South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Closing remarks by ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Special National Executive Committee

National Chairperson, Cde Gwede Mantashe,

Officials of the African National Congress

Members of the National Executive Committee,


We have reached the conclusion of this special meeting of the National Executive Committee, where we reflected on the outcomes of the 2024 elections and the immediate tasks of our movement.

Before I share with you the outcome of our deliberations allow me to take this opportunity to express the condolences of the National Executive Committee to families who have lost loved ones during the recent extreme weather events in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

We remain deeply concerned about the genocide taking place in Gaza, where atrocities against civilians continue to cause great hardship and loss of life. We condemn the recent bombing of a school in a refugee centre and facilities housing displaced people. We call on the international community to act now to end the genocide that is being perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

This NEC meeting has just concluded a full day of discussion on the election outcomes and the way ahead. We have recognised that the people of South Africa have made their wishes known in free and fair elections.

We accept the outcome of these elections as the will of the people of South Africa. The ANC has emerged from these elections as the largest political party in the country. We are humbled by the confidence that the people of South Africa have shown in the ANC. We now say as the NEC, that we have heard their concerns, frustrations and aspirations.

The 40 percent vote for the ANC is a recognition that the ANC remains pivotal in the country’s search for a way forward, and that there can be no solution without the ANC. That places a responsibility on the ANC to ensure that there is unity, stability, peace and progress in South Africa.

During the course of the discussion, we have looked at several different scenarios for setting up government, as the ANC cannot set up government without cooperating with others. The discussions have been constructive and thoroughgoing, and have enabled us to emerge with a unified consensus position.

This NEC meeting has provided clear direction on the work we must do over the next few days and weeks to establish national and provincial governments that are stable, effective and advance the interests of the South African people as a whole.

The ANC acknowledges that we are at a moment of fundamental consequence in the life of our nation. Our country requires extraordinary leadership and courage to plot a way forward.

We must act with speed to safeguard national unity, peace, stability, inclusive economic growth, non-racialism and non-sexism.

We will ensure the continuation of a progressive agenda of social and economic transformation in our country.

We have therefore agreed that we will invite political parties to form a Government of National Unity as the best option to move our country forward. The modalities of the Government of National Unity will take into account the conditions prevailing at this moment in our country’s history.

The purpose of this Government of National Unity must be first and foremost to tackle the pressing issues that South Africans want to be addressed.

These issues include job creation and inclusive economic growth, the high cost of living, service delivery, crime and corruption. The NEC has agreed that this moment calls for the broadest unity of the people of South Africa. This moment also calls for multi-party cooperation and multi-stakeholder collaboration if we are to overcome the severe challenges that confront our country.

From the results of these elections, it is clear that South Africans expect their leaders to work together to meet their needs. They expect us to find common ground, to overcome our differences, and to act and work together for the good of everyone.

We are committed to ensuring that a Government of National Unity has the means and the ability to build an inclusive economy, create jobs, end corruption, tackle crime and improve the provision of services.

In establishing a Government of National Unity, we would be building on a rich history of cooperation across divides of politics and ideology.

We would be drawing on an experience with which South Africans are familiar, and which served our country well at a time of great difficulty and division.

Thirty years after the achievement of democracy in 1994, we are once again called upon as political parties to come together to forge a common future for our country. But it is not only political parties that need to come together.

We believe that there is a need for a National Dialogue, which brings together all parties, all social partners and all sections of society to seek consensus on the actions required to take the country forward.

Such a National Dialogue will enhance our pressing task of rebuilding social cohesion in a fractured society following a particularly toxic and divisive election campaign. With regard to the practicalities of the way forward, the NEC has benefited from a report on the preliminary engagements our task team has had with various political parties.

We have already held constructive discussions with the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, National Freedom Party and Patriotic Alliance. We have also engaged with our Alliance partners to brief them on the process and will continue to seek their invaluable views and guidance.

The ANC has entered these discussions with an open mind and a commitment to speak to all parties that have a stated intention to advance the interests of the people. As the NEC, we have already agreed, in April 2023, on certain principles that should guide our approach to collaborating with other parties in coalitions.

These principles are based on advancing the building of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous nation.

We further said that any such agreement must be based on a common minimum programme that focuses on measurable targets for economic growth and inclusion, service delivery and development.

All partners must commit to shared values, nation-building and social cohesion. These values include respect for the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the rule of law, social justice and equity, human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism.

These values also include stability, accountability, transparency, integrity, community participation and good governance.

Agreements between parties should be in writing. They should be public, transparent and include measures for holding parties accountable.

Our approach to how provincial governments are formed where we do not have an outright majority will be guided by these same principles.

The ANC notes that we have ideological and political differences with several parties in our political landscape. However, we will not preclude the possibility of working with any party so long as it is in the public interest and it is keeping with the principles that I have articulated.

Guided by these principles, understanding the needs of the country, and appreciating the expressed will of the people, this NEC has agreed to seek agreement among parties on the formation of a Government of National Unity.

This NEC has therefore mandated our negotiating task team to proceed to engage parties on this proposal.

They will also reach out to a broader range of parties to enrich the process and promote inclusiveness. We have directed the task team, under the guidance of the National Officials and National Working Committee, to develop in greater detail the modalities, principles and governance framework to guide all the parties to the Government of National Unity to ensure that it is coherent and effective and serves the people of South Africa.

We have agreed as this NEC that it is both necessary and strategic that we act in a manner that seeks to unite the broadest range of social forces and isolate those that seek to cause chaos, instability and division.

As the ANC, we will be reaching out to formations across society to build a shared programme for social and economic change. In the coming days, we will be convening meetings of ANC structures to discuss the conduct and outcomes of the election, the immediate priorities and the way forward.

As the election results emerged last week, there was a measure of fear that the outcomes would lead to fragmentation and instability.

Following election campaigns that tended towards polarisation, there was a measure of fear that South Africans would not be able to work together.

There was a fear that the transformation of our society would be disrupted and that our efforts to rebuild the economy would be derailed.

Yet, as this NEC has determined, the outcome of this election presents an opportunity to forge a more inclusive, more cooperative approach to governance.

It presents an opportunity to bring political parties and social partners together to address

the challenges that concern South Africans.

A Government of National Unity is the most viable, most effective and most powerful way of

meeting the expectations of all South Africans at this particular moment.

We are called upon as this leadership and as a movement to give effect to the will and the

wishes of the voters of this country.

As I conclude, allow me to extend, on behalf of the NEC, our sincere thanks to the ANC

volunteers, deployees, veterans and stalwarts, who worked tirelessly to reach voters across the country and to bring out the vote.

We also extend our thanks to the people of South Africa, who turned out in their millions to vote and to reaffirm their confidence in democracy and the future of our country.

I thank you.