LIVE BLOG: Cyril Ramaphosa delivers ANC’s January 8 statement

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa will consider the economy, the impact of COVID-19, the general state of the party and the upcoming local government elections when he delivers his January 8 Statement.

WATCH LIVE: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the January 8 Statement.

"Amandla. The ANC lives. The ANC leads." Ramaphosa concludes. 

Ramaphosa: As we prepare for local government elections later this year, we must intensify provision of basic services, decisively tackle local weaknesses and speed up the introduction of the District Development Model.

Ramaphosa is adamant that the ANC is committed to the African agenda, inspired by Pan-Africanism. "We'll work to modernise the ANC to ensure it remains financially sustainable." He says.

"We will not allow members of the ANC who are involved in crooked practices." He says. 

Ramaphosa: it must never be, that any member or leader of the ANC is associated with GBV in any form, says those found guilty belong in jail "No place in the ANC."

Ramaphosa: We must be more direct in dealing with alcohol and drug abuse because they have an effect on violence and reckless behaviour. 

Ramaphosa lauds the COVID-19 grants which helped unemployed people and added to those with children. He adds that the grants are coming to an end and government is looking at other ways to alleviate poverty. 

Ramaphosa: Reforms in the telecommunications sector will see the allocation of high demand spectrum - accelerating the rollout of 5G, enhancing the economy’s competitiveness.

The president says electricity capacity will be strengthened this year which will then create jobs.

Ramaphosa slams fake news peddlers and appeals to people to be responsible.

Ramaphosa says the vaccination programme will prioritise healthworkers, teachers, the police and the elderly. 

The president again calls for people to change their behaviour to beat the virus; social distancing, mask wearing and washing hands.

Ramaphosa: We have to decisively change the face of our economy, and not simply return the economy to where it was before the pandemic. In other words, our task is not only to build back better, but also to build forward differently.

Here's the plan for 2021:

Ramaphosa notes that gender-based violence has be ended in SA.

"The coronavirus pandemic has deepened poverty and inequality in our society.

"She was a fearless leader who organised the first mass demonstration against passes." The president says.

He now celebrates Charlotte Maxeke noting some of her achievements... 

Ramaphosa says the first priority is to defeat COVID-19 and the second one is to recover the economy.

The president says "there's still much to be done," adding that corruption has marred the image of the party.

Ramaphosa says even if they are unable to meet, the message of the ANC lives in the hearts of the people. 

Ramaphosa notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the ANC celebrates its January 8 statement.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa now begins his address...

SACP leader Blade Nzimande is delivering his speech...

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's ANC January 8 celebrations will be virtual. 

Ramaphosa will virtually address the ANC at 7 pm.

Issues such as gender-based violence, unemployment and healthcare are expected to feature prominently in the address.

This also marks the start of the ANC calendar and should outline plans the party has for both itself and its government.

Ramaphosa will consider the economy, the impact of COVID-19, the general state of the party and the upcoming local government elections when he delivers his January 8 Statement.

What do we know so far?

Hello and welcome to EWN's live blog about the ANC's January 8 Statement which will be delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa.