Ramaphosa calls for tripartite cohesion

The ANC deputy president says the ruling party wants Cosatu to remain an effective alliance partner.

ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who says the party wants Cosatu to remain an effective alliance partner. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said he has a deep, clear sense that South Africa is making good progress along its journey towards becoming a stronger democracy.

Speaking in Parktown, Johannesburg, he focussed mostly on national cohesion and unity.

Ramaphosa and senior ANC colleagues answered a wide range of questions on topics such as the youth vote, a spike in protests, the Nkandla scandal and problems within the tripartite alliance.

Answering a question about the divisions within alliance partner the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the ANC deputy president towed the party line.

"The ANC, as the leader of the alliance, obviously would like all the components of the alliance to remain strong, functional and effective."

Cosatu has been rocked by infighting in recent months following last year's suspension of its secretary general.

Zwelinzima Vavi won a court bid and returned to his job earlier this month, but unions within the alliance had already aligned with opposing sides, with some calling for Cosatu to end its support of the ANC.

Ramaphosa says the ANC is leading South Africa through a major project and plans to deliver a devastating blow to poverty and inequality.

He says the ruling party is not selling empty promises to the people but a more united future.

Referring to the postponement of the parliamentary ad-hoc committee's work on the public protector's Nkandla report, he said the investigation was far too complex for the group to finish before the 7 May polls.

Ramaphosa used humour to deal with various topics faced.

He joked United States President Barack Obama stole the ANC's manifesto ideas on empowering the youth, and even ventured into his own political ambitions.

"My great ambition is to be president…,"he began, before revealing the punch line; "of the golf club where I play. That is my greatest dream. I would also like to be president of my fishing club."