There's no going back – Ramaphosa on scrapping of step aside rule

29 July 2022 - 15:34
By Nomazima Nkosi
President Cyril Ramaphosa will be attending the 9th provincial elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi. President Cyril Ramaphosa will be attending the 9th provincial elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a swipe at those calling for the party's step aside resolution to be scrapped.

Delivering the keynote address at the ANC policy conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg, on Friday, Ramaphosa told delegates there was no turning back from the resolutions to deal with corruption taken at the party’s 54th national conference.

One of the renewal measures of the party is the step aside rule, which is facing a growing revolt as several provinces want it scrapped.

The rule forbids party members who are criminally charged from holding leadership positions.

Provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal have called for the rule to be scrapped.

Ramaphosa said the ANC could not renege on its 54th conference resolutions.

“This requires among others that we fully implement our 54th conference resolutions. On this, there can be no going back and there can be no compromise. We cannot abandon our principle positions, for instance on issues such as corruption in pursuit of a false unity. We must be united around our values and mission.

“We must be united against corruption, patronage and against factionalism. The people of South Africa will not forgive us if we abandon the correct position we’ve taken on confronting wrongdoing in our own ranks,” Ramaphosa said.

“The most significant development in the fight against corruption was the establishment of the [Zondo] commission [of inquiry into state capture] which the 54th national conference supported. The commission finalised its findings and the government has embarked on a process to consider all the commission findings and recommendations.

“As the ANC, we’ve consistently maintained the commission is a necessary part of the broader social effort to end all forms of corruption and state capture; therefore we’re engaging as the ANC on the findings and recommendations of the commission to determine how these can help to ensure that we enhance the process of fundamental renewal and rebuilding in our movement.

“We must ensure we use the work of the commission to make a decisive break with the era of state capture and that we adopt a comprehensive set of actions to prevent corruption and state capture.”

Ramaphosa said the ANC was a divided movement, adding that the divisions were not driven by policies of ideologies.

“Divisions are driven by the competition for positions, by the competitions and contestation of structures and the pursuit of access to public resources and patronage as well.

“These divisions manifest themselves in gatekeeping and even in vote buying and the manipulation of organisational processes. These divisions are manifested through all these challenges that continue to debilitate the organisation from serving the people effectively.

“These divisions are felt beyond our structures and we see the impact of divisions through our alliance partners and we see how these divisions have weakened governance and undermined public institutions and hampered maintenance of infrastructure services,” Ramaphosa said.

About 2,000 delegates are attending the policy conference.

PODCAST | Step-aside issue set to dominate policy conference and influence ANC leadership