Workers must defend SA's freedom and future - Ramaphosa

2017-07-23 21:29
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images, Die Burger)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images, Die Burger)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Welkom - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the working class to take a stand in defence of South Africa's freedom.

He said although significant progress had been made, many workers were still earning below minimum wage and that race, gender and class remained defining fault lines in society.

Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at a memorial lecture in honour of former National Union of Mineworkers' Elijah Barayi in Welkom, Bloemfontein on Sunday.

The deputy president was joined by Cosatu's first deputy president Tyotyo James, ANC Free State deputy chairperson Thabo Manyoni and several leaders from the NUM.

He told a packed community hall in Thabong that the ability to confront challenges facing the country was hampered by both an unfavourable global economic environment and South Africa's own weaknesses.

"As has become increasingly apparent, we are constrained in our efforts to transform society by divisions within the movement and a weakening of public institutions," said Ramaphosa.

He added that many were now aware of a "brazen criminal network" which sought to capture key positions within the state and to steal funds that rightfully belong to the people.

"In the last few days, we have even learnt of an alleged scheme to deprive Cosatu of millions of rands," added Ramaphosa.

We have spoken about the erosion of our organisational capacity, a decline in the political consciousness of our leaders and members, an increasing distance from the communities where we are meant to serve and a steady corrosion of the values and best traditions of our movement, he said.

'No more' 

Reminding the crowd of Barayi's legacy, he said this was a moment for workers to take a stand like the struggle icon had done in 1985 when he stood up to an apartheid government.

Ramaphosa said it was critical for workers, under the leadership and guidance of Cosatu to be the agents of change.

"It is critical too that organised labour, Cosatu in particular, takes a stand against any actions that damage the economy," continued the deputy president.

When public funds destined for emerging farmers in this province are diverted to pay for a wedding, it is the rural poor who suffer, added Ramaphosa.

This in reference to a Free State Farm project, where it's alleged funds were used to pay for a lavish Gupta wedding.

The family with close ties to the president has been placed in the middle of a trove of emails showing its influence over some state owned enterprises and key leaders in government, including members of the executive.

Read more about the #GuptaLeaks here

"In 1985, Elijah Barayi stood up to the apartheid state and said 'no more'.

"Now is the moment for workers to say to all those who are involved in perpetrating and facilitating these criminal acts, 'no more'," said Ramaphosa.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

French Bulldog helps kids with facial differences

Lentil Bean is a french bulldog who was born with a severe cleft nose, lip and palate.

 
 

Paws

Weird things dogs do
Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.