The new leader of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, has pledged to fight corruption and pursue a policy of “radical economic transformation.”
Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old union leader who became a businessman and is now one of South Africa’s richest people, is likely to become the country’s next president after elections in 2019, because of his party’s electoral dominance. Mr Ramaphosa was elected on Monday to succeed President Jacob Zuma as party leader.
“The expropriation of land without compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the land transfers would be speeded up under the radical economic transformation program, a vague ANC plan to tackle racial inequality. His promise to fight rampant corruption and revitalise the economy has been hailed by foreign investors.
Closing the party’s conference, he said tackling unemployment and poverty should also be key party policies.
“This conference has resolved that corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he told delegates at the end of the five-day conference.
“We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks.” He said that the party had approved the seizure of land without compensation, but he cautioned against undermining the economy and food production.
He is in a strong position to become president at elections in 2019.