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ANC T-shirts a hit as David Mabuza campaigns in Olivenhoutbosch

Residents push and shove to get shirts and doeks

19 October 2021 - 17:36
ANC deputy president David Mabuza on the campaign trail. File photo.
ANC deputy president David Mabuza on the campaign trail. File photo.
Image: Supplied

An ANC T-shirt and the party’s doek were the most sought-after items when the governing party’s deputy president David Mabuza campaigned in Olivenhoutbosch in Tshwane on Tuesday

While Mabuza delivered his message of hope and canvassed for votes for his party, those in attendance waited eagerly for the party’s campaign regalia.

At a local park where Mabuza addressed residents, he handed out T-shirts and doeks to residents who were pushing and shoving each other. This eagerness for an ANC shirt showed that despite the ANC’s well documented failings, the ruling party remain popular in its strongholds.

According to Kenny Masha, a candidate councillor for ward 106 in Olivenhoutbosch, this was a sign residents in this area would go out in their numbers to vote out the DA in Tshwane on November 1.

“What we are seeing here is the love people have for the ANC. That is why they have come here in large numbers and they want it to be seen that they love this movement. That is why they want these T-shirts and doeks the deputy president has brought, because they want to publicly identify with the ANC,” said Masha, who accompanied Mabuza on his campaign in the area.

Mabuza has spent a lot of time campaigning in Tshwane in the past few weeks. The deputy president told residents it was time to bring the ANC back in government in Tshwane as the DA has done very little for them, especially in Olivenhoutbosch.

“Almost every section of the tarred road in this area is filled with potholes, rubbish is piling up on street corners while only a few have proper housing with running water and electricity,” he said.

“I want you to work hard and work with our people so we can change these conditions people are living under.

“Our people don’t have houses to live in. Our people don’t have water. Water is life.”

He appealed to residents to trust the ANC will fix issues and that the mistakes the party made in 2016 which led to the DA winning Tshwane must be discussed and fixed by the ANC as a family.

“The ANC is your house, it is your home. Even when there are issues in the ANC, let’s sit down and fix them,” Mabuza said.

“The mistake that happened in 2016, many of you stayed away and did not go to vote, leading to the DA taking over. Have you seen any difference under the DA? Nothing.”

The deputy president was accompanied by ANC national executive committee members Aaron Motsoaledi and Joe Maswanganyi. He said he also brought Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to take stock of schooling issues in the area.

The residents complained about the rotational schooling system, saying it wasn’t working, and appealed for more schools to be built — especially to accommodate disabled children.

Resident Agnes [she did not give her surname] said they wanted the ANC back in government in Olivenhoutbosch and Tshwane in general. She said the ANC must ensure the corrupt are removed to deliver services.

Agnes said she is renting a backroom in extension 13 but because she is unemployed she sometimes doesn’t have money to pay rent.

“We want houses. We registered for houses in 2000 but we have not received those houses. Here only friends of those in power are awarded houses built by the state,” she said.

Kwena Mokoatedi had a similar complaint about housing, saying she registered in 2006 but has not been awarded a house.

“I have approval, a unit number and block but I have to to rent a room. Do you hear that? I’ve been busy voting — and for what? I’m not going to vote. I will not vote for people who don’t care about me. It was the DA in charge but I’ve been voting for the ANC all this time,” Mokoatedi said.

“The ANC must take care of us and give us our houses in extensions 36 and 27 and remove those people from our houses because we have approval. They have brought people from other townships, including Alexandra, to occupy our houses.”