional young communist leader Ayanda Mashaba delivered the YCL’s message of support during the commemoration of the life of the late husband of transport deputy minister Sindi Chikunga – Peter Chikunga.
Peter was an anti-Apartheid activist who lived in the Mpumalanga area of Elukwatini, near Swaziland and died in the early 2000s.
SACP provincial leader Bonakele Majuba delivered the keynote address during the commemoration on Sunday mid-day at the Elukwatini Stadium.
Mashaba said as YCL they have been observing the ‘collapse of municipalities’ in the hands of ANC provincial executive committee member, Sbusiso Sgudla.
“Down with Sgudlarisation of the movement, down!”, he said, to which those who attended replied: “Down!!!”
“There’s one family in the Gert Sibande region and if we must talk about the Gupta, we will talk about our own Gupta in our region,” Mashaba said.
“We are saying reduce the powers of Sgudla now!” he said while on stage.
“When we were on the ground campaigning for the ANC [during elections] we were not campaigning for it to enrich Sgudla and his children,” he said to thunderous applause.
Sgudla is believed to be one of the most powerful politicians in the Mpumalanga province.
Nicknamed ‘Deputy Premier’ or ‘The Great’, others in ANC corridors even go as far as saying that Sgudla, who lives in Ermelo, is the most powerful after provincial leader David Mabuza.
This is not the first time the YCL called on the fall of Sgudla.
During its Bua Thursday in Amersfoort late last month, the communist league pronounced the slogan to the community members, ‘Down with Sgudlarisation down!!!’.
During the Chikunga memorial gathering over the weekend, ANC regional executive committee member Walter Mngomezulu delivered the ANC’s message of support and took aim at what he said was the deliberate dividing of the African people.
“But we’re not surprised at all this because we know that it originates from the period of Apartheid colonialism and our fight is against this system.
“As Africans it is customary to us that during this time we return to our ancestors, uBaba Chikunga, to ask for wisdom,” Mngomezulu said.
As many as 80% of ANCYL and YCL members are unemployed.
These young people find themselves joining the two movements because of the dire economic situation and are often misused by elder leaders for their own selfish interests.
Delivering a political report at the Donna-Bella conference centre during its 7th congress, YCL Gert Sibande leader Ayanda Mashaba said the 51% Mpumalanga youth that is reported to be unemployed by Statistics SA find themselves despondent about the future and as a result have turned to crime, gangsterism, drugs and alcohol abuse or “to transactional sexual relationships” in order to counter the poverty they are faced with.
“What’s more, many more turn to our organisations, the ANCYL and YCL as a way of upward economic mobility.
“Several organisational reports show that more than 80% of ANCYL and YCL members are unemployed, making our organisation de-facto recruitment agencies,” Mashaba said.
“In the quest for economic progress, young people in these organisations are pitted against each other to prove loyalty in order to advance their respective economic interests,” he said.
Those who were more loyal to a particular leader find themselves being liberated economically while others were scared of being principled because they feared they would no longer receive the benefits from leaders.
Others hoped they would get similar benefits, serving the interests of a certain powerful leader than the policies or ideologies of the movement.
“Comrades, this is the better reality of where we find ourselves as an organisation.
“This bears testimony to not only the economic imperative of solving the unemployment crisis but also the political imperative,” he said.
“The inability to solve the crisis of youth unemployment not only undermine economic development of our country but is also a grave threat to the internal cohesion and stability of the ANC and SACP,” he said.
The job of the previous Young Communist League regional leadership was praised when a new one emerged in Saturday’s elective congress.
YCL Gert Sibande leader Ayanda Mashaba emerged for a second term as secretary of the league in the region.
Delegates also elected Enock Mogale, who was Mashaba’s deputy, as the new chairman of the YCL in the Gert Sibande region, taking over from Sindi Sibeko who was elected late last year during a special regional congress as regional SACP treasurer.
Delegates also elected Nelly Mlangeni, who was a member of the young communist’s executive committee in the region, as the new treasurer while Msukaligwa convener Ntsiki Cindi made a surprise emergence as Mashaba’s new deputy and spokesman Edward Letsimo emerging as the new deputy chairman.
Njabulo Mthabela, who was the deputy chairman, was elected an additional member after he protested his non-emergence in the top 5 – he was eyeing the position of regional chairman but was defeated when delegates chose Mogale instead.
Nokuthula Nkosi, who was the treasurer, didn’t make it both in the top 5 and as an additional member and was visibly unhappy about it and left congress early.
Chief Albert Luthuli convener Amos Nkosi, who was an additional member, also didn’t make it as well as Goodman Nkosi and Teboho Nkosi.
Xolani Shiba, Sbusiso Gininda, Joy Thwala, Sfiso Maseko, Nokuthula Sangweni, Phumi Mbatha and Mthabela are some of the leaders who emerged as additional members.
SACP second provincial deputy leader Nhlakanipho Zuma addressed the YCL regional elective congress at the Donna-Bella guesthouse in Ermelo and called for an end to ANCYL, YCL spats – saying this was not necessary because the ANCYL “is a child of the YCL”.
SACP second provincial deputy secretary Nhlakanipho Zuma. PICTURE BY MfisoDIGITAL/MLM
He said the YCL was formed long before the ANCYL and the formation of the ANCYL was as a result of influence made by SACP leaders for the ANC to also have a youth wing – following a resolution taken by its Central Committee then.
“That is why comrades at no stage should the ANCYL find itself at loggerheads with the YCL because the ANCYL is our child,” Zuma said to thunderous applause.
“The YCL has a responsibility to guide the ANCYL at all time.
“If there are now criminals or individuals who want to drive the ANCYL where they like the YCL must call it into order so that the ANCYL can go back to its direction that it was initially established for,” Zuma said.
Gert Sibande SACP leader Touch Ndlovu also addressed the congress and called on the ANC government to make sure that “the Gert Sibande economy is dominated by co-operatives”.
“There are faces of the ANC who want to try and frustrate this programme because they want to benefit alone,” Ndlovu said while on stage.
“They have been benefiting all along and still they want to continue to benefit, we can’t accept that. All the people of the region must benefit from its economy, and can only be achieved through co-operatives,” Ndlovu said.
He said the region’s schools and healthcare facilities were in a “very bad state” and that that was a result of corruption.
“Corruption affects the working-class we’re leading, if we don’t fight it we’re not leading well,” he said.
Mashaba addressed delegates on Sunday afternoon as the new re-lected leader and promised the YCL under his leadership will no longer be “a board-room organisation” before he thanked everyone who came to the congress.
The congress was attended by various leaders – Nehawu provincial leader Welcome Mnisi, YCL provincial leader Ntinyiko Ntini, YCL Nkangala’s Themba Ntimane, Gert Sibande Sasco regional secretary Genius Shabalala and other provincial and regional leaders, like the ANCYL’s Gracious Shabangu and YCL’s Themba Zulu.