ANC faces threat from opposition parties in 2019: Ramaphosa

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Thembisa, 24 July 2016 - ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the party has done well to transform Thembisa township in Ekurhuleni.

NEWCASTLE – ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the ANC needs to renew itself in order to gain back the trust of the people.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the South African National Civic Organisation’s Chris Hani commemoration event in Newcastle on Friday night.

"The ANC must embark on a very fast journey of renewal,” he said.

“We must renew ourselves, renew our structures and look at our policies and reposition those policies that we need to so that we can increase the pace of transformation.

“Socio-economic transformation that will lead to inclusive growth."

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Contrary to President Jacob Zuma’s dismissive attitude towards recent marches against him, Ramaphosa said those voices cannot be ignored.

It’s a shame that the ANC once united people and mobilised the country, yet today there are people who are marching against us. 

“They are marching against us because of our doing. They see our actions are not right.”

“As the ANC we should not and cannot dismiss those people and think they are crazy. Our people are not crazy. When they see something wrong, they are seeing something wrong and they will react to that. They will say, we do not accept that because it is not right."

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Ramaphosa’s stance is clear that corruption is killing the party and it needs to be stopped.

He also said that those stealing from the government must be punished severely.

"The question is how are we going to get our people to have confidence in the ANC again,” he said.

“Our people don't trust us. People look at us as criminals. They don't trust us. What we need to do is to find ways of winning back our people. They must trust us again. Those stealing from the people must be removed and be disciplined. We must deal with them.”

As much as Ramaphosa tried to remain positive, he conceded opposition parties had become a genuine threat and that the ANC faces a very real test from the opposition in the 2019 elections if it doesn’t repair its internal cracks. 

"These other parties, they see that the ANC is injured, limping, and when they look at us, they see that they can take us on. And if we are not careful indeed they can take us on.”