There’s no time to compromise on 2017 party resolutions – Ramaphosa

Already on the backfoot, and his detractors regrouping ahead of the ruling party’s elective conference scheduled for December, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared to be flexing his political muscles at the party’s policy conference as he maintained that he has no intention of compromising on the party’s 2017 party resolutions.

One of the 2017 resolutions Ramaphosa appeared destined to defend at all costs is the contentious step-aside resolution which has increasingly come under ferocious attack from provinces such as KwaZulu/Natal. Ramaphosa has been spearheading the step-aside principle as one of the mainstays of his ANC renewal crusade.

In his opening address to about 2000 delegates attending the policy conference held in Nasrec, Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said the gathering was a defining moment for the ANC.

“Despite the setback to our efforts to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, we will continue to pursue all available options, including through legislation like the Expropriation Bill, to implement the resolution of our 54th National Conference on land redistribution without compensation,” said Ramaphosa.

He added that his presidency sees the Expropriation Bill as one of the instruments to drive meaningful land reform, not only to correct a historical injustice but also to drive economic growth and transformation.

“Our policies on broad-based black economic empowerment, preferential procurement and employment equity have done much to begin to change the racial and gender composition of our economy. However, as with land reform, we are still very far from where we need to be,” he added.

The ANC’s policy conference comes at a time when Ramaphosa’s four-year tenure at the helm of the party had been met with lukewarm reception. There are also amplified voices who are calling for his head arguing that he had run out of ideas to lead the country.

The step aside resolution has also driven a wedge between Ramaphosa and his foes who claim that the policy was being used to target party members belonging to the so-called Radical Economic Transformation grouping. His stance on state owned institutions, which advocates for their unbundling, has also ruffled feathers among party structures.

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