African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has outlined his party’s priorities for the year ahead during his delivery of the January 8 Statement at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo.

Ramaphosa says the ANC, working with all social partners, must accelerate economic recovery and ensure that social services are provided to all citizens.

The ANC also celebrated 110 years since it was formed.

The ANC January 8 Statement is used to chart a way forward for the year ahead.

Ramaphosa delivered the party’s January 8 Statement under strict COVID-19 regulations at the stadium.

Ramaphosa says the ANC supports government’s decision to continue to implement public employment programmes to support unemployed working-age adults.

“The Social Relief of Distress Grant has provided vital support for the unemployed during the pandemic, reaching 9.5 million people and lifting 5 million above the food poverty line,” he added.

In 2021, Statistics South Africa released its latest figures where it showed the unemployment rate was high, with more people losing their jobs.

Ramaphosa has also used the January 8 Statement celebrations to thank ordinary citizens, SANDF and SAPS for their non-violent acts to stop the looting that took place in July 2021.

He also expressed sadness over what he described as devastating fires that engulfed Parliament last Sunday morning.

On Zondo Commission report

Ramaphosa says the ANC welcomes the release of the Zondo Commission report.

He says the ANC will implement all the recommendations of the report.

“The ANC will support government in effecting the measures required to eliminate conditions and conduct that enable State Capture and systemic corruption. As the ANC, we will engage with our structures and members to ensure sufficient understanding of the contents and findings of the Commission.”

“We will put in place mechanisms to process any parts of the Commission report that pertain to the organisation, its deployees or members and to consider how the Commission’s recommendations can help to enhance the fundamental renewal and rebuilding of our movement,” explains Ramaphosa.

The ANC President has called on ordinary citizens to read the report and be part of the national effort to put State Capture behind the country.

Earlier, when asked if the ANC was going to implement the Zondo Commission report, party chairperson Gwede Mantashe said it is not the responsibility of the ANC to arrest and prosecute.

Mantashe has called on society to allow law enforcement time and space to do their work.

 January 8 Statement celebrations of the ANC:

Cosatu’s message to the ANC

Meanwhile, speaking during the January 8 Statement, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Zingiswa Losi told the ANC that workers were not happy with the level of corruption and poor service delivery in the governing party led municipalities.

She has called on Ramaphosa to unite the ANC and help the party to rebuild in order to ensure that they claim victory in the 2024 general elections.

Losi says the ANC to take responsibility for its shortcomings but also added that the party must celebrate its achievements.

She has also urged Ramaphosa to implement the Zondo report recommendations without failure.

“Let the Zondo report not be like the Seriti [Commission] report on the Arms Deal. Let its recommendations be implemented,” adds Losi.

Address by Zingiswa Losi:

SACP message to ANC

South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande has warned that ANC detractors will use the Zondo report to attack and divide the governing party.

The SACP leader says they believe that the recent Parliament fire and the 2021 July unrest are connected.

“As the SACP we smell a rat … we think that there is a third force in the recent fire that took place in Parliament and the [2021] July unrest. We have our suspicions but we will allow police to conduct their investigations.”

Nzimande says they will, however, allow law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the Parliament fire.

A man was also arrested for breaking the windows of the Constitutional Court with a hammer this week.

Address by Blade Nzimande:

The birthday celebrations were concluded by performances from local artists including King Monda, Makhadzi, Master KG and Benny Mayengani.

Ramaphosa danced alongside Makhadzi as she was performing one of her hit songs Dikuku [cakes] while ANC supporters cheered from the grandstand.