Opening Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Second Part of the 55th National Conference of the African National Congress
National Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe,
Officials of the African National Congress,
Former Presidents in attendance,
Members of the National Executive Committee,
Members of the ANC Women’s League, Youth League and Veterans League,
Delegates, Welcome to the second part of our 55th ANC National Conference.
We have convened this session in a hybrid format as we were unable to complete the business of Conference as scheduled on the 20th of December 2022.
We are gathered at venues across the country to receive the reports of the commissions that sat during the first part of Conference and to adopt the draft resolutions that were formulated and to adopt the Conference Declaration.
This is an important responsibility that we all carry on our shoulders.
The decisions that we take today will have a far-reaching impact on our movement, the
African National Congress, and indeed on the country.
They will determine whether our movement is able to overcome the many challenges that confront our own movement and the people of our country.
These decisions will determine whether we are able to reverse the organisational and electoral decline that we identified when we met in December and whether we will emerge stronger, more united and more effective in meeting the needs of the people of our country.
The resolutions that we will adopt today will have important implications for the direction of the National Democratic Revolution.
They will need to accelerate the pace and deepen the impact of fundamental social and economic transformation.
The people of South Africa are looking to this 55th National Conference to set out a clear,
credible programme of action that directly addresses the crises that confront our country today.
This Conference needs to send a very clear signal to voters in our country that the ANC is taking all necessary steps to deal with the challenges that they confront, specifically unemployment, poverty, inequality, the rising cost of living, crime and instability, poor service delivery and load shedding that continues to negatively affect the lives of our people.
Although we were unable to complete the work of Conference as originally planned, we can count those five days in December as among the most important in the recent history of our movement.
During the first part of the 55th National Conference, delegates demonstrated their unwavering commitment to renew and rebuild our organisation, but also a commitment to rebuild our Alliance and the broader democratic movement.
Delegates also resolved to eradicate all forms of factionalism and disunity, and other negative tendencies within our organisation.
Delegates to the 55th Conference took a firm stance against corruption within our own ranks, in the state and across society.
While recognising the great progress that we have made in several areas of development and transformation, delegates acknowledged that the severe challenges that still need to be
overcome need the ANC’s attention so that we can achieve a better life for all South Africans.
Through the deliberations in Commissions, delegates made it clear that we need to proceed with greater urgency and purpose to address the challenges that confront our people.
Where our policies remain relevant and appropriate, we need to be more focused in ensuring their effective and full implementation.
Where our policies are inadequate or have shortcomings, we need to do things differently.
At the core of the tasks identified by Conference in December is the need to restore our relationship with the people of South Africa.
Our duty as the ANC is to mobilise our people and to serve them.
We have said that we need to earn the position of leader of society through our work
amongst our people and also to regain the confidence and trust of the people.
We have said that we need to acknowledge our weaknesses and work to correct them, that
we need to demonstrate humility, honesty and integrity.
Our programme for this second part of the 55th National Conference will be intensive.
It may be challenging to work across 9 different centres around the country to bring a
conclusion to our conference.
I call upon all of us to exercise patience and understanding as we seek to interact with each
other as delegates on an online platform that in itself may give rise to challenges.
This may not be the most ideal way to conclude conference but we are called upon to
exercise discipline and to bring a conclusion to this historic conference.
We will be receiving reports from the various rapporteurs. Let us go through them and have
meaningful discussions so that we have an outcome to this Conference that takes our
movement and our country forward.
I thank you.