18 June 2017

South Africa: ANC's 'Love Affair' With the People Must Return - Ramaphosa

Photo: GCIS
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Jacket wearing, vehicle inspections, love affairs and spring-cleaning were just some of the figurative references Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa used on Sunday while discussing problems in the ANC.

"When we go around doing wrong things as leaders... in words or in deed... we must know we are impacting all the people of SA," Ramaphosa told the party's Western Cape policy conference in Stellenbosch.

"... So it is not a position where you are representing yourself and your jacket - that jacket is the people of South Africa," said the ANC presidential hopeful, dressed in a striped woolly scarf adorned with the party colours and insignia, to loud applause.

Ramaphosa was speaking ahead of the ruling party's national policy conference, which will start at the end of June.

Earlier, he conceded that the ANC was "going through a difficult time". Yet, he suggested, there was a way forward so as to ensure "that come 2019, we sweep the board".

Ramaphosa said that the ANC needed to focus on the implementation of policies - and it cases where implementation had not been wholly successful - it needed to examine the party as the "vehicle" that was delivering these ideas.

"... Is this vehicle still strong enough to implement these policies?

"... Is it the type of vehicle that will give our people a better life?

"... Are these people going to continue having faith and confidence in this vehicle called the African National Congress?"

Ramphosa said that at both the policy conference, and, particularly, at the elective conference at the end of the year, "we need to come up with ways and means... as to how we crank this vehicle back to life."

Creating jobs

Addressing economic issues, the deputy president said that "when we manage the economy we must not be reckless; we must not drive this economy to the ground."

Junk status and credit ratings were important concerns, as were attracting investors and creating jobs.

"We are not answerable to foreign interests, to certain families, to certain individuals," he declared.

Forging ahead, the ANC had to resolve "internal squabbles", and rebuild trust with its supporters, "so that its love affair with our people can be regained," suggested Ramaphosa.

He said he wanted the people to be able to say: "'Wow! There has been spring cleaning and things are much nicer now'... They want their love back."

There was no reason the ANC should be divided, suggested Ramaphosa,

While the "moral authority of the ANC has wilted," he nevertheless believed it would regain "great integrity".

However, unless the party took steps to rectify the current situation, "we are going to flounder and we are going to fail... "

"The ANC that I know, and that I am deputy president of, is not an African National Congress of failure, and is not an African National Congress of defeat and is not an African National Congress of a defeated people, and is not an African National Congress that is going to fail our people..."

Invoking the names of party icons Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela, Ramphosa said that the party would "not betray the people".

He promised instead that the ANC would lead the alliance with "integrity, honesty and bravery".

Also present at the gathering were recently axed tourism minister Derek Hanekom as well as party veteran Pallo Jordan.

Earlier, Ramaphosa thanked Jordan for buying him a cup of coffee, despite the anti-apartheid struggle stalwart now being a pensioner.

The City Press newspaper reported that on Saturday, Ramaphosa's presidential bid was boosted when Gauteng ANC chair Paul Mashatile endorsed him.

Source: News24

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