The ANC is prioritising the eradication of corruption in its ranks and repositioning itself as the party that is beloved to South Africans.
These were the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC celebrated its 108th birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony at the Mayibuye Centre in Galeshewe, Kimberley, on Wednesday.
“What is left for us is to take this organisation forward. What is left is to take it forward and build it. The ANC must be a leader of society,” Ramaphosa said, addressing community members who came out in support of the ANC in its birthday celebrations.
The leader of the ANC added that the party would continue with its mission of uniting the people of South Africa.
Earlier in the day, the ANC held a wreath-laying ceremony for struggle hero Sol Plaatje at the West End Cemetery.
The governing party was formed in 1912 by John Langalibalele Dube, Sol Plaatje and Pixley ka Seme.
Ramaphosa highlighted the governing party’s rich history, and said the party was one of ancestry and genealogy.
“We are an organisation with a history that is colourful. We went to the graveside of comrade Sol Plaatje and we were very honoured to be in the presence of the Plaatje family,” he said.
The president said it was important to visit the stalwart’s graveside to indicate that “the ANC still lives, the ANC still leads and the ANC still unites”.
“Many forces wanted to remove us but the ANC will still be here for another 108 years. The ANC took a clear resolution that the party must renew itself, the ANC must be united,” Ramaphosa said.
The party believed it had an important opportunity to identify what problems are faced by the people of the Northern Cape.
“These few days have given us the opportunity to go through the length and the breadth of the country. It has also been a process of talking to our people, hearing their views and their thoughts,” he said.
He has identified the Northern Cape as a “sunrise province” and promised to “grow the economy of the province and the country so that they foster radical economic transformation”.
“We informed them about opportunities in mining. The Northern Cape is blessed with minerals, we no longer want to be sailing out rock and sand to other countries,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “We see great opportunity in agriculture, it is blessed by having a multi-river [Orange River], that creates great opportunities for land reform, for irrigation. It is important that we should revamp the agriculture of this province.”
Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul thanked the community of Galeshewe for their dedication and support towards the ANC despite the spate of violent protests which took place in Kimberley in the 2018.
He raised the issue of the high unemployment rate in the county, noting that the onus was on the governing party to institute change.
The ANC celebrations will officially take place on Saturday at the Tafel Lager Stadium where Ramaphosa will deliver the keynote address, focused on nationbuilding, social cohesion and renewal.