President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses ANC supporters at the governing party’s election manifesto launch at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.
In keeping with his January 8 statement and gala dinner address, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of rebuilding South Africa's economy and the state's capacity to serve its citizens in his maiden manifesto.
The manifesto launch in the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban was delayed by an hour or so, but was hardly noticed by the capacity crowd of around 85 000.
Focusing some of his attention on public servants, Ramaphosa said the ANC was building a developmental state that put people first and wanted to have dedicated public servants who worked diligently to improve the lives of people.
He raised concern for those who had grown indifferent in the task and were leading to the deterioration of service, while noting that most were committed and dedicated professionals.
"We therefore will not tolerate those in the public services or in political office who are negligent or use public resources for their own selfish gains," said the president, also warning that he wanted to see an end to public servants doing business with the state.
With regards to the economy, Ramaphosa announce plans that seem to built on work he began in 2018. He held numerous summits and workshops to address particular economic challenges, including joblessness.
"Out of every ten young South Africans, four are neither in employment, nor in education and training. This is a tragedy of vast proportions; a direct challenge to the promise of our democratic Constitution and the cause of great hardship and despair," said the president.
He said developing work opportunities was central to the manifesto and that the ANC wanted every worker to earn a decent living
'Pledge against gender-based violence'
Ramaphosa who had been confronted by the physical, mental and emotional trauma many women suffered due to gender-based violence, told thousands of supporters that violence against women and children had reached crisis levels in the country.
He asked the men at the stadium to stand, calling on them to take a pledge to play their role in bringing the scourge to an end.
"It is important that children learn from a young age to respect one another as equals and not to resort to violence in situations of stress and conflict," said the governing party's president.
"The ANC fully supports the calls for stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences for perpetrators of gender-based violence and sexual assault," he added.
Former president Jacob Zuma who was in attendance received an overwhelming welcome by party supporters, while Ramaphosa and the other officials received a more muted reception from supporters, this however did not drive many out of the stadium when Ramaphosa took to the podium.
The president said a lot of what the ANC envisioned for the country as it asks for five more years at the helm, would rely on social partnerships and most importantly the assistance of South Africans to achieve them.