Ramaphosa accuses opposition parties of stealing ANC's ideas

Sisanda Mbolekwa Politics reporter
ANC supporters wait for President Cyril Ramaphosa to arrive during an election rally.
ANC supporters wait for President Cyril Ramaphosa to arrive during an election rally.
Image: Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has accused opposition parties of stealing ideas from the governing party.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an ANC mini rally in Bokamoso near Rustenburg in North West on Tuesday.

“All these others say 'nywee nywee' [blah blah], making promises, competing with the ANC. They've stolen our manifesto in the middle of the night only to copy it in the dark. There's nothing they have done, niks [nothing].

“Opposition parties roaming in your midst, you must ask them what have they done? What can they show us? We see none of their efforts. 

“It is the ANC that has a proven track record of work done. Yes, we have made mistakes, I don't want to lie to you. The truth is important as leaders. Here and there, we have made blunders. We have struggled to get to where we wanted to get to. But the ANC has worked for this nation, whether they like it or not. That is the truth and can't be erased.”

He rejected projections that his party may lose its majority in parliament in the May 29 elections. 

“There are many who have been saying the ANC is going to dip below 50%, they are going to see flames. Even these small parties that are mushrooming will be embarrassed, they will hide with their tail between their legs.”

He reminded supporters of ANC victories from 1994, hailing former president Nelson Mandela as having championed the fruits of democracy that South Africans enjoy today.

“When we got into office, when former president Nelson Mandela got into office, he found black pensioners were not getting the same grant as white pensioners. He changed that and made sure all pensions are equal. Today, our people get equal pension, R2,100 every month and not once every three months.

“He found our children all over the place, not attending schools. He ensured it is compulsory for our children to attend basic schooling and not pay a cent. He ensured children receive one meal a day at school. Today, more than nine-million children are fed by the ANC-led government.

“We also build houses for our people as the government.

“I travel a lot, across Africa and other places, Latin America and Asia. Wherever I go, I ask whether they build houses for citizens and whether they hand them over for free — the response is only South Africa does that. No other state builds houses like we do. Yes, there are informal settlements and shacks and people want more houses — that is the truth.

“But the government of the ANC is addressing housing.”

Ramaphosa acknowledged the outcry over rising unemployment.

“Our people are not in work and are hustling in different ways. They need the ANC government's support to create jobs.

“When we entered government, we found only eight-million people in employment. Today, we have more than 16-million people in employment, which means we have created jobs and we will still create more, for young and old.

“We are going to focus more on jobs. The first thing we will do is fix our economy. Up to 75% of our economy is owned by the private sector, they are the ones who are able to open firms, enter into mining and so on. They are able to mobilise funding and investment for South Africa. As government we are creating an environment in which they can come and invest. We want jobs to be created and 70% — 75% of those are created by the private sector.”

Despite acknowledging the impact the private sector has on job creation, he admitted government also has a role to play.

“We will do this by ensuring programmes of building jobs are available, such as the EPWP. We will increase this to reach more people. We will also train people with skills and education to match the needs of the economy. We will use R15bn to train them, young and old, so our people can have the knowledge to exist in our economy.”


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.