WATCH | Disruptions, endorsements and unpaid salaries: Key moments from the ANC's birthday celebrations

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  • ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has reflected on the party's challenges after wrapping up its 110th birthday celebrations in Limpopo. 
  • Shortly after delivering the party's marching orders in its January 8 statement, Ramaphosa responded to questions about disruptions, a second term as ANC president, and its lack of funding.
  • He says interventions like the State Capture Inquiry report will help the ANC assess and address its issues. 

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa presented the party's annual January 8 statement at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo, over the weekend, outlining the vision for the ruling party this year, focusing on renewal and unity.

This as the party celebrated its 110th birthday.

Speaking during a media briefing shortly after delivering his address, Ramaphosa reflected on some of the ANC's challenges, including speculation of security threats following disruptions throughout the week, the release of the first part of the State Capture Inquiry report and non-payment of ANC staff.

He also touched on the second term endorsements he received throughout his engagements in his home province ahead of the ANC's national elective conference scheduled for December.

"I'm hearing these noises, and I'm listening, and that is just about what I am able to do at the moment," Ramaphosa said. 

State capture and the ANC

The State Capture Inquiry report would be used to support the vision of the party, he told News24.

The first volume of the report, released on 4 January, tore into the ruling party, finding it had benefitted from the proceeds of corruption.

On just how the ANC would utilise the report wherein its members were named, Ramaphosa said:

The ANC will look closely at the findings and recommendations of the report because what the commission has recommended has an impact on our own renewal project and what we need to do to enhance renewal and a better functioning ANC.

The party must go on despite unpaid salaries 

Insufficient funds did not stop the ANC from hosting its annual birthday celebrations. However, it scaled down on the budget for the event, given that staffers are still waiting for the full payment of their salaries. 

"The budget was curtailed almost to the bone; usually, it costs us much more money than what was deployed for this," said Ramaphosa. "We are scouring all over trying to raise more and more funds and we should meet with staff to lay out a clear process of what is going to happen moving forward."

The ANC was able to pay October salaries in December, while salaries for November and December are yet to be paid. 

"It's a major challenge in the light of a shortage of sources to raise money. We will continue to address and raise funding," he added.

Disruptions

On 6 January, the president abruptly left the Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture hosted by the ANC Women's League (ANCWL). 

The event was postponed shortly after state security officials escorted Ramaphosa from the venue, but "there was nothing sinister about that", he said.

Ramaphosa reaffirmed the event ended because the venue was filled to over-capacity. 

"The compliance was very low, and government entities informed them [the ANC Women's League] and all agreed that the event [should] be postponed," he said.

Ramaphosa indicated he would return at a later stage to deliver the lecture. 

ALSO READ | State capture inquiry report a blessing in disguise for ANC renewal project, says Ramaphosa

The following afternoon, the Peter Mokaba memorial lecture was delayed due to a commotion caused by ANC Youth League (ANCYL) supporters.

They protested the number of people permitted inside the Jack Botes Hall in the Polokwane CBD where Ramaphosa would speak.

The ANCYL then suggested the event be held outside instead to avoid similar scenes experienced at the Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture the day before.  

Later that evening, the president's speech was cut short by a power outage at the ANC's gala dinner hosted at the Protea Hotel Ranch Resort in Limpopo. Ramaphosa was once again escorted from the venue by his security detail. 

Despite disruptions, the ANC's main birthday celebration event went ahead without any interruption. 


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