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Ramaphosa vows to address energy challenges, fight against crime

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) leaves an African National Congress national executive committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec 5, 2022. (JEROME DELAY / AP)

JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday pledged to address energy challenges and enhance efforts to fight against crime and corruption.

Ramaphosa, also president of the African National Congress, the country's ruling party, made the remarks in his address to mark the 111th anniversary of the ANC at Dr. Petrus Molemela Stadium in Mangaung, Free State Province.

The National Executive Council, the ANC's highest governing body, has decided to give top priority in 2023 to the energy crisis, ANC renewal initiatives, better service delivery, collaboration with social partners to boost job and investment creation, and the fight against crime and corruption, according to Ramaphosa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government should prioritize infrastructure investment over other expenditure items, alongside the structural reform of network industries, including electricity, telecommunications, water, rail, aviation and road infrastructure

The unstable electricity supply remains one of the biggest barriers to economic growth and disturbs the lives of all South Africans. "The ANC calls for Eskom and the government to immediately focus on restoring additional units to operation as quickly as possible," he said.

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Ramaphosa said the government should prioritize infrastructure investment over other expenditure items, alongside the structural reform of network industries, including electricity, telecommunications, water, rail, aviation and road infrastructure.

In order to address South Africa's persistently high unemployment rate, which is particularly acute among young people, grants must be linked to opportunities for jobs, self-employment, training, and other types of economic development, he said.

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Ramaphosa pledged that the ANC will take action to strengthen law enforcement agencies and public participation in the urgent task of restoring peace and stability across the country. "Additionally, immediate action must be made to restore the capabilities of law enforcement organizations and other criminal justice system institutions that have been compromised by state capture and corruption," he said.