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Ramaphosa sees a ‘clear victory’ for ANC

Ramaphosa discusses ANC's wins and shortcomings

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa remains positive that the ruling party, the African National Congress, will emerge victorious in the upcoming seventh provincial and national elections.

Ramaphosa was speaking as a guest at the Wits School of Governance Dialogue: In their Voices and through Their Lenses, on May 10. The President began the conversation by reflecting on the country’s past 30 years.

“Some people may categorise the years in which a country went through horrible periods of racism, oppression, and exploitation. Some might also classify it as a miracle, a miracle that people for the longest time never thought it would happen.”

He added it was a journey that took 342 years since the arrival of Europeans in our country, who on arrival unleashed a process of dispossession, slavery, and a process of greed and taking what did not belong to them. “Following their arrival, the various people of our country resisted, and that resistance took a journey. In 1912, they formed their organisation that led the struggle, joined by other organisations until 82 years later, and the battle was won. Even after we achieved this breakthrough, we still knew that there was a long process of transforming the country.”

Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)

In the quest of a continuous transformation journey, the ANC presented a roadmap in the form of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), in 1994.

Ramaphosa explained how the ruling party had been faithful to socio-economic policy and the obstacles confronted by the party since the programme’s inception.

“The programme was more than housing. It was reconstruction from the destruction or rot brought on this country by apartheid. I believe that we have done well through this programme in that we have addressed many of the basic needs of our country. Much more still needs to be achieved and done.”

He added an aspect that needed to be worked on was the divide in terms of where the wealthy and poor people lived. A lot of poor people lived far from economic activities, compared to other parts of the world where the poor were near economic activity.

The President added the programme had done fairly well in the housing department. “We have succeeded in building 4.6 million houses.”

Ramaphosa noted that the party had ensured that there was water available to many people. “As a water-scarce country, we continue to face challenges with having to import water from other neighbouring countries.” Water facilities across the country have also been made available – up to 80% of people have access to water.

“In terms of education, there are also a lot of non-paying fee schools which are also part of the RDP programme. The development part began and continues, it tripped along the way because we did not follow through due to several issues but we are on course to reboot and reform everything we started with.”

Challenges

Challenges that have arisen along the way and what the ANC has been criticised for by opposition parties and general commentators included:

The President said land reform had been a challenge that countries which had gained independence experienced.

“One of the things we did was to draft Section 25 of our Constitution which deals with the issue of land – during the negotiations leading up to the drafting process, the issue of land almost led us to a major dispute because negotiating with a party that was well-entrenched in land ownership led to resistance.”

Corruption was the second drawback and challenge for the ruling party. “Corruption was often perpetrated in the public and private sectors and people thought everyone in the public sector was corrupt. Often, it is those who want to advance their business interests and go out of their way to tempt those in the public sector. We have to look at corruption through the prism that it is both public and private.”

In terms of how corruption was being tackled, the President said the necessary investigators were doing their jobs and could not speak to that. “I often say to people who say I am not doing anything about corruption, that I enable the National Prosecuting Authority, police and other stakeholders to do their work, empower them and ensure they have all the facilities and independence to carry out their duties.”

 Upcoming elections

Ramaphosa commended the process of the past six South African elections.

“For the past six times, the governing party has emerged with a handsome majority and where I currently am, I feel, sense and smell that the same thing will happen with the upcoming elections. That is why I never think, dream, or contemplate a coalition.” He added a clear victory was what he believed would happen as opposed to what analysts and surveys predicted.

“Where coalitions have been crafted and there is no clear majority part, it is difficult and almost unworkable, and has given us a spectre of not even wanting to have a coalition government.”

Also read: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new year message        

Also Read: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ford SA introduce new SEZ    

                        

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