Address by ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC 104th Birthday Celebration in Limpopo
7 February 2016, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
ANC Limpopo Provincial Chairperson Cde Stanley Mathabatha,
Leaders of the African National Congress,
Leaders of the Alliance,
Traditional and Religious Leaders,
Comrades, compatriots and friends,
I bring you revolutionary greetings from President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma and the entire National Executive Committee of the African National Congress.
It is an honour to address the people of Limpopo on the occasion of the celebration of the 104th birthday of the ANC.
The ANC is at home in Limpopo.
Election after election, the people of Limpopo lead the country in their support for the movement.
When we visit Limpopo, we are reminded of the words of Oliver Tambo on his return from exile, when he said:
"We have devotedly watched over the organisation all these years. We now hand it back to you, bigger, stronger and intact. Guard our precious movement."
We thank the leaders and amavolontiya of the ANC in Limpopo for keeping our precious movement intact.
We must never tire of engaging in political work among our people.
The ANC does not seek office merely for its own sake.
We seek office so that we may lead the process of fundamental economic and social transformation.
Our people must know that we measure our success not merely by the number of seats we win, but by the quality of the change we bring about in our people's daily lives.
The ANC National Executive Committee has declared 2016: "The Year for Advancing People's Power."
In 2016 and beyond, the NEC has instructed all of us to return to the basics.
This means that we must treasure, preserve and deepen our proud traditions of close and consistent engagement with our people.
Our branches and local leaders must attend to the day-to-day issues that affect our people.
At all times, our people must remain at the heart of the society we seek to build.
They must own the programme of social transformation.
In framing our 'Back to Basics' approach to local government, we expect our councillors to create conditions for decent living by consistently delivering municipal services to the right quality and standard.
Municipalities led by the ANC must lead in cutting wastage, hiring competent staff and ensuring transparency and accountability.
Our mission is to serve our people selflessly and to improve their living conditions.
To succeed in our historic task, we must constantly defend the unity of the ANC and the Alliance.
Getting the basics right means that we must fight slate politics, vote buying and gate keeping in this movement.
Only the ANC is consistent and truly committed to ending racism, corruption and patriarchy.
Only the ANC has the will and policies to eradicate poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
Under the ANC-led government, tremendous progress in delivering water and electricity to millions of people has been achieved.
We have built roads, community centres, clinics and public transport nodes.
In towns and villages, we have delivered houses and provided sanitation.
We have improved access to education.
Today, having been in office for more than 20 years, we cannot be complacent.
As the ANC, we must remain mindful that we lead government because our people have invested their hope and trust in us.
We must accelerate the pace of change, advancing with greater urgency and determination towards a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
And so, the ANC National Executive Committee has declared that this is the year for deepening effective, accountable and clean local government that is driven by community participation.
We want a local government system that works, and works because it has the trust and confidence of the community.
We want to put the people first.
We want good governance and political stability in our communities.
We want sound financial management.
We want every ANC cadre to take the responsibility to promote activism in society.
We want ANC cadres that enjoy respect among their peers.
We want ANC cadres that are motivated by the values of honesty, hard work, humility, service and respect for the laws of the land.
We must not take our people's support for granted.
In the 2016 local government elections we will not play zama-zama with our people's future.
We want an overwhelming victory so that we can consolidate the gains we have made in the last two decades.
We want to improve the efficiency, capacity and impact of local government.
So we will not allow our municipalities to be turned into a lottery.
We will not allow our municipalities to be employers of last resort and provide jobs for pals.
We want sound, dedicated and skilled personnel in our municipalities.
Let it be known that if you abuse power, you will lose it.
If you do not deliver, you are out.
If you are caught with your fingers in the till, you will go to jail.
This year, we want to see clear progress in fundamentally transforming our economy.
We will work to boost growth, even in the face of difficult economic conditions.
We will encourage investment in new factories.
We will support a new generation of black industrialists.
We will return more land back to the people.
And we will work with these people to see that more food is produced and more jobs created in processing that food.
This year, we will continue our focus on education and skills development.
We will continue to remove the barriers to quality education for the poor.
During the course of the year, we will continue our massive investment in economic and social infrastructure.
We will continue to build roads, bridges, dams, hospitals, power stations, colleges and universities.
This will not only stimulate economic activity.
It will also provide the physical infrastructure that our economy needs to grow and meet our social needs.
The tasks of our movement are well defined in the January 8th Statement.
Our branches must continue to be grounded in communities and give hope and leadership to our people.
Our structures must ensure that branch level discussions culminate in a national dialogue on the issues that bind this wonderful nation; they must frown upon division and focus on finding solutions.
Our structures must develop clear campaigns to further entrench our progressive value system among our people.
Our branches must develop a direct campaign to promote non-racialism.
Our movement is called upon to take greater responsibility for ensuring the fundamental restructuring of the economy.
We encourage our members and supporters to work together to create social solidarity among all people for a collective effort to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Members are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles.
We direct our structures and members to become involved in community education and participate meaningfully in school governing bodies.
Our people must participate in ward committees and other structures aimed at strengthening participatory democracy.
Public representatives at all levels, but especially local councillors, must ensure that they have a dynamic and interactive relationship with their communities.
We want to see communities that are vibrant, inclusive, and democratic.
We want to cultivate and show respect for the diversity of life in this beautiful country.
Let us use the opportunity to lead our people as an opportunity to restore their dignity.
Let us ensure that we do not eat alone while some people go to bed on an empty stomach.
Let us not rest until we have delivered on our promises to the people.
Let us be men and women of honour and truth.
Forward to a decisive victory in the 2016 local government elections!
Forward to people's power!
I thank you.