Following the successful conclusion of the African National Congress (ANC) 54th National Elective Conference and the emergence of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the ruling party, President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the new party officials.
In his congratulatory message issued on Thursday, the president expressed best wishes to Ramaphosa, adding that there was no winner or loser but that the ANC is the only winner.
He also thanked all the delegates for the outstanding discipline and determined manner in which they conducted themselves and the business of the ANC at the conference.
President Zuma’s statement reads:
“I wish to heartily congratulate Comrade President Cyril Ramaphosa for his election to lead this giant movement of our people, the ANC.
With Comrade President Ramaphosa and his leadership collective, lies the aspirations of our people in South Africa, the region and the continent, the majority of whom are black and poor. We, therefore, wish the leadership collective all the best in taking our country forward through the policies and programmes of the ANC.”
The delegates have shown yet again that there is no task bigger than the ANC. But most importantly, they have demonstrated that the unity of the ANC is sacrosanct.
I am also certain that the policies as adopted by the conference will lead South African to prosperity through the programme of Radical Socio-Economic Transformation and a renewed onslaught on the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
The ANC’s 54th national conference officially came to an end in the early hours of Thursday. The conference saw South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa elected as the president, David Mabuza as ANC deputy president, Gwede Mantashe as national chairperson, Ace Magashule as secretary-general, Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general and Paul Mashatile as the treasurer-general.
Earlier, while delivering his maiden address as ANC leader in Nascrec, Johannesburg, Ramaphosa paid homage to his predecessor Jacob Zuma for introducing a framework for economic and social change, which he said will guide the country “for many years to come.”
“History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the largest in the world. Through your intervention, we have made great strides in combating the epidemic. Many lives have been saved and many infections prevented.
“It was during your tenure president and thanks to your vision that the National Planning Commission was established and produced the country’s first National Development Plan,” Ramaphosa said.
The newly-elected president also paid tribute to Zuma for his contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development.