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‘Ramaphosa grateful to NC’

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The ANC said that it will embark on an intense volunteer programme this week as it prepare for elections registration week

PARTY: ANC supporters at the party's 106th anniversary celebrations in Galeshewe. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE ANC in the Northern Cape has sung the praises of newly-elected South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, saying that he is the right man to bring about unity and instil pride in the party.

ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul made the remarks during the party’s 106th anniversary celebrations in Galeshewe on Saturday.

Saul arrived two hours late for the event, much to the annoyance and anger of some attendees who opted to leave the venue.

“We heard that the event will start at 12 noon, but there is no sign of the leadership. The people that are hanging around are being entertained by music. We did not leave our homes to come and listen to music,” said one attendee.

Another attendee said that it was “disrespectful” of the leadership.

“The leaders are not here and we have to wait for them for hours. This is a sign that they are not taking us seriously or respecting our time.

“We support the ANC but we cannot have events that are continuously starting late. Lateness has become an ugly trademark of the party.”

When Saul did take to the podium two hours later, he had those who remained hanging on his lips after he said that Ramaphosa personally asked him to convey his gratitude to the people of the Northern Cape.

“A week after New Year I received a call from a number that I did not know. I sent a message to that number stating that I am in a meeting and they must rather send me a message. The person responded by saying that he is Cyril Ramaphosa. He (Ramaphosa) called me and invited myself and Deshi (Ngxanga) for dinner at his house.

“During the dinner at his home we were joined by his wife and children. The president said we must convey his thanks to the people of the Northern Cape. He said that many people believed that Mpumalanga was the kingmaker at the national conference, however, the Northern Cape was the trendsetter.

“The president said that the Province had stood firmly behind him when he was attacked by others and he is immensely grateful for everyone who assisted in him becoming president of the ANC,” said Saul to great cheers by the attendees.

Saul added that they had, however, brought it to Ramaphosa’s attention that their support was not a blank cheque.

“We made it clear to the president that we need his assistance in three matters. Ramaphosa will now have to assist us in building unity in the Northern Cape. We need to have one vibrant ANC in the Province. In the last cabinet reshuffle there were no problems present and that is thanks to the intervention from Ramaphosa.

“We also said the president needs to assist in the economic growth of the Province in order to create jobs for the youth. The youth of the Province cannot be without skills and unemployed. There must be employment for the youth and the only reason for unemployment must be because they choose not to work.

“Our support was not a blank cheque for the president. If he chooses not to assist us then we will be the first to lobby to have him removed.

“The last thing we requested is that he should arrest the Guptas and their associates, including those who are stealing from the public purse. We were not voted into positions to steal money from the people. We are not holding these offices to enrich ourselves, our wives, our girlfriends and children. These positions are present to ensure that those without homes and basic services are provided those needs.”

Saul urged those in government to become servants of the people.

“The people have voted based on the manifesto of the ANC. If you think you are voted into a position to enrich yourself, you will be removed. This organisation is for the people. Every leader must do their job.

“The leadership of Frances Baard must ensure they eradicate the shacks and youth unemployment. No leader can afford to rest. If they want to rest they must go home and we will fill their position with someone who is willing to work.

“We have an ANC mayor and deployees they must ensure that the city is clean; we cannot have a dirty city with smelly streets as this is the capital city of the Province.

“We must ensure that we reach our goal of providing decent homes to all and ensure that people get jobs.”

Saul said that those factions who had opposed the ANC’s provincial conference would now “eat their words”.

“Ahead of the provincial conference there were many who said that the conference will not take place. Those people went to social media such as Facebook and aired their views. Those who have respect for the party know that such remarks are made during branch meetings and not on social media. Despite the Facebook celebrities claiming the conference will not take place, we had a very successful conference. That was a sign of the unity in the Frances Baard region.

“The same applied to the regional conference which took place in Barkly West. Something that was also remarkable that took place during the regional conference was that all leadership positions were uncontested. Those who were complaining stood by the gate and were cowards. The Facebook stars just keep on talking.”

Saul added that Ramaphosa would lead the ANC to victory at the 2019 national elections.

“We have got a smart president he is very decent man. The manner in which he talks, walks and listens – one can see that he is decent president. With such a decent president, we are set to win the elections by 70 percent in 2019. The opposition will eat our dust next year as the ANC is making great strides,” Saul said.

The Frances Baard regional chairperson, Mangaliso Matika, urged those were still bitter after the past conferences to bury the hatchet.

“We know there are those who are still bitter about the outcome of the conferences. However, the mood of the country has now changed since Ramaphosa took over. Those who are bitter must return home. The ANC does no belong to any individual in the party. Those who are bitter must come back as they were never chased away,” said Matika.

The ANC said that it will embark on an intense volunteer programme this week as it prepare for elections registration week.

It said that these preparations will ensure that the party walks away with more than 70 percent of the vote in the next election.