South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Media Statement

Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC Siyanqoba Rally

Leadership of the African National Congress,

Representatives of the ANC Veteran’s League, Women’s League and Youth League,

Representatives of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Liberation War Veterans,

Veterans and Stalwarts of our Movement,

Leadership of the SACP, COSATU and SANCO,

Representatives of other liberation movements on the African continent and fraternal parties from across the world,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Leaders from the Religious Sector,

Traditional Leaders,

Comrades and Friends,

People of South Africa,

We are gathered here today, in our thousands, carrying with us the hopes and aspirations of millions more across the length and breadth of our country, to declare that, together, we will do more and we will do better!

We come together in the spirit of peace and humility on the eve of one of the most important elections in our country’s history.

We gather in our numbers to demonstrate the strength of the African National Congress’s commitment to continue serving the people of South Africa.

On Wednesday, the 29th of May, the people of South Africa will decide whether our country continues moving forward with the ANC towards a better, brighter future, or backwards to a terrible past.

As we gather here in Soweto, we draw inspiration from the lives and struggles, the creativity and determination of so many extraordinary leaders who lived in this city.

We think of James Sofasonke Mpanza, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Lilian Ngoyi, Andrew and June Mlangeni, Desmond and Leah Tutu, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Amina Cachalia, Helen Joseph, Ahmed Kathrada, Ellen Kuzwayo and Laloo Chiba.

We think of many legends in various areas of our lives as South Africans such as Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza, Lucas Radebe, Doctor Khumalo, Gerard Sekoto, Abigail Kubeka, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Mara Louw, Lillian Dube, Sam Motsuenyane and Richard and Marina Maponya.

We think of Hector Pieterson and the brave and militant generation of 1976.

At the beginning of this year, we called on every ANC leader, member and supporter to go to every farm, village and township, every town, city and suburb to account to the people of our country, so that we could listen to the views and concerns of our people and to spread our message of hope and renewal.

We said we would work for a decisive mandate to continue the transformation of our country, to create work and opportunity, to end poverty and hunger, and to ensure that all South Africans can live in peace and safety.

Over the course of this campaign, the ANC’s activists, volunteers and leaders have listened to South Africans, young and old, men and women, rural and urban, professionals, workers, farmers, students, employed and unemployed. We have heard them. We have heard them loudly and clearly.

I want to take this moment to thank ANC leaders at national, provincial and regional level, including former leaders such as President Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, Baleka Mbete, David Mabuza, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Mathews Phosa and many others who joined in the campaign to ensure an ANC victory.

I also thank the leaders and members of the ANC Women’s League, ANC Youth League, ANC Veterans League and the uMkhonto we Sizwe Liberation War Veterans.

I also thank the leaders and members of our Alliance partners – COSATU and its affiliated unions, SACP and SANCO.

But most of all I wish to thank our dedicated, committed and courageous volunteers who, in their hundreds of thousands, campaigned day and night to take the ANC campaign to a higher level.

We have listened and understood their desire for a better future for themselves, their families and communities.

We have seen a massive outpouring of support for the ANC across the country.

People everywhere have reminded us of how we have walked together over the last thirty years to build a new South Africa.

They have told us over and over that our country has come a long way. We have made incredible strides and achieved so much together.

They have also told us that our journey towards creating the South Africa we all want and deserve is far from over.

As we continue our journey, as we prepare to carry out the people’s mandate, the ANC will focus on six priorities to take our country forward.

Over the next five years, working with all South Africans, we will implement a jobs plan to put more South Africans to work. We will build our industries and invest in an inclusive economy.

We will tackle the high cost of living.

We will invest in our people and provide the services they need.

We will defend our democracy and advance the freedom we fought so hard for.

We will continue to build a better Africa and a better world for all our children to grow up in.

We have a plan to get more South Africans working.

Throughout this campaign, in homes, in workplaces and in streets, in villages, townships and suburbs we have met mothers and fathers, grandparents and young people. So many told us of their struggles to find work and to provide for their families with dignity and pride.

Many told us how grateful they were for the social grants that support their children and the R350 that puts bread on the table in times of extreme hardship.

But they also spoke to us about their yearning to work to contribute to building their families, communities and the country as a whole.

It was particularly painful to meet young people who are struggling to find employment. I was extremely touched by their determination to carry on even after being disappointed time and again.

Our jobs plan aims to address their needs.

For these young people, and for the many unemployed people in the country, we will create and sustain work opportunities delivering public goods and services in communities.

Building on the great progress of our public and social employment programmes, the ANC will provide work opportunities in public works, cleaning and greening programmes, fire-fighting, early childhood development, and as teacher assistants.

To create quality jobs, we will build local industry.

We will support and protect those industries that employ many people by creating a conducive environment for businesses to invest.

These include industries like mining, agriculture, tourism, clothing, food and beverages, and steel. We will also support new industries like new energy vehicles, renewable energy and information and technology.

We will undertake a balanced just transition to a cleaner, greener future that will lead to new jobs and make our exports more competitive.

We cannot continue to export all our raw materials like minerals, timber and agricultural produce so we create jobs in other countries. We will build local manufacturing around our natural resources to create jobs here for South Africans.

As part of the work we must do to make our economy more inclusive and more dynamic, we will expand our black industrialist programme.

Throughout the country we met community members, business people and industrialists who stressed how important it is for economic recovery that we repair our railways and end load shedding.

We will complete the excellent work that has already been done to tackle the electricity crisis.

We have seen how Eskom’s power stations are being better maintained and breaking down less often.

We have opened the doors to much more investment in electricity generation, especially in solar and wind power.

Building on the progress already made, we will continue to work with business, labour and other social partners to make our ports more efficient and our rail lines more reliable.

We will continue to transform the structure our financial sector so that it provides affordable credit, invests in industrialisation, infrastructure and job creation, facilitates financial inclusion and prioritises domestic investment.

On the campaign trail we met hundreds of South Africans who have started small businesses so they can feed their families and lead productive lives.

Many told us of their dreams to invest and grow these businesses. They spoke of the battles they face to get affordable loans so they can buy machinery, expand their business premises and have their own transport for their products.

Others complained of the difficulty they have finding markets for their goods and services.

To help these South Africans, we will encourage empowerment, employment, entrepreneurship and training through set-asides in the public and private sectors.

We will increase support for small enterprises, entrepreneurs and co-operatives, especially in townships and villages through our public procurement programmes.

We will provide support to businesses owned by women, young people and persons with disabilities.

As we work to make our economy more inclusive, it is deeply disturbing that some parties want to scrap Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. In one particular province, I heard from many African, Coloured and Indian business people how they are effectively shut out of access to contracts to provide any public or private service.

The ANC will continue to promote and monitor employment equity to ensure that black people, women and persons with disabilities are represented in all parts of the economy, in all industries, in all professions and in all institutions.

We will continue to work with our liberation war veterans to better their lives and enable them to defend the gains of the democracy for which they fought.

In many rural communities we visited, we met men and women who want to farm and who asked the ANC to help them get land. In many rural and peri-urban communities, we met farmers who have been given land who now want to grow and to enter new markets.

New land owners who have received land through restitution have used their land to build livelihoods for their children, and communities have encouraged us to do more for those who have been waiting for years for their land claims to be resolved

In the next five years we will accelerate land reform and redistribution. We will increase support to small farmers in the form of seed, tractors, irrigation and fencing. We will protect security of tenure to boost food security and agricultural production, and build sustainable livelihoods for our people.

Access to water remains a major problem in many rural areas we visited. Over the next five years the ANC government will continue to expand and speed up major projects to ensure that more and more rural areas have a reliable water supply.

This work is already underway. It includes the rehabilitation of the Hazelmere Dam in eThekwini, the Tugela-Goedertrouw Dam near Eshowe, as well as the upgrading of the Tsomo Water Treatment Plant in the Chris Hani District in the Eastern Cape.

The Highlandspan Water Supply Project in the Greater Taung Municipality in the North West has been completed and is already supplying fresh water and addressing water challenges in the area.

Here in Gauteng, national and provincial government is working with local government to fast-track interventions at the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Works in Hammanskraal, for completion by the end of this year.

While we have worked together over the last 30 years to lift millions of people out of absolute poverty, the rising cost of food and transport is taking a great toll on many households.

That is why we are taking further steps to make everyday life more affordable for workers, the unemployed and the middle class. We are addressing needs like food, housing, healthcare, electricity and wages.

We will prioritise food security, including VAT exemption on essential items, support community and home gardens, and take action against price fixing.

We will expand subsidised basic services like electricity, water and houses for the poor through the indigent programme in our municipalities.

The ANC will staunchly defend the National Minimum Wage, ensure that it continues to increase in line with inflation, and work to ensure that all employers comply with it.

In these times of hardship, it is outrageous that some parties plan to scrap the national minimum wage if they get elected. This is an attack on workers and on our efforts to build a fairer society.

These are the same reactionary forces that see nothing wrong in paying slave wages to illegal migrants while depriving law-abiding workers of the right to a living wage.

As we grow the economy and create jobs, we will continue to provide support and protection to those most vulnerable in society.

We will maintain the existing social grants, which have been so important in reducing poverty and providing poor children with opportunities.

At the same time, we will progressively implement a basic income support grant for unemployed people based on the SRD grant.

With so many people still unemployed, we must continue to provide income support to those who need it most.

We will continue investing in South Africa’s people by improving access to quality education and health, expanding the use of science and technology, and ensuring all people have decent housing and basic services.

We will continue to work together to ensure South Africans live long and healthy lives and that all people, regardless of their income, receive quality health care.

We will implement the National Health Insurance, which will provide health care in both the public and private sectors that is free for all at the point of care.

The NHI will be implemented in phases to ensure that it is affordable, sustainable and directs resources to where they are most needed.

It is unacceptable that some privileged members of our society want us to continue with a deeply uneven health care system that deprives the poor and vulnerable of the right to equal access to quality health care.

It is equally wrong for them to claim that the NHI will mean the end of private health care.

The NHI will harness the strengths of both the private and public health sectors to build a single, quality health system for all.

We will give every child the best start in life by introducing two years of compulsory early childhood development and ensuring proper resourcing and support to ECD facilities.

The investment in early childhood development will support further measures in the foundational phase to enhance reading with meaning and improving numeracy.

To prepare young people for the economy of the future, we will increase enrolment in maths and science, expand coding, robotics and technology education, and expand technical and vocational training.

We will continue the work we have already done to further reduce the cost of data to enable training of the young and old to develop and operate new technologies.

To ensure all South Africans have decent shelter, we will increase the availability of serviced sites as we continue to build RDP houses. At the same time, we will continue to upgrade informal settlements and provide them with basic services.

Throughout the country, we visited areas where residents expressed deep disappointment in the performance of local government.

We heard complaints about water and sewerage pipes not being maintained. I saw illegal dumping and heard about refuse not being collected regularly.

Residents spoke to me about broken meter boxes and cable theft that deprived them of electricity. Many complained about high municipal bills and uneven implementation of the indigent system and the free services it is supposed to offer.

That is why where municipalities are unable to deliver basic services like clean water, national and provincial governments will be able to step in to ensure that people get what they need.

I was very touched last week when I met a pensioner who told me she has not forgotten what it was like to live under apartheid and her bitter memories of being a second class citizen. She urged me to make sure vulnerable people never again experience discrimination and prejudice.

Over the next five years the ANC will continue to promote and defend the rights of all South Africans against racism, sexism, gender-based violence, homophobia, discrimination and other intolerances.

We will remain resolute in advancing the rights and dignity of children, older persons, persons with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, and the youth.

We will continue the fight for women’s emancipation and a truly non-sexist society.

We will strengthen the role of families in supporting both young and older citizens, with special attention to their responsibilities in raising their children.

We will strengthen the quality of services provided for older persons, including community based and residential care facilities, and afford them the necessary consideration and respect by society.

During the course of this campaign, we met many communities and individuals who shared painful experiences about crime and the toll it takes on their lives and on the well-being of our society.

The pandemic of gender-based violence shows no sign of reducing despite important work that has been done by the police, prosecuting authorities, civil society and gender activists, some men continue to abuse women and children.

Yesterday, I signed into law an Act that facilitates the establishment of a National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. This statutory body will coordinate and provide strategic leadership to the fight against GBV and femicide.

The National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence was developed, together with civil society, as a society-wide response to this national emergency.

We will use the new laws that we have introduced to better protect women at risk of domestic abuse, impose harsher sentences on perpetrators and make it harder for people arrested for violence against women to get bail.

As a society, we must continue to work together to end violence against women.

Together, we will take the necessary steps to ramp up the war on gender-based violence and crime and make our communities safe.

We will strengthen the police, the courts, the NPA and other bodies that fight crime.

As part of this, we have set up specialised teams to tackle infrastructure theft, illegal mining and the construction mafia.

We will continue our drive to recruit and train more police personnel.

Just as we stood together to end state capture, we must now work together to end all forms of corruption.

Corruption is a crime against the people. As a people’s movement we will continue to fight corruption. We will ensure there is accountability and consequences.

The money stolen through state capture is being recovered and used for the benefit of its legitimate owners, the people of South Africa, while those who stole the money are being prosecuted and sent to jail.

Yesterday, I signed into law of the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill, which will establish an Investigating Directorate against Corruption as a permanent entity within the NPA.

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate has already charged over 200 persons accused of state capture. The SIU Special Tribunal has issued orders freezing R14 billion of assets suspected to come from state capture. Almost R9 billion in proceeds of corruption have been returned to the state.

Treasonous attempts to destroy the South African Revenue Service have been stopped. SARS is now setting new records for collecting revenue that will allow the state to spend even more money on delivering services to the people. SARS has also collected R4.8 billion from matters related to state capture.

The ANC will continue to root out corruption through a social compact between government, labour, business and communities to encourage public awareness, reporting and protection of whistle blowers.

The people have told us that the ANC is their organisation. They have told us that they love the ANC. They have told us that they will not allow their organisation to be stolen by criminals and counter-revolutionaries.

The ANC is committed to developing and, where necessary, correcting its members and leaders.

However, as renewal gains momentum those whose conduct is in conflict with our values and principles – the criminals, the corrupt, the careerists and factionalists, and those who actively work against the organisation – will find themselves outside the ANC.

There will be no compromise on organisational renewal.

There will be no compromise on fundamental matters of organisational discipline and integrity.

As a country, South Africa will continue to fight for peace, development and justice across the world.

This is important not only because the world stood up for us in the fight against apartheid, but because a peaceful Africa and world is good for South Africa.

The ANC shares the horror that the vast majority of South Africans feel when they see the death, destruction, starvation and genocide being unleashed on the Palestinian people by Apartheid Israel.

There must an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The hostages held in Gaza must be released. The people of Gaza must receive all the food, fuel and other essential goods they need to prevent mass starvation.

Yesterday, the International Court of Justice ruled on an application made by South Africa that Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in Rafah. The court also ruled that Israel must enable the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance through crossing points and in particular the Rafah crossing.

We must continue to exert pressure to end the genocide. South Africa recently hosted the launch of the global Anti-Apartheid Israel movement in Johannesburg, which agreed on several measures to keep up pressure.

Our sporting fraternity is discussing the call for Apartheid Israel to be out of international sports under the battle cry: ‘No Normal Sport with an Abnormal Society’.

Here on our continent, we will continue to work for peace and development.

The African Continental Free Trade Area will make it much easier to trade goods between African countries. This will open up opportunities for South African companies to sell their goods to more than 1.2 billion people.

It will help us to expand our factories and create more jobs.

The journey to build a democratic and transformed South Africa must continue.

Working together, we will continue to use the Constitution to correct the injustices of the past, because everyone has a right to housing, health care, food, water, social security, safety and education.

In the words of our Constitution we say:

We, the people of South Africa,

Recognise the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

We will not allow parties who yearn for the apartheid past to undermine the Constitution to protect the privileges of a few.

We will not allow those who burn the flag of the democratic South Africa to reverse the achievements of our democracy.

We will not let them take away hard-won workers’ rights, the National Minimum Wage and other social safety measures for poor and working class people.

Together, we will oppose all those in our country who want to undermine our Constitution and destroy our democratic institutions.

We will not give in to those who want to divide our nation, incite violence and undermine our collective quest to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Some of these parties pretend to be more radical than the ANC, but their revolutionary-sounding rhetoric cannot hide the reality that they have common cause with the forces opposing transformation.

The shared goal of all these forces is to deprive the ANC of the ability to use state power to effect change.

We call on all ANC members, leaders and supporters to abide by the Electoral Code of Conduct, and to demonstrate tolerance and respect for all parties and candidates contesting the elections on Wednesday, the 29th of May.

We do so, not only because it is legally expected of us, but because of our principled commitment to free, fair and peaceful elections in a multi-party democracy.

We will take disciplinary action against any ANC member who contravenes the Electoral Code of Conduct.

The ANC, its Alliance partners COSATU, SACP and SANCO, and the broad progressive movement remains the only reliable force capable of uniting and working with various social forces.

Only the ANC can bring together workers, women, youth, professionals, intellectuals, business, middle-strata, traditional leaders, faith-based organisations, cultural activists and creatives to build a better South Africa.

The onslaught against transformation should make us more determined to succeed in building a better life for all and more deliberate and resolute about the renewal of the ANC, the broad democratic forces and our society.

It is only the ANC, working with the people of South Africa, that can build a better life for all.

And so we are asking that on the 29th of May, you vote for the democratic renewal, national rejuvenation and socio-economic transformation agenda to continue.

We are asking you to make a clear choice for unity and progress and to reject the social and political forces that are working hard to undermine the gains of freedom made over the last three decades.

We are asking you to choose the African National Congress and the broad progressive movement as the only reliable force that can continue our journey of transformation, freedom and democracy.

We are asking you on the 29th of May to vote ANC.

As we said at the start of this campaign:

We’ve achieved the impossible together.

Our biggest victories we’ve won together.

Our deepest sorrows we’ve felt together.

Our biggest strides, we’ve made together.

The biggest odds, we’ve defied together.

And so today we can say with certainty:
We will do better, we will do more, and we will do it faster. Together.

To all the ANC Comrades who are here today at this rally I say that the battle is not yet over.

While we salute you for turning out in your tens of thousands to fill this stadium, the real test is not today.

The real test will be on Wednesday the 29th of May.

On that day we are asking you, each and every one of you, to go out door to door and remind our supporters to go to the voting stations early.

We are asking you to remind voters that they must vote at the voting station where they are registered unless they have informed the IEC that they will vote at another voting station.

We are asking you to help transport the elderly and the sick who have not made special votes to the voting stations.

We are asking our party agents to remain tirelessly at their posts to ensure our election is free and fair.

We are asking you everywhere you go to spread one message and one message only:

First ballot Paper: Vote ANC

Second Ballot Paper: Vote ANC

Third Ballot paper: vote ANC




Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri


Martina Della Togna
082 355 3645

Mothusi Shupinyane Ka Ndaba
084 498 0105

Bonnie Ramaila
072 573 7583