Cyril de­liv­ers man­i­festo to packed sta­dium

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SIVIWE FEKETHA STAFF WRITER

THE ANC’S week-long mo­bil­i­sa­tion and elec­tion cam­paign paid div­i­dends on Satur­day with tens of thou­sands turn­ing up for a man­i­festo rally that high­lighted the party’s sup­port in Kwazulu-natal.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa ap­pealed to South Africans to give the ANC an­other chance to gov­ern ahead of the up­com­ing elec­tions, say­ing the party un­der his lead­er­ship last year had re­versed its re­gres­sive prac­tices.

De­liv­er­ing the ANC’S an­nual Jan­uary 8 state­ment at the party’s 107th an­niver­sary at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban – where he de­tailed the party’s plan for the year ahead – Ramaphosa said both the party and the coun­try had en­tered an era of re­newal un­der him.

The Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium was a sea of black, green and gold as ANC mem­bers from all over the coun­try de­scended on Dur­ban for the cli­max of a week of ANC fes­tiv­i­ties.

The 85 000-seater sta­dium was packed, with thou­sands more at Peo­ple’s Park. For­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma re­ceived ap­plause as he made his way to the stage, even tak­ing the time to dance with Umkhonto we Sizwe mil­i­tary veter­ans be­fore he took his seat on the stage.

Grac­ing the ANC’S big day were po­lit­i­cal par­ties from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries in­clud­ing An­gola, Namibia, Botswana, Zim­babwe and Le­sotho and the Pales­tinian na­tional po­lit­i­cal party Fatah.

The ANC also of­fi­cially launched its man­i­festo for the gen­eral elec­tions, which are sched­uled for May.

In a show of unity by the party, which has been bat­tling chal­lenges of dis­unity, no boo­ing took place dur­ing the speech, de­spite threats that party sup­port­ers sym­pa­thetic to for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma would dis­rupt Ramaphosa’s ad­dress.

Ramaphosa said the ANC lead­er­ship un­der him had made progress in its ef­forts to re­store the in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity due to al­le­ga­tions of malef­i­cence, in­clud­ing cor­rup­tion and state cap­ture.

“Where nec­es­sary, we have taken mea­sures to deal with cadres who have un­der­mined the in­tegrity of the move­ment and the eth­i­cal stan­dards ex­pected of pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ANC lead­ers.

“This is among the most dif­fi­cult of or­gan­i­sa­tional tasks, but we re­main res­o­lute in our ef­forts to stamp out de­viant and ab­hor­rent prac­tices,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the Anc-led gov­ern­ment had taken bold steps to con­front cor­rup­tion and state cap­ture through the es­tab­lish­ment of var­i­ous com­mis­sions and changes in the lead­er­ship of state-owned com­pa­nies as part of restor­ing pub­lic con­fi­dence.

“We will ap­peal with all hu­mil­ity to the South African peo­ple to once again ex­press their con­fi­dence in the ANC to lead so­ci­ety in pur­suit of shared growth, job cre­ation, rad­i­cal eco­nomic and so­cial trans­for­ma­tion and na­tional unity,” he said.

Ramaphosa said while the ANC was proud of the progress that had been made, it had the duty to ac­knowl­edge that mis­takes, which stalled some ar­eas of trans­for­ma­tion, had been made by the party.

“We must ac­knowl­edge that state cap­ture and cor­rup­tion have weak­ened sev­eral of our pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions, un­der­mined ef­fec­tive gover­nance and con­trib­uted to the poor per­for­mance of our econ­omy. We must also ac­knowl­edge that fac­tion­al­ism and pa­tron­age have di­min­ished the abil­ity of the ANC to lead the process of trans­for­ma­tion and ful­fil its man­date to the peo­ple,” he said.

Among key listed plans on the party’s state­ment for this year is the strength­en­ing of in­ter­nal unity, boost­ing of eco­nomic growth and trans­for­ma­tion through use of gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment, restora­tion of in­vestor con­fi­dence and col­lab­o­ra­tion with the pri­vate sec­tor.

“Rad­i­cal so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion re­quires greater fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, which, among other things, de­mands more di­verse own­er­ship of the fi­nan­cial sec­tor and a greater role for state and co-op­er­a­tive banks.

“We are work­ing with the so­cial part­ners to put in place a new com­pact with clear tar­gets and com­mit­ments,” Ramaphosa said.

SACP sec­re­tary-gen­eral Blade Nz­i­mande, said the ANC would need to unite if it wanted to win con­vinc­ingly.

“It re­quires the unity of the ANC; the unity of each one of the com­po­nents of our al­liance, the unity of each one of our leagues and the unity of each one of the mass, sec­toral and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions that sup­port the suc­cess of our shared pro­gramme,” Nz­i­mande said.

SUP­PORT: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Thou­sands of ANC sup­port­ers at the launch of 107 ANC Man­i­festo at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium. Pic­ture:

DANC­ING: For­mer Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma danc­ing with the MKVA veter­ans.Pic­ture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

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