ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: @MYANC/Twitter
PRETORIA - Human rights and Palestine solidarity organization, BDS South Africa said it welcomed ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s first January 8th statement.

Ramaphosa was addressing supporters during the ANC's 106th-anniversary celebrations in East London on Saturday. The ANC President said his statement was guided by the National Executive Committee, in accordance with the National Development Plan.

BDS South Africa has echoed he general consensus that the ANC President managed to balance populist expectations with sober realities.

"We welcome Ramaphosa and the ANC, NEC’s commitment to ensure that ANC conference resolutions are implemented and in particular we welcome the paragraph on Palestine," the organisation said in response to Ramaphosa's pledge of support for the people of Palestine in his address.
“The ANC reaffirms its commitment to give practical support to the oppressed people of Palestine and we are of the firm view that the downgrade of the South African embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office would help to send a strong signal in this regard,” Ramaphosa said.

The organisation said it would be looking for the "immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA Embassy in Israel," and swift implementation of the national conference resolution which was adopted unanimously at the recent 54th National Conference and again reiterated in Ramaphosa's statement.
"It is fitting that the downgrade resolution was adopted in 2017, the year that Oliver Tambo would have turned 100, and will be implemented in 2018 the year Nelson Mandela would have turned 100," said BDS.
The organisation said in light of Israel’s recent “blacklist” of BDS South Africa and it’s membership, they would be engaging with the ANC to propose the imposition of stricter visa regulations for Israelis, as per the 2004 Non Aligned Movement resolution.