When ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in the Strand yesterday to promise locals that “we know it hurts” and “things will get better”, crying residents said they were unsure who to vote for, and that politicians visited them only at election time.
“They’ve been making promises for years, and every time there’s an election, they come here. I go and vote every time, but nothing comes of the promises,” Lindie Fortuin, of Broadlands Park, said after Ramaphosa had left.
The two had walked together down the street, Ramaphosa with his arm around Fortuin as she cried and told him she’d been on a housing waiting list for 15 years.
She and her four children live in a shack in the backyard of a house.
Ramaphosa answered: “We understand and we know it hurts.”
Fortuin told him she didn’t know who to vote for.
Later she said Ramaphosa promised her life would change, but that she wasn’t sure she believed him.
In Erijaville, Claudine Roux said the DA had been in the area the previous week, but she didn’t trust the DA or the ANC.
“In the end, no one comes to help. It’s just empty promises,” she said.
Ramaphosa told residents the
ANC-controlled national government had already built 3.3 million government-subsidised houses in South Africa, and planned to build another million in the next five years.
He said it was vital the party regain “lost ground” in the DA-controlled Western Cape.
“The Western Cape is of particular interest to us,” he said, adding that the ANC wanted to “be back in the hearts and the minds” of the people of the province.
After toyi-toying and singing songs with a group of about 30 ANC members at the municipal offices in Lwandle, Ramaphosa spoke to people in the street, visiting homes not only in Broadlands Park and Erijaville, but also in Tarentaalplaas.
Continuing his focus on housing, Ramaphosa told residents the government had built 1 000 homes in the area and was committed to building more.
Also in Broadlands Park, Ramaphosa visited Jasmina Robertson and her daughter, Faiza, in their home.
When Faiza told Ramaphosa she was trained as a secretary but had been looking in vain for a job for several years, he said: “Things will get better. You will get a job.”
He also told the mother and daughter: “People are complaining to us about drugs and gangsterism. We want to do something about it. We’ve got many plans.”
Robertson responded: “You shouldn’t come here only when it’s voting time. You should visit us regularly.”
Rozeal Brown, also of Broadlands Park, cried as she told Ramaphosa her water was regularly cut off and that she and her family were surviving on her disability grant of R1 200 a month.
“My daughter and her four children are sleeping on the floor. Why must life be so hard?”
Ramaphosa said: “No, we understand. Life is hard. We don’t want you to live like this.”
In Tarentaalplaas, Mariana Sudala told Ramaphosa there were too many people living in shacks in backyards, paying rent of over R2 000 a month.
But she added it was good to see Ramaphosa there. “We have been wanting you to come here for a long time.”
- Sunday Argus