Muddy shoes for Ramaphosa as he visits rain-soaked and potholed Northern Cape town
Rain is a scarcity for the residents of Mountanview in Pampierstad in the Northern Cape.
When it does rain, the streets are submerged and become beds of mud, and the potholes on the few tarred roads are too big to manoeuvre around.
When rain accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the the area, more than 100km from Kimberly, residents smirked.
“He has to experience what we go through every day,” one resident remarked as Ramaphosa walked through the mud and around the potholes on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa was accompanied by Northern Cape premier Zamani Saul, ministers Jackson Mthembu and Zweli Mkhize and deputy minister Zizi Kodwa.
The visit to the community, who braved the wet weather, was part of the mobilisation ahead of the ANC's January 8 birthday rally in the area.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the challenges facing the community.
Saul said the government was fully aware of the concerns of the community, which included the bad state of the roads, the lack of street lights and the local clinic which has been shut and dysfunctional for months.
"The community said when it rains the roads become difficult, and we experienced it today," Saul said.
Ramaphosa lifted his feet to show the crowd the mud on his shoes, and one resident responded: “It's right. You must see”.
The president promised investment in the Northern Cape to solve the problems facing communities there.
“We also have a big unemployment problem. We are not the only ones. Many other countries have the same problems,” he said, making reference to South Africa’s neighbouring countries.
Ramaphosa repeated the sentiment expressed by party secretary-general Ace Magashule on Monday.
“Many of those countries have the same problems we have of not having jobs,” he said, adding that government was focusing all its attention on creating jobs.
Areas across the Northern Cape also face frequent power cuts, and Ramaphosa said they were working to maintain Eskom’s old power stations.
“We are improving the management of Eskom,” he said.
Ramaphosa said there was investment opportunity in energy, mining and agriculture in the Northern Cape, and the investment was possible.
The community was encouraged to attend the Saturday rally which Ramaphosa is expected to address.
As Ramaphosa left Mountainview, his security detail battled to skirt around craters in the tarred roads and the mud on most of the roads in the area.