Address by ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC dialogue with young professionals, Sandton, Johannesburg
31 May 2018
ANC Head of Elections Cde Fikile Mbalula
ANC Gauteng acting Chairperson Cde David Makhura
ANC NEC members present
Comrades and friends
Let me first take this moment to convey my sincere gratitude for being granted this opportunity to interact and be in dialogue with you, young professionals, academics and business people.
It has been just over two years since we met in such a forum, and I was still the Deputy President. Addressing you then, I remarked in my opening that the ANC is an organization that was formed by professionals, and even to this day, professionals still have a role to play in making it a more effective organization.
I further told you that the ANC wants your love back. I called on you to please rekindle your love for the ANC as we take seriously the views and the contributions you are making and can make in this period of unity and renewal.
We meet here today post the Nasrec conference which sat under the theme "Remember Tambo: Towards unity, renewal and radical socio economic transformation".
That conference took resolutions that will decisively deal with the restructuring of our economy. It is the Nasrec conference that forced us to unite as ANC members.
A few weeks ago the ANC launched the Thuma Mina-Send me campaign. At the core of this campaign is our clarion call to every South African to assist in their own small way to make our country a better place for all.
Essentially, at the level of the individual, the Thuma Mina campaign is calling on you to introspect and ask yourself besides just working hard to reach your goals, what are doing to help the next person who most of the time will not be in a position to compensate you for your efforts to help them.
For such a noble campaign to succeed, we must join hands to work together for the betterment of society. Through our collective efforts, we must inculcate a culture of human solidarity over self enrichment as well as collective prosperity over individual success. These should be the overriding principles which underpin the society we are striving to build.
Through your presence here today, I take it that you are confirming your availability to be sent by the ANC. For us to succeed in finding solutions to dealing decisively with the stubborn vestiges of apartheid in all sectors of our society, it does not help anyone, for our professionals to turn to being career critiques of the ANC and its government. You must take it step further but also putting concrete alternative proposal forward.
We do acknowledge that we will not always get it right primarily because we are human, but at the same time we need to be guided hence we believe that foras like these are indeed a step in the right direction.
As young professionals, you have a massive role to play in the advancement and success of the National Democratic Revolution and should therefore be strengthened rather than weakened. The role you play in the crafting of the future of our country cannot be underestimated. I called on you two years ago, and I still want to
make this call, please join hands with the ANC to build a better South Africa for all.
The ANC relies on progressive professionals in their respective fields to ensure that its progressive policies are implemented to the latter.
For instance, the ANC just held a successul land summit which had to look at how can we best implement the conference resolution on land redistribution, and to particularly look at the use of expropriation of land without compensation as a primary instrument to speed up land and agrarian reform.
At this summit, we heard from professionals and academics about their various experiences and how best we can implement this conference resolution. The summit recommended to the NEC that we must immediately use Section 25 of the Constitution to press ahead with expropriation of land in order to test the argument that the constitution does permit expropriation without compensation in certain circumstance.
We are now moving ahead to implement this resolution. We will do this because our land is our wealth. The taking of land back to its rightful owners will be very empowering for our people. As we give our people back their land, we will also be restoring their dignity in our fundamental process of fostering reconciliation and forging national unity.
It is therefore very critical that at times as professionals, you do not wait for the call from the ANC for you to contribute. This gigantic movement, is yours as much as it is mine. You must be concerned about its future.
As professionals you must interogate ANC policies and advice where necesssary. You must help us to ensure that ANC policies that must benefit the poor actually do just that.
It is on this note that I want to call on all of you to please join the ANC through our branches that are found at every part of the country. ANC branches are the basic units of our movement, without them, there is no ANC. I ask that you join the ANC so that you are able to also contribute from within.
A meeting of professionals under the banner of the ANC is an important initiative which nullifies the suggestion that the South African middle class is unconscious, ungrateful, ahistorical in approach and worse, opposed to the revolutionary transformation of country as led by the African National Congress.
The ever-burgeoning middle class is indeed a byproduct of the ANC's deliberate transformation agenda and it is worth celebrating. We will continue celebrating the middle class because it speaks directly to the quality of lives we have changed through our conscious interventions such as widening access to Higher education and training.
Our policy interventions in this sector have resulted in discernible advances that have seen expanded enrolment in all post school institutions especially for the black majority and all disadvantaged people. Our universities continue to see consistent increases in their enrolments annually.
The ANC conference also resolved to provide free education for the poor and disadvantaged. Beginning this year, our first year students coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds are accessing higher education for free. As professionals we call on you to assist in ensuring that such a nobble policy reaches the intended recipients.
Ever since the Nasrec ANC conference, we have a witnessed a mood of optimism that is very palpable. Our people now have a renewed sense of hope and faith in our movement's ability to create a better life for all in line with the objectives of the National Democratic
Revolution of bulding a truly non-racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
It is this positive mood that we believe signifies a New Dawn for us all and it has been largely embraced by society. People across the length and breadth of our country especially the poor and marginalized continue to look up to the ANC to successfully prosecute the struggle for their total emancipation from economic bondage and all forms of social ills that have bedevilled our society.
The last time we we met, I also reaffirmed the ANC's commitment to the fight against corruption because in its very nature, corruption takes away the resources intended to improve the quality of lives of the poor.
After the long period of hollowing out of state institutions dramatically reflected in the phenomenon of state capture, there is some progress we are making in addressing the difficult issues. The work has begun to fight corruption in our state institutions and in governement
We have started making right appointments in our parastatals. The commisson of inquiry into state capture as led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will soon enough provide us with all the naswers we need. Few days ago, as President of the Republic, I have also signed signed a broad range of proclamations authorising the Special Investigative Unit to investigate several matters at various levels of governance.
We are doing everything to arrest the scourge of corruption as this is cancer that we cannot allow to eat away the moral fibre of our society. For us to successfully defeat this scourge, we must also work together as South African and declare those who ae corrupt and continue to steal from the poor as enemies of the people.
Next year we will going through our national governemnt elections. These elections are already preempted to be the most contested in the history of our country. Most of the people who will vote next year will be under fourty years of age.
As ANC members we must not miss an opportunity to campaign among our peers for an overwhelming victory of our movement as it will be through such a victory that we will be able to implement our Nasrec conference resolutions in our governemnt.
Let us all put our social network accounts into great use and advance the course of the ANC. As members let us all speak in many voices
but one message regarding the achievements and the plans the ANC has for our country.
I thank you