ANC victory ‘is certain’

2019-05-02 15:03

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday downplayed recent surveys showing that the ANC could drop below 50% in next week’s general elections, and instead, told thousands of Cosatu members that victory for the party was “certain”.

Addressing Cosatu members during the labour federation’s May 1 celebrations at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, Durban, Ramaphosa said everything pointed to an ANC victory.

“All the signs are there — victory is certain,” he said.

Ramaphosa was speaking a day after the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) had released findings showing that ANC support was hovering around 49,5% nationally.

Corruption allegations made against senior ANC members at the Zondo commission and Eskom’s failure to provide uninterrupted power supply to citizens are some of the issues said to be contributing to the party’s loss of support.

While Ramaphosa admitted that some “wrong” things happened in the past, he said everything was being done to ensure that the mistakes did not recur. “This is why we are establishing these commissions of inquiry — those who did wrong things will be held accountable.

“We are doing this because we want to rid our country of corruption — we want to renew our country so that our people can trust us,” he said.

The ANC leadership, Ramaphosa said, had used the party’s elections campaign to explain to voters what the organisation was doing about corruption. “People are responding positively to the message we are putting forward. We are telling them that we made some mistakes.”

On the land question, Ramaphosa said there was no turning back on the ANC’s plans to expropriate land without compensation.

“The ANC adopted resolutions in 2017 … we are implementing them so that the land of our forebears is returned to our people — it will happen without fail,” he said.

He called on those who opposed to the ANC transformation policies to come up with alternative solutions to the challenges being faced by the country instead of criticising solutions that were being put forward by the party.

Citing the National Minimum Wage policy and other pieces of legislation enacted by the ANC-led government as part of the struggle to advance the interest of workers, Ramaphosa said very few political parties around the world have done as much as the ANC when it came to protecting the interests of workers.

“Many workers in the world don’t have the basket of workers’ rights we have in our country. We will continue with the struggle against wage in­equality, a struggle which Cosatu should intensify,” he said.

The president, who was one of the founders of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM), then called on Cosatu members to rally behind the ANC in next week’s polls.

Earlier, Cosutu president Zungiswa Losi told workers to vote for the ANC. “As Cosatu were have arrived at the determination that no other political party except the ANC is capable of leading South Africa. The ANC is the only political party with a solid radical economic transformation agenda,” she said.

SACP secretary-general Blade Nzimande said while the workers had agreed to back the ANC, the support was not without strings attached. “We are not giving the ANC a blank cheque. As workers we won’t allow any neoliberal programme — what we want is a developmental state. We want to see the National Health Insurance being implemented as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ramaphosa

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