President Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity within the African National Congress during a Good Friday sermon at the Covenant Fellowship Church International in eSikhaleni in KwaZulu-Natal.
“There must be unity and renewal of the African National Congress… Because it is when the ANC is united, that is when we are stronger and I know this church is praying and continues to pray for the unity of the African National Congress,” he said.
“The ANC must serve the people of South Africa. We must put our old ways behind us. Where there was corruption, we must say goodbye to corruption.”
“Where there were people who were stealing the resources of our country, they must be dealt with severely,” Ramaphosa said.
“The new dawn means things have to change. We are now going to work in a different way to change the lives of our people,” he said.
Ramaphosa said “the new dawn” must mean there was a “renewed enthusiasm” for service delivery.
“We must change the structure our economy. The economy must return to the hands of our people,” he said.
One of Ramaphosa’s means of achieving that end is through implementation of a new youth employment service to create jobs. The government will reposition state owned enterprises, including Eskom and Prasa.
Another one of the issues Ramaphosa addressed was the issue of land, after Parliament passed a motion to amend the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
“We are going to return the land to our people so that our people can have their birth right,” he said, adding that it must be done “within the confines of the law”.
Land ownership remains a highly sensitive subject more than two decades after the end of apartheid. Whites still own most of South Africa’s land. Moves towards land expropriation also worry economists and farming groups who say expropriation without compensation could have a potentially devastating impact on the agricultural sector.