Durban - African National Congress (ANC) and state President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday night that the party and government were working to reclaim integrity and credibility in the eyes of the public.
He said that while citizens had seen the work done by the governing party over the past 25 years, they had “also observed how, in recent times, the ANC lost its way as the effects of factionalism, corruption, and patronage eroded the values and betrayed the principles of this great movement”.
“They observed the effects of state capture as institutions were undermined, public funds plundered and investor confidence declined. And so they spoke out. They voiced their concern and their anger,” said Ramaphosa.
“We have taken steps to reclaim our integrity and credibility, both as a movement and as a government.”
Ramaphosa was delivering the keynote address at an ANC fundraising dinner being held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.
The party’s fundraising evenings don’t come cheap, with a single seat at any available table going for R5,000 and a platinum package – which allows for seating at the deputy president’s table – going for R500,000.
Seating at Ramaphosa’s table is the domain of the “Titanium Package”, which is individually negotiated.
On Saturday, the party will launch its manifesto, which Ramaphosa told guests consisted of more than 10,000 words.
The president and other senior ANC leaders have been in the province since the weekend, celebrating the party’s 107th birthday, inviting citizens to the manifesto launch and canvassing for the national elections that will be held later in the year.
Speaking to a full house on Friday night, Ramaphosa said the party and state were confronting corruption and “state capture” and working to restore the credibility of public institutions like the South African Revenue Services, the National Prosecuting Authority, South African Police Service and the State Security Agency.
“We have made important changes to the boards and senior management of several state-owned enterprises; corruption is being rooted out and work has begun to ensure they are financially stable and meet the needs of society.”
He said economic growth and job creation were central to the government’s efforts and stakeholders were being mobilised to embrace an economic recovery plan and investment drive.
Giving guests what he called a “preview” of the manifesto, Ramaphosa said that it built on the work done over the past 25 years and would sustain “the momentum” of the past year.
“Our manifesto is a coherent and bold plan for a better life for all, addressing the persistent realities of unemployment, poverty and inequality. It is informed by the National Development Plan and by the lived experience of our people,” said Ramaphosa.
The manifesto was about economic transformation that would lead to a “people’s economy”, and it built on the government’s stimulus and recovery plan. It set out “key commitments to change the structure of the economy”, said Ramaphosa.
“It identifies the fundamental challenge that too many people are unemployed, particularly among the youth, and too many jobs are lowly paid and insecure.”
Collaboration between the public and private sector in building a successful economy would also be key.
“We plan to carry out a sustainable accelerated land reform programme that unlocks participation and ownership of agricultural production, advances food security and helps reverse the apartheid spatial separation of our cities and towns.
“Among the measures that we will use to advance land reform is the expropriation of land without compensation.
“We will address monopolies, excessive economic concentration, abuse of dominance by large corporations and the growth-inhibiting structure of the economy,” he said.
African News Agency/ANA