Royal leaders in Limpopo have thrown their weight behind ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term as head of the party, as they place their faith in his abilities to foster unity within the organisation.
The ANC will hold its elective conference at the end of the year.
Hosi Tinyiko Nwamitwa of the Valoyi clan told City Press that she had been supporting Ramaphosa even before the party celebrated its birthday in Polokwane. She said she knew what Ramaphosa was capable of, hence he should be given more time to steer the country in the right direction.
“He’s had challenges like Covid-19, load shedding and unemployment, but we know he’s doing his best. If he can be given a second term, he’ll be able to turn things around. The ANC will be united again, that’s a fact – they’re all comrades. [They’ve lasted] 110 years now. No other party can boast that,” said Nwamitwa.
Chief Livhuwani Matsila of the Matsila Royal House said he believed that no one but Ramaphosa could occupy the position, but also warned that the party should be working to groom someone to take over from him in future.
According to Matsila, Ramaphosa had shown that he could unite a fractured ANC and renew the party.
“Traditional leaders support Ramaphosa from the perspective of our need for a renewed ANC with much more vigour and much more focus on service delivery for the people, rather than on internal battles,” said Matsila. “Traditional leaders are instrumental in ensuring that there’s unity in a political organisation as big as the ANC, which is predominant among our constituencies. There are leaders who do the wrong thing by aligning themselves to factions. That’s something that can’t happen.”
Nwamitwa agreed that it was important for the governing party to unite so that it could serve communities around the country. She said:
The ANC’s January 8 statement, delivered by Ramaphosa, stressed the importance of renewing the party, adding that it was not just a matter of organisational self-interest, but was essential for broader society.
The ANC is planning to form a commission that will work towards a long-term plan to renew the party. It will work towards having continuous consultations between structures of the ANC, alliance partners and the broader democratic movement.
Hosi Aaron Mahumani of Nkomo village said he believed that, with the right support, Ramaphosa could provide good leadership in the renewal project of the ANC. He said:
Mahumani expressed despondency about the way the ANC had deteriorated over the past few years.
“I feel disappointed and embarrassed by the way they’re conducting their affairs. This isn’t the ANC of 1912, where royal leaders – as well as others – were part of the commission of the party which had direction, was focused, was there for the welfare of the people and took the issues of the rural or tribal communities to the forefront. The ANC is being weakened every day by comrades who’re only out for themselves and not looking at the bigger picture,” he said.