'The ANC is moving forward' - Ramaphosa hits the campaign trail
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the community of Vosloorus on the East Rand that he will make sure that people who have stolen money go to jail.
Ramaphosa addressed hundreds of supporters and community members during his visit to the area to encourage them to cast their vote in favour of the ANC in the upcoming May 8 general elections.
“We are saying the crooks who steal money should go to jail. They must wear the orange overall [for prisoners],” the president told supporters.
Ramaphosa also used the occasion to preach unity in the ANC, so that the party could secure a positive electoral outcome.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of his visit to the area, Ramaphosa said the party was working hard to close the gaps of factionalism and was on track to resolve its problems.
“The ANC is a living organism. We are moving from a time where, yes, there were divisions, and those divisions and gaps between us are closing up. All the comrades are extending hands ... Sometimes there may be signs of that slipping, but we are moving forward. We are moving forward as a massive movement,” he said.
The ANC in Ekhuruleni was a loud opponent of Ramaphosa in the run-up to the ANC’s 2017 Nasrec conference, but there were no signs of a divide during the door-to-door campaign as Ramaphosa held hands with the ANC's Ekurhuleni chairperson Mzwandile Masina.
In October 2017, Masina famously said he would “never serve under Cyril”.
Ramaphosa's visit to the area began in Ward 44 of the township, where he went into the homes of old women and listened to their problems.
In one home, Ramaphosa promised 61-year-old Johana Makhanya that the local government would assist in getting her grandchildren social grants. In another home, Ramaphosa met Elsie Buda and Christine Sibanyoni, two old ladies who committed to voting for the ANC.
In every home, Ramaphosa heard complaints about unemployment and poorly built homes.
“We are not sitting on our laurels. We are trying everything that we can at a government level, working with the private sector and obviously working with labour. We are working out schemes, plans and opportunities for creating jobs for our people,” he told the media.
During his interactions with residents, alongside mayor Masina and Premier David Makhura, Ramaphosa heard about a housing shortage in the area. Some people gathered to hear him speak displayed placards complaining about RDP houses being stolen and corrupt officials colluding to steal houses.
“We are embarking on a massive programme here in Ekurhuleni to build 10-storey housing settlement structures. In another area, 3,000 human settlements will be built,” he told the media and later repeated to residents.
Ramaphosa added that he was encouraged by the hope that people had in the ANC.