President Cyril Ramaphosa hands out ANC pamphlets during his campaign visit in Port Shepstone. Gcina Ndwalane African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa told residents of Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast that failure to vote for the ANC would see them losing the gains of democracy.

Ramaphosa was in the region to drum up support for his party ahead of its birthday celebrations on Saturday at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. The bash will also use the event to launch its manifesto for the general elections expected in May.

But at the Masinenge informal settlement, residents were indifferent to his presence.

Sabelo Morana said: “After the ANC had removed our preferred local government election candidate Elvis Ndovela, we voted for the DA, which is now not helping us.

“We will vote for the EFF, which is visible here to prevent the demolition of our shacks.”

The settlement does not have electricity and people have illegally connected electricity to their shacks.

Some of the residents did not even heed a call by ANC provincial leaders, including transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, to come to a soccer field to hear the president’s message. Young men smoking dagga just stared without responding to Kaunda.

Ramaphosa was met with the same indifference at the Port Shepstone taxi rank. Addressing a group wearing supplied ANC T-shirts, he said he would on Saturday unveil his plan to take the country forward.

“This year is going to be real year of creating jobs because we want to grow our economy, improve our children’s education and service delivery for the betterment of our people,” he said.

He said from today, where he would be conducting an ANC 107th anniversary cake-cutting ceremony at Ohlange, the northern Durban’s home of first ANC president John Langalibalele Dube, he would set out the future task of the ANC.

The president boasted about the achievement of the ANC in the past 25 years, which he said peoplecould “feel, touch, smell and see the ANC’s work”.

“This region has (been) number one in the whole of South Africa when it comes to housing delivery,” Ramaphosa said.

It had built 129 housing units and “now they are going to build more than 800 units”.

He said through the ANC’s hard work, the region had achieved second position in matric pass rate in KZN.

Ramaphosa will visit various areas of the province every day until Sunday.

The Mercury