CAUCUS prepares for End Of Year Constituency Period

Issued by African National Congress Parliament

10 November 2001

Speaking today during the ANC Caucus Workshop held in the Old Assembly in Parliament Nkosinathi Nhleko Chair of Caucus said:

"Today’s workshop is about team building. It gives us time to assess and catch up with each other and each other’s work. This kind of workshop - which is one of a series that will take place throughout the coming year - arms MPs with information and insight as they prepare for their end of year constituency work.

"The briefings and commissions on The State of the Alliance, HIV/AIDS, and the state of the economy, provide us with an opportunity to assess policy and give direction to our work - both here in Parliament, as we exercise our oversight function and in our constituency work.

"The policy analysis from the Minister Tshabalala Msimang and the briefing on specific interventions regarding HIV AIDS provide a framework for us to continue our HIV/AIDS campaign through our structures and our community work. We are the only political organisation doing on- the -ground work of transformation and education in the HIV/AIDS field, working actively to assist people who are HIV/ Positive, and spread messages of prevention.

"What is clear from Preg’s Govender’s briefing on the Public Hearings on HIV AIDS - held by the committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women - are the linkages between HIV/AIDS and poverty, the implications of gender inequality for HIV AIDS and the relationship between HIV/ AIDS and economic development give us clear direction.

"As we go back into our constituencies, the state of the alliance is always raised by our constituents. The challenges and implications of restructuring, of redressing patterns of ownership and employment cannot be resolved without the Tripartite Alliance. The ANC/ SACP/ COSATU alliance is critical to the ability of the ANC as government to meet the challenges of transformation. Peter Mokaba’s input, based on the NEC statement once again confirms our need to maintain and bolster our historic links and to work with our eyes firmly on our common goals.

"Following Trevor Manuel’s briefing MPs can complete their years work, proud of the performance of the South African economy. It is of some comfort, that amidst all the challenges facing the world economy, our economic fundamentals are in place with the result that our economy is resisting the slow-down that was occurring even before September 11th Our austerity is paying off as we continue to have a vibrant economy in the midst of international economic uncertainty."

"Commissions are currently sitting, and the process of resolutions and report back will be on-going".

Queries: Lewis Rabkin 083 646 6400