ANC Western Cape Policy Conference: The battle for control of the ANC further intensified on Sunday, June 18, when deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was warmly welcomed by cheering crowds in Stellenbosh.
Dressed in a striped wooly scarf adorned with the party colors and insignia, the ANC presidential aspirant was in the region to speak to party delegates, in preparation for the party’s national policy conference in Johannesburg later this month.
Speaking at the ANC Western Cape policy conference, he called on the ANC to focus on the implementation of policies that are people-centered and also lead the people with integrity, honesty, and bravery.
Touching on economic issues, the deputy president called for prudence in managing the economy, advising that recklessness will end up driving the economy to the ground.
“The ANC that I know, and that I am deputy president of, is not an African National Congress of failure, and is not an African National Congress of defeat and is not an African National Congress of a defeated people, and is not an African National Congress that is going to fail our people.
Where we are right now our movement is not in a good place. Our country is not in a good place. And now here is where the issue really is important‚ as we sit here‚ this mighty glorious African National Congress‚ it gives us the platform to voice our views on behalf of our people. it gives us the platform to come up with proposals to see how we will get out of this situation that we are in.”
Also present at the provincial meeting were NEC member Derek Hanekom, party veteran Pallo Jordan, and the party’s acting provincial leader Khaya Magxaxa.
A major highlight of the ANC Western Cape policy conference was Ramaphosa’s engagement with local supporters in Stellenbosch’s Andringa Street during a walkabout.
Other inspiring statements by Ramaphosa at the ANC Western Cape Policy Conference stressed on building a formidable party and restoring the party’s glory. Some lines include:
- ANC must re-position itself by defeating factionalism and infighting if it wants to continue leading.
- Radical economic transformation should not benefit just a few families.
- ANC branches must come up with practical solutions during their policy discussions on tackling the land question.
- We have a lot of resources. The situation is because you have the wrong people in a number of positions.
- The ANC exists for the people of South Africa. The ANC is the parliament of all the people of South Africa.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Ramaphosa received an overwhelming support and outright endorsement by the ANC in West Rand region as the next ANC president.
Regional chairman Boyce Maneli told branch delegates during a meeting at the regional general council in Mogale City‚ that Ramaphosa is qualified to succeed Jacob Zuma as party leader in December.
“On the issue of the deputy president automatically ascending to the top‚ we have no problem with that. The comrade is a good leader. We have subjected him to the eye of the needle,” he said.
Maneli mentioned Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as one of the high-profile woman leaders who could make it onto the leadership structure.
He, however, suggested that women leader intending to stand for the post of the ANC president should be placed under Ramaphosa as members of the national office bearers (top six).
The West Rand ANC is the latest ANC structure to endorse Ramaphosa for the top post. Already, the businessman-turned-politician enjoys the supports of Cosatu, NUM and the Northern Cape’s provincial ANC leadership.
High-level officials who have openly expressed their support for Ramaphosa include Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Cosatu’s president Sdumo Dlamini, Gauteng ANC chair Paul Mashatile, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu, Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.
However, embattled President Jacob Zuma and his allies are pulling out all the stops to see his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma take over from him in December. Recently, she publicly accepted a nomination for the position of ANC president, making her the first woman in the history of the 105-year-old organization to contest the top leadership post.
Last week, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) announced its leadership slate. The league’s secretary general Njabulo Nzuza announced at a media briefing after their national executive committee meeting that they preferred:
- Comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the president of the ANC.
- Comrade David Mabuza as the deputy president of the ANC.
- Comrade Ace Magashule as the secretary general of the ANC.
- Comrade Nathi Mthethwa as the national chair of the ANC.
- DSG for monitoring and evaluation Comrade Jessie Duarte.
- DSG for organizing and campaigns Comrade Fikile Mbalula.
- Comrade Maite Nkoana-Mashabane as the treasurer general.