Johannesburg - There were still social divisions but support for the ANC remained solid because the party offered people a future, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.
He said the election campaign had given him and other ANC leaders the opportunity to travel around the country where they found firm support for the party.
“They can see the ANC is not only selling words, but a future too,” said Ramaphosa.
“We are involved in a major project here – building a nation.”
Ramaphosa was addressing an ANC briefing in Joburg on social cohesion and nation building. It was the 11th such briefing by the ANC in the run-up to the elections.
“This has possibly been one of the longest election campaigns,” said Ramaphosa.
He said nation building was part of the ANC’s history, referring to the policies in the Freedom Charter and saying the party was founded “to create a united, democratic non-racial non-sexist and prosperous South Africa”.
“Apartheid was about exclusion, and we sought to be inclusive.”
This was a policy entrenched in 1994 in the constitution, he said.
“The ANC has been committed right from the beginning to building a South African nation,” he said.
“We still have a lot of divisions. We’re still a divided nation.”
He said there were divisions along racial, regional and gender lines and “many, many other things that are still part of the legacy that we are coming from”, but that the constitution was strong enough to sustain the building of a nation.
Ramaphosa described the first democratic elections 20 years ago, celebrated on Freedom Day at the weekend, as a national process in which all citizens “collectively took up arms” to destroy apartheid by voting against it.
Ramaphosa called Nelson Mandela the “master of nation building, the architect of South Africa House”.
“As we move on, we are closing the fault lines that continue to bedevil our nation,” he said.
He acknowledged the service delivery protests, but said what fuelled them was the feeling among communities that they were being left behind.