African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned party members that the divisions within the organisation are to the detriment of the party.
Ramaphosa addressed delegates at the party’s national conference in Nasrec in Johannesburg.
Ramaphosa was delivering the political report of the party after earlier being heckled by some delegates who broke out in song when former party President, Jacob Zuma entered the hall.
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Ramaphosa says the disunity in the party is born out of competition for positions and resources.
“Our experience of recent years is that disunity does not arise from ideological, political or strategic differences among us but it arises from a contest over positions in the State and resources that are attached to them. We need to acknowledge that our efforts over the last five years, we are not as united, we are not as cohesive or effective as we should be. Our disunity continues at the expense of the support that we should get from the people of South Africa,” says Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has urged delegates at the party’s national conference to forge ahead in rooting out corruption. He warned that there would be resistance in uprooting corruption within the party and government. Party members are expected to review some of their policy decisions and elect a new leadership.
“From the deliberations and the resolutions of this conference, we must ensure that we use the work of the State Capture Commission to consolidate and intensify the efforts against state capture and ensure that those responsible, whoever they are, wherever they are, that they should face the might of the law but we must also say that we know that there will be resistance but this must strengthen our resolve so that we can protect and advance the gains of our revolution,” Ramaphosa reiterated.
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Ramaphosa says the economic progress that the ANC-led government is making should be assessed against the global economic landscape of high inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the economic impact of the pandemic. Russia invaded Ukraine almost ten months ago. The invasion has sent the global economy which was starting to recover from COVID-19 into rampant inflation and a possible recession. Ramaphosa says the government continues to play a role in supporting economic growth in the country.
“As part of the efforts to reignite economic growth in May 2018, government launched an economic drive that sort to raise R1,2 trillion in investment in our country. To date R1,14 trillion in investment commitments have been raised and more than R300 billion has been in a number of tangible projects around our country,” Ramaphosa adds.
President Ramaphosa says there must be a political programme to prevent the unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July last year. The wave of looting and violence left over 350 people dead and caused massive economic damage. He labelled the unrest as a calculated, orchestrated effort to destabilise the country, sabotage the economy and undermine constitutional democracy.
“It must be resisted as some have done to characterise the unrest as a manifestation of factionalism within the ANC, it was clearly an act or counter revolution to destabilise our democracy and to weaken the elected government in addition to strengthen the state’s ability to respond, the ANC needs to undertake a political programme to prevent a recurrence of these events and the consequent destabilisation of the national democratic revolution,” says Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa also acknowledged that the governing party was not able to serve the public as it should have over the last few years due to a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, public unrest, rolling power blackouts and various geo-political events.
“We were able to embark on interventions that enable us to confront the pandemic, we introduced measure to minimise the impact of the virus, we also instituted a number of measures that have put the economy on a high trajectory of growth and development despite the time lags putting the economy on a firm footing of from growth,” said Ramaphosa.