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Address by ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC Mpumalanga Gala Dinner

7 November 2014

Programme Director,
Provincial Chairperson,
Comrade David Mabuza,
Members of the Provincial Executive Committee,
Members of the Regional Executive Committee,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and friends,

I greet you all on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress.

Your presence here this evening confirms your commitment to the cause of freedom and equality for all our people. It confirms your determination to be an integral part of the struggle to overcome poverty, inequality and unemployment.

In many ways, we have entered a second phase in our transition.

It requires bold and decisive steps to eradicate the stubborn legacy of apartheid. We need to ensure all our people are able to enjoy the fruits of freedom.

We need to ensure all children receive a decent education, that all people can access quality healthcare, that more and more of our people are able to find work, and that all experience a decent standard of living.

The achievement of these goals depends on a strong and capable ANC whose structures are leading efforts to empower communities and transform society.

It depends on an ANC that is with, and among, the people.

It depends on an ANC with a clear mandate for radical change.

With this in mind, we have already started preparations for the 2016 local government elections.

More than simply renewing a mandate, these elections will enable us to develop a path for faster, more meaningful transformation at local level.

Over the coming months, we will be involved indoor-to-door campaigns, community meetings, workshops, lectures and rallies.

We will be engaging with our people, listening to their concerns, and seeking their participation in the national effort to improve local government.

But we will struggle to undertake these programmes, unless we have sufficient financial and other resources to sustain our activities.

We are therefore calling on all ANC leaders, members and supporters to mobilise the resources the movement needs.

Your presence here tonight confirms that you have heard that call.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have begun the implementation of the National Development Plan, adopted after in-depth research and extensive consultation.

The NDP provides the basis for a social contract that will help propel our country onto a higher developmental trajectory and build a more cohesive and equitable society.

We encourage you to become our partners on this journey to transform society and unite our country.

We must work together to improve public spaces and services to make it easier for people across racial and class divides to interact with one another in full appreciation of their shared history and common destiny.

We must inculcate in all our people an abiding sense of commitment to the values contained in our Constitution.

Beyond this, we must promote a culture of dialogue, accords and commitments across society as part of our national effort to build a social compact for growth and development.

Comrades and friends,

In its 2014 election manifesto, the ANC committed itself to `build an inclusive economy that creates jobs`.

One of the most stubborn structural legacies of apartheid is unemployment among the youth.

Former ANC President Oliver Tambo once saidthat "a nation that does not take care of its youth has no future and does not deserve one".

We must work together to find lasting solutions to the continuing plight of young people in our country.

We must forge a partnership with all sectors of society based on our common vision of a prosperous South Africa anchored on values of human solidarity and equal opportunities.

We must do everything possible to ensure that never again in South Africa will opportunities offered to young people be defined by race, gender, class or religion.

We celebrate 20 years of freedom understanding that it will remain incomplete until the young people of our country are economically and socially free.

There is great potential in the fact that most of our working age population is young. We have a significant opportunity to harness their energy, innovation, creativity and vibrancy in pursuit ofsustainable economic activity.

Young people must be provided with the opportunity to be active participants in the economy.

We urge the private sector - just as we commit the public sector - to employ young people for them to gain real workplace experience.

Together, we must also find better and more innovative ways through which we can improve entrepreneurial activity among young people.

Our drive to create black industrialists and expand the manufacturing sector must focus on young people.

Young people must be encouraged to participate in the economy not only as employees but also as entrepreneurs.

It is only through such efforts that our country will benefit from the demographic dividend.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our country has begun a new and far-reaching phase of its democratic transition.

Under the leadership of the ANC, we will take decisive steps to correct the wrongs of the past and create a better future for all.

We urge you to become our partners on this journey.

I thank you