Kempton Park - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned against glaring divisions in the alliance between the SACP, ANC, Cosatu and Sanco, saying members could not allow this to continue.
"Different components of the alliance have taken positions and made public pronouncements that are sharply at odds with each other...If we do not address the tensions within the alliance, we will weaken and perhaps ultimately destroy the greatest hope that our people have for social and economic freedom," he said on Friday night.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the South African Communist Party (SACP) fundraising gala dinner at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
Ramaphosa, who was joined by several ministers, ANC NEC members and SACP senior leaders, said it could not longer be denied that there has been a decline of ethics in the movement.
He said while the movement finds itself at a crossroads, the decline was not a complete collapse or erosion.
"We must begin now, deliberately and honestly, to work through the differences between our formations. We need to do so politically, avoiding the temptation to personalise our difficulties."
He continued: "We need to hold fast to principle, act in a disciplined manner, and place the interests of the people above everything else."
Ramaphosa said repairing, uniting and building the alliance was among the most pressing revolutionary tasks at the moment.
He also reminded guests that leaders occupying positions of responsibility did so solely at the behest of the people and only to serve their interests.
He said resources geared towards improving the lives of people were not be used to benefit those in power.
Responding to recommendations by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that section 224 of the Constitution, dealing with the South African Reserve Bank’s mandate, be amended, in order to protect the currency, Ramaphosa said the Constitution could not be tampered with.
"The institutions of our democracy must not be undermined. We must view with concern suggestions that the Constitutional mandate of institutions like the Reserve Bank should be summarily changed," he said.
He commended the SACP for the manner in which it has approached the economic transformation campaign and for insisting that there be positive change for the poor.
"The SACP continues to provide steady leadership," he said.
He said as the SACP pondered thoughts on whether to contest elections and brunch out on its own, it had to think about whether that move would strengthen the movement and whether it would emerge victorious or weakened.
SACP first deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin meanwhile said the alliance had cracked structural issues inherited from the past.
"We live in an era of popularism. We've seen a significant rise of populism a and popularism is dangerous," he said.
Cronin said if one looks at the alliance, the SACP was the only one not faced with factions.
"The SACP has always understood the ANC has a broader role...we want to be a contributing factor that will help the ANC finds its moral ground," he said.
His deputy Solly Mapaila commended Ramaphosa, saying he has continued serve people steadily and has never set his foresight on positions.
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