President Cyril Ramaphosa was on the charm offensive this weekend as he wooed church members in his election bid for the ANC to retain power. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa was on the charm offensive this weekend as he wooed church members in his election bid for the ANC to retain power.

Ramaphosa, who brought his campaign to KwaZulu-Natal, descended on the South Coast and praised the role the Methodist Church played in the formation of the ANC more than a century ago.

The president was accompanied by ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, as he campaigned in one of the regions that backed his campaign for the party’s presidency ahead of the party’s 54th national conference in December 2017.

In Port Shepstone, Ramaphosa urged congregants of the Methodist Church to keep the ANC and the government in their prayers

“There’s a beautiful job you did because in 1912 on January 8 the ANC, which is in charge of the government of this country, was established in the Methodist Church.

“We thank you for the great job you did in ensuring that the ANC is established,” he said.

“Today, 107 years later, the child that you gave birth to in 1912 is still existing and it has grown.

“We thank you for that.

“I want to remind you that this ANC is yours, it was born here in this church.

“When we look back, we will see that there’s a lot that we have done and campaigning gives us an opportunity to go into the homes of many South Africans and they say ‘president thank you for the great job that the government has done’,” said Ramaphosa.

He said in his interactions with the elderly, they often thanked the government for access to old age pension grants and they are thankful for the gift left for them by the country’s first ever democratic president, Nelson Mandela.

“They also appreciate that in many schools, their children study free of charge and they are fed and the government provides bursaries for those in universities and colleges,” Ramaphosa said.

He said that parents often pleaded that the government should create job opportunities so that their children could be employed.

“We tell them not to lose hope because this government, that you say you love, has created job opportunities since 1994 and we know that at the moment many people are not working, but we will create jobs as we go around the world urging investors to invest their money in our country,” he said.

Political Bureau