‘We’ve Heard Our People’, Says Ramaphosa During The ANC Siyanqoba Rally

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the governing party has listened to ordinary South Africans’ issues and will deliver on the mandate after securing a decisive vote on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa spoke over the weekend at the ANC’s Siyanqoba rally at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, Gauteng. This was the ANC leader’s final pre-election campaign rally before the country’s hotly contested elections since democratic rule in 1994. 

Ahead of the May 29 polls, various surveys have indicated that the ANC will likely lose its majority and score between 40 and 43 percent—a scenario that would throw South Africa into the uncharted waters of a coalition government. 

He thanked ANC former leaders who boosted the campaign, especially following scathing criticism previously dished out by former President Thabo Mbeki, former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, and former Treasurer-General Mathew Phosa.

The ANC’s prominent figures, such as Mbeki, Motlanthe, Phosa, former Gauteng Premier Tokyo Sexwale, former National Chairperson Baleka Mbete, and former Deputy President David Mabuza, embarked on a door-to-door campaign, asking South Africans to give the ANC another chance.

“Over the course of this campaign, we went through the length and breadth of the country, and we listened. We gave ourselves time to listen to our people and hear what they were saying to us. The ANC activists and volunteers did touch a number of people and we can say we heard, and we heard clearly.

“I also want to thank our former leaders who joined the campaign to ensure an ANC victory. We are the only ones who have a galaxy of leaders. The others have no leaders to talk about. It’s only the ANC that has leaders who have served the nation. We are proud of them,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the ANC’s leagues, including the Youth League, Women’s League, and Veterans League, also played a massive role in winning the people’s hearts.

Taking a swipe at former President Jacob Zuma’s newly formed uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, he mentioned the involvement of the MK liberation war veterans.

“We want to thank the MK liberation war veterans: the genuine MK, not this fake one. I also thank the leaders of our alliance partners, who pulled out all stops to bring out the workers and shop stewards to go through the length and breadth of the country campaigning.

“I also want to thank our traditional leaders for opening spaces for the African National Congress to come and campaign in your areas. We are grateful for allowing us to speak to our people. We have listened to and understood the desire of our people for a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. We have seen a massive outpouring of support from across the country. Our people have reminded us how we walked this journey together over the past 30 years to build South Africa,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the support demonstrated proved that the ANC remained South Africa’s darling to the voters.

“It’s as if you could touch the support with your hands. Whether others like it or don’t, the ANC is loved in South Africa. It is for that reason that the ANC is going to emerge victorious. As we went around the country, our people told us over and over that our country has come a long way. We have made incredible progress and achieved much together,” he said.

According to Ramaphosa, the ANC will focus on six priorities in the next five years if re–elected. 

  • Implement a jobs plan to create employment
  • Build industries and invest in an inclusive economy
  • Tackle high costs of living
  • Invest in people via services
  • Defend democracy and advance freedom
  • Build a better Africa and world for future generations

Ramaphosa said: “We have a plan to get more South Africans to work. Throughout this campaign, in the homes of our people, in the streets of our towns, townships and villages, we have met mothers and fathers, grandparents and young people. So many of them told us of their struggles to find work and provide for their families so they can live in dignity and pride.

“Many told us how grateful they were for the social grants that support their children so that they can put bread on their tables. But they also spoke to us about their yearning to work. It was particularly clear to us that young people are struggling to find employment. I was extremely touched by the determination of young people to carry on even after being disappointed time and again with regard to finding work. Our jobs plan aims to address these needs.”

Ramaphosa addressed the thorny issue of adults above 35 failing to gain employment in government jobs schemes. He said the age limit would be lifted to include older people.



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