The party’s leaders, since Monday, have visited every region in the province as part of election campaigning but also to mobilise supporters to attend the launch of the party’s manifesto on Saturday.
Ramaphosa spent the morning at the grave of the party’s first president, John Langalibalele Dube, accompanied by former president Jacob Zuma.
Family spokesperson Langa Dube urged Ramaphosa’s administration to build an economy that would ensure that black South Africans were no longer backbenchers, “but were able to participate in all sectors of business”.
“People need to be skilled and people need to be given opportunities to advance themselves within the entrepreneurship sphere.
“South Africa is the only country where you find the indigenous people who are voters being the backbenchers and not in charge of the business at whatever level,” said Dube.
Ramaphosa said the ANC had heard and listened to South Africans who had been frustrated by the lack of service delivery and corruption by some in the ANC-led government.
While commending Zuma’s effort in uniting the ANC, he said all members of the ANC should do the same.
“President John Dube, we are saying to you today we shall work side-by-side throughout our lives until we have improved the lives of all South Africans, as we grow South Africa to be the best country in the world.
“This is the task that we commit to and this is the task that we are going to achieve,” he said. Later, Ramaphosa spoke at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, telling supporters his government would implement the expropriation without compensation policy, a resolution which was taken at the 54th conference in Nasrec in 2017.
“There are those who are saying maybe we won’t implement it. We are going to implement the policy because the land must return to our people,” said Ramaphosa.
Speaking outside the venue, Senzo Mchunu, the head of organising in the ANC, said the party was more than prepared to win the elections in the next few months, that the ANC this year was bigger and stronger and would look to further entrench its position as a leader of society.
However, analysts and commentators painted a different picture.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga, said if recent events in South Africa’s shifting political landscape are anything to go by, it shows that unity is not working and people, the core of its support base are pulling apart as a result.
He felt its list process has resulted in divisions.
“This year’s celebration is an attempt to show unity of strength among the leaders of the party, trying to speak the same language. The ANC has been radicalised in the past few years. The policy conference in Midrand in 2012 which focused on its second transition, saw it become more radicalised. South Africa’s body politic is moving towards the Left and we saw how the ANC responded positively to the EFF on the question of land,” he said.
Professor Seepe, an academic and political analyst, said the ANC should be credited for fulfilling one part of its mission, political liberation and the establishment of a multi-party democracy. He stressed that the ANC still needed to deliver on the economic freedom.