While on a voter registration campaign trail on Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa interacted with ordinary South Africans in Soweto, encouraging them to register in their numbers to vote for the ANC.
Ramaphosa was in the company of Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, ANC Youth League leader Collen Malatji and other ANC officials during his door-to-door voter registration campaign where he urged voters to ensure ANC victory in the upcoming general elections.
“There is no other party that we’re going to go with. Today, we’re educated because of the ANC. We'll go ahead with the ANC. The people have raised a number of issues and we are really privileged to have the premier and the leader of the ANCYL and we have been interacting with the people in their homes and in the streets and shopping malls, and they have been raising issues that are of concern to them. Young people have been raising issues of education. They want funding for education. Some of them have received positive responses and some of them are in the ‘missing middle’,” he said.
However, on one of his stops, Ramaphosa also interacted with an Ethiopian spaza shop owner, asking him if his business is registered. Instead of confronting the illegal immigration issue, Ramaphosa instead inquired on how the business was doing and if the business was legal.
“How is business going ... Are you registered ... What can I buy from here?”
The spaza shopkeeper told Ramaphosa that he is registered and he (Ramaphosa) could buy anything he wants from the store.
However, South Africans who have been complaining about the dominance of the spaza shop industry by illegal foreigners following reports of fake and expired goods sold in most outlets owned by illegal immigrants, slammed Ramaphosa for failing to confront some of the issues in this market.
“The government of Ramaphosa continues to ignore the effect of illegal immigration in our communities. Instead of demanding the fake business registration and buying the fake poisonous goods, Ramaphosa just wishes the illegal immigrants well with his business,” one X user said while reacting to Ramaphosa’s handling of the immigration issue.
Ramaphosa’s biggest cheerleader on social media, Goolam, conceded that Ramaphosa scored an own goal during his interaction with the Ethiopian spaza shop owner.
“As a supporter of President Ramaphosa, this is disgraceful and very embarrassing. How do you promote a foreigner’s business. Embarrassing. Also, it seems because these foreigners don’t allow the locals to open spaza shops, the president and his team cannot find a South African-owned spaza shop. Horrible decision by Ramaphosa and a massive own goal,” Goolam said on X.