DURBAN, October 16 – The African National Congress (ANC) has never had a “monopoly on wisdom or strategising”, which is why the party’s alliance partners were so important in defeating apartheid, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
“The ANC doesn’t have the monopoly on wisdom and best strategies; therefore it is important we work with the alliance [Congress of South African Trade Unions, South African Communist Party, and South African Civic Organisation],” he told the Young Communist League of South Africa’s Moses Mabhida centenary rally at Curries Fountain in Durban.
“During the days of apartheid we didn’t have the monopoly on strategies that brought down apartheid; we had to work in an alliance. Therefore the alliance must be strengthened and made into a pillar of the movement,” he said.
Ramaphosa arrived at the rally to loud applause from the large crowd and was joined by some of KwaZulu-Natal’s so-called ANC rebels, including former economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, who introduced him.
Ramaphosa said the alliance should be “alive” instead of a partnership that was “only reflected on paper”. A strong alliance would assist the country to move forward with its transformation process.
“We must be an alliance that reduces poverty and creates jobs. With a strong alliance we can rid the country of unemployment and corruption. It is important that this alliance works. I want it to work so well that every step of the way it will lead the transformation process,” he said.
The ANC’s alliance partners have endorsed Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency at the party’s elective conference in December. However, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is officially backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Despite this, about 80 ANC Women’s League members clad in their official regalia attended the event, cheering Ramaphosa.
He said “terrible ills” had found their way into the ANC and urged members to go to the conference organised and emerge united, supporting whoever was victorious. Branches needed to be clear on who their delegates were and which policies they endorsed when attending the conference, he said.
“These terrible ills must come to an end after the conference; ills like gate keeping and vote buying. The whole country is looking at this conference, it must go well. You must unite and support any of the candidates that emerge successful after the conference.”
The ANC needed to be rebuilt as a movement that created jobs and eradicated corruption, not one flooded with scandals. “The economy must be restarted. It will never be able to deliver a better life unless we restructure it, go down to the roots, and deal with systemic problems that confront our economy. Right now it is just in the control of a few hands,” he said.
“We also have to address our SoEs [state-owned enterprises] and focus on rooting out corruption in the SoEs. They contribute 30 percent to our economy and when corruption is rife within them we lose money,” Ramaphosa said.
SoEs would “work properly” after the December conference and have the “right people, policies, and fantastic financial management” in place. Corruption would be brought to an end, he said.