South Africa: ‘Step Aside’ Will Not Be Stepping Aside – ANC’s Policy Conference Ends With Promise to Hold the Line

While it may still be some time for the full impact of this weekend’s ANC policy conference to be felt, it may be that its real significance is that the ‘step-aside resolution’ was retained, appearing to demonstrate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s still strong positioning within the party. It is not clear, however, if there has been any demonstrable progress towards resolving the series of crises which engulf our society.

In a way, the ANC’s 2022 policy conference was bookended by two quotes about the “step-aside resolution”.

On Friday, speaking to what appeared to be a subdued hall of delegates, Ramaphosa said that “South Africans will not forgive us if we abandon our policies to stop corruption”. It was a strong gesture of support for the rule to be retained, and perhaps a rebuke to the stated intention of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, who both decided it should be changed or entirely removed.

On Sunday, while stating the resolutions of the congress, Ramaphosa said: “The overall view is for the retention of the step-aside provisions to enhance the integrity of the movement and its leadership.” There was much applause at that moment before he went on to say: “There are…

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