President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed claims that the African National Congress (ANC) is trying to collapse the SABC so it can take full control of the public broadcaster to advance the party’s election campaign.

This comes as the public broadcaster faces deep financial issues and has failed to get required assistance from government.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702 on Thursday night, the President refuted all claims that the ANC wanted to control the SABC.

“I must refute that. I refute as President of the Republic but also as president of the ANC there is just no truth in that. What we want to see is a strong SABC. We want to see a well functioning SABC and we want to see a well resources SABC. That is completely devoid of any truth. We will always seek to act in the interests of South Africans because it is a public broadcaster. And where we’ve got to insure that there is prudence and independence, we will do so.”

Ramaphosa says government is working on assisting the SABC.

“The SABC issue is being addressed. It is being addressed effectively and I was in a meeting this afternoon looking at the SABC issue. That too is going to be resolved. They need to be given the assistance and we are now looking at how best we can give them the assistance that they need.”

Another hit on the SABC was the resignation of four board members last week.

ANC won’t give up fight against racism

The President says the African National Congress will never give up on fighting racism and building a rainbow nation that former President Nelson Mandela fought for.

The President was referring to the racial comments made by Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama at a rally in North West this past weekend.

Mngxitama said five white people would be killed for every black person who is killed. Mngxitama’s rhetoric has sent shockwaves across the country, with some calling for his party to be barred from contesting in next year’s general elections.

Ramaphosa says, “You need to analyse what a person like Andile says and ask yourself if it is representative of a huge number of people. As a community that is saying that or it is a lone voice out there in the wilderness and sometimes we tend to look at these types of things and say this is the general feeling of everyone.  We cannot, through the hatred of some white people then begin to define the whole white community as haters of black people.”

Concept of “New dawn”

Ramaphosa has defended also his concept of ushering South Africa into a “new dawn”.  This follows mounting criticism from opposition parties and South Africans that the Ramaphosa administration is failing to fix the country’s problems, especially the increasing unemployment and poverty.

The President says the current problems the country is facing mainly stem from the issues of the past and the country’s economic structure.

“As we look around, we shouldn’t just look at for instance – Oh the price of petrol has gone up and therefore the new dawn is over.  Now the price of petrol has gone down. Does it mean that this concept of a new dawn, a new beginning, a renewal is dead and finished? No.

“We are having to deal with problems that have been given to rise by a whole number of factors, some of which have to do with the structure of the economy and also things that have happened a number of years in the past and that has led to the inequality that we have, it has led to the poverty that we have and the unemployment,” President Ramaphosa explained.