ANC shows solidarity

2019-01-09 15:30

The ANC, which has been struggling to maintain unity following last year’s divisive national conference, on Tuesday showed a united front.

The party’s 107th birthday celebrations saw the organisation’s factions across KZN coming together to celebrate the big occasion.

At eThekwini’s Ohlange Institute where the ANC’s main birthday celebrations took place, President Cyril Ramaphosa used the event to show solidarity with his perceived rival, former president Jacob Zuma.

Delivering the ANC January 8 statement in front of a large crowd that included party supporters from across the country, Ramaphosa pledged to continue working with his predecessor.

“He is now a former president, I will use him … former presidents have experience and knowledge,” he said.

Highlighting the achievements of the party since assuming power in 1994, Ramaphosa cited the provision of water, electricity and health facilities to the poor as some of the party’s top achievements.

Ramaphosa, who throughout the entire proceedings sat next to Zuma, then assured other former ANC leaders, including Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, both of whom were at the venue, that the party will continue to work towards improving the lives of all South Africans.

“We want to reassure the great leaders of the ANC and our past presidents ... that we shall not rest ...” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa delivered his speech against the backdrop of divisions within the ANC, particularly in KZN where his supporters and Zuma’s had been struggling to smoke the peace pipe.

In the Moses Mabhida Region where the two factions have been at each others’ throats since last year’s presidential race was won by Ramaphosa, the groups that converged at the Caluza Sport Grounds in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, put aside their differences.

Unlike other ANC meetings in the region where Zuma supporters arrived in regalia depicting his face, all ANC members at the Caluza event wore party regalia with Ramaphosa’s face.

ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Nomvula Mokonyane, who was part of the ANC NEC delegation deployed to the region for the party’s birthday activities, said divisions within the region were now a thing of the past.

“... The ANC has been through difficult times before but each time there is a major task such as elections, party members have always been able to rise above their personal differences.

“The fact that ANC activities in Caluza ran smoothly and without a single incident of disunity is proof that ANC members, not only in this region but across the entire country, have taken a conscious decision to unite around the party’s programme and vision,” she said.

The NEC’s programme in the province will see Ramaphosa visiting Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

On Saturday Ramaphosa will then table the ANC manifesto at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, where close to 80 000 supporters are expected to converge.

More than 1 300 buses have been organised to transport members from all provinces to the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the manifesto launch.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  anc
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