Defiant ANCYL orders Gordhan to Luthuli House to grill him

After defying Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s demand for an apology over accusation that he was selling stated-owned enterprises (SOEs), the ANCYL has instead summoned him to Luthuli house to account.

This was revealed by ANCYL president Collen Malatji, who said the meeting was scheduled for September 12, and the apology Gordhan demanded is not on the agenda.

Malatji said the scheduled meeting would be exclusively about sourcing information from Gordhan about his plans with SOEs to empower young people. “We called the meeting with minister Pravin to discuss SOEs and his plans to empower young people and lift them out of unemployment through SOEs.


“We want to hear from the minister whether there are any plans to privatise state entities or not, and if there are, why?

“We never spoke about an apology because we only read about it in the public statement his department released. It is not going to be part of the agenda.”

Approched for comment yesterday, Gordhan said the meeting had not happened soon enough because of challenges in aligning diaries between the two parties. He refused to say what his expectations were. “Let us allow the meeting to take place first, and then I will comment after the meeting,” said Gordhan.

According to Malatji, although the meeting with Gordhan was triggered by their public spat with him over the privatisation of SOEs, the session will kickstart a string of meetings with all ministers.

He said that after meeting Gordhan, the ANCYL would every Tuesday summons ministers one by one to Luthuli House, “where the power is”, for a performance evaluation and feedback on youth empowerment.

He said the league was calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack all underperforming ministers and departmental directors-general (DGs) without delay before the 2024 national and provincial elections.


The one thing that was not going to happen under his leadership, he said, was for the ANCYL to fold its arms while the youth suffered from high unemployment and lack of economic opportunities with no clear and concrete plans in place to end their misery.

Malatji said this was the reason for the meetings with the ministers, which the league expects to table their plans to advance young people’s interests.

“We want to assess all ministers individually. We want to check their set-asides to see if young people are benefiting from their departments.

“We will check their service delivery plans for those in the service delivery space. In the economic cluster, we want to check their plans for changing the status quo in the economy to create employment for youth, women and people with disabilities in South Africa,” he said.

He said the time for “free for all” in government was over. “There must be serious accountability, and those who cannot perform must go home,” he said.

“We are making a call that all ministers and DGs who are underspending and underperforming, the president must fire them before the elections so that the people of South Africa can see that we are taking action against underperformance.”

The firebrand Malatji said he foresees resistance and pushback from some quarters since the ANCYL is enforcing accountability, which has been a no-go area for years.

But since he and his leadership collectives did not avail themselves to lead the youth to be liked, he was prepared for whatever came his way in taking on the powerful.

“We are not elected to nurse the feelings of people in public office. We are elected to represent the youth. Whether they like me or not, they were not delegates at the conference where I was elected.

Also, I was not elected for myself. If speaking the truth about the plight of young people means I must be a casualty, I am ready for that,” he said.

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