President Jacob Zuma was speaking at the opening of the ANC's elective conference in Bloemfontein. (SABC)
President Jacob Zuma has urged ANC delegates at the party's elective conference to focus on the issue of tender fraud in government. Zuma was giving his political report at the opening of the party’s 53rd elective conference in Bloemfontein, today.
He told thousands of delegates that while the government has established various agencies to combat corruption, the tender system remains an area which is open to abuse.
"You must take a clear decision. You know, if there are allegations hurled at the government or the ANC, it is on this issue, this issue of tenders. It is turning people we have known into something else."
Zuma also hit out at some Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders for openly criticizing government and its service delivery track record.
Cosatu's Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi and his Numsa counterpart Irvin Jim have been critical of President Zuma's leadership and the implementation of some socio-economic policies. President Zuma says public spats have the potential to polarise the ANC led tripartite alliance.
'Let us save our rhino population from these ruthless poachers and criminals."
Save our Rhino's
In his 90-minute address, Zuma also urged South Africans to help curb the poaching of rhinos in the country. He praised numerous law enforcement agencies for their swift reaction in arresting 257 poachers.
Zuma says the SA National Defence Force is patrolling the 350 kilometres of national borders within the Kruger National Park and beyond it. He says the loss of over 600 rhinos to poaching this year, is an outrage that must stop.
"We urge the communities living near borders and nature reserves to assist the campaign against rhino poaching. Let us save our rhino population from these ruthless poachers and criminals."
President Zuma also warned that negative lobbying for positions in the ANC is damaging the integrity of the ruling party. Public spats, factionalism and political killings have been common in the run up to the conference, which will elect the new leadership. Zuma urged delegates to deal with these challenges.
At the moment the conference has adjourned for recess.
Keywords from his speech below: