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South African ruling party’s national con-
ference closes, new leader calls for unity

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC)’s national conference closed here Thursday, and the party’s newly elected leader Cyril Ramaphosa called for the party’s members to unite and accept the results of the conference.

Ramaphosa made the call as the 54th National Congress of the ANC closed on Thursday morning.

The ANC on Monday elected Ramaphosa as the party’s president for the next five years to replace Jacob Zuma, who is also the current president of the country.

In his first address as the ANC president at the closing ceremony of the conference, Ramaphosa said: “You have decided you want a united leadership. You have crafted songs about how unity in this leadership you have voted for should manifest itself.”

Ramaphosa urged the party members to talk less and act more to meet South Africans’ desire for the ANC to develop the economy, create jobs and improve the people’s livelihood.

“The people want action, not words. They are waiting for action. Our people want an ANC that is true to its mission and lives the values that it espouses,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the ANC will accelerate programs of land reform and rural development as part of a radical socio-economic transformation.

He also said that the ANC will revamp the state-owned enterprises to ensure that they serve the people and fight corruption.

“Given all these challenges we are called upon to act against corruption, collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in the public and private sector. This conference has resolved that this must be acted upon and stopped. Corruption has to be stopped and it must happen with immediate effect,” Ramaphosa said.

The ANC is in alliance with the South African Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African National Civic Organization. Ramaphosa said the conference has resolved to mend the relations of the alliance.

“The alliance has faced many challenges and problems in the recent past. We will work with our alliance partners to repair relations between the four formations that our people expect to lead the national democratic revolution,” he said.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said the conference went well and agreed to work toward strengthening the party to create a prosperous South Africa.

“The ANC commits to the people of South Africa that we shall isolate and root out corrupt tendencies in the public and private sector,” Magashule said.

“The ANC committed to speed up services to our people. We depart from this conference fully aware that the work of restoring the integrity of our movement has just begun ... We emerged more united,” he said.

The ANC secretary-general said that the party should work to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality and “work much harder, to rebuild and unite this glorious movement of our people.”

The 54th ANC National Congress began on Saturday in Johannesburg to elect the party’s new leader and members of its national executive committee.

Ramaphosa narrowly beat former Africa Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become the new ANC leader to succeed Zuma, who will remain the president of South Africa until 2019 when South Africa holds its presidential and parliamentary elections.

At the conference that opened on Saturday, Zuma said in his speech that he was ready to retire and join the party veterans.



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