ANC faces challenges, says Jonas

Former Deputy Finance Minister and current MTN board member Mcebisi Jonas has warned against the “Ramaphoria”, saying the ANC was still faced with a lot of challenges that have moved beyond just an “individual”.
Jonas was speaking at a breakfast meeting at the East London Golf Course yesterday, where ANC Ward 18 by-election councillor candidate Andrew Sokolich was introduced to residents.
Jonas said the country was still faced with a lot of youth unemployment, slow gross domestic product growth.
“The Ramaphoria must not mislead us and cloud us from the huge challenges that the ANC is still faced with. Taking a look at the figures comparing our GDP we are far behind as a country compared to other economies that are developing,” he said.
In the last quarter, the GDP grew at only 3.1%. Speaking about the state capture, Jonas, who was among the first people to speak up against the notorious business family, the Guptas, he described it as a systematic structural challenge that was just “raw”.
He called on state security agencies to be effectively used to fight against corruption, instead of being used as political hit squads. “The country has enough legislation to fight corruption. The state security entities must be effective and be used for the sole purpose of fighting corruption and not political battles. Political battles must be fought politically. We must dismantle corruption from the private and public sector,” he said.
Jonas, who was part of the special envoys on investment appointed by Ramaphosa, alongside former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, former Standard Bank CEO Jacko Maree and former Afropulse executive chair Phumzile Langeni, with economist Trudi Makhaya as his special economic adviser, called for a united South Africa.
“We must now unite the country towards one common course – be it the new dawn or whatever but it must be united,” he said.
Jonas said the Ramaphosa’s election as the ANC president in December signalled two important things for the country, the new dawn and the signal of how deep- rooted the divisions within the ANC.
Meanwhile, BCM is set to hold two by-elections later this month following the resignation of DA Ward 18 councillor David Viaene, while in Ward 21, the position was left vacant following the death of ANC ward councillor Mlandeli Ngabayena.
The elusive Ward 18 covers Vincent and Selborne and has been governed by the DA has about 8900 residents.
But the Border bodybuilding executive and businessman Sokolich will now attempt to win the ward for the ANC.
Sokolich admitted the ward has been a DA stronghold but said the party’s days at the helm in the ward were numbered.
Sokolich said he intended to make the ward to keep the DA on its toes.
“We will evaluate the policies and programmes of the municipality and take into consideration the needs of the people they represent and make recommendations that can improve these policies and programmes in line with the objectives of developmental local government,” said the University of South Africa doctoral candidate.
The meeting was attended by locals together with business people from the ward and the broader BCM. — simthandilef@dispatch.co.za..

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