Stanger - ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has returned to the ANC struggle stalwarts and first Nobel prize winner, Chief Albert Luthuli’s grave to lay a wreath and pay respect as he kicks off the 2024 election campaign.
The next year’s general election will be arguably the most difficult campaign for the ANC which has experienced a support decline in the past elections.
Ramaphosa, accompanied by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC leaders, declared his visit to the north coast as the start of the campaign. He had a full-day of activity which started with a walkabout in Stanger where he was handing over ANC pamphlets - encouraging voters to go and register to vote for his party.
The traffic was brought to a standstill in the busy Stanger town as Ramaphosa walked through the streets, greeting people while handing over pamphlets.
Addressing the crowd that had been following him, Ramaphosa conceded that there were challenges, but maintained that it was only the ANC that will solve them.
He recounted the government’s achievements convincing people to continue keeping the ANC in power.
“Our serious problem is electricity, but as you have seen that I have appointed the Minister of Electricity, and we are going to resolve that issue. We have provided over 4 million houses, and about 800 000 students are now Nsfas-funded. We will continue to pay R350 to all those lost jobs during Covid-19.
The ANC is the only party that is capable, others (those who wear overalls and blue colour) may try but they do not know what they are talking about, he said referring to the DA and EFF.
He went on to lay a wreath to the grave of ANC's former president and first Nobel Prize winner Luthuli, in Groutville. He proceeded to the door-to-door campaign in Lindelani township, which has been known to be the IFP stronghold in Stanger.
As Ramaphosa launched the election campaign, the ANC had been on a losing streak during by-elections. After losing several municipalities to the IFP, the party continued to lose many wards during by-elections.
This week, the IFP took another ward from the ANC in Msunduzi Municipality, Pietermaritzburg, posing serious threats as 2024 draws closer. Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by the “warm reception” in Stanger saying people remained hopeful.
“They appreciated that we have appointed the electricity minister. It is an honour that we came to meet with the Luthuli family. We applauded the Luthuli family for preserving his name,” he added.