Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa should not rush to book a stadium for his inauguration rally because he is not going to win, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said while campaigning in Durban on Monday.
Maimane visited the poverty-stricken residents of the Welbedacht transit camp outside Chatsworth, south of Durban.
“I want to tell President Ramaphosa that he should not rush to book a stadium for his inauguration because he cannot start preparing to celebrate even before the elections are held.
"We are here to make sure that he does not win,” he said.
Maimane was reacting to the Presidency’s statement at the weekend announcing that the inauguration would take place on May 25 in Pretoria.
“In a departure from the tradition of holding the inauguration at the Union Buildings, the event will take place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium,” read the statement.
Residents of the settlement told Maimane that the eThekwini Municipality had brought them to the camp more than 10 years ago.
The municipality then promised to move them to “decent” low-cost houses within a space of “six months”.
The settlement is situated near a forest along the Umlazi River, and occupants complained about their almost daily encounters with dangerous snakes, including mambas. People use illegally connected electricity.
Maimane promised the residents that if he becomes president he would increase the child support grant from R420 to R800 a month.
Maimane called on residents not to resort to violent service delivery protests.
He said instead they should vote for the DA, which he said had already started to change lives in the Tshwane and Johannesburg municipalities, where his party governs.
“There we have changed people's lives as even security guards are now employed by the municipalities and they are being paid up to R10000.
“Please lend us just five years so that we can change your lives by moving you from this place to better houses,” he said.
Thembisile Ntobela, 67, said she would give Maimane a chance, “because those who are in charge have failed to rescue us from this place”.
“On many occasions we have found snakes, as long as a man, in our homes. If the weather is hot the smell from the toilets is unbearable,” she said.