26 September 2008
South Africa’s government will continue to implement its policies unchanged, says President-elect Kgalema Motlanthe.
Parliament on Thursday elected Motlanthe President of South Africa, a position he will hold until the country’s next elections in 2009. Thabo Mbeki resigned as President on Sunday after being asked to do so by the national executive committee of the African National Congress (ANC).
Delivering his acceptance speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday after being elected and sworn in as President of the South Africa, Motlanthe said the government’s policies were the product of an extensive consultation and decision-making process.
“These policies are the property of a collective; they do not belong to any one individual,” Motlanthe told Members of Parliament, adding: “Mine is not the desire to deviate from what is working. It is not for me to reinvent policy, nor do I intend to reshape either Cabinet or the public service.
“We will not allow the work of government to be interrupted … We will not allow the stability of our democratic order to be compromised. And we will not allow the confidence that our people have in the ability of the state to respond to their needs to be undermined.”
On the contrary, the 59-year-old President said, the pace of implementation would only quicken and the fulfilment of the government’s mandate only draw closer under his leadership.
“We are able to make such pronouncements with neither hesitation nor doubt, precisely because the policies we are charged to implement are the policies of the African National Congress.”
These policies were clear, he said, and were based on the 2004 manifesto of the African National Congress (ANC), enhanced by the decisions of both the ANC’s policy conference as well as its 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in December.
As the country stood poised to make further advances towards a better life for all its citizens, it was “as important as ever that we retain our faith in the resilience of our constitutional order and the vibrancy of our democracy.
Although there were still challenges, he said, South Africa had both the will and the means to rise above these.
“We therefore stand here to send out a message that government remains on course to deliver on its commitments to the poor.”