Home South African ANC conference will be moment of great significance, says Ramaphosa

ANC conference will be moment of great significance, says Ramaphosa


President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the ANC national elective conference would be a moment of great significance for the governing party and the country.

ANC President Cyhrikl Ramaphosa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that the ANC national elective conference would be a moment of great significance for the governing party and the country.

“It will demonstrate the ANC’s internal democratic processes at work and affirm the commitment of ANC members to renewal, unity and rebuilding our organisation,” Ramaphosa said.

He made the statement at the closing address of the national executive committee meeting that ended on Sunday.

Ramaphosa also said the NEC welcomed the report on preparations for the 55th national conference, which will be held from December 16 to 20.

At the meeting, several NEC members raised the issue of the robbery at his Phala Phala game farm, calling on Ramaphosa to step aside over the weight of the allegations against him, including fraud and money laundering.

This had prompted Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya to insist that Ramaphosa would only “step aside” once he had been criminally charged.

“The president has not been charged with any crime. There are investigations. The presumption of innocent until guilty remains. Should the president be charged, he will gladly step aside,“ Magwenya said.

Closing the NEC meeting on Sunday, Ramaphosa thanked ANC members who elected branch voting delegates for the party’s elective conference.

He noted that some branches took time to discuss substantive issues that will be discussed at the conference and in coming weeks.

A number of branches would continue to discuss all substantive issues, including organisational renewal, constitutional amendments and a programme of transformation.

Ramaphosa said the outgoing NEC would need to report to the national conference on the mandate they had been given five years ago.

“In our report we will reflect that, while this NEC has had to confront serious challenges, we can point to several achievements and progress in a number of areas. At the same time, we will need to acknowledge our shortcomings and failings.

“We must ensure that our political and organisational reports are frank, critical and comprehensive, so that we can empower delegates to develop a programme that takes our movement into a new phase of renewal,” he said.

He said their task was to ensure they had a successful conference that took forward the democratic revolution and rebuilt the ANC as an effective agent of foundational social transformation.

Ramaphosa also said the NEC noted the government’s interventions to mitigate the impact of rising living costs and reflected on the electricity challenges the country was going through.

“We have urged our deployees in government to continue to keep this challenge that has befallen our people under greater focus to make sure Eskom does move towards getting rid of load shedding.”

The president added that the NEC remained clear that the movement was resolutely committed to implementing broad-based back economic empowerment.

“We have noted that, while progress is being made in empowering black people and women in the economy, the benefits of this process have not been felt by all South Africans. This means we need to intensify black economic measures rather than to relax them,” he said.

Ramaphosa also said the NEC noted the new preferential procurement regulations published by the National Treasury in response to a Constitutional Court judgment that empower the organs of state to develop and implement preferential procurement policy when contracting for goods and services.

“These new regulations do not diminish our commitment to preferential procurement as a mechanism for economic transformation. The NEC has affirmed the ANC position that BBBEE remains one of our key policy instruments.”

On the Electoral Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly, Ramaphosa said the debate on the most appropriate electoral system for the country was an important part of maturing democracy.

The bill, before the National Council of Provinces, provides for independent candidates to stand for election to Parliament and provincial legislatures.

He said the ANC had consistently supported the proportional representation system as the most appropriate system for South Africa as a country that was diverse in terms of race, class, gender and regional landscapes.

“The ANC supports any electoral system that must strengthen accountability of public representatives to the people. These must be discussed widely in our society,” he said.

“We noted objections from some sections of civil society to the current version of the bill and said we should continue to engage on these matters,” Ramaphosa added.

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