In honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Oliver Tambo, the ANC has declared 2017 as ‘The Year of OR Tambo’. Several structures have launched Tambo Fridays to celebrate his life and contribution.
The Tambo Friday initiative seeks to deepen unity, promote an activist ANC and encourage cadre development.
It is part of the broader effort to rebuild and renew the movement.
We will profile events and leaders who demonstrate the values and qualities of OR Tambo.
Unifier and Builder – Our Future President
Cyril Ramaphosa’s political history, acumen, commitment and personality make him an extremely credible candidate to take our movement and our country forward as its next President:
“He is uniquely able to build on the moral authority of the 1996 constitutional settlement and restore life to the practice of democracy.” (Butler (2007), Cyril Ramaphosa, p. 378)
A key challenge for South Africa in recent years has been the lack of political will to resolve seemingly intractable problems. However, throughout his career in the unions, business and politics Cde Ramaphosa has shown the courage, ability and capacity to tackle major issues head on.
The National Union of Mineworkers remains a powerful testimony to his ability to build institutions that endure, while our Constitution will define our democratic state for decades to come. He is a problem solver and institution builder – a natural politician whose time has come.
The time to elect Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC President is now:
He is a unifier and a builder. Ramaphosa has always promoted unity and cohesion. He was pivotal in the formation of COSATU and in leading constitutional negotiations. He was responsible for building NUM into the largest union in South Africa and rebuilding the ANC as a mass-based movement after decades in exile.
He is competent and capable. In every role he has undertaken, Cyril Ramaphosa has demonstrated great skills and ability. He has been successful as a union leader, ANC Secretary General, constitutional negotiator, businessperson and Deputy President. He has an excellent understanding of the economy and governance.
He is tough on corruption. He has spoken out strongly against state capture and corruption. Throughout his time in the unions, ANC, business and government he has insisted on effective financial management and clean governance. When elected Deputy President he acted decisively to remove any potential for conflict of interest.
He is committed to transformation. He has been a champion of BEE that is broad based. In business he promoted black and women professionals, created opportunities for black franchisees and established a foundation that provides bursaries for needy students, incubates black-owned small businesses and supports schools in disadvantaged areas. He contributed to South Africa’s BEE policies, was instrumental in drafting the NDP and negotiated an agreement on a national minimum wage.
Let us remind ourselves of some of the skills that Cde Ramaphosa would bring to his role as President:
Trade union credential
He’s a man of the people. Ramaphosa formed the NUM at a time of racial oppression and social tension, displaying his skills in leading and negotiating as the organisation became South Africa’s most powerful and largest trade union.
Roles in the liberation struggle
While still a student Ramaphosa was part of various student bodies, and he worked tirelessly towards achieving the unbanning of several liberation organisations, including the ANC and Pan Africanist Congress.
Legendary achievements at Codesa
Ramaphosa played a pivotal role in talks at the Convention for a Democratic SA (Codesa), one of the catalysts of the fall of the apartheid regime and South Africa’s relatively peaceful transition to democracy.
Excellence in crafting the Constitution
With the National Party’s Roelf Meyer, Ramaphosa led the drafting of an internationally acclaimed Constitution that was finalised in 1996, working collaboratively to entrench the rights of the historically disadvantaged and to enhance human dignity.
Ramaphosa is connected to a string of illustrious business ventures, having served on and chaired several successful boards of blue chip companies. One of his most commendable projects was Shanduka Black Umbrellas (now Black Umbrellas) that focuses on helping emerging black businesses.
Achievements in government
While Ramaphosa explored a successful business career, he remained involved in politics as a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee. As Deputy President of South Africa, he successfully led negotiations on labour stability and a national minimum wage and initiated a programme to place unemployed youth in paid internships in the private sector.
A vision of the future
He has called for a new deal for jobs, growth and transformation in South Africa, which brings together all social partners, led by a committed and competent leadership team, to implement a bold programme to build and transform the economy. He has a clear vision – and the skills, commitment and wherewithal to translate that vision into reality, with the support of a leadership collective, the membership of the ANC and the alliance and the citizens of South Africa behind him.