'EWC' decision will be implemented with 'due care' - Ramaphosa

ANC President also takes some jabs at Jacob Zuma in his closing address to conference

Ramaphosa takes jabs at Zuma

Johannesburg - Newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa launched a thinly veiled attack on his predecessor Jacob Zuma during his maiden speech at the party's national conference on Thursday morning.

Ramaphosa went on the attack, alluding that under his administration, the ANC would not be a party of words but a party of action.

"Those who are deployed by our movement should always be a source of pride and not a source of embarrassment. They are deployed so that they can bring us closer to the national democratic society to which we aspire," he said.

He vowed to eradicate corruption.

Despite his distributed speech mentioning state capture, Ramaphosa failed to mention state capture by name, only saying that the conference dealt with difficulties brought by individuals through the exercise of influence and manipulation of governance.

This, he said, led to the weakening of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

"We are going to revamp our SOEs. Given all these challenges, we are called upon to act against corruption. We are also called upon to act against collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in both public sector, as well as the private sector."

On missing Zuma

Ramaphosa delivered his closing address in the wee hours of the morning, with a lot of empty chairs, especially from the area allocated to KwaZulu-Natal delegates who supported his rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Highlighting that the party had given its integrity commission teeth to make binding decisions, he said actions of comrades who are deployed to government should always be informed by the interests of its members and not by personal interests.

The party has given its integrity commission teeth, by ensuring its independence and making its decisions binding. In 2016, integrity commission chair and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni wrote to Zuma, asking him to resign. Zuma refused.

Earlier, the party reiterated a resolution that the ANC is a centre of power.

Analysts are predicting a tense relationship between Zuma as head of state, and Ramaphosa now heading the ANC at Luthuli House.

Quickly after his attack on Zuma, Ramaphosa then praised Zuma for his work on HIV/Aids and his story-telling skills.

He said he would miss Zuma during meetings, but also for bringing sweets.


Land expropriation decision will not harm economy - Ramaphosa

Johannesburg - The ANC's resolution to go ahead with expropriation of land without compensation will not undermine the economy, newly elected party president Cyril Ramaphosa promised.

Delivering his maiden speech on Thursday morning, Ramaphosa spoke strongly of the need to expropriate land without compensation, saying that the party would accelerate its programmes of land reform and rural development as part of the radical economic transformation (RET) programme.

He emphasised, however, that this needs to be done with care to avoid undermining the economy, agricultural production and food security.

"The ANC has always taken care to seek to manage the economy of our country in a way that will advance the interest of our people," he said.

Ramaphosa assured delegates that the newly elected national executive committee (NEC) will manage South Africa's economy with "due care".

The ruling party announced on Wednesday evening that its committee on economic transformation has agreed to amend the Constitution to enable land expropriation without compensation.

The NEC will be given the scope and time to exhaust all tests for sustainability of the policy, with no dates or targets having been set.

If successful, they will initiate proceedings to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, News24 reported earlier.

An analyst, who spoke to News24, said this was a desperate move by the ANC and that the Constitution was not an obstacle to land reform.

Analysts have also questioned how the economy will be affected by the sudden shift in the ANC, with some saying that consequences of the resolution may be seen as early as Thursday morning through the markets.

"If there is a matter that has caused a great deal of pain and hardship, and a result of poverty that we see in our nation today, it is the issue of land and education...," he said.