Cyril Ramaphosa admit mistakes, gloats ANC will win upcoming elections
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ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the governing party has in the recent past been found wanting in several aspects, and promised voters that all that would change after the November 1 local government elections.
Ramaphosa said this on Sunday in KwaNdengezi on the west of Durban during a whirlwind campaign for his party.
He started in uMlazi, south of Durban, where he criss-crossed parts of the township asking voters to give the ANC another five-year mandate to rule the local government sphere, saying they were the only party capable of delivering.
Among the pending reforms that he claimed had been enacted, was to ensure that only the best members were deployed to public office, and that there would be rigorous interviews for ANC mayoral candidates.
“Our mayor (of eThekwini metro) will come out of a group of a few people who will be interviewed by a panel that will ask them what exactly they intend to do for the public after taking office. It will no longer be like in the past where the best singer, dancer or toyi-toyi leader would become mayor,” Ramaphosa said in uMlazi.
Punting a long list of successes of the ruling party since taking power almost three decades ago, Ramaphosa told the party faithful that the development they were seeing around them was because of the ANC, and that if they wanted to see more they must keep the party in power.
On the social safety net front, Ramaphosa said he had been all over the African continent, and South Africa was the only country with a social grant system that took care of childhood from birth up to university – and all that courtesy of the ANC government.
Turning to Covid-19 relief schemes, Ramaphosa said the government had introduced a variety of grants, including the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant to cushion the unemployed from the blows of the pandemic.
However, his claim that every affected person was getting it was met with disapproval from the same crowd of ANC supporters that had earlier warmly welcomed him.
“Where is that money? We are not getting it,” someone shouted from the crowd.
Ramaphosa quickly contained the murmurs by telling the crowd that about 12 million people had applied for the grants, and there were ongoing processes to ensure that all deserving applicants received the grants.
Ramaphosa then took his campaign to KwaNdengezi township in the west of Durban and, just like in uMlazi, he introduced the governing party’s candidates and pleaded with the community to vote for them.
He also assured concerned members of the party that the gender parity where men dominated the candidates for wards would be filled by giving the PR (Proportional Representative) seats to women.
It was during his address in KwaNdenegezi that he admitted that the ruling party had been found wanting in the recent past, and said it would mend its ways.
“Our manifesto is clear, it is straightforward, we are saying in our manifesto, yes, in the recent past we have made some mistakes,” he said.
Reading the riot act to their councillor candidates, he told them that the time of looting public funds for self-enrichment was over.
“We put in councillors who are going to put the interests of our people first. So this time we are saying we are renewing the ANC, we are uniting the ANC, we are making the ANC better and better and better all the time. That is why we said you as the community must nominate these councillors, they were nominated by the ANC office,” he said.
He later said that whether their opponents like it or not, the ANC would emerge victoriously at the polls, telling the party faithful to ignore being courted by their opponents.
"Victory is certain," Ramaphosa said.