ANCYL guns for Godongwana’s head over NHI scepticism

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has read Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana the riot act and demanded that he be dismissed for saying South Africa is not ready to implement and finance the National Health Insurance (NHI).

This was revealed by league president Collen Malatji in a conversation with Sunday World on our new dialogue platform, Sunday World Engage, which will be broadcast on our YouTube news channel today at 4pm.

Malatji said the league told ANC officials in Luthuli House this week that Godongwana should bite the dust or retract his public comment.

But Luthuli House, he said, called for calm.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Godongwana must stick to party policy on the matter.

Parliament passed the NHI Bill last month after years of public consultations and trials by the government in targeted areas across the country.

Malatji said Godongwana and all ministers were not a law unto themselves because they served at the ANC’s behest.

He said his ANCYL leadership was determined to have all errant ministers fired before elections and would respond to any deviation from ANC policies with brute force.

He said he had raised the matter in a meeting with Luthuli House bosses.

However, he said, he had done so in the absence of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who attended the UN General Assembly in New York. Only Ramaphosa, he said, had the discretion to hire or fire ministers in his cabinet.

“People are going to account. For instance, Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana made some pronouncements on NHI, saying it is not possible, when it is an ANC resolution.

“That was a DA pronouncement but Godongwana said this when he is a deployee of the ANC, and we will hold him accountable. We told the officials that they must call him in and demand that he retract the statement urgently.

“He must start making sure that there is money for NHI because we have committed to South Africans that we will give them quality universal healthcare, whether rich or poor.”

The controversial ANCYL boss, who has made it his business to pick fights with ministers, said it was an abomination for an ANC minister to pronounce against an ANC policy, saying it was not going to fly under his watch.

For Godongwana to appear unsure about reversing an apartheid legacy of skewed access to healthcare was shocking, he said.

Malatji said the ANC resolved on NHI to level the field of access to healthcare between the rich and the poor and that Godongwana should find the money instead of making excuses.

“We have even called for minister Godongwana’s removal, but the ANC national officials are saying that is too harsh.

“They will talk to him about withdrawing that statement because it is against the resolutions and policies of the ANC,” said Malatji.

Godongwana becomes the third target of the ANCYL but the first they have gone the extra mile of calling for his sacking.

Malatji’s first claim to fame was when he said Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi was the “unemployment minister”.

The ANC mother body chastised him for this, but soon afterwards he accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of being a proponent of selling state assets.

Gordhan demanded an apology but Malatji showed him the middle finger.

In Malatji’s view, the league will be harsh on Godongwana and anyone presiding over the National Treasury, whose mission is to ensure the country’s economy is restructured to favour the young and poor.

“We need radical change, and we told national officials that if the ANC does not make radical change in the next eight months, we are going to go out of power,” said Malatji.

“Who do we want to please? We must decide, those who want us out of power, which is big capital that funds the DA, or our voters?”

The ANCYL, said Malatji, will after the elections next year, call for more young leaders in the national executive.

They will start off by demanding a young deputy president and youthful and energetic ministers in strategic portfolios.

He believes young leaders understand the urgency of the troubles facing young people more than the old guard. Godongwana did not respond to questions.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. 

Latest News