ANC must earn the trust of South Africans, Ramaphosa tells conference delegates

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  • The ANC must earn the trust of South Africans, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as he reopened the ANC's conference.
  • The party failed to complete its national elective conference on time last month, and will on Thursday discuss its commission report and adopt resolutions.
  • Ramaphosa said this work would have a major impact on the party and the country, as South Africans were looking at the ANC for answers to the country's challenges.

The ANC must earn the trust of South Africans, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as he reopened the party's conference on Thursday, after it failed to conclude on time in December.

"Welcome to all of you as delegates to the second part of this conference, the 55th national conference of the glorious movement," Ramaphosa said to the party's leadership and delegates gathered at the Imvelo Safari Lodge, outside Bloemfontein.

Delegates from other provinces were gathered at venues in each province and connected virtually.

Ramaphosa said the conference would receive reports from the ANC's commissions, adopt their resolutions, as well as adopt a conference statement.

He told the delegates that this work was an important responsibility, as it would have a far-reaching impact on the ANC and the country.

Ramaphosa said the decisions taken on Thursday would determine whether the party could reverse its organisational and electoral decline, and whether it could continue on a path of renewal.

READ | Rogue's gallery elected to ANC's all-important national executive committee

South Africans were looking at the conference for solutions to the crises facing the country, he said, adding that while they could not complete their conference last month, "those five days in December" were among the most important days in the party's history, as it committed itself to renewal and to eradicate factionalism.

He claimed delegates had taken a "strong stance" against corruption.

Ramaphosa said delegates had made it clear that they must proceed with greater urgency and purpose to address the country's challenges.

He said:

Where our policies are inadequate, or have shortcomings, we need to do things differently.

He said the ANC had to restore its relationship with the people of South Africa. The party's duty was to serve South Africans and earn the title of "leaders of society" with its work among the people.

The party also had to acknowledge its weaknesses and work towards correcting them, as well as demonstrate humility, honesty and integrity.

The ANC streamed the address, but journalists at the venue were not allowed inside the conference room for the opening of proceedings.

After Ramaphosa spoke, party chairperson Gwede Mantashe said they would continue with discussing the commission reports. This would be in a closed session chaired by David Mahlobo.

At a press briefing, ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula said it was expected that the conference would conclude in the early hours of Friday morning.

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