He addressed thousands at the ANC’s 106th birthday celebration in Eastern Cape on Saturday morning.


ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his first January 8 statement as the newly elected ANC leader to bring new hope to the millions of marginalised South Africans.

Ramaphosa said 2018 is the year and the time to grow the economy and create jobs.

He addressed thousands of supporters who attended the party’s 106th birthday celebration at the East London stadium on Saturday morning.

He said since 1994 the number of unemployed people in South Africa rose from 8.9 million in 1994 to 16 million in 2018 and changing this the ANC will have “to work with urgency and seriousness”.

He said despite attempts to transform the South African economy but in reality the economy is not growing and that the new direction now will be to “significantly advance growth, development and transformation”.

“Economic growth has remained low, unemployment has remained high, and some of the advances we made in reducing poverty are in danger of being reversed,” Ramaphosa told supporters.

“Levels of investment have dropped, our budget is under pressure, business and consumer confidence is low, and we have recently suffered a number of credit rating downgrades.

“Our economy has also been severely undermined by corruption and state capture, institutional instability, policy inconsistency, poor performance of state-owned enterprises and a sense of drift within the ANC,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa brings new hope to the unemployed, landless

“Therefore, if we are to turn the economy around and get the National Democratic Revolution firmly back on track, we need to work with urgency and seriousness to address these challenge,” he said.

“We seek an open, dynamic economy that embraces technological innovation, pursues higher productivity, creates jobs that pay better and improves the quality of life of our citizens,” said the President.

“Our vision is an economy that encourages and welcomes investment, offers policy certainty and addresses barriers that inhibit growth and social inclusion,” he said.

He said the ANC will definitely implement the expropriation of land without compensation and the NEC will draft a proposal on it.

He said land will definitely be returned, but taking into consideration economic development and food security.

“We shall implement a comprehensive approach to land reform and agricultural development that utilises a range of mechanisms to accelerate the redistribution of land to black South Africans and to provide the necessary support to ensure that this is accompanied by an increase in agricultural production and food security,” he said.

Ramaphosa promised to lash the whip on corrupt leaders and said now money will be used for the development of the poor than “channelled into individuals”.

He thanked his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, who remains government President – for the establishment of the Zondo Commission that will probe allegations of state capture by the Gupta family, Zuma’s son Duduzane and cronies.

“The investigation and prosecution of those responsible will be given top priority. Mechanisms for the appointment of individuals to senior government positions, state owned entities and law enforcement agencies will be strengthened to improve transparency, prevent undue influence and ensure adequate vetting of candidates,” Ramaphosa said.

(edited by MLM)

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