Durban – President Cyril Ramaphosa went on a charm offensive in Durban on Saturday in the run-up to the national elections in May.
He started his campaign in KwaMashu, then moved to uMlazi, Clermont and KwaXimba.
Speaking in KwaMashu, Ramaphosa said the ANC would win the elections. He urged the youth to vote for the ruling party to ensure it remained in power.
Ramaphosa was accompanied by KZN provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala and other leaders, including ANC national executive committee member Nocawe Mafu and former eThekwini Municipality mayor James Nxumalo.
With 38 days to go until the general elections, Ramaphosa used the platform to highlight some of his party’s achievements, saying that it had spent several billion rands to provide social grants as well as put 4.3million roofs over people’s heads.
“Our people have received housing. When I look at other countries during my travels in Africa and elsewhere, I have found out that although many countries build houses, they sell it to the people, whereas we build houses at a cost of R160 000 each and give them to the people free.
“There is not a single African country that gives its people free housing. It’s only the ANC government and we’re still going to continue building these houses.
“We have a programme of building a million houses all over the country to give free of charge to the people,” Ramaphosa said.
Earlier in the day, Ramaphosa had been on a door-to-door campaign in KwaMashu and he said that the elderly were thankful that the ANC governments, from Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe to Jacob Zuma, had provided them with housing and pensions.
“Some have explained to us that before 1994 pensioners were only receiving pensions equivalent to R300 to R400 once every four months, while white pensioners received a pension of R1200 every month, but because they were black, they didn’t get it until Madiba came into power,” said Ramaphosa.
Addressing party members and supporters in Pietermaritzburg on Friday, Ramaphosa called on voters to give the ANC a decisive victory on May 8.
“We want to show everyone that in the next administration we mean business. We will be all about implementation. There will be less talking. The first day will be about working from national down to provincial level because talking time is over now. This is now the time to implement the decisions we have taken over the past 25 years,” Ramaphosa said.
He attended a maskandi concert held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium last night, an event to which former president Jacob Zuma, had also been invited.
Being given an ear at the sold-out concert, which 40000 people were expected to attend, was likely to be a major boost for the ANC.
Event organiser Mthokozisi Zuma, of the Indlamlenze Development Foundation, said the event was not a campaigning platform for the ANC.
He said the former president had been invited in his personal capacity as he was from Nkandla and advocated culture and maskandi music.
“The main artist, Khuzani Mpungose, who started this initiative, is from Nkandla. It was his wish to have our former president at this historic event. We had to afford him an opportunity to say a few words because he loves this genre,” said Zuma.
With regard to Ramaphosa also speaking, he said it was a blessing that the president was available.
“When thousands of people have gathered in one place, we could not miss the opportunity,” Zuma said.
Ramaphosa, who arrived at the venue just after 8pm, urged concert-goers to vote on May 8.
“The concert carries on until 2am and we are unable to say what time they will arrive”, said Zuma.