Ramaphosa looks to re­store the coun­try’s hope


ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and the party’s new na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) have de­clared war on state cap­ture, vow­ing that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of those im­pli­cated will be pri­ori­tised.

De­liv­er­ing the party’s Jan­uary 8th state­ment at East Lon­don’s Buf­falo City sta­dium yes­ter­day, Ramaphosa said the ANC wanted to en­sure all forms of cor­rup­tion and state cap­ture were con­fronted.

He also promised to re­vamp state owned en­ter­prises and to im­prove the bat­tered im­age of pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions.

“We must work to re­store the cred­i­bil­ity of pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing state owned en­ter­prises and law en­force­ment agen­cies by ad­dress­ing ex­ces­sive turnover in senior po­si­tions, un­due po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence, poor co-or­di­na­tion and cor­rup­tion.”

He thanked Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma for an­nounc­ing the com­mis­sion of in­quiry to probe state cap­ture, say­ing this would help the coun­try get to the bot­tom of these al­le­ga­tions.

Ramaphosa had started de­liv­er­ing the speech shortly af­ter the crowd booed Zuma who ar­rived af­ter pro­ceed­ings started.

Ramaphosa spoke tough on graft and ad­mon­ished those who booed Zuma say­ing the rally was meant as a cel­e­bra­tion and “not for other things”. He then used the speech to stamp his au­thor­ity on the party with much of his speech fo­cus­ing on fix­ing the dam­age ex­pe­ri­enced by both party and state dur­ing Zuma’s two terms at the helm of the rul­ing party.

Some of the un­der­tak­ings con­tained in the NEC Jan­uary 8 state­ment in­clude strength­en­ing the ap­point­ment pro­ce­dures for top po­si­tions in gov­ern­ment, SOEs and in law en­force­ment agen­cies.

The speech was also filled with prom­ises for the poor with Ramaphosa promis­ing the cre­ation of 1 mil­lion jobs over a three-yearcy­cle. He also gave an as­sur­ance that free higher ed­u­ca­tion would be im­ple­mented, adding how­ever that it would be im­ple­mented grad­u­ally as the “gov­ern­ment tries to find money to fund it”.

The econ­omy will also be given pri­or­ity by the new lead­er­ship. While the ANC will push ahead with its eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion agenda, Ramaphosa em­pha­sised the need to at­tract in­vest­ment.

“Our vi­sion is an econ­omy that en­cour­ages and wel­comes in­vest­ment, of­fers pol­icy cer­tainty and ad­dresses bar­ri­ers that in­hibit growth and so­cial in­clu­sion,” he said.

NEC mem­bers hailed Ramaphosa’s state­ment say­ing it pro­vided hope that the coun­try’s cur­rent state of af­fairs would change for the bet­ter.

Gaut­eng health MEC Gwen Ramok­gopa said the big­gest mes­sage from the speech was how Ramaphosa would con­front the lack of ac­count­abil­ity and wrong­do­ing in gov­ern­ment.

“We must turn a new leaf on is­sues of ac­count­abil­ity, on up­root­ing and be­ing in­tol­er­ant to cor­rup­tion,” Ramok­gopa said.

Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi also com­mended Ramaphosa’s tough talk on cor­rup­tion say­ing his ad­dress res­onated with the thou­sands of ANC sup­port­ers who at­tended the party’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tions. Ramaphosa promised the ANC would be fixed both within and with­out, in­clud­ing the al­liance with Cosatu and SACP, with unity be­ing the key theme.

SACP deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary Solly Ma­paila hailed the speech say­ing Ramaphosa had shown a com­mit­ment to fight the cor­rup­tion and divi­sion that had char­ac­terised the ANC since Zuma be­came leader in 2007.

“We have been al­ways com­mit­ted to the al­liance, but not com­mit­ted to the cor­rupt al­liance, that is why we said there won’t be unity in cor­rup­tion,” said Ma­paila.

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