Q: What is a professional?

  • A professional is a skilled person who has been trained in a particular field for a particular skill in any recognized higher institution of learning including, inter alia, colleges, the former technikons, technical colleges and universities. There are those who may not possess any tertiary qualification, but be a professional due to his/her years of experience and knowledge amassed in the field, who show outstanding knowledge and skill, who may be considered (recognition of prior learning). There are also those who receive honorary qualifications due to their unique, unwavering and valued contribution made in society emanating from benevolence or philanthropy.
  • A professional is a person whose work involves most of the following features:
    • Undivided attention and focus (mental / written work)
    • Adherence to allocated time for the work at hand (time sensitive)
    • A formal and well-structured work schedule (e.g. project plans)
    • Information-gathering and analysis (research)
    • Problem-solving / Critical thinking
    • Mathematical or digital work
    • Strategic planning about how to achieve a specific goal or deliverable.

Q. Is the PL a formal structure of the ANC?

  • The PL is an autonomous organization and, therefore, formal on its own right, established by members of the ANC in good standing who partake in the professional fraternity domain of the society and goverment on daily basis.
  • However, the PL is not a formal structure or organ of the ANC as yet, as it has not been endorsed by a formal ANC national conference. However, the ANC national structures and their leadership, including the NEC top 6 are aware of the existence of the PL and its future intention as the concept has been presented to them by our national leadership.
  • In any democratic and revolutionary organization or political party, a decision to amend the constitution due to policy change, only happens at national conference level where every structure and sub-structure of such an organization or party is represented. The presentation of the PL concept by the PL national leadership to the national leadership of the ANC has been noted and awaits a national conference decision in 2022 at the soonest.
  • There is no body or structure of the ANC at this stage that has the right to reject or approve the existence of the PL because it is a concept created by its own members for a good purpose that seeks to strengthen the ANC. It can only be rejected if its intentions are found to be anti-ANC policy or found to be detrimental to the ANC in whatever way perceived. The PL is therefore required to build a case to convince the membership and most structures that its approval will be beneficial to the ANC. The work and recruitment drive of professionals by the PL are currently done to amass enough convincing evidential information in order to strengthen its case.
  • This is not a new trajectory in the history of the ANC. It has been traversed by the Women’s League and the Youth League in the past. The PL derives its hope and strength from these leagues, especially the Women’s League which took 25 years (from 1918 to 1943) to be incorporated as the recognized organ of the ANC, but continued to be functional within the ANC until its approval later during the 1943 national conference.

Q. Is the PL intended to replace any existing structure/organ of ANC?

  • No. The PL must be viewed as an extra spoke in the wheel of the ANC intended to strengthen the ANC and all its structures on the professional side and is, by no means, intended to replace or duplicate any structure whatsoever.

Q. Why is the PL not established outside the ANC?

  • The PL is technically an independent NGO and not part of the ANC itself.
  • However, it is, by no means, the intention of the PL to become an opposition to the ANC but should always be seen in the stable of the ANC.
  • The PL is not driven by power but by need, esteem for leadership and professional ethics.

Q. What is PL’s understanding of “middle-class” in class politics?

  • PL understands that there are only two classes in the society, namely Labour and Capital. There is therefore no other class in-between. The PL does not have a term known as “middle-class” in its vocabulary of politics as alluded to by other scholars and political proponents and protagonists. The PL believes that those, in society, who are self-sustainable without relying on wages/salaries, are owners of capital and therefore own the means of production. Those who wake up and go to work every day, whether in government institutions or private sector companies, and earn a salary or “wage”, are the “labour class” sometimes known as the “working class”. It does not matter whether one is a professional or not, as long as he/she does not own what brings his/her income (means of production), he/she is a labourer. The only difference is that a professional who does not own the means of production is classified under “skilled labour” with a higher wage, as opposed to the commonly known “hard-labour” of pick and shovel of non-professional labourers who earn lower wages. The ANC is a party for the workers of South Africa, including all who have to survive by earning wages, regardless of income.

Q. Who qualifies to join the PL?

  • Any professional who is aligned with the transformation agenda of the ANC.
  • There are those students who are still at universities and all other institutions of higher learning who are eligible to join as associate members only until they complete their studies. They may, however, not hold any leadership positions within the structures of PL until they are professionally recognized. If they do not complete their studies their membership falls away.
  • The vetting process becomes critical to those members whose ambitions are to be in key leadership positions and such vetting is more relaxed regarding ordinary members whose sole intentions are to join the PL.

Q. What is the relationship between the PL and the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF)?

  • There is no relationship at present. Both organisations represent professionals. However, our organisation hopes to be formally recognised by the ANC. We only follow the ANC mandate and we support the ANC’s broad vision.

Q. What are the PL’s Objectives?

The PL has three broad Objectives:

1. Objective 1:

  • The Implement Objective:  Consolidate a highly educated skills base and intelligentsia to advance the agenda of the ANC, through providing scientific and evidence-based mechanisms to implement the aims and objectives of the ANC across the whole of society. The following are some examples of Objective 1:
  • To develop a database of professionals per profession within the province and nationally.
  • To organize the different professional desks within the ANC per profession, namely, health, built environment, finance, etc., and supply the ANC with professionals to mend those portfolios.
  • To support the ever-struggling government institutions, such as municipalities, hospitals, clinics, etc., by the deployment of volunteers from the professional database of PL.
  • To be placed as an advanced detachment thereby becoming a strategic ANC Body of Knowledge through intellectual and academic advices and advancement relating to strategies and policies.

2. Objective 2:

  • The Serve & Defend Objective:  Address the needs of professionals, fight against challenges facing professionals in the workplace, and deal with the slow pace of “qualitative and quantitative transformation” within corporate South Africa. The following are some examples falling under Objective 2:
  1. To participate in higher institutions’ student”™s admission requirement standards and fees determination and structuring policies and processes to ensure that they align with government policy.
  2. Respond to strikes from institutions of higher learning.
  3. To participate in policy reviews and formulation in all sectors of society especially those policies that directly or indirectly affect the professionals at their work place.

3. Objective 3:

  • The Recruit Objective:  Position the cosmopolitan outlook of professionals as leverage for recruiting all racial groups to the ANC and advancing the vision of a truly non-racial South Africa.   The following are some examples falling under Objective 3:
  1. To transform all structures of the ANC, especially at leadership level to prioritize education, professionalism and good ethics
  2. To inculcate the culture of diversity appreciation, tolerance and management within the ANC.
  3. To support the ever-struggling government institutions, such as municipalities, hospitals, clinics, etc., by the deployment of volunteers from the professional database of the PL.
  4. Assist the ANC, as leader of society and of government, to be a voice of reason.