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'Ramaphosa is going nowhere' - The ANC answers your questions

07-May-2019 14:44:55
Ronald Lamola

The ANC's Ronald Lamola answers your questions ahead of the elections. It's a live, online interview led entirely by you!

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07 May 16:05
07 May 16:03
07 May 16:03
07 May 14:44

Do you have a final message to voters who may be undecided or wary about giving the ANC their vote? 

Lamola: They need to give the ANC a chance. There is no government in the world that has succeeded in solving problems in a short period of time like 25 years. We understand that people are frustrated and we could have done more, but it took countries like China and Singapore 40 years to get to where they are. But we believe that we are able to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is not time to experiment with this country - we are tried and tested in the field. It is time for action - the President has demonstrated that we are able to correct and learn from our mistakes. The ANC is renewing itself, and we are on a path of reform and renewal. SAns have got no reasons not to trust us, and they have reason to say that we are on a path of renewal. 

07 May 14:43

Our readers have sent in multiple questions posed to all political parties on the death penalty. Would the ANC ever consider it or are you unwavering in your policy?

Lamola: I understand that there's frustration because of the levels of crime in the country. We are re-opening some of the specialised units, the drug units, and units to deal with gender based violence in the police. The level of crime is unacceptably high. But even if the ANC wants to bring the death penalty, it will be unconstitutional. Any law needs to pass constitutional mustre. We believe we can resolve the crime problem within the constitutional parameters. So within the ANC we are not amenable to bringing the death penalty back. It has been declared to be degrading and inhumane, and not belonging in a democratic country by our own Constitutional Court. We are guided by the Constitution. 
07 May 14:40

News24 received multiple questions from frustrated unemployed graduates looking to the ANC for a solution. Do you have a short and simple message to give them?

Lamola: We are aware, the unemployment challenge is huge. It has been raised everywhere during the elections campaign. That's why we have started the intern programme - there must be 1 million in three years, and some of them have already been employed. We also need investment, and the President is leading the investment drive. The investment secured so far equates to about 80 000 jobs. We are on track to create 250 000 jobs per annum. We are also looking at how to reorientate people who have dropped out of high school. More foreign direct investment will enable us to grow the economy at 5% and create many more jobs. 

The foundation has already been laid to create these jobs. In the 6th administration we need to accelerate that process. 

07 May 14:33

Why has the ANC not disclosed their Candidates for Provincial Premiers ? Don’t you think it’s arrogant to expect your supporters to blindly tick the box.? - Jack Prentice, Facebook

Lamola:It is not arrogant at all. We have disclosed the list of the provincial candidates. The supporters and voters are aware of the people on the list in the province. It's a bit difficult to disclose from the onset because remember that we need to balance gender. So after the outcome of the elections we need to comply with our 50/50 gender policies (with appointments). With the premiers, it isn't automatic that the provincial chairperson becomes the premier. So even if the person is number 1 on the list, you have to balance the gender issues. 

07 May 14:31

 Why is ANC still maintaining those involved in the state capture on its list? – Multiple submissions

Lamola: Issues must be handled with due process. This is a country with the rule of law. Accused people must be given a chance to state their case. Most who are implicated in state capture have indicated their intention to go and cross-examine, and so forth. The president has acted on the recommendations from two commissions already, but we have to wait for the outcome of the Zondo commission. If law enforcement wants to act so long, there's no problem with that. But we can't act on innuendos and rumours. Many people were killed in the apartheid years based on rumours. We've referred everyone on the lists to the integrity commission. We need to address the image problems that come with it. 
07 May 14:31

What is ANC's plan on  developing and formalising the township economy? - LB Matji, Facebook

Lamola: We have already started in Gauteng - a clear programme in terms of revitalising the township economic hubs. The DTI has also started revitalising industrial parks. One in Seshego and Hammanskraal, and there's a special economic zone in Philippi... it's important for us to unlock the conomic potential of the township and rural economies. We are now unable to move above the 2% average economic growth of the past few years. We need to unlock potential for growth in other parts of the country. It needs to be drive by production of products, by manufacturing, by other areas of economic activity which can drive growth. We've also just opened a school with BMW that will teach technical skills. We are also looking at these technical schools in the townships. Learners leaving schools mustn't only know the letters of the alphabet. They must know about farming, manufacturing, etc.

07 May 14:29

What is the ANC’s stance on the various corruption scandals? Will those found guilty be arrested and sent to jail and forced to pay back the money that was looted, and when will this, if ever, happen? - George Koning

Lamola: It has already started. The various commissions of inquiries at work, and some have already made recommendations like SARS - the commissioner was fired. The NPA inquiry has happened and recommendations was implemented. SA is a country of laws, you have to follow due process. The ANC supports fully the rule of law, and the law must take its course. The president has already established a unit at the NPA that will deal with issues coming from the Zondo commission. So there is a clear movement in that direction. The Constitution must be the clear guiding light, and we will not interfere with the processes in any way.
07 May 14:28

Can you speak on the ANC’s stance on Affirmative Action going forward? Is it still a viable policy? – Multiple submissions

Lamola: Yes, it's still very important. Our country remains the most unequal society in the world. The AA report from the Department of Labour still shows the skewed salary scale in favour of old white males. The work place has not transformed particularly in the private sector. It remains an important tool for us to address the injustices of the past. There are disparities in terms of access to opportunities and skills based on race... The policy of AA remains very important for us to create a society where everyone has the same opportunity to earn a salary, access medical care, and various needs in an equal and fair way. 

07 May 14:28

Zuma survived 9 votes of no confidence during his presidency through the ANC MPs. Now, why is the ANC distancing itself from the Zuma mess? - Maxwell Thabo Gee, Facebook

Lamola: Remember that we have been very clear, even during Zuma's term, the ANC wrote a diagnostic report which acknowledged the problems. The ANC said these problems needed to be attended to. Eventually we needed to recall Zuma for various reasons. There have been engagements and thorough discussions. There have been mistakes, not only in the last nine years. At Ellis Park the President apologised because we should have responded to the mistakes when they happened. We now need to account for what happened and use the lessons learnt to move forward. The ANC has also proven itself to be able to self-renew. During the period when Chris Hani was nearly killed when he submitted the Hani Memo in 1968/9, the ANC came out and renewed itself. So we are confident that we can correct ourselves. 

07 May 14:27

Over a billion in VBS saga was allegedly stolen by ANC, how are they dealing with the issue and how far are they with the processes? - Andile Sithole, Facebook

Lamola: The ANC never stole any money from VBS. The report was clear that it was the board and management of the bank. The ANC has attended to the issue of municipalities, mayors and municipal managers who were involved. The Limpopo provincial government has attended to it, as well as the North West and Gauteng. The law must take its course anywhere where there has been maladministration or misuse of funds. 

07 May 14:26

Lamola: We've transferred power in Joburg and Tshwane without any hassle. But those who have power cannot govern now. We have got a track record as a peaceful organisation that accepts free and fair elections. But it is clear that the ANC will emerge tomorrow with a decisive majority because the ANC is in a process of self-renewal. 

07 May 14:26

What is the ANC doing to stop the ever increasing number of undocumented foreign nationals in the country? - Jabulani Dlamini

Lamola: We have put it in our manifesto - it's a concern that we have. We are attending to the enforcement procedures so that anyone who comes into the country can be accounted for. We are putting in the capacity at Home Affairs to properly monitor. But it is a universal challenge. It is an economic question. ANC is participating at the AU and SADC level to assist with ensuring economic growth in the region and the continent, as well as peace and stability on the continent. SA cannot be an island in an area of poverty. 

If we only approach it from a legal and enforcement angle, we won't succeed. People will still jump the wall if there are still economic challenges in their country. 

07 May 14:25

Why does the ANC prioritise old comrades that sleep in parliament, have no sense or urgency or reality and forget that the youth, not men in their 50s and 60s, are the future of ANC? - Ncema Motalane

Lamola: ANC is currently in the process of infusing a new generation. You need a mixture of various generations and the strength comes from that generation. The world is becoming younger and younger, and the ANC now has a policy where 20% of our MPs must be young. It will grow from that. There's an infusion from various generations - the Fees Must Fall youth, ourselves, ANCYL, into the ANC. The ANC structures across the country are also young. It's a very young, vibrant generation. (Youth is defined as under 35) Remember that the ANC is a 100 year old organisation. The IFP has the same problems that we are grappling with. The 20% will be increased more as we go forward. 

07 May 14:25

Pres. Ramaphosa has gained strong favour with white South Africans, many of whom will be voting ANC for the first time in their lives. However, there exists a fear that Ramaphosa will be ousted from the party soon after elections.  Are you able to put their minds at ease truthfully and with confidence that the president will be serving his full term? - Estelle Le Chat

Lamola: Yes, Ramaphosa is going nowhere. He is going to serve his full term. The ANC is an organisation for all South Africans, irrespective of colour. There is no platform even if someone wanted to oust him. The policies of the ANC are clear that the ANC president must be president of the country. Some people write that the ANC's NGC can be used to remove him, but it doesn't have that constitutional power. Only the national conference can do that. The NEC is fully behind Ramaphosa. There is no way he will not finish his term.