‘There are many problems,’ Tlokwe residents tell Cyril Ramaphosa
Water, homes and jobs. This is what 60-year-old Marie Abrahams from Promosa in the Tlokwe area demanded from ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa when she saw him face-to-face on Friday.
When they met during a local government election campaign in Potchefstroom, North West, Ramaphosa asked Abrahams, in Afrikaans, about the living conditions in the area.
She responded by saying there were many problems, including a lack of water, houses and jobs.
Abrahams, who forgot her mask at home, said her three children were all sitting at home due to the high unemployment rate in the area.
Ramaphosa told her the ANC would make sure it delivers on its promises if she votes for the ruling party. “We will fix it,” he vowed.
Abrahams told Ramaphosa that locals, especially mothers, would be very happy if he delivers on his promise.
Ramaphosa was met with a warm welcome in ward 13. He has been conducting an election campaign encouraging people to vote for the ANC when the country goes to the polls on November 1.
He was accompanied by public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo, deputy co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Obed Bapela and other members of the national executive committee (NEC).
With them was newly elected North West premier Bushy Maape, who was brought in by the ANC to replace Job Mokgoro after the latter fell out with the interim provincial committee.
TimesLIVE reported previously Maape has a difficult job ahead of him, particularly reviving the deteriorating state of the province's municipalities. Five of North West’s worst performing municipalities have been dissolved by the cabinet. The interim provincial committee said last month there had not been a single stable municipality, or one “of which it was proud”.
Another resident, Kelvin Chinian, said he wanted to tell Ramaphosa there was no service delivery in the area.
“Now the president is coming, they have cleaned the streets, they have picked up all the rubble in the street but throughout the year they don’t pick it up. There is no service delivery,” he said.
Before responding to the concerns of community members, Ramaphosa said: “I am very happy to be here in Promosa. Before we we begin, let me see all those who are wearing their masks. Forward with vaccination.”
During his visit, he reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated, saying “it is our only defence to the deadly disease”.
To the anti-vaxxers he said: “It is not true that you won’t be able to have babies.”
Ramaphosa introduced the ward 13 candidate councillor, saying: “As I have been going around, people have been saying they have chosen her to represent because she is honest, straightforward and hard working.”
The candidate, Loreal Abrahams, said ward 13 is one of the highly populated and integrated areas in the JB Marks municipality.
“We have those who have and don’t have. Those who are able and those who are disabled. The gap between those who have and don’t have is wide.”
We want to build a non-racial SA when other parties want to divide the country.Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC president
She said the local community is not happy with “potholes, dirty streets, no jobs and the marginalisation of coloureds when it comes to opportunities. We are ready and are capable cadres who are ready to serve.”
She told the community potholes had been filled, street lights had been fixed and electrical faults had been fixed during September.
Ramaphosa said Abrahams was dynamic, smart, articulate and “hates corruption. She will make sure our council is going to be restored to its former glory.”
He told residents: “I’ve heard you. Your premier is here and will attend to the area called Marikana.”
To community healthcare workers, he said he knew they wanted permanent jobs: “I've heard you. Put your placards down.”
His message to the excited crowd: “The ANC is already showing that on November 1, we are taking all of it. Today you have showed your support and love for the ANC and I know you love the ANC.”
Ramaphosa spoke in various languages. He said he met old and young locals who told him they were going to vote for the ANC.
“They were telling me the ANC allowed community members to vote for their own candidate. This is a daughter of the area the people have chosen. I know the people will choose Loreal [Abrahams] and the other parties are beginning to run away with tails in between their legs.
“Hulle weet ons sal wen. Sy is baie mooi en slim. [They know we will win. She’s is very pretty and smart]. That is the kind of candidate that we want.
“One of the problems we have had in North West is corruption. Our councils have not been working like they should. We are going to fight corruption and root out all the corrupt crop.
"We want you to choose councillors who are going to put the interest of the people first. We say as the ANC, we are renewing ourselves. We are becoming an ANC of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo and make sure they are proud of us again.
“We admit the mistakes we have made and we are making sure we renew ourselves.
“Those involved in corruption will step aside because our people don’t want corrupt leaders. The fighting among us must stop.”
Ramaphosa told the community the “ANC is working day and night to ensure people get jobs.
“Even during Covid-19, the ANC has done all it could to demonstrate care for the people. We’ve increased the social grant and when Covid-19 destroyed 1.4-million jobs, at government level we were able to create more than 1-million jobs.”
He promised to continue to build houses, pay grants and electrify the area.
“All the good things the ANC has introduced will continue. We want to build a non-racial SA when other parties want to divide the country.”
He told the community to put their trust in the ANC on November 1.