President Ramaphosa says more needs to be done to address SA’s socio-economic inequalities 

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The African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa says more needs to be done to overcome the country’s socio-economic inequality.

Speaking at the South African Communist Party (SACP)’s 15th National Congress in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Ramaphosa has outlined a number of issues faced by the public – including unemployment, rolling blackouts and the rising costs of living.

President Ramaphosa has lauded the outgoing SACP General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande for his sterling leadership over the past 24 years. He says Nzimande’s leadership has helped to keep the alliance together under difficult times.

He has called on the tripartite alliance to unite to help the nation overcome its societal and economic challenges.

“We also have a clearer sense of what needs to be done to overcome these challenges and build the society that was envisaged by the Freedom Charter. What is certain is that we will only be able to successfully undertake these tasks if we are, as an alliance, united in purpose and in action. The summit must also primarily focus on how we can generate growth that creates employment.”

Ramaphosa adds that not enough has been done to transform the country’s economy and society.

“Our people have huge burdens on their shoulders. They are suffering from the rising cost of living, from persistent load shedding – which not only causes great inconvenience to households and businesses, but this is what is holding the growth and recovery of our economy back. The underlying problem is that in almost 30 years of freedom, we have not done enough to transform our economy and society.”

‘Intimidated nor bullied’

The ANC president says he will not be intimidated or discouraged from his work – amid calls from some organisations and individuals for him to step down.

Some ANC members are marching to the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Friday to demand action be taken against Ramaphosa over the Phala Phala farm saga.

“I have pledged my full cooperation to the investigation process underway. I am prepared to be held accountable. I opted of my own volition to appear before the integrity commission. I would like to say that I will not allow these allegations to deter me from what needs to be done to rebuild our economy. I will not allow this to deter me, to discourage me from the work that I have to do. I will not be intimidated, nor destructed, nor bullied into submission.”

‘Affordable electricity’

Ramaphosa says he will continue to pursue economic reforms to secure a reliable supply of affordable electricity as South Africa continues to endure rolling blackouts.

“As long as I am still privileged to be the President of the republic, I will do my work and I will continue to work alongside South Africans, working together with them to create jobs, tackle poverty, build safe communities and change the lives of our people – and also to tackle the issue of electricity. I will continue to pursue far-reaching economic reforms to secure a reliable supply of affordable electricity and to end state capture and corruption.”