Johannesburg - ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that his drive to attract R1.3 trillion or $100 billion investment in the country is aimed at helping provinces like Gauteng to deal with growing unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Ramaphosa was addressing the ANC Gauteng elective provincial conference in Irene, Centurion earlier on Friday in which, he managed to garner the support from the ANC, particularly Premier David Makhura.
Both Ramaphosa and Makhura agreed that corruption was likely to chase away future investors and opportunities in the country.
The two also vowed to help each return billions which was allegedly stolen by the Guptas and ‘siphoned’ out of the country.
Already, Ramaphosa has secured $20 billion in a short space of time since announcing the investment drive few weeks ago.
He told conference delegates that he was determined to approach more countries and to attract investment in the country.
“I want Gauteng to have a fair of the investment. The investment must spread throughout the country. At the top of our minds must be those of our people who remain unemployed, who are denied the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the mainstream economy of our country. Gauteng is a major destination for investment,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the economic emancipation of all our people “is a responsibility that history has placed on our shoulders and we dare not fail”.
Ramaphosa said his party must determine what practical measures it needed to to make it a reality.
“It is our responsibility to leverage the infrastructure, skills and capacity that the province has to attract even greater investment, both from within the country and internationally.
“We need to ensure that this investment benefits our people through the creation of jobs, particularly for the youth,” he said.
Ramaphosa said his party needed to need to pay attention to the spatial development of the province, ensuring that investment was made in the areas where people live.
“We also need to bring our people, particularly the poor and working class, closer to economic centres. We applaud the work being undertaken by the Gauteng provincial government to provide people with land for housing in the major urban areas.
“In addition to the construction of suitable housing in well-located areas, we should also be providing people with service sites so that they can build their own structures,” Ramaphosa said.
He further said his party should continue and accelerate the process of providing people with title deeds as part of its efforts to redistribute land and to “tackle asset poverty”.
Ramaphosa said ANC members and its Alliance partners should play a supportive role in local infrastructure projects, ensuring their smooth implementation and ensuring that they benefit local communities.
“These projects provide much needed temporary jobs, which give relief and income to many in our communities. Radical economic transformation means taking steps to ensure all project targets are reached in order to benefit local people.
“We must act decisively against those within our ranks involved in activities that disrupt these projects,” he said.
He pleaded with ANC members to desist from becoming part of violent local protests because they undermine the stability of our democracy, cause damage to property and breed conflict.
“Our members should rather be in the forefront of seeking solutions to community problems. “This is important because our people are looking to this conference not for ideological pronouncements, but for clarity on how their lives will change for the better,” Ramaphosa said.