African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has described President Jacob Zuma as the man of action in the ruling party's campaign to ensure a better life for all South Africans. He was addressing the party's cadre forum in the Moses Mabhida region in Pietermaritzburg last night. The visit was part of the ANC's activities in the build up to the January 8 rally in Durban tomorrow.
Ramaphosa was full of praises for President Zuma's leadership ahead of the party's 101th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Zuma will deliver the January 8 statement which will outline the party's programmes for the year. The statement is to also kick-off the ANC's 2014 election campaign. Ramaphosa says President Zuma will lead the party to an overwhelming victory in next year's election. But he says the work starts now with the branches. Ramaphosa says the ANC will work hard over the next ten years to ensure that the aspirations of all South Africans are achieved.
"This, comrades, is a decade of work. We are going to work hard to make sure that we achieve the aspirations of our people. Our people are tired of talk, they want action, and right now our Mr Action, Jacob Zuma is going to lead us to make sure that we have that action. We must also have our own action to build our organisation and to make the ANC a well-oiled machine."
To achieve this, the ANC Deputy President says one of the key issues will be to concentrate on developing the party members through continuous political education. He voiced his support for his predecessor Kgalema Motlanthe in his new position as the head of the party's political education programme. The decision to deploy him in the post was announced at the party's national elective conference last month. Ramaphosa says he knows Motlanthe's capabilities after working with him in the National Union of Mineworkers.
"What is pleasing is that comrade Kgalema Motlanthe is going to be heading political education. I worked with him in the NUM, he was heading our trade union education in the union and he did very well. We also want our cadres to get skills, they must also be well educated. They must also go through courses of leadership development so that in the end they must be able to ensure that the ANC leads the communities that we live in," says Ramaphosa.
The ANC will also have to strengthen its structures. The party's newly-elected National Executive Committee is to deliberate on the challenges facing the ANC Youth League. Ramaphosa says they want the Youth League not to be used by a few individuals who are advancing their own agendas.
"It must be the Youth League of the ANC and we must be proud of our youth league and know that they are working on the agenda of conscientising the young people of our country and developing them to the best citizens of our country. That is what we want."
The NEC is expected to hold its inaugural meeting today where it will among other things finalise the January 8 statement to be delivered by President Zuma on Saturday. Officials are also expected to elect members to the powerful National Working Committee and the National Disciplinary Committee. - Additional reporting by Sapa.