Newly elected president of the African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa, has vowed to tackle headlong the scourge of corruption plaguing South Africa.
Ramaphosa expressed in his maiden address as leader of the governing party the resolve to act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within the ranks of South Africa’s governing party.
“This conference has resolved that corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he told delegates at the end of the five-day conference.
He declared that the conference had approved the seizure of land without compensation, but with due precaution against undermining the economy and food security.
“We will accelerate our programme of land reform and rural development as part of our programme of radical socio economic transformation.
This Conference has resolved that the expropriation of land without compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution.
It has also resolved that in determining the mechanisms of implementation, we must ensure that we do not undermine the economy, agricultural production and food security,” he said.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the role of the media and promised to address the reported mishandling of members of the media during the conference:
“I wish to thank the media for having reported the proceedings of this Conference to our people and the broader global community. We register our concern about an incident at this Conference involving a journalist and security officials. We have sought a report on what happened and must look at how we ensure such incidents do not occur in the future”.
He also thanked his co-contestant for the position of leader of the party:
I wish to pay tribute to Comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who contested the position of President, for the manner in which she demonstrated commitment to our movement during the campaign.
The new leader expressed the appreciation of the party to his predecessor, President Jacob Zuma for his ‘vision’ in producing the country’s first national development plan and his intervention in combating the HIV epidemic in the country.
We cannot close this, the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, without paying tribute to you for your contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development,” he said to applause by Zuma and the delegates.
Mr Ramaphosa was elected on Monday to succeed President Jacob Zuma as party leader and is considered to be in good standing to become president of the country at the 2019 general elections.