‘Nearly cancelled’ due to poor support, ANC gala dinner proceeds with empty spots at Ramaphosa’s table

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'Nearly cancelled' due to poor support, ANC gala dinner proceeds with empty spots at Ramaphosa's table
'Nearly cancelled' due to poor support, ANC gala dinner proceeds with empty spots at Ramaphosa's table

Africa-Press – South-Africa. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa focused on what the party achieved since its 2017 policy conference when he addressed a smaller than usual crowd of business elite at the party’s gala dinner on Wednesday.

He said ANC delegates should focus on growing the economy and creating jobs, which the party had not been able to tackle.

Previously, ANC gala dinners attracted businesspeople who sought to mingle with the political elite and influence policy approaches in the party’s elective year.

This time, most of the audience members were from the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) and leadership.

“The dinner was nearly cancelled” when organisers battled to get responses, Mashatile said, adding that he gave them an opportunity to try again.

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Ramaphosa spoke extensively about the need for the ANC to focus on corruption, health, education and poverty.

“This conference must grapple with the challenges of the present moment and must also develop policy proposals on how the ANC can advance the transformation of our society. Our branches have considered these policy proposals.

“The most pressing task is to grow our economy and create jobs. That is our most important priority. Linked to this is the strengthening of our organisation,” Ramaphosa added.

He outlined previous points on what the government had done to improve Eskom’s performance to ensure decreased pressure on the economy.

Ramaphosa also painted an optimistic picture of the ANC’s efforts to tackle state capture and corruption, saying that the party was attempting to restore itself as an agent of change in society.

The ANC leader did not speak about the resistance the policy conference would face on its renewal agenda.

ANC provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, will propose the scrapping of the party’s step-aside rule, which formed part of the tools to distance the party from corrupt members. Those who are against it, believe it has been implemented unfairly.

The policy conference starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

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