JOHANNESBURG- African national Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa says the movement will use Radical Economic Transformation to restore confidence.
Ramaphosa made the announcement in his maiden January 8 speech in East London on Saturday.
“In 2018, as the African National Congress, we shall work to restore the confidence of the South African people in a shared vision for radical social and economic transformation. We shall confront, together, the lack of broad-based economic participation and the social marginalisation of millions of poor and landless people,” he said.
“This we shall do, proceeding from the understanding that, an equitable society is in the interest of all South Africans, whatever their race, gender or social status. Drawing on the wisdom of Madiba, and led by his example, we shall focus all our efforts on improving the lives of all South Africans, especially the poor.”
Ramaphosa added that the year will be used to renew and revitalise the African National Congress. He said the ANC’s 54th National Conference, which met in Johannesburg in December 2017, recognised that the movement has become deeply divided through factionalism, patronage, corruption and competition for resources.
“Structures of the movement have been weakened and the confidence of the people in the ANC has been eroded. This, and the development of social distance between elected leaders and the electorate has damaged the bond between the ANC and the masses of the people. The conference decided that the ANC should embark with immediate effect, on a far-reaching programme of organisation-building and renewal aimed at making it a more effective instrument of social and economic change,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that would involve extensive engagement with formations with which they used to work in the mass democratic movement and with organised civil society. He said they would reach out to the people as a whole through the various structures in which they are organised, from sports bodies to chambers of commerce to community-based organisations and faith-based groups.
“We will reach out to the veterans of the movement to ensure that they play a meaningful role in rebuilding the ANC and restoring its values. In doing this, we will build unity of purpose, ensuring that the ANC is strengthened as a vanguard of the process of social transformation. In electing the new national leadership of the organisation, delegates at the 54th National Conference gave the new leadership a clear and unequivocal mandate to unite the movement, the Alliance and the people of South Africa,” he said.