APF Queenstown Committee Meeting on the 17 September 2007
Friday 14 December 2007
1. Opening and welcoming 2. Introductions 3. Reports: 3.1) Jubilee 3.2) APF committee 3.3) Water 4.4) Funding 4.5) Office management-equipment & rentals 4. Way forward
The role of Jubilee South Africa in EC
• Comrade Thabo reported that there are allegations that the Jubilee comrades want to divide the APF and they will be paying R500 a month for comrades in the EC to work for Jubilee. There was a split in Jubilee SA back in Johannesburg, but the APF is working well with the comrades from Jubilee SA and Umzabalazo We Jubilee. • Comrades in the APF committees were elected to be part of the committee in Jubilee because it was the APF Queenstown structure that brought Jubilee to EC. The comrades from the office in Johannesburg were suppose to come down to the EC but they didn’t and comrade MP Giyose came with Kosta Gazi to give introduction about Jubilee. • He addressed people in the stadium and also in a meeting that was held in the APF office. There were also comrade Kosta Gazi, MP & Thabang were also in a meeting to address the comrades. • There was a planned workshop for the 01st September 2007 and comrade MP came to facilitate the workshop. In the workshop, there were members of the APF that were elected to be part of the Jubilee committee but other members didn’t know about the workshop. • So it is clear that there is division between Jubilee and APF comrades in the EC as comrade Nana who was legal coordinator of APF but now the chairperson of Jubilee was chased away by the APF organizer from the APF offices. But there is no issue that R500 will be paid for the committee members but it was raised in the workshop when comrades gave a brief history about the retrenched mine workers who were contributing R500.00 into their pension fund. • The reason for the split was caused by the fact that APF has being working with ex-mine workers and now Jubilee wants to take over that campaign. It is also clear that the Jubilee comrades are using APF’s resources and it was agreed by both groups that Jubilee must get their own office. • The APF Joburg has sent the Jubilee comrades to the Eastern Cape to look at the issue of how do we build solidarity as social movements and where there are common campaigns then a meeting must be organized to work a common programme of action because the important issue is the working class struggle that is not divided by petty opportunistic leaders of organisation that will divide the forces we have to put a push on the capitalist. The two committee must make sure that they have a meting to outline working relations and it must done soon.
APF EC Committee • Comrade Thabo raised an issue that there is always a new committee that is elected all the time in EC and there are persistent problems. So the APF Joburg wants to know what the reasons are for this because it is the fifth committee that is elected within two years. Why we discuss problems all the time instead of struggle and campaigns? The APF did a leadership workshop and it is clear that it didn’t resolve some of the problems that were outlined in the past period. • The meeting raised issues about the dominant role of the APF organizer who is not willing to listen to the people who work with him. The organizer plays many different roles like being the treasure, secretary, chairperson etc and he is a dictator in the office. He chases people away from the office without anybody opposing him. So it is clear that he is making APF his organisation as he chased away comrade Nana (ex legal coordinator) who also happens to be the founder member of the APF EC. The comrade doesn’t want any other person to contact the Joburg office and he will things claiming that, he had an instruction from the APF Joburg National Office (Comrade Silumko and Dale gave him an order). Like the issue of the administrator getting a stipend, it was an instruction from National Office that the administrator must be paid a stipend. • This lead to many comrades resigning from the committee and hence there are new people all the time who are in the committee • There was an AGM held recently (July) and there was a committee that was elected with their names being submitted to the APF Joburg. But when the issue of Jubilee surfaced then the committee resigned citing many different problems with the running of the APF EC committee. They then decided to join Jubilee based on the role that is played by the organizer and why there is no strong intervention coming from Johannesburg in expelling the organizer. • It was indicated to the comrades that APF Gauteng has no powers to interfere in the APF EC matters but it can give political direction when it comes to the role of leaders in the committee. It can also mediate in the issue of Jubilee and the APF but it can’t take decision on behalf of the organisation. The APF will not allow a situation where people will use the name of the organisation to mislead the people but it can assist in building strong campaigns on the ground. An undisciplined comrade must be disciplined by the organisation and an organisation needs to have a code of conduct or a constitution so that decisions can be taken as a collective but not by an individual. This is where the APF Gauteng can assist in making sure that the comrades have a code of conduct or a constitution. Comrades must not expect the APF to intervene in internal matters as the APF EC is not an APF affiliate but an organisation that the APF Gauteng is giving solidarity. The APF Gauteng will not accept the issue of comrades always changing the committee all the time because of personal fights within comrades.
Water • The CAWP outlined its programme to the meeting and how the different communities can take up the issue of the water campaign in the EC. • After a mass meeting visit to community of Ezibeleni and Linge (township 30km outside Queenstown) where there was continuous mobilisation done for the march on the 18th September 2007 to the local municipality in demand for basic service. It was discovered that the people have being drinking contaminated water for the past month and three people are already dead. Many more are in hospital and there is a real water crisis in the community. The local municipality is using mobile tanks to deliver water to the community but this has caused further complications in terms of the water supply. • So the EC committee must build up on this campaign and make sure that the matter receives enough attention in the media.
Funding • The comrades raised the issue that there are many different struggle taking place in EC but it is difficult for them to coordinate the entire Province with limited resources because they have no funding. They request that the APF Gauteng can intervene and assist with skill building for the committee by running a fundraising workshop. But more concretely, they are making a formal request to the APF that the women in the committee are willing to do have an APF-t-shirts project and the APF can but its t-shirts from EC. So they will do a proposal to the APF and it shall be faxed to the office. But lately they have being having problems with the APF fax as their faxes don’t reach the office.
Office equipment and rentals
• They are renting an office that doesn’t have equipment and they request the APF Gauteng to donate some old office cabinet, office chairs, tables and office computer.
Announcements • APF EC anniversary on the 28 November 2007, they request that the office can be able to send in many comrades to the event. But comrades can use the train in terms of saving costs because they need many comrades from Gauteng