“The ANC has always distinguished itself as a listening organisation. We are not an arrogant organisation. We are the organisation of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo,” he told delegates at the Gauteng provincial conference in Pretoria.
“We must go and listen to our people. We do not listen to them through social media and smses. We must also acknowledge statements of dissatisfaction that may come from our people, with great humility.”
He said during the 2014 election campaign even President Jacob Zuma “went down on his knees” listening to citizens’ complaints.
“We must say to people, ‘we will come back to you with answers’. Our structures must take the lead in service delivery,” said Ramaphosa.
South Africans expected solutions from the three-day Gauteng elective conference.
“As we gather here, they want to know how we are going to implement what is set out in the NDP (national development plan) and our manifesto. They want to know whether space and opportunity will be created for them to air their voices.”
ANC Gauteng provincial chairman Paul Mashatile told the conference that recommendations of the e-tolls review panel would be implemented.
“We cannot close our eyes in Gauteng when our people have problems,” he said.
“If anybody is going to come to me and say ‘don’t discuss e-tolls’, I won’t agree. We must be the first as ANC to say to our people we have heard you.”
He said government agencies, particularly the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), did not run the country.
“It’s not that I don’t like Sanral, but they must know their place,” he said.
Mashatile told delegates that Sanral officials had been “making a lot noises” about the Gauteng e-tolls.
“They forget that they don’t run this country. Government agencies don’t run the country, but the ANC does. I don’t like government agencies that take on politicians.
“They must go and be elected first. We appoint officials to implement the policies of the ANC. Sanral cannot tell us what to do. We tell them what to do,” said Mashatile to applause and whistling.
Gauteng premier David Makhura established a review panel to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the electronic tolling system set up to fund it.
The panel is expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.