Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday told delegates at the SA Communist Party (SACP) congress to seriously ponder the repercussions for the tri-partite alliance should they decide to contest future general elections alone.
Ramaphosa said the African National Congess-led alliance was at its weakest, and that it was time for ''friends to unite and build it together [rather] than being separated".
''There is still a long way to go...this is the moment friends would not dare stay apart. We do not expect decisions out of this congress that are going to weaken the alliance. On the contrary, we expect decisions that are going to unite and strengthen the alliance.''
''I know that within the ranks of this congress, there are some of us who say it is time to sue for state power...I know that, it has a wonderful ring to it, that yes, one day when we go to the Union Buildings, there should be red flags around with SACP in power...but we have to face reality comrades. The reality is that as a movement we must not take decisions out of emotions or anger at the ANC because it says nothing about corruption, or that we are angry at the Guptas and so on.''
He advised delegates to emulate the actions of alliance predecessors ''who were calculative'' and based their decisions on what would be good for the nation.
''As you ponder and look at this motion on whether the SACP should go off on its own and contest elections, I would like you to pause before you sign on that resolution...pause a little bit comrades. Ask yourselves whether are we better off divided or united?'' Ramaphosa said to loud cheers and applause from the delegates.
He said the aftermath of the ANC policy conference, held in Johannesburg last week, had brought with it a renewal of the organisation.
The policy conference, said Ramaphosa, was a ''real milestone'' and delegates were forthright in identifying the problems facing the ANC.
''We have now embarked on a journey of renewal as the movement and as a country following the policy conference. The rank and file of our movement has sent us on this journey so that we seek a renewal of the values of the ANC and the alliance...that conference established a platform for renewal," said Ramaphosa.
''Having been guided by a brutal analysis of the the diagnostic report, we took off our gloves and spoke the real truth about challenges facing us. I believe we emerged out of that conference, leading up to the December conference, having built a platform that we need to strengthen... and we see this SACP congress as part of strengthening that platform.''
The SACP will this week elect new leaders and take a decision on whether it will go it alone in the 2019 elections, and not support the ANC.
Ramaphosa was earlier received warmly by the delegates, who sang his praises and that of party second deputy secretary, Solly Mapaila.
The SACP, along with the the ANC's other alliance partner, Cosatu, have banned President Jacob from participating in their events.