IN QUOTES| Cyril Ramaphosa's keynote address at SA Students Congress anniversary

07 September 2020 - 12:10 By Cebelihle Bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa said SA's young intellectuals have a responsibility to shape the future of the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said SA's young intellectuals have a responsibility to shape the future of the country.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a virtual keynote address during the 29th anniversary of the SA Students Congress (Sasco) on Sunday.

The theme for this year's celebration was “building a modern student movement to deepen the national democratic revolution and for the attainment of working class power”.

Here are six quotes from Ramaphosa's speech:

Progressive movement 

“The progressive student movement of this country has always seen and appreciated its role and duty beyond campus boundaries. It is for this reason that when the call was made during the decade of freedom to render SA ungovernable and apartheid unworkable, the students formed part of the broader progressive youth movement organised under the auspices of the SA Youth Congress.”

Training young leaders

“The ANC has determined that we are now in the second phase of our long drawn transition from colonialism to the national democratic society. The tasks of the revolution include educating and training ANC members ideologically, politically, academically and  morally.”

Leaders must shape the future

“Contradicting the ANC on policy matters should not be the same as the headlines and sound bites driven by populism of shouting down from rooftops everything the ANC does or says. Your responsibility as young intellectuals must shape the future of this country and must engage thoroughly with the ANC on whatever matters through the available platforms and channels.”

Success of the ANC 

“The ANC is as much yours as it is ours who happen to lead it . For the ANC to succeed in the task of the national democratic revolution, it needs an educated society with the necessary skills to build a sustainable and inclusive economy. Our universities and technical vocational education & training colleges have an immeasurable role to play in this regard.”

Conscientise citizens 

“You have a responsibility to conscientise students, and ensure our universities are never turned into incubators of only a particular kind of thinkers who not only harbour anti-ANC sentiments but also actively work to produce more and more who are opposed to the objectives of our revolution. You must pursue this mission relentlessly with a full understanding that our revolution is doomed to fail if we do not continuously win over society in the battle of ideas.”

Academic excellence 

“Despite the well-known difficulties associated with political activism, Sasco members must lead by example and excel in the classroom. It is your revolutionary duty to get your qualifications and place your skills at the disposal of your movement to better serve the people.”