Category Archives: Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa


We are gathered here today, in our tens of thousands, to issue a clarion call to all the people of this great land.

We are gathered here today to say that the future of our country is in your hands.

This is a call to the young people who want to learn and to work and to build a life that is better than what they have today.

It is a call to the mothers and the fathers, who want decent homes and quality health care, who want to live in safe communities, and who want the best for their children.

This is a call to the workers, who want decent wages and a healthy workplace, who want to gain new skills and be given new opportunities.

It is a call to the labour tenants and farm workers, who want land they can call their own, who want water and seeds and implements.

This is a call to all South Africans: black and white, young and old, women and men.

It is a call to action.

It is a call to every South African to vote on Wednesday, the 8th of May, for a new era of growth, renewal and transformation.

This is a decisive moment in our history.

This a moment when we have to choose between the past and the future.

We can choose to return to a past of conflict and anger, of corruption and hunger.

Or we can choose to embark on a path of renewal and go forward to a future of peace and stability, jobs and progress.

As the people of South Africa, let us declare with one clear and loud voice that we choose to go forward.

We choose hope over despair.

We choose renewal over stagnation.

We choose growth over decline.

This is the message that our people gave us as we criss-crossed the country – from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha in the south to Musina and Thohoyandou in the north, from Ngwavuma and KwaMashu and Mthatha in the east to Mahikeng and Upington and Springbok and Vredendaal in the west.

We have met with workers in factories, on farms and in mines.

We have met with artisans, shop assistants, teachers, nurses, students, artists and pensioners. We have met business people, professionals, farmers, religious leaders and traditional leaders.

We have met people whose lives have been transformed over the last 25 years of democracy.
But we have also met people without work, without proper shelter, without a high school education, without running water or decent sanitation.

We have met people with disability, who have told us about the discrimination they face, about their struggles to access education and the particular difficulties they have finding a job.

We have met young and old, women and men, African, coloured, Indian and white.

We have heard them speak with many voices of their aspirations, their concerns and their frustrations.

And we have heard them speak with one voice about the country they love and the united and fair nation they want to live in.

They have reminded us of the achievements of 25 years – of the houses built, the jobs created, the education provided and the horizons broadened.

But they have also been critical of our shortcomings.

They have told us where service delivery has failed, where infrastructure has not been maintained, where people with authority and responsibility have stolen money.

They are frustrated at the slow rate of economic growth and the grinding effects of poverty and unemployment.

We have heard of the difficulties many of them continue to face in the midst of a tough economic environment, of the bills that need to be paid, of the rising cost of food, fuel and transport.

They have raised these issues with us – directly and bluntly – because they know that the ANC is the only organisation that can address their concerns.

They know the remarkable progress we have made together over 25 years; but they know that more could have been done, and that much more needs to be done.

And so today, as the ANC, we say to the people of South Africa:

We have heard you!

We have listened closely and with humility.

Where we have been found wanting, we accept the criticism.

Where we have made mistakes, we acknowledge them without qualification.

You have told us what you expect of the ANC.

Today – gathered here as the leadership, membership and volunteers of the African National Congress – we say that we are ready.

We are ready to work together, side-by-side with all South Africans, to build a country in which all may thrive and in which all may prosper.

If we are united, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

That is why, working together, we will build a growing economy for the benefit of all.

We have said that we will raise R1.4 trillion in new investment over 5 years.

It has never been done before in this country.

But we are determined to achieve it, because it is through this investment that we will build the factories, mines, call centres, farms and refineries that will create jobs for our people.

It is by removing barriers to investment and ending policy uncertainty, by creating space for new black entrants, by making our economy more competitive, that we will reach far higher levels of inclusive growth.

It is by further strengthening the social compact between government, labour, business, civil society and communities that we will create more decent jobs.

It is through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service, Tshepo 1 Million and NARYSEC that we will create pathways into work for young people.

It is through working with companies to recruit more young people and through removing work experience as a requirement for entry-level jobs that we will unleash the enormous potential of our youth.

It is through our industrial incentive schemes, special economic zones, industrial parks in townships and the black industrialists programme that we will become a manufacturing nation.

It is through the expansion of our small business incubation programme and through greater financial support for small business that we will build a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

It is by accelerating the redistribution of land and by financing emerging black farmers that we will ignite an agricultural revolution that transforms the South African countryside.

It is by investing in tourism, mining, telecommunications, textiles and clothing, manufacturing and the oceans economy that we will create a truly diverse economy that can compete in a challenging global environment.

These are not just words.

We have experience.

The ANC has shown, over many years, that we can work with labour and business and communities to mobilise investment, to create jobs, to improve working conditions, to implement a national minimum wage.

As the ANC, we know what it takes to open factories and mines, to attract tourists, to build roads, schools and clinics.

We know what it takes to grow an economy because we have done it before, and, working together, we can do it again.

But if all of these efforts are to be successful, we must ensure that the youth of this country have the skills they need now and into the future.

Working together, we will ensure that all our children receive the best quality education possible.

Every moment in a child’s development is essential.

The ANC will make two years of early childhood development compulsory for all children because this is the firm foundation children need to succeed in life.

If we do not reach our children before the age of 5, they will spend the rest of their lives catching up.

Unless they can read and write from the earliest years of school, they will always struggle to learn, to understand and to find jobs.

Unless they have teachers who are competent and committed, unless they have parents who are supportive, unless we have education officials who are honest and efficient, we will fail our children.

We will not allow another generation of South Africans to be consigned to a life of poverty.

We will not allow the doors of our universities and colleges to remain closed to the children of the poor and the working class.

We will not allow students to emerge from these universities and colleges without the skills they need to find a job.

That is why the ANC is expanding free higher education and investing more in TVET colleges to develop the skills our economy needs.

It is our solemn duty to improve the lives of the poor.

That is why the ANC is building more clinics and hospitals, and training more doctors, nurses and other health workers.

It is why the ANC will build a million houses over the next five years, and ensure that more work opportunities are provided closer to where people live.

The ANC has listened to the voices of women.

They remain the pillars of communities, families and social institutions.

And yet, patriarchal attitudes continue to deny women and girls their dignity and rights.

They bear the brunt of poverty and face discrimination in the workplace.

They are subjected to the most brutal gender-based violence and femicide.

Today, as the ANC, we recommit ourselves to a truly non-sexist South Africa.

Working with the broader women and gender movement, we will continue to take practical steps to advance women’s emancipation.

That is why we will ensure that girl children complete school and realise their academic potential, that women have equal opportunities at work, and that, working together, we end all forms of gender-based violence.
And that is why 53 percent of the ANC’s candidates in this election are women.

Comrades, friends and compatriots,

Let us declare, here and now, that we will never surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture.

We will not submit and we will not retreat.

We will fight with every means at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest.

Over the last year, we have taken decisive steps to fight corruption across society.

The Zondo Commission is uncovering the nature and extent of state capture.

We have done much to restore the credibility and effectiveness of the NPA, SARS, SAPS and the State Security Agency.

But the road ahead is long, and there is still much more to do.

We should expect resistance from those who have benefited from wrongdoing.

But let there be no doubt – those responsible for state capture and corruption will be held to account.
We are restoring the rule of law.

The police and prosecutors will be further strengthened and their independence will be assured, so that they can act against those who are corrupt without fear or favour.

We are determined that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility, either in the ANC, in Parliament or in government.

The era of impunity is over.

We are now entering the era of accountability.

We are now entering the era of consequence.

As the African National Congress, we have embarked on a path of renewal and rebuilding.

We acknowledge the mistakes we have made.

We recognise how patronage and corruption have eroded the people’s trust and confidence, and how they have undermined our ability to serve the interests of all South Africans.

That is why we have been working hard to restore the integrity of our movement.

We have been working to rebuild structures that are in touch with the people and which take forward the struggles of communities.

We are working to ensure that public representatives serve their communities diligently, selflessly and honestly.

We are working to restore the ANC to an organisation worthy of leaders like Chief Albert Luthuli, Moses Kotane, Lilian Ngoyi, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Dulcie September, Elijah Barayi, Albertina Sisulu, Chris Hani and Joe Slovo.

The people of South Africa expect and demand nothing less.

Today is a call to action.

It is a call to action to the amavoluntiya, the tens of thousands of ANC members and supporters who have campaigned over many months with great enthusiasm and dedication.

We thank you for your hard work.

We salute your commitment to a better and brighter South Africa for all.

However, our biggest task still lies ahead.

On Wednesday, each and every one of us must go from ward to ward, street to street, door to door to get out the vote.

We cannot allow all the hard work of the last few months to be wasted.

We cannot allow all our hopes of growth and renewal to be dashed.

We must do everything within our means to ensure that every ANC voter casts their ballot and that every ANC vote is counted.

The work we do over the next few days will determine the future of our country for many years to come.

Today is a call to action to the people of South Africa.

It is a call to join us on this journey of hope and renewal.

It is a call to every South Africans to go to the voting station where you are registered and cast your vote for the ANC.

Stations are open from 7am to 9pm.

Remember to take your ID book or identity card or temporary ID certificate.

And remember you have two votes, one for national and one for provincial.

Although the ballot paper is very long, it is very easy to find the ANC.

You will see the name of the ANC, the logo – in the form of the spear, the shield and our black, green and gold flag – and the face of a certain gentleman at number 4 on the national ballot and at number 2 or 3 on the provincial ballots.

For the first ballot, vote ANC.

For the second ballot, vote ANC.

There is no alternative.

Today, we want to thank the many, many South Africans we have met over the last few months, who have shared with us their worries, their suggestions, their hopes and their dreams.

Ours is a message of national unity, hope and renewal – not hatred, drama and empty rhetoric.

We call on South Africans to vote for the only party that can unite South Africans in realising our common aspirations for a better life.

Let us build a nation of solidarity, where each takes responsibility for the wellbeing of the other,

Let us build a nation of honesty and integrity.

Let us build a great country, which belongs to all South Africans, and in which all South Africans belong.

To all the people of our country, our message is a simple one:

Let us join hands and grow South Africa together!

Vote ANC.



President Cyril Ramaphosa


Your Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and Chairperson of SADC,

Your Excellency, Mr Brahim Ghali, President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic,
Your Excellency, Mr Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda,
Your Excellency, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe,
Your Excellency, Dr Tom Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho,
Your Excellencies, Heads of Delegation,
Your Excellency, Former President Obasanjo,
Representatives of the Chairpersons of the African Union and AU Commission,
Esteemed comrades from the liberation movements and governing political parties in our region,

Your Excellency, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC,
Distinguished Guests,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the people and government of South Africa I would like to welcome you to our country.

We are honoured to be hosting this historic act of solidarity with the Saharawi people.

It is fitting that this conference is taking place in a building named after Oliver Reginald Tambo, a legendary statesman and a committed internationalist who was unwavering in his support for the struggle for self-determination of the Saharawi people.

It was Oliver Reginald Tambo who affirmed, as we do today, that international solidarity is an imperative for progressive peoples everywhere.

Building bridges of friendship is a natural and just course of action for all who share the vision of a world free from subjugation, a world where the strong do not exert their dominance through force of arms.

In the many times he addressed the international community on the anti-apartheid struggle, Comrade OR, as he was known, spoke of the role of ‘men and women of conscience’ in giving voice to the struggles of oppressed peoples everywhere.

Gathered here today are men and women of conscience.

You stood by South Africa during the struggle for our own liberation, and today you are here to affirm your solidarity with the Saharawi people in their quest for self-determination.

The presence of representatives from the national liberation movements of the region, from the African Union and African Union Commission, from the Southern African Development Community and our friends in the international community sends the clearest of messages.

That we are with the people of the Western Sahara.

We stand with you, we support you, and we will never forget you.

This conference reflects our commitment, as the countries of Africa, supported by our friends in the international community, to call for a just, acceptable and lasting solution to the situation in Western Sahara.

It follows on a decision made at the 37th Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government that took place here in Pretoria in August 2017.

It was the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who himself had known the pain of dispossession and exile, who once wrote:

‘A person can only be born in one place. However, he may die several times elsewhere: in the exiles and prisons, and in a homeland transformed by the occupation and oppression into a nightmare.’

We cannot but be moved by the plight of the Saharawi people.

It has been 43 years since Western Sahara was annexed, and for these four decades the people of Western Sahara have had to ensure dispossession, displacement, conflict and the deprivation of their liberties.

The Saharawi people have lived in refugee camps in Tindouf in Algeria since the 1970s, making this one of the longest humanitarian crises the world has known.

In these camps, men, women and children live in desperate conditions, relying on international aid to survive.

The situation of the Saharawi people is a blight on the human conscience, all the more so that it has endured for far too long.

It has been three decades since the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 621 of 1998 first calling for a referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

But despite successive Security Council resolutions and decisions of the Organisation of African Unity and African Union, this critical step has not taken place.

The ultimate result has been that the people of Western Sahara have been deprived of the most fundamental right of a people – the right to determine their own destiny.

We are here to hear from the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Polisario what we can do to aid them in advancing their cause.

While we are here to express our unwavering solidarity with the just cause of our brothers and sisters, any actions going forward must be decided upon by the Saharawi people and not any external entity.

We are here to deliberate on the way in which we can use our respective positions with the United Nations and African Union to advocate for the urgent implementation, without delay, of all the UN Security Council and AU decisions on Western Sahara, including the holding of a referendum.

It is only through the implementation of these decisions that a solution to the Western Sahara question can be achieved.

This must be done in the spirit of multilateralism, based on the Charter of the United Nations and the applicable provisions of the African Union.

We continue to urge all the parties involved to negotiate, in good faith and without preconditions, to ensure that an enduring solution is found.

We once again affirm our support for the work being done by the AU and the UN, particularly the initiatives taken by the UN Secretary-General.

We are immensely encouraged by the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara, former German president Horst Koehler, who is facilitating a political dialogue between the Kingdom of Morocco and Polisario.

This is a development to be welcomed and encouraged.

As countries of the SADC region who have waged struggles in pursuit of our own liberation, we know too well the pain of being deprived of the right to be treated as full citizens in the land of one’s birth.

The pain of the Saharawi people, their trauma brought about by displacement and exile, is ours too.

So long as the aspirations of the people of Western Sahara are not met, we will fall short of realising the vision of the AU’s Agenda 2063 of a continent at peace with itself.

As a collective, let us reaffirm our support for the UN process that seeks to bring these two African nations, Morocco and the SADR, back to the negotiating table.

As lovers of peace and freedom – as men and women of conscience – let us step up our international solidarity efforts, in both word and deed, with the people of Western Sahara, with Polisario and with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

It was international solidarity that brought down the barbaric system of apartheid, and it is international solidarity that will see realised the foremost aspiration of the people of Western Sahara: to be independent and free.

I am told the deliberations held on the first day of this conference have been fruitful and that consensus has been reached on a number of key issues.

Let us continue to harness this spirit of cooperation and of multilateralism in pursuit of a continent in which all its people are free.

I once again welcome you all and wish you well on this final day.

I thank you.

mplement BNC decision, ministers and officials told.


1. At the invitation of His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid an Official Visit to Zimbabwe from 11 – 12 March 2019, for the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries. President Ramaphosa was accompanied by five (5) Cabinet Ministers.

2. The Third Session was preceded by the meetings of the Ministers on 11 March 2019 and Senior Officials from 7 – 8 March 2019.

3. During the meeting, the two Heads of State held discussions with a view to further strengthening and deepening bonds of friendship and cooperation between Zimbabwe and South Africa. They also exchanged views on regional, continental and international issues of mutual interest.

4. The two Presidents underlined the close and friendly bilateral ties deeply rooted in shared history, sustained and nourished through growing economic partnership, multifaceted cooperation as well as vibrant people-to-people contacts.

5. The discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere.

6. The two Heads of State welcomed the positive outcomes of the Third BNC held in Harare in 2019. They directed the Ministers and Officials to implement the decisions taken by the Heads of State to further cement the strategic bilateral partnership.

7. The two sides emphasized the importance of expanding trade and investment to drive the strategic engagement forward. In this regard, the Heads of State directed their Finance and Trade Ministers to work together to achieve these goals.

8. Zimbabwe highlighted the key initiatives taken by Government to improve the ease of doing business in the country and further informed on the country’s efforts to simplify and rationalize investment rules with the view to attract foreign direct investment.

9. The relevant Ministries agreed to consider options for expanding the standing Facility arrangement between the respective Central Banks. Other Financing Options beyond this are also being explored (for example a facility from South African private banks to the Zimbabwe private sector and guaranteed by the South African Government, with an appropriate counter-guarantee from the Zimbabwe Government).

10. They also agreed to work together on re-engagement with the International Co-operating Partners in support of Zimbabwe’s economic reform and Debt Arrears Clearance Agenda.

11. Zimbabwe expressed appreciation for the unwavering commitment of the Government and people of South Africa in calling for the removal of illegal and unwarranted sanctions which are stifling the country’s economic recovery programme.

12. The two Leaders unequivocally called for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe whose adverse effects have been far-reaching across the political and socio-economic spectrums.

13. The two Presidents emphasized the importance of enhancing strategic bilateral engagement, particularly in defence and security cooperation, to accomplish the common interests of the two countries and their peoples.

14. At the multilateral level, the Commission welcomed the convergence of views on regional, continental and international issues and agreed to further harmonize their positions especially in view of South Africa’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and its upcoming assumption of the Chair of the African Union in 2020.

15. Zimbabwe expressed goodwill and confidence in the successful holding of elections in South Africa which will take place on 8 May 2019.

16. The two leaders expressed their deepest condolences to the Government and the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and all other nations on the sad loss of lives in the recent air disaster involving flight ET302.

17. At the conclusion of the BNC, His Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa expressed gratitude to His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

18. His Excellency, President Ramaphosa extended an invitation to his counterpart, His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, to attend the Fourth Session of the BNC, to be hosted by South Africa in 2020, on a date to be agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.

Harare, 12 March 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa


JOHANNESBURG, 16 JANUARY 2019 – President Cyril Ramaphosa will be leading South Africa’s delegation to the world’s most important meeting of global CEOs at the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place in Davos, Switzerland next week. The primary objective of the South African delegation will be to strengthen partnerships and collaboration for inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa, with particular emphasis on increasing international investment into the country.

“We are going to Davos to interact with potential investors”. We are competing with other emerging markets where there is an oasis of investment opportunities for global investors and it’s where we want to be seen to be investing. We have a place of pride at Davos. We are recognised and accepted as being serious players. Some of our countrymen and women even play a role in the structures of WEF in Davos and we are going to speak with one language and the same message: South Africa is like a plane that is getting ready to take off,” the President said at a pre-WEF breakfast in Rosebank today. He was addressing Team South Africa, comprising Government Ministers and business leaders who will be accompanying him as part of the Team SA delegation.

One of the focus areas for the team will be to showcase South Africa’s preparedness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in line with this year’s WEF  theme: “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The Forum will enable South Africa to build on the success of the President’s Investment Conference in October last year where R290 billion was raised for future investments.

“We are on the right track. We had to deal with very difficult challenges in the past but those are challenges we are finding solutions to. We must put our best foot forward, we must go and engage the world with great confidence knowing we are representing this great country. We are going to start seeing improved growth in our economy and I think we can go with our heads held high, without arrogance, to tell our story, what we have done and how we have made progress.”

The President together with Team SA will participate in a WEF Country Strategy Dialogue on South Africa on Wednesday, 23 January. This will focus on deepening understanding of current investment opportunities and challenges, as well as exploring new avenues to help enable the country to achieve the President’s investment target of $100 billion in the next five years. The session will be attended by investors, leading business leaders and experts.

“We have turned the corner, it’s a new Dawn. We can confidently go back and say, remember what we told you, this is what we have done. As I often say, we are like a plane about to take off.”

On Thursday, 24 January, Brand South Africa together with ABSA and Invest SA will host a South Africa Investment Seminar with a goal to support and initiate the next phase of the country’s investment drive. Potential investors will have the opportunity to hear from – and engage with – South Africa government and business representatives.

Lastly, Team South Africa will entertain guests at a Brand South Africa Night Dinner with investors and potential investors where the best of South Africa’s cuisine will be showcased with Chef Benny.

The President has confirmed the following ministers will be joining him to participate at WEF this year:

  • Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni;
  • Minister of Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu;
  • Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies;
  • Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan;
  • Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel;
  • Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and;
  • Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi.
Mendi Msimang


Programme Directors,
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe,
Ministers, Deputy Ministers,
Premiers, MECs,
Members of the judiciary,
Members of the Msimang family,
Fellow South Africans,

We are gathered here in solemn mourning to pay our last respects to a great South African whose life was dedicated to the cause of freedom.

Mendi Msimang was the embodiment of an idea that is simple in conception, but revolutionary in application – the idea that one’s purpose in life is to serve others.

Throughout a rich and meaningful life, wherever he found himself, whatever responsibilities he was given, he was bound by a determination to serve others.

He had no need for riches. He had no need for recognition.

His only need was to break the shackles of the oppressed; to feed, house and comfort those who had nothing.

His only need was to forge unity where there was division, to bring calm where there was chaos, and to promote understanding where there was intolerance.

His only need was to liberate his people from the bondage of apartheid and the enduring tyranny of poverty.

Mendi Msimang was one of a remarkable generation of freedom fighters, a generation whose deeds will reverberate across the ages.

It was a generation that transformed the national liberation movement and changed the course of our struggle, a generation that endured the hardship of exile and prison and banishment.

It was a generation that not only held the liberation movement together as the forces of apartheid sought to dismember it, but which built it into a formidable mass movement at the head of a global campaign for a democratic South Africa.

It was this generation that was prominent among those who led the country to democracy and freedom.

Today, as we mourn the passing of one of the great leaders of that generation, it would be a mistake to relegate them to history.

Certainly, most of the members of that generation may have exited the political stage, but the principles they fought for, the values they lived by and the means by which they sought their objectives still find resonance at this moment in our history.

As we confront new and daunting challenges, as we attend to the erosion of the revolutionary morality that long defined our struggle, we must draw strength and inspiration and guidance from the deeds of those leaders.

The time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

It has barely begun.

The material temptations of political office have never been greater than they are today.

As our people have realised, and as our movement has acknowledged, there are those among us who seek positions of authority not to serve the public good, but to advance private interests.

There are those who are prepared to undermine the institutions of our young democracy, to subvert the rule of law and to steal from the people to enrich themselves.

This cannot be countenanced and this cannot be allowed to continue.

It is at precisely this moment that we need leaders, cadres, public servants and business people of the calibre of Mendi Msimang.

We need people who, like him, are truly selfless in their service.

We need people like him, with an abiding honesty and an essential integrity.

For 10 years, he served as the Treasurer-General of the African National Congress, a position more difficult and more hazardous than any other in the movement.

In that time, he was scrupulous in his determination that not one cent go missing, that no resources meant for the transformational programmes of the organisation be misappropriated or wasted.

It is this quality that we seek in our leaders today.

Comrades and Friends,

Mendi Msimang was an envoy for freedom.

As the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom, he was a dedicated and capable advocate for the cause of the South African people.

Especially when faced with hostile opinion, he sought – patiently and with deliberate care – to explain the positions of the African National Congress.

He was not one to dismiss others because their views may be reactionary or ill-informed.

He sought to persuade them, understanding that it was the responsibility of his revolutionary movement to win to its cause the broadest possible range of social forces.

But that was not the only reason.

He sought to persuade others because he was not prepared to give up on another human being.

He was driven by a firm conviction that every person has the capacity to do good, to see sense, to make a meaningful contribution to society.

He had a remarkable ability to see beyond their prejudice, their anger, their frailties and to recognise their essential being.

For that, he was much loved and widely admired.

When he returned to London, this time as the democratic South Africa’s first High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s, he did so with a completely different mandate, but employed many of the same methods.

While it is certainly true that he no longer organised protests outside South Africa House, he used his good offices within the building to advance the cause of a free and democratic South Africa.

He argued with great eloquence and conviction that while it was true that the South African people had achieved the overthrow of apartheid and established a democratic state, the legacy of centuries of dispossession and exploitation endured.

He sought the support of the British government and people – and indeed the broader international community – for the reconstruction of South Africa, for the growth and transformation of its economy, and for the empowerment of its people through skills and jobs.

Over two decades later, these remain the most important tasks that we, as a nation, must undertake.

We must attend to these tasks with the same vigour and application that Mendi Msimang did.

We must seek, as he always did, to build consensus on the measures we must necessarily take to transform our economy and our society.

We must confront, as he would have, the difficult choices that need to be made to turn around an economy that has faltered and to fix the public institutions that have been weakened.

We must retain, as he would have, our focus on the overriding task to create jobs and tackle poverty.

We must forge a social compact that is founded on the incontrovertible reality that none of us can prosper unless we all prosper.

We must forge a social compact that recognises that the enormity of the challenges ahead of us require that we all pull in the same direction.

This is what Mendi Msimang was good at, building bridges, forging alliances and resolving differences.

That is why we say that the time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

He was a person of great modesty and dignity.

He treated others with respect, was moderate in demeanour and measured in his address.

These may be commendable personality traits, but they are also profoundly political.

They are among the qualities that we should seek in a revolutionary.

One cannot be a revolutionary if one does not respect others.

One cannot be a revolutionary if one is intolerant of other views, or if insult and invective are the only means of persuasion one can marshal.

Those who worked with him remember both fondly and sometimes with frustration how meticulous he was.

They recall his commitment to proper syntax and correct spelling and his ability to debate the placement of a comma.

This was a sign not only of a sound education, but also of a rigorous discipline that extended from the writing of a letter to the prosecution of the struggle.

Like many of his generation, Mendi Msimang paid a heavy price for his commitment to the struggle.

The nation owes his family a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made and the absences they endured.

We extend to the family our deepest condolences for their sad loss and their selfless sacrifice of giving up their parental claim to their father, grandfather, brother, and patriarch to the service of the people of South Africa.

The family, like all of us, assume a great responsibility to carry forward his legacy, characterised by a deep sense of loyalty, commitment, love and selflessness to all the people of our country, especially the poor.

Mendi Msimang, stalwart of our movement, giant of our struggle, unassuming hero of our people, is no more.

As we mourn his passing, we commend and we celebrate a life lived in the service of others.

As we bid him farewell, we repeat that the time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

In his memory, let us pledge, as our forbearers did in Kliptown, that we will strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until we reach our goal of a united, free and prosperous South Africa.

May his soul rest in peace. May his abundant legacy endure.

Hamba Kahle, Qhawe lama Qhawe.

I thank you.

President Cyril Ramaphosa


President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for South Africa’s former Chief of State Protocol and recipient of the National Order of Luthuli, Ambassador Billy Modise who passed on earlier this week, at the age of 87.
A Special Official Funeral Category 1 entails elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared, in line with the Presidency’s State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy, for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
“The late Ambassador Modise served our country selflessly and diligently and deserves this honour for his exceptional contribution to the achievement of a South Africa free of racial oppression and to the building of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country,”” said President Ramaphosa.
The President has directed that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country until Thursday, 28 June 2018, the day of the funeral.
Further details will be announced as arrangements are finalised in consultations between government and the Modise Family.
President Ramaphosa has once again expressed his deep condolences to the family of Ambassador Modise and members of the diplomatic corps.
President Cyril Ramaphosa


16 JUNE 2018

Programme Director,
Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa,
Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni,
Members of Parliament and provincial legislatures,
MECs, Mayors and Councillors,
Representatives of various youth formations,

Sanibonani. Avuxeni. Dumelang. Goeie Dag.

It is just over two months since we gathered here in Orlando Stadium to bid farewell to Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela, a great woman of fortitude who inspired generations of youth in the struggle for democracy.

Today, we gather here to commemorate and celebrate the heroic deeds of the youth of 1976 and all the Young Lions that came after them.

These were gallant freedom fighters who selflessly sacrificed their own lives for the liberation of their people.

Today, we also celebrate a new generation of young freedom fighters who have dedicated themselves to the struggle against poverty and inequality; the struggle for dignity, prosperity and justice for all.

From those who have come before them they have learnt the value of selflessness, discipline, hard work and an abiding love for the people.

As we seek to build a new, inclusive South Africa, we look to the energy and creativity of youth.

Young people have been at the centre of every decisive historical moment in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

Young people are catalysts of social change.

From the founders of the ANC Youth League in 1944, to the students who led the 1976 uprising, to the Young Lions of the 1980s, it is the youth of our country who hastened the demise of apartheid.

Even as we built a democratic South Africa, it was fearless young people who reminded us that liberation would not be complete until the wealth of the land is shared among its people.

The current generation of youth has therefore chosen as its mission the attainment of economic freedom.


Youth continue to bear the brunt of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

They remain the hardest hit by disease, violent crime, drug abuse and underdevelopment.

We understand the frustration of young people who cannot find jobs, who do not have the skills and experience employers are looking for, and are unable to find the support they need to start their own businesses.

Our shared responsibility, as government, business, labour and civil society, is to develop pathways for young people into work.

It is this task to which we should be directing all our efforts and all our energies.

We are making progress in many areas.

The National Youth Development Agency has established a value chain of entrepreneurship which includes skills development training, development finance, mentorship, support and market linkages.

More than 2,500 start up companies have been provided with funding, creating more than 10,000 jobs in the economy.

Beyond this, more than 25,000 young people have been placed in job opportunities over the past three financial years.

Government has done much through its public employment programmes and investment in infrastructure to give priority to young people and women.

It introduced the Employment Tax Incentive to encourage companies to employ more young people.

Government, business, labour and civil society have begun preparations for a Jobs Summit, which will need to take extraordinary measures to create jobs on a scale that we have never before seen in this country.

It will need to forge a new social compact which mobilises all sections of society behind the task of growth and job creation.

We have demonstrated what is possible through working together.

The Youth Employment Service, which is an initiative led by the private sector and supported by government and labour, was launched earlier this year to bridge the gap between school and work.

With a number of large companies already involved, it aims to create a million work experience opportunities for young people over the next three years.

As part of this initiative, small businesses and micro-enterprises run by young people will get assistance through wage sponsorship and through business literacy and entrepreneurial training.

The challenge for unemployed youth is not only one of skills.

There are many graduates, who have completed university degrees, who are still unemployed.

This is a vast pool of skills and knowledge that is being wasted.

Society has invested a great deal in the education of these young people, but our economy is not benefiting from this investment.

On this Youth Day, we call on all companies – both in the public and private sector – to make a deliberate effort to seek out unemployed graduates and employ them.

It does not place a great burden on individual companies, but if taken up on a large scale, such a call could significantly reduce youth unemployment, while bringing much needed skills and capacity into the economy.

Employers need to understand that for our country to succeed, for their businesses to thrive, they must take responsibility for providing young people with the work experience they need.

They must realise that the only way to get work experience is to get work.

If we are to succeed in creating more jobs for young people, our economy needs to grow much faster – and for that it needs investment.

We have embarked on a massive investment drive that aims to attract $100 billion into our economy over the next five years.

We are focusing on investment into those parts of the economy that have the greatest potential for growth and the creation of jobs.

We are focusing on investment that will create opportunities for young people in particular.

If we are to make effective use of this investment, young South Africans need to be equipped to participate in the fourth industrial revolution.

That is why we are investing so signficantly in education.

We are making great progress in ensuring that no child, regardless of their circumstance, is denied access to education.

Despite significant challenges, we are continuously working to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our schools; progress that is reflected in the consistent improvement in the matric pass rate.

We are working both to improve the quality of education and the environment in which learning and teaching takes place.

This year, we have agreed that emergency measures are needed to ensure sanitation in schools is safe and hygienic.

We cannot lose another young life to unsafe school toilets.

We can no longer expose our children to illness, injury and the indignity of inadequate toilet facilities.

Fellow South Africans,

From the beginning of this year, students from poor backgrounds entering universities and colleges for the first time are receiving free education.

This is a great victory for young people.

It is a vindication of struggles that have been fought over many years for quality education that is free, accessible and relevant.

It will have a far-reaching effect on the lives of millions of youth, enabling them to acquire skills, find employment, build careers and enjoy an improving quality of life.

This will do much to break the cycle of poverty.

More than that, it will ensure that our economy is able to draw on a far larger pool of knowledge and expertise.

Having achieved this great milestone, young people now have a responsibility to make full use of the educational opportunities available.

Young people must go to school and pass.

They must work hard at institutions of higher learning, achieve outstanding results and use their skills to contribute to building a new society.

Fellow South Africans,

We look to the youth to continue to be at the forefront of the struggle for a non-sexist society.

The empowerment of women, especially young women, must be one of our central tasks as we seek to build an inclusive society.

We must ensure that young women have the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts, that they are equally able to compete for jobs and that they receive equal pay for equal work.

Young men and young women need to work together to put an end to all forms of violence against women, especially the devastating scourge of femicide.

The recent spate of murders of young women by young men is deeply disturbing and requires that, as a nation and as individuals, we take decisive action to end such crimes.

This generation of young South Africans has an opportunity to fundamentally change gender relations and to achieve full and meaningful equality between men and women in all spheres of life.

The challenges that our youth face are great, but they are not insurmountable.

We can overcome them if we work together.

We can overcome them if the youth take the lead and become agents of their own liberation.

Young people must be preoccupied with activities that contribute to making South Africa a better and safer country for all to live in.

This means that they must not engage in alcohol and drug abuse.

It means they must not participate in crime and corruption.

And more importantly, young people must keep themselves safe from HIV by using a condom, abstaining from early sexual activity and being tested regularly.

Fellow South Africans,

As we celebrate Youth Day in 2018, we recall the lives of two outstanding founders of the youth movement in our country, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, whose centenaries we are marking this year.

These two giants embodied the values and the qualities from which we should all draw inspiration.

Tata Madiba and Mama Sisulu were always ready to serve as volunteers for the greater good of our people without any motive of personal gain.

They sacrificed their own interests to fight for the freedom of others.

The best way we can honour their sacrifices is to follow their example.

We must shun selfishness and strive for collective prosperity.

We must fight for the rights of others as much as we fight for our own.

We cannot stand idly by while the rights of others are violated, while there are people in the world who are still colonised, oppressed and exploited.

We cannot rest while there are still millions of people who go hungry, who do not have shelter, and who do not have work.

We all have a responsibility, each and every one of us, to do everything in our power to make the lives of others better.

The spirit of Tata Mandela and Mama Sisulu lives on in the young people of this country.

It lives on in their dreams, in their determination, in their struggle for a better life.

It lives on in their desire to be part of building a new nation of equality, prosperity and progress.

It lives on in their willingness to lend a hand, to be ever ready to say: ‘Thuma Mina. Send Me’.

If we all do our part, we will all succeed.

I wish you all a happy Youth Day.

I thank you.



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


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 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.

Snuki Zikalala
President of ANC Veterans League