President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the crowd at the Chatsworth Youth Centre on Saturday Picture Tumi Pakkies

DURBAN - President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed Durban's infamous mafia groups for causing havoc and stopping work at construction sites demanding work and cash from businesses.

Ramaphosa said the disruptions posed by the construction mafia was the work of criminals who were hijacking the ANC's radical economic transformation policy to enrich themselves.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the Chatsworth Youth Centre on Saturday.

 “We are going to stop these criminals from using our policies of RET to steal and rob businesses. Law enforcement agencies should stop and lock them up for disrupting work on sites. We must say those who go around demanding stakes in businesess and money are not representing us, these are criminals,” he said.

He appealed to leaders to act against those who plunder resources which could be used to uplift poor communities.

“I want to say to them your days are numbered. We are taking action against you because we should be a country with a rule of law. There must be consequences if you go astray,” said Ramaphosa.

ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala also said it was against the law to disrupt construction work with force in the name of the ANC. 

"We must expose those people with criminal agendas and reject them from using the ANC," said Zikalala. 

Ramaphosa commended Zikalala and his deputy Mike Mabuyakhulu for working together in the provincial task team to unite the party. He said they have brought fresh hope to the organisation in the province after it was riddled with factions.

He warmed up to the people of Chatsworth when he told them that they were very special because they had a special place in Nelson Mandela’s heart.

“Madiba personally donated resources towards the building of this centre. His was an unwavering love for the human race was unquestionable. He loved humanity so deeply. He did not flinch when it comes to community upliftment programmes,” Ramaphosa said.