Newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that the governing party will “act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks” as he assumes the party’s most powerful office.
The former unionist also added the time of ANC deployees in government embarrassing the party was over as the ANC he now leads was “the strategic centre of power”.
Ramaphosa was giving his closing remarks of the 54th National Conference of the ANC in Nasrec late on Wednesday night into the early hours of this morning.
The 65-year-old Ramaphosa committed his leadership collective will fight corruption with the same vigour with which the governing party fights the triple challenges of education, unemployment and poverty.
He issued a stern warning to ANC deployees in government that to pursue the interests of the people and not those for personal benefit.
“The actions of Comrades who are deployed by the movement should always be informed by the interests of our members and our people, not personal gain,” he said to loud cheers.
“Their actions should always be a source of pride, and not a cause for embarrassment.”
Ramaphosa also lamented the decay of and corruption at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) saying it should be ANC priority to clean house in order to use these as a vehicle to grow the economy and create jobs among other things.
He charged: “At the state level we must confront the reality that critical institutions of our state have been targeted by individuals and families through the exercise of influence and the manipulation of governance processes and public resources.
“This has led to the weakening of our state-owned enterprises whose governance structures need to be revamped. Whether we call this state capture or simply corruption, this has undermined the integrity of our institutions, cost our economy hundreds of billions of rands and contributed to the further impoverishment of our people.
“Given all these challenges we are called upon to act against corruption, collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in the public and private sector.”