Category Archives: Cyril Ramaphosa

Winnie Madikizela Mandela

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA DECLARES SPECIAL OFFICIAL FUNERAL FOR MAMA WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Mama Winnie Mandela, the recipient of the Order of Luthuli Award in Silver for bravery. Winnie Mandela was a pillar of our struggle for liberation in the struggle against the most atrocious apartheid regime. The ANC Veterans League sends its deepest condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families.
Following is a poignant account from the President of the Veterans League, who knew and worked with this giant of our movement during those dark and seemingly horrid times of our struggle.

“I was introduced to the ANC when I was very young, angry and militant, by Winnie Mandela and worked with her when it was not fashionable to be associated with our glorious movement.
it is unimaginable that she is no more.”

He elaborates: “I remember vividly when I met her in 1966 in down town Johannesburg where she was working as a secretary. We spoke quietly in hushed tones on how evil and atrocious the apartheid system was, a system which denied millions of South Africans their birthright. The topic then focused on the hated Bantu education system designed for black South Africans, the appalling and segregated living conditions, how workers’ rights were trampled upon on a daily basis, and the daily harassment and torture of those who dared raise their voices in defiance of the obnoxious system where blacks were made hewers of wood and drawers of waters.
It was only when she invited me to her home in Orlando West in Soweto that she spoke freely and we started planning on how we could mobilize and organize the youth to become active participants in the struggle against apartheid. Winnie never revealed her identity then. She was a leader in her own right. She was not in the struggle because she was married to Nelson Mandela, but was a committed and dedicated member of the ANC.

She later introduced us to incorrigible leaders like Samson Ndou, Marita Ndzanga and her husband Lawrance Ndzanga, Elliot Shabangu, Joyce Sikakane, and Sam Poloto.
As the militant youth of the day, we wanted to be trained on how to handle weapons and explosives. We had already identified targets that were going to disrupt the South African economy.

Winnie was very patient by then and insisted on us receiving political training especially on the aims and objectives of the ANC and the Freedom Charter. I recall that we had to recite the Freedom Charter like a bible and only then were we introduced to underground training in the handling of sensitive information. The training included production of leaflet bombs, distribution of ANC underground material, manufacturing of Molotov cocktails and learning how to infiltrate MK cadres who would train us internally.

Yes, we researched on how we can procure weapons from the armaments factories of Denel and Armscor. We became responsible for distributing and setting up of leaflet bombs in the Johannesburg City Centre. It was in May 1969 when more than 120 ANC activist were rounded up, arrested and detained under the notorious Section 6 of the Terrorism Act of 1967.The notorious Act allowed the state to detain members of society who were opposed to apartheid for 180 days without trial.

Twenty one of us spent 12 months in solitary confinement and 6 months on trial, first under the Suppression of the Communism Act and were later detained and charged under the Terrorism Act. We were severely tortured, but our spirits and the resolve to fight the apartheid regime were never dampened.

Comrade Benjamin Ramotse, who was kidnapped from Botswana and brutally tortured, stood trial with us and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on Robben Island. After our trial in September 1970, we were all banned under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950. A banned person endured severe restrictions on their movement, political activities, and associations intended to silence their opposition to the government’s apartheid policies and stop their political activity.

Later, when some of us left the country in 1974 to re-enforce the activities of the ANC in exile in Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola and Bulgaria, comrade Winnie Mandela remained as the pillar of our struggle in the country, soldiering on without let or hindrance.
She was banned, harassed and banished to Brandfort. She, however,stood firm on her political convictions. She expressed he bravery, always fighting for the interest of the poor. She strived to overcome the terrible conditions of apartheid and never gave up.”

Comrade Winnie Mandela, “Mother of the Nation”, you will always be remembered for the contribution you have made in the struggle for liberation. The ANC Veterans League dips its revolutionary banner in honour of this extraordinary giant of our struggle.

Lala ngo Xolo. Hamba Kahle Qhawe la Maqhawe
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

President Cyril Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA URGES SOUTH AFRICA TO #PRESSFORPROGRESS IN 2018

South Africa joins the international community in observing International Women’s Day today, Thursday 8 March 2018, under the theme #PressforProgress.

International Women’s Day has been a global institution focused on equality for women since it was first observed by the Suffragettes in 1911.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to use International Women’s Day 2018 to decide what they can do in their personal lives, communities, businesses and organisations to advance all aspects of gender equality.

President Ramaphosa said South Africans should dedicate International Women’s Day 2018 to the memory of Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, whose centenary is being celebrated this year. She was a courageous leader both of the struggle for national liberation and of the struggle for gender emancipation.

“We have a responsibility to the memory of Ma Sisulu and to the many women who walked alongside her to intensify the struggle for gender equality in all areas of life.”

“We must work together to significantly improve the status of women – and especially young women – in the economy, ensuring that we achieve gender parity. Women must be equally represented in the workplace and must receive equal pay,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said society needs to tackle the economic and social factors that prevent young women from completing school and accessing further education. Government will strengthen the support it provides to women entrepreneurs and business people.

President Ramaphosa said the success of society’s efforts to grow the economy and create jobs will be measured in large part by the impact it has on the lives of South African women.

President Ramaphosa said: “South Africa has made great strides since the advent of democracy to advance and affirm women as part of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and united country.

“At the same time, we are confronted with the reality of women continuing to experience discrimination and disadvantage at home and in the workplace.

“The renewal off our country must entail a renewal of societal values that will position women and men alongside one another in a nation of equals. Patriarchy has no place in the South Africa we are building today.”

President Ramaphosa urges South Africans from all walks of life to join the global campaign, #PressforProgress, and play an active part in creating a better life for women in the country and around the world.

ANC Veterans Leauge

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE APPLAUDS THE INITIATIVE TAKEN BY THE TWO LEADERS TO BRING STABILITY IN THE COUNTRY

The ANC Veterans League profusely lauds the initiative by the country’s President Comrade Jacob Zuma and ANC President Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa in a bid to resolve the impasse on the smooth transition of power.The cancelled National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting could, in most probability, have resulted in the president being recalled immediately. His recall would have humiliated him and in the process, dented the country’s image and the ANC brand.
We have been officially informed that the discussion that took place between the two leaders were fruitful and constructive. This, we firmly believe, is all in the interest of the country and the ANC.
It is hoped that the transition of power would materialize sooner as the country and society needs stability and certainty. The Veteran’s League also commends the initiative taken by the Speakers of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise to postpone the State of the Nation Address (SONA) until further notice. The State of the Nation is a seminal event that gives society hope that we are prepared to deal with the serious challenges of corruption, lack of delivery of basic services, as
well as the propensity to boost investor confidence, help create jobs for the youth and deal with mass unemployment.

The Veterans League supports all efforts by the current leadership to unite society, get rid of gate keepers and factions, allow security establishment to deal with rotten tomatoes, renew the ANC and regain the lost confidence in our glorious movement. The sooner the smooth transition of power takes place, the better it is for the country and our glorious movement. As always, we stand ready to serve.

From
Snuki Zikalala
President of ANC Veterans League

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS COMRADE CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON DISCUSSION WITH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, COMRADE JACOB ZUMA ON TRANSITION

Fellow South Africans,

There has been a lot of speculation and anxiety about the position of
President Jacob Zuma as the head of state and government of our country.

I would like to clarify some matters in this regard.Last night, President Jacob Zuma and I began direct discussions on the transition and matters relating to his position as the President of the
Republic.

The discussions were constructive and lay the basis for a speedy
resolution of the matter in the interests of the country and its people.

On the basis of the progress made, it was agreed to postpone a special
meeting of the ANC National Executive Committee that had been scheduled
for later today. This will enable President Zuma and myself to conclude
our discussions and report back to our organisation and the country in
the coming days.

I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Head of
State and Government is a cause for concern among many South Africans.
This is understandable. However, I am certain that the process we have
now embarked on will achieve an outcome that not only addresses these
concerns, but also unites our people around the tasks that all of us must
necessarily undertake to build our country. We will be able to
communicate further on President Zuma¹s position as President of the
Republic once we have finalised all pertinent matters.

While the current situation has necessitated the postponement until
further notice of the State of the Nation Address, the work of government
and Parliament will continue.

This is a challenging time for our country. Both President Zuma and
myself are aware that our people want and deserve closure. The
constructive process we have embarked on offers the greatest opportunity
to conclude this matter without discord or division.

Throughout this process, I am guided by the principle that the interests
and needs of the South African people are paramount.

Issued by
Cyril Ramaphosa
President of the African National Congress

Declaration 2018 NEDLAC Labour School

Introduction:
The three leading South African trade union federations representing millions of workers who constitute the backbone of the South African Economy met from the 29th – 31st January 2018 at Faircity, Rondevallei Hotel in Pretoria to develop new strategies on how to improve the working conditions of South African workers and the living conditions of ordinary poor people in general.   
The Deputy President of the country, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, and the ministers of Labour, Higher Education and Training, Economic Development and Finance addressed the NEDLAC Labour School. The other speakers included, the Director of the CCMA, the Panel of Progressive Economists, the former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan and the former Auditor General Terrence Nombembe.
The discussions in the meeting were organized around the following Thematic Areas:
1.      Make South African Economy work for the People
2.      Human Resource Development and Free Education
3.      Labour laws amendments, National Minimum Wage and enforcement.
4.      The role of Social Dialogue in Achieving Social Justice
5.      From State Capture and Corruption to Good and Clean Governance
6.      National Health Insurance in our Life Time
7.      BRICS and SADC chairmanship
8.      2018 ILC Agenda and the ILO Centenary
9.    4th Industrial Revolution/Future of Work – its negative impacts and opportunities of              creating new and sustainable jobs
10.  Comprehensive Social Security
11.  NEDLAC chamber reports 
What is to be done?
1.      Make South African Economy work for the People
The job summit: there is a commitment by social partners and government to convene the job summit in the same manner we had a summit on the Framework For South Africa’s Response To The International Economic Crisis. It is important to utilize the same approach deployed of the Committee of Principals. Therefore, it is not necessary to re-invent the policies that aim to deliver the same outcomes to ensure alignment and effective implementation. The federations commit to work together with progressive economists and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the summit addresses the following issues:
a)      Strengthening and improving IPAP
b)      Prioritizing incentives for labour intensive sectors
c)      Prioritizing critical scarce skills
d)      Reforming and restructuring monopolies and addressing concentration in the economy
e)      Strengthening township economies and entrepreneurship
f)       Reviewing of the NDP in particular the economy and the labour chapters
g)   Retirement investments: We need a common ground on a shared vision and this could include concluding a social compact to address the above challenges.
h)      Some of the practical steps to deal with current problems include the following;
·         Infrastructure fund drawing on public and private resources to focus on social and           economic infrastructure.  
·    Increased investment levels in the productive sectors such as the PIC and IDC supported by retirement funds.
·         Incomes policy that reduces inequalities and increase in savings.  
·         Localisation.
i)        Workers must be directly represented as a majority in all PIC strategic committees and on the PIC board of directors
j)       We call for worker representation in all state owned companies and in all private companies where worker’s monies are invested. All these companies including the PIC must use workers’ monies to invest in developmental projects that will stand to benefit South Africa’s economy and to uplift the living conditions of the working class and the poor.
k)      We call for the implementation of the New Growth Path job drivers. 
l)     We call for the convening of the Economic and Jobs Summit during the workers month of May this year.  The primary focus of this Summit should be to develop the country’s sustainable response to the current economic challenges including confronting high unemployment rates and monopolies in the economy. We call on the Deputy President to lead this process and to ensure that the outcomes of the Summit are binding and implemented. The leadership of the three federations will meet in a week’s time to develop joint proposals towards the Summit.
 
2.      The role of Social Dialogue in Achieving Social Justice
a)     Whatever the challenges, it is clear that institutions of Social dialogue in South Africa such as NEDLAC remain relevant.
b)    We call on government to ensure that the overall budget for NEDLAC is increased to improve the capacity of NEDLAC to make it an effective central platform to advance radical socio – economic development policies and to monitor the implementation of such policies.  
c)    NEDLAC must be given sufficient financial resources, to among others execute research work that is required to shape and influence the content of legislation. 
 
  1. Working with CCMA and the Labour Court and building the capacity of trade unions to execute their core tasks
CCMA
a)      The capacity of the CCMA must be improved. The CCMA commissioners must be seen to be impartial and must do their work without fear, favour and prejudice.
b)    In this regard the three federations commits to work closely with the CCMA to build the capacity of our shop stewards to represent workers effectively and to ensure that the CCMA is efficient and is accessible to the workers.
c)   The three federations will also undertake a campaign to challenge employers who undermine CCMA awards and Labour Court rulings, which are in favour of workers.
d)      The CCMA could play a valuable role to improve the overall effectiveness of the training layoff scheme, as the system is not utilized to it intended purpose.
 
Labour court
a)      The meeting expressed concern about the current poor infrastructure of the labour court, which leads to inefficiencies in carrying out justice.
It is unacceptable that the problem of cases taking long remains unaddressed, as a result of a lack of proper systems in the labour court. In this regard the three federations commit to work with the labour court to address this challenges. This will include confronting the delays, which are caused by employers who challenge the CCMA and labour court judgments for the sake of delaying justice. We commit to work with the labour court to ensure that there is enough human resources to address the problem of the availability of Judges including ensuring that there are reasonable incentives to attract more experienced people for the task of being judges.  
4.      From State Capture and Corruption to Good and Clean Governance
We note that there is a process to strengthen legislation to deal with corruption and ensure individual accountability. We will interact with the process to ensure that it is effective and that it does not flout the countries labour laws and efficiency to implement developmental programs.
We are also encouraged by the recent steps taken by government to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture and corruption, including other inquiries already underway, which continue to expose corruption both in the private and public sector.
We call on the law enforcement agencies to arrest, prosecute and jail the perpetrators of corruption both the in the public and private sector.
  1. Labour laws amendments, National Minimum Wage and enforcement.
We want the process towards a legislated National Minimum Wage to be finalized before the 1st May this year. We call on Government and business not to delay the implementation of this long awaited legislation.We call for an increase of resources towards the Department of Labour to be directed at building the capacity to monitor and enforce labour laws including COIDA and the new National Minimum Wage. Therefore, the number of inspectors must be increased as well as involving bargaining councils to improve enforcement.
We call on government to ensure that employers who undermine and violate labour laws are treated as criminals.
6.      4th Industrial Revolution/Future of Work – its negative impacts and opportunities of creating new and sustainable jobs
The fourth industrial revolution has both negative and positive impacts on the economy and it has the potential to destroy jobs. As automation substitutes for labour across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the economic crisis already faced by our country. We call on government to put relevant programs in place to develop the necessary skills to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. The potential challenges which will be imposed by the fourth industrial revolution requires a response that will be coordinated at the level of the deputy president of the country.
We call upon the Human Resources Development Council to convene a conference to develop a country response to the threats and opportunities posed by the fourth industrial revolution.
Human Resource Development and Free Education
The meeting welcomed government’s decision on declaring free education in institutions of higher learning for the working class and the poor.  In this regard we will work with government to ensure that the free higher education policy is fully implemented. We therefore call on government to ensure that the process towards the Free Higher Education legislation is brought to NEDLAC  to deal with the following as per NEDLAC agreement: (a) the Final Report of the Fees Commission (b) Progress Reports on the Central Application System (c) Reports on curriculum transformation and language policy  (d) Progress report on the NSFAS restructuring (e) Progress report on the historical debt from NSFAS (f) Reports on the progress in respect of institutional autonomy of universities and public accountability. It is important to ensure allignment of the school curriculum with TVET Colleges and universities. The investment to be made by government must ensure that the economy of the country generates returns on the through-put of institutions of higher learning. In this regard it will also be important that business ensures increased investments including in FET institutions  into infrastructural development.   
 
7.      National Health Insurance in our Life Time
a)     Visible steps needs to be shown that there is implementation of NHI beyond the pilot phase. In this regard we demand that regular progress reports are tabled for discussion in NEDLAC during 2018
b)      Concurrent with this process is that there must be visible steps to ensure that there is an overhaul of the health system directed at serving the majority of our people and the two tier system is done away with over time.  
8.      BRICS and SADC chairmanship
a)      As a country we need to ensure that we leave a long lasting legacy as we currently occupy the position of chairmanship in both BRICS and SADC. In this regard there is a need for government and labour to develop joint country positions that are presented in these international forums.
b)      We call on the Department of Labour to make resources available for labour’s full and meaningful participation in these forums. 
9.      2018 ILC Agenda and the ILO Centenary
a)      We need broader representation inclusive of gender of social partners in the ILC and we will work with the ILO to develop a country position towards the ILO centenary. The ministers of Labour, Finance and Women must allocate resources to the federations to increase delegations especially with regard to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in line with the 2018 ILC theme eliminating Gender Based Violence in the Workplace.  
10.  Comprehensive Social Security
a)      We are encouraged that the process of engaging on the Comprehensive Social Security policy has started but were are expressing our deep concerns that this process is moving very slowly.
b)    We therefore call on government to expedite this process and mandate its relevant departments in particular the National Treasury to negotiate in good faith in the interest of the working class and the poor.
11.  NEDLAC chamber reports 
a)      We have received reports of priorities in NEDLAC chambers and it is clear that moving forward, all social partners must bring their best people with the requisite knowledge to these chambers meetings. In the absence of this the NEDLAC policy making process will be compromised
12.  Second Financial Sector Summit
a)      We have taken stock of the progress and setbacks since the First Financial Sector summit, which was held in 2002. It is now time to convene a Second Financial Summit to decisively deal with the continued challenges in the financial sector such as reckless lending and continued eviction from houses, including the corruption in the sector.
Conclusion
The work of labour at NEDLAC needs more resources in order to ensure that we do not only have one strategic planning session but are able to have more of these in a year. We call on the Department of Labour to provide more resources to allow for the convening of at least two labour schools per year.
We commit to ensure that all these tasks are undertaken with diligence and unmatched precision. We shall spare none of our time and energy to pull our sleeves and put our collective hands on the deck to ensure that each and every commitment made in this declaration is executed without fail.
 
Cyril Ramaphosa

TEAM SA REACHES OUT TO INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM 2018 – DAVOS, SWITZERLAND

The South African delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched its participation in the World Economic Forum 2018 with a range of interactions with international partners in government and business as part of positioning South Africa favourably and building partnerships to address global issues.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, brings together political, business and broader civil society leadership under the theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”. The theme seeks to mobilise global leadership to develop responses to trends – including the rise of isolationism and extremism – that undermine efforts by the global community to foster openness, tolerance, integration and shared opportunity.

The Forum presents South Africa with various platforms to outline the country’s efforts to secure sustainable and inclusive economic growth; address governance weaknesses in the public and private sectors and to contribute positively to the development of solutions to global challenges.

South Africa continues to attract global interest in view of its position as a sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging market, as recently endorsed by Goldman Sachs Portfolio Strategy Research.

South Africa’s first day at WEF 2018 – Tuesday 23 January 2018 – saw Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ministerial delegation participate in a range of public forums and bilateral meetings as part of positioning South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination, trade partner and member of the international community.

As part of his Working Visit to the World Economic Forum, Deputy President attended the opening plenary session of the Forum as well as a plenary discussion on the conference theme.

Deputy President Ramaphosa held bilateral meetings with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President João Lourenco of Angola; Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre of Somalia; Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani of Qatar.

Furthermore, Deputy President had a bilateral meeting with WEF Founder and Executive Director Prof Klaus Schwab to whom Deputy President Ramaphosa expressed South Africa’s appreciation for the World Economic Forum’s continued support for and commitment to the development of Africa.

In addition to positioning South Africa as a leading competitive and investment friendly destination that is open for business, government continued to utilise the WEF Davos 2018 platform to bring attention to the significant centenary celebrations of the iconic global leader and late South African President, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will tomorrow, Wednesday 24 January 2018, be a contributor in a breakfast session entitled “Building Peace in Africa”. This will be complemented by various interactions by Ministers and discussions between South African businesses and international partners,

Deputy President Ramaphosa, together with several ministers, will participate in a country strategy dialogue on South Africa, which will focus international attention on measures to grow the South African economy and promote development. It will be attended by international and South African business people.

The Deputy President will also hold discussions with Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark.

Team South Africa’s day will culminate in a South Africa Business Dinner hosted by Brand South Africa.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

DEPUTY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA HAS ARRIVED IN SWITZERLAND, DAVOS TO LEAD THE SOUTH AFRICAN DELEGATION AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM 2018

Davos – The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa today arrived in Davos, Switzerland to lead, a high-level government, business and labour delegation to the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual meeting scheduled from 23-26 January 2018.

This year’s event is held under the theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will join various discussion platforms in Davos with an aim to develop a response to new strategies towards transforming governance in various parts of the world. South Africa last week announced a number of measures to strengthen governance and management of its State Owned Enterprises. This is part of an ongoing broader effort to restore confidence in the economy. The South African government will continue to act decisively to address challenges at its key state owned enterprises to restore public and investor confidence and to ensure that they fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.

The WEF Davos forum presents South Africa with a platform to showcase its attractiveness as an investment destination and trade partner; set out plans that are unfolding to secure improved and inclusive economic growth, and contribute to efforts to respond to societal challenges globally. The South African Team under the leadership of Deputy President Ramaphosa will utilise the opportunity presented by the World Economic Forum to communicate that South Africa remains open for business and highlight the work that the government working together with business and labour is doing to ensure an improved economic outlook and nurturing for a higher economic growth trajectory.

The delegation will also re emphasise that South Africa has a stable and predictable macroeconomic framework which continues to underpin economic policy, ensuring that the country remains attractive for investment. The team will also be placing emphasis on its plans to transforms the economy to ensure that its citizens enter new jobs and benefit from the new investments attracted in partnership with business and organised labour. 14 Actions to boost investor confidence have been developed in 2017 with specific deadlines with deliverables including to ensure continuity of fiscal consolidation trajectory and the funding and broader reforms in the areas of governance and private sector participation in SOEs as well as finalising outstanding legislation and policy positions to enhance investor confidence.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will also hold various meetings with high-level political and business leaders from various countries.

The South African delegation led by Deputy President Ramaphosa includes a broad range of leadership from various sectors of the economy and society, with Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba as the lead Minister and coordinator.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported by the Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Jeff Radebe; Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel; Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies; Minister of Public Works, Nkosinathi Nhleko and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

CLOSING ADDRESS BY ANC PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ANC 54TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE

NASREC, 20 DECEMBER 2017

National Chairperson, Cde Gwede Mantashe,

Outgoing President of the African National Congress, Cde Jacob Zuma,

Members of the newly-elected National Executive Committee,

Members of the Electoral Commission,

Representatives of the Alliance, fraternal parties and observers,

Distinguished guests,

Delegates, This is a deeply humbling moment, to address the closing session of the 54th National Conference of our beloved and glorious movement, the African National Congress.

There is no doubt that this has been a Conference of enormous importance and great significance.

In the months and weeks before this Conference, speculation was rife that this 54th National Conference would either not be held or that it would collapse.

Your attendance at this Conference, representing your branches, is a victory over the doomsayers and those who do not wish our movement well.

We therefore congratulate you for having defied the negative speculative predictions by making this Conference happen and ensuring it is successful.

There were some who even suggested that Nasrec would represent the end of the ANC as we would emerge from here divided.

We are still here. Standing almost 106 years later. United.

Nasrec 2017 has not only united us. It has strengthened us. It has galvanised us and rejuvenated us.

We continue to confound our critics.

Over the course of the last five days, our movement has grappled with the

challenges and tasks of this critical moment in the history and life of our people and our country.

The ANC has listened to the aspirations, hopes, wishes, cries and concerns of our people through the voices of the delegates representing our people from the length and breadth of our country.

As delegates representing branches of our movement you have given expression to our peoples hopes through the resolutions you have adopted here and the leadership you have chosen.

In electing the leadership, you, as the delegates to this Conference, have turned your back on the politics of the slate.

You have insisted that the people who lead this movement should not be from one or another faction, but should serve our people in their own right as representatives of the membership as a whole.

This Conference has given us an opportunity to confront difficult truths.

In recent times, we have seen the ANC at its worst.

We have seen an organisation divided against itself. And yet, we have also seen glimpses of the ANC at its best.

Over the last few days, we have seen the ANC that we know and love.

As representatives of nearly a million members, you as delegates have demonstrated that the ANC is an organisation that is alive to the needs

of the people and that it is hard at work to develop policies and programmes that respond to these needs. More than that, we have seen at this Conference a movement that is determined to enhance its policies, to

strengthen implementation and to work with greater determination to unite

its members and build its structures.

Our people will judge this Conference not only by what we have done here

over these five days, but ­ perhaps more importantly ­ by what we do next.

The people of South Africa want action. They do not want words.

Our people want an ANC that lives up to its promise and is true to its mission.

They want an ANC that lives the values that it espouses and holds fast to the principles that have long defined it.

They want an ANC that uses public office not to serve vested interests, but to build a truly developmental state and a vibrant, inclusive economy that creates jobs and improves lives. As we leave this Conference, we are

resolved to humble ourselves before the people.

We are resolved to respect our people and earn their respect.

We are resolved to cast aside those attitudes and practices that have seen a gulf grow between those in public office and those they were elected to serve.

The African National Congress wishes to send a clear message to all South Africans that we are resolved to be a more responsive and more accountable leadership and movement.

We will continue to be rooted in communities through our branches and always seek to champion the interests of the people. We must examine, critically and honestly, our commitment to gender equality.

We must be conscious of the practices and attitudes that reinforce patriarchy within our organisation and society ­ and we must work

together to end them.

We need to become a more youthful organisation, more representative of

the age profile of our population.

This Conference has resolved that we engage and pay heed to the views and

insights of the veterans of our movement, organisations that have always

worked with us, and many others.

We will reach out to community organisations and other organs of civil society, understanding that they are critical for the exercise of people¹s power and are valuable partners for development.

We shall do so because we have a historic responsibility as the ANC to

lead society. The Alliance has faced many challenges and problems in the recent past.

We will work with our Alliance partners to repair relations between the four formations that our people expect to lead the National Democratic Revolution.

As this Conference, we are in agreement that the ANC cannot be strong and effective unless we are part of an Alliance that is strong, united and cohesive. We are confident that the outcomes of this Conference will

assist in advancing efforts to unite the former combatants of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

We must make the achievement of unity between MKMVA and the MK National

Council a priority of the incoming leadership.

As we leave this Conference, we are resolved to pursue with greater determination a radical path of socio-economic transformation, premised on growth, job creation and equitable distribution of income, wealth and

assets.

The issue of land has been a matter of great concern to our people whose land was taken from them. We will accelerate our programme of land reform and rural development as part of our programme of radical socio economic

transformation.

This Conference has resolved that the expropriation of land without

compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to

give effect to land reform and redistribution.

It has also resolved that in determining the mechanisms of implementation, we must ensure that we do not undermine the economy, agricultural production and food security.

As the ANC, we have been the central driver of progress in our country and the economy over the last 23 years.

Our efforts have been aimed at eradicating poverty, inequality and reducing unemployment.We have placed the challenge of unemployment at the forefront of all our

actions in the economy.

Our focus on education and skills training is beginning to bear positive results.

Our social social development programmes have been aimed at addressing

poverty amongst our people.

The policies we have adopted here provide a platform for faster and more meaningful implementation of the National Development Plan. We will elaborate the decisions of this National Conference more fully when we

release the NEC Statement on January 13 when we celebrate our 106th year

of existence.

At the state level we must confront the reality that critical institutions of our state have been targeted by individuals and families

who, through the exercise of influence and the manipulation of governance

processes and public resources.

This has led to the weakening of our State Owned Enterprises whose governance structures need to be revamped.

Whether we call this state capture or simply corruption, this has undermined the integrity of our institutions, cost our economy hundreds

of billions of rands and contributed to the further impoverishment of our people.

Given all these challenges we are called upon to act against corruption, collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in the public and private sector.

We must investigate without fear or favour the so-called Œaccounting

irregularities¹ that cause turmoil in the markets and wipe billions off the investments of ordinary South Africans.

This Conference has resolved that this must be acted upon and stopped.

We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks. We embraced the Integrity Commission at our NGC and endorsed that decision at the 53rd National Conference.

The setting up of the Integrity Commission is therefore not in question as there is consensus that the Integrity Commission should be supported and empowered to do its work without fear, favour or prejudice in order

to restore the Integrity of the ANC and help cultivate and promote ethical leadership.

The terms of reference including its duties and powers should be discussed and finalised by the National Executive Committee.

This Conference has resolved that corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Through your deliberations, we have together developed a clear line of

march for the movement and for the new leadership. You have, over and

over again, emphasised that the ANC is the strategic centre of power for

all its cadres.

The actions of Comrades who are deployed by the movement should always be

informed by the interests of our members and our people, not personal

gain.

Their actions should always be a source of pride, and not a cause for

embarrassment.

They should take us closer to the National Democratic Society to which we aspire, not undermine it.

This National Executive Committee that you have elected commits itself to

follow the instructions that you have issued from this, our 54th National Conference.

You have instructed us to forge a united ANC.

You have also directed us to unite the Alliance and ensure that its

programmes are underpinned by unity. Another overarching task you have

charged us with is to unite the people of South Africa and work harder to heal the wounds of conflict and division.

We must focus afresh on the task of building a non-racial country, guided by the injunction in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

Personally, I wish to thank you, with all humility, for the confidence that you have shown in me. I shall strive to serve our members, our supporters and the nation with commitment and diligence.

As the newly elected National Executive Committee, and as President I

speak on our behalf, we accept without reservation your clear instruction

that we must work together as a collective, undivided and motivated by a

single purpose ­ the service of our people.

We are aware that leadership in our movement is not confined to those who hold office.

I wish to pay tribute to Cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who contested the

position of President, for the manner in which she demonstrated commitment to our movement during the campaign.

Together with the other candidates, we all pledged to work closely in pursuit of the objectives of our revolution whether we succeeded in our election bid or not. On your behalf, I wish to thank those people who

have made this Conference possible ­ the management of NASREC, the

Electoral Commission and the Elexions Agency, technical staff, marshalls,

security officials and the many service providers, donors and exhibitors.

The SGO and the Steering Committee have done a sterling job to ensure that we hold a most successful conference.

I wish to thank the media for having reported the proceedings of this Conference to our people and the broader global community.

As revolutionary democrats, we recognise the vital role that the media plays in facilitating the free flow of information and in promoting

transparency and accountability.

We register our concern about an incident at this Conference involving a

journalist and security officials.

We have sought a report on what happened and must look at how we ensure

such incidents do not occur in the future.

I wish to thank our Alliance partners, representatives of civil society

organisations, guests from fraternal parties and members of the diplomatic corps who have been with us in various capacities over the past five days.

Above all, I wish to thank all our branch members, whose wishes and aspirations we had come here to represent.

To all delegates thank you for your attendance and patience and forbearance with delays in voting and programme planning.

As Officials we have already observed a number of things we can improve. We will make sure that our next NGC and Conference becomes a better experience for all delegates.

Please travel safely, arrive alive and have a peaceful festive season.

Make sure to have a good rest and come back from the holidays revitalised for the hard work that lies ahead in 2018 and beyond.

We look forward to meeting again at the ANC¹s 106th anniversary celebrations in East London on the 13th of January.

Next year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founding President, Isithwalandwe Nelson Rolihahla Mandela.

True to his legacy and inspired by his remarkable life, let us hold fast

to the principle that guides us as the ANC ­ that we serve the people of

South Africa!

We serve them with humility, integrity and unwavering commitment.

We serve them without expectation of reward or recognition.

We serve them because we have chosen, each one of us, to become members

of the African National Congress and thereby to become selfless agents of

revolutionary change.

Finally, I would like, on your behalf, to thank President Jacob Zuma for the 10 years he has spent as the President of our movement and for a lifetime of service to the people of this country.

It was during your tenure Nxamalala, and thanks to your vision, that the National Planning Commission was established and produced the country¹s

first National Development Plan.

This is a framework for economic and social change that will guide our

country for many years to come.

History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the

largest in the world.

Through your intervention, we have made great strides in combating the

epidemic, many lives have been saved and many infections prevented.

We cannot close this, the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, without paying tribute to you for your contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development.

I thank you.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

In response to questions put to him by the Sunday Independent ­ which have been circulating on social media since Friday 1 September 2017 ­

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has made the following statement:

It has come to my attention, through questions that were sent to me by the editor of a Sunday newspaper, that a number of emails from my private email account have been illegally obtained and provided to at least one media outlet.

From the nature and tone of the questions, it is clear that the intention of obtaining the emails and then providing them to the media was to discredit my person.

I will not comment in public on private matters.

I do feel compelled however to respond to deeply disturbing suggestions that I paid money to several young women with whom I was supposedly in relationships. There are 54 young students ­ both men and women ­ that my wife and I provide financial assistance to on a monthly basis and have done so for several years. It is unfortunate that evidence of these bank transfers have been used to make scandalous allegations against me and, worse, to make public the names of some of the people assisted.

 We find it disturbing that the privacy of these young women has been violated through the publication of their names and pictures on social media. It shows a callous disregard for the rights of the individual.

This latest episode extends far beyond an attempt at political smear. It represents an escalation of a dirty war against those who are working to restore the values, principles and integrity of the African National Congress and society.

Resembling in many ways the Œstratkom techniques of the apartheid-era, we have seen in recent weeks a number of attempts at disinformation directed at me and people with whom I am associated. These activities need to be seen within a broader campaign that has targeted several political leaders, trade unionists, journalists and civil society activists.

Nearly all the people that have been targeted in this way have taken a public stand against the capture of our state institutions by outside interests and the looting of public resources.

It is evident that there is a well-resourced, coordinated covert operation underway to prevent those responsible for wrongdoing from being held to account and for the integrity of our law enforcement agencies and other state institutions to be restored. 

This operation appears to have access to resources within intelligence circles with the capability to intercept communications and hack private emails.

 We now need to confront the likelihood that state agencies and resources are being abused to promote factional political agendas. We also need to confront the reality that those behind these agendas will go to any length to protect themselves and their interests. 

We need to ask who these people are. And on whose behalf they act. 

As the ANC¹s 54th National Conference approaches, this campaign will intensify. It is imperative that members of the ANC and Alliance formations remain vigilant against deliberate efforts to sow confusion and disunity.

 South Africans from across the political spectrum need to resist all efforts to forestall the social and economic renewal of our country.

 We call on journalists in particular to exercise caution when receiving information and be circumspect in the manner in which they handle the information. It is a concern that questions sent to a person by a journalist were circulated publicly before the questions have even been responded to.

This type of behaviour can no longer be referred to as journalism. If the intention of this campaign is to weaken the resolve of those fighting to revitalise the ANC and unite our country, it has failed.

I am now even more convinced that our movement, the African National Congress, needs to be restored to its rightful owners, the people of South Africa. 

I am even more convinced that those who have facilitated the capture of our state institutions and have benefited from the looting of public resources  should be held accountable for their actions.

I am even more convinced that the time has come for the membership of the ANC to restore the organisation as a genuine movement of the people.

 As a leader, as an individual and as a member of a collective, my resolve to contribute to the achievement of that renewal is undiminished.

We will not be diverted from doing what¹s right for our country and our people.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

DEPUTY PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ON CHANGES IN THE CABINET

In response to media request, herein, transcript copy and sound clip of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response to changes in the cabinet as announced on 31 March 2017

Note: DP’s remarks starts at 1min 38s

“The President has effected his cabinet reshuffle. Before doing so, he met the ANC officials. It was just a process of informing us of his decision; it was not a consultation, because he came with a ready-made list. And I raised my concern and objection about the removal of the Minister of Finance; largely because he was being removed based on an intelligence report that I believe had unsubstantiated allegations about the Minister of Finance and his Deputy going to London to mobilise financial markets against our country”, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Now that I find totally totally unacceptable that a person who has served our country with such distinction would do something like that. It reminded me of my own situation in 2001 when there was an intelligence report that said that I was involved in a plot to overthrow the government of then President Thabo Mbeki”, continued the Deputy President.

“My strong objection to the removal of the Minister of Finance and his deputy is [that it is] based on spurious allegations and that is the basis of my objection. I told the President I would not agree with his reasoning for the removal of the Minister of Finance”, further said the Deputy President.

“And I told him that I would articulate [this] publicly. So this is where we are. He has made his choice and let me say the President has the prerogative to appoint and dismiss ministers

of his cabinet. It is his choice and he has exercised his choice”, continued Deputy President Ramaphosa.

In response to a question whether he will resign

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said “No, I will not. I am staying to serve our people in government. I made my views known”

“There are quite a number of other colleagues and comrades who are unhappy about this situation, particularly the removal of the Minister of Finance who was serving the country with absolute distinction, with great ability, and he has proven that he is a talented person. For him to be removed for this type of reasoning, this to me is unacceptable”, concluded Deputy President Ramaphosa.