News / South Africa / Politics

Makhosandile Zulu
4 minute read
8 Jan 2019
11:58 am

The African National Congress has renewed its strength – Ramaphosa

Makhosandile Zulu

The ANC president says the governing party has to unite and renew itself for it to attain success.

ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala and the party's president Cyril Ramaphosa along with members of the City Central Methodist Church in Durban. Photo: @MYANC

African National Congress (ANC) and state president Cyril Ramaphosa said the governing party was given “new wings” following the election of its new leadership at the party’s elective conference in December 2017.

The outcome of the conference in 2017 saw Ramaphosa take over from Jacob Zuma who had served two terms at the helm of the party.

Celebrating the party’s founding on this day 107 years ago ahead of its manifesto launch on Saturday, January 12, at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, Ramaphosa attended a church service at the Central Methodist Church in the city on Tuesday.

The ANC was founded on January 8, 1912, at the Methodist Church in Fort Street, Waaihoek in Bloemfontein.

Ramaphosa told the congregants that after the church service, the ANC’s delegation led by himself, ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala, and eThekwini regional chair Zandile Gumede would pay a visit to the graveside of the party’s founding president, Langalibalele Dube, in Inanda, to give a report on what the governing party has done since 1994 to bring about change in South Africa.

“We are going to tell the first president of the ANC what have we done as the African National Congress for the past 25 years and we are going to detail the many things that we have done.

“But in doing so, we are also going to be saying to our first president, we are looking forward to the next 25 years because in the next 25 years we will see amazing things. We will see amazing things because the ANC has not yet lost its eagle hood,” Ramaphosa said to applause and cheers.

“The ANC has not lost its eagle hood. The ANC is still that eagle, that eagle that you were talking about, pastor. Even as we are being fed chicken feed, even as we are being fed all sorts of things but we are still eagles.”

The ANC president quoted Isaiah 40 verse 31 from the bible to support his view that the governing party has renewed its strength.

Ramaphosa further used a myth to emphasize his point, saying according to the myth, after 30 years an eagle enters its twilight years then retreats to hide at the highest mountain, where it plucks out its old feathers and talons and waits for some time until these grow back “new, fresh, stronger, and more powerful”, leading to it emerging from its hiding place “and starts spreading its wings and it flies and it soars above the skies”.

“That is where the African National Congress is now. We have renewed ourselves. We are like that eagle,” Ramaphosa said.

The ANC’s president compared the party’s elective conference to an ageing eagle’s retreat to a mountain, saying at the conference the organisation had “plucked out old feathers” and gave the party new ones.

“[The ANC] has new wings but those wings have also been provided by the church. The church has given us guidance. The church has prayed for us and the church has reminded us that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and they shall mount up with wings as eagles.

“The ANC has not lost its eagle hood. The ANC remembers what it was formed for, it was formed to bring about freedom in our country but it was also formed to transform the lives of the people of South Africa.

“It was also principally formed to bring the land back … and we have now decided that the land of our forebears is going to come back to our people. Whether people like it or not, that land is going to come back and that is what gives us wings, that is what makes our wings strong,” Ramaphosa said.

The governing party’s policies adopted at its conference are the ANC’s strong wings which it now has, Ramaphosa added.

“[The ANC] knows that it has to unite itself. It knows that it has to renew itself. Those are two strong wings that the ANC is going to fly with but it also knows that it has to speed up economic transformation in our country and make sure that we create jobs and make sure that we improve the lives of all our people.”

SowetanLive reported that Ramaphosa addressed residents of Lower South Coast in KZN on Monday and said South African institutions aimed at targetting corruption were weakened during his predecessor’s tenure.

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