President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to prepare the ANC for anticipated criticism in the Zondo Commission report – to be published in October – and ‘to engage with and prepare ourselves for implementation of the recommendations’.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the party’s National Executive Committee lekgotla on Saturday.

He said: ‘The ANC and this government will be criticised in the main due to an exaggeration of the role of the deployment committee and misrepresentation of its ambit, as well as for the management of the work our MPs do in parliament and parliamentary structures.

‘Specific allegations have been levelled against leaders and deployees of the movement and there is a concerted drive to tie these allegations to the organisation and portray a picture of a corrupt and incompetent ANC and ANC government.’

‘We need to be ready to address these and develop concise messages before the report comes out. An important issue will be to engage with and prepare ourselves for implementation of the recommendations,’ he said.

The president noted that there ‘is a palpable feeling of anger towards and disillusionment with this government, which we must not underestimate. The people in this meeting bear the bulk of the responsibility for turning this around. It is our collective duty to address this.’

On the question of policy, Ramaphosa said: ‘It is increasingly clear that our current economic policies, programmes and plans are not sufficient in scope and scale to answer the challenges represented by widespread poverty and unemployment. There are at least 11-million unemployed people in SA, a number that grows annually.

‘Too many people live below the poverty line, regardless of what metric is used to measure poverty. This means that too many of our people go to bed hungry every day.’