Pretoria - President Cyril Ramphosa says the ANC cannot count on the party’s Struggle record to lure voters, but instead will have to rely on its achievements since the party took over government. Ramaphosa said the party’s manifesto for the 2019 elections must be rooted in the daily experiences of ordinary South Africans and must set a clear vision for the country. 

“We can no longer count on our people to vote for the ANC because the ANC has led the liberation movement. But we will ask them to vote for us based on what we have achieved. We will point out to our unmatched record of delivery and we will also be honest about the mistakes that we have made,” said Ramaphosa.

The president was speaking at the ANC’s elections workshop in Pretoria on Monday, where the party sets to iron out some of the key areas of focus for its elections manifesto. Delegates at the workshop include ANC NEC members, economists, researchers and university scholars who will contribute in key areas of focus. Ramaphosa said the manifesto should set out a clear vision for the party’s goal of economic transformation.

The largest voters in next year’s elections will be young people, and Ramaphosa said it’s important that they feel part of the country’s future. “It has been said that 2019 will be the most contested elections to date and it shows that ours is a democracy that is alive. This workshop will also help us to come up with a strategy that helps the young people.” 

“We want to hear as many views as possible, and we want to hear the thoughts of people who have an ear for the daily experiences of people in our country. Existing programmes need to  be interrogated. It must be formerly focused on the future. Knowing very well that foundations have been set and that we cannot dwell on the past,” said Rampahosa.

The President said the need for the manifesto to instill hope is because many South Africans were much hopeful on the direction of the country especially when looking at the work being done to deal with issues of state capture. 

“They see the work we are doing to end state capture and corruption. Many of our people have become involved in speaking out about the land issue. Our aim is to harness the energy of the people that are excited about the future. Make sure that the manifesto is as inclusive as possible,” said Ramaphosa. Delegates at the workshop will be dived into groups on specific focus areas.

Ronald Lamola will lead the land reform group, David Masondo will chair the economic transformation group, Tony Yengeni will lead the crime and corruption group and  Naledi Pandor will the chair the education and training group. The workshop will come up with a draft document that will circulated to ANC branches for consultation.

Political Bureau