Disgruntled residents unmoved by Zuma’s party invitation

President Jacob Zuma’s charm and signature dance moves did little to excite Stellenbosch township residents who had gathered in their numbers on Wednesday hoping to get a clear explanation on basic services such as electricity, only to receive an invitation for the ANC’s 103-year anniversary celebration.

Sporting umbrellas, straw and bucket hats with children strapped to their backs and held up on their shoulders, hundreds of Nkanini informal settlement residents left their shacks and homes in the dusty area and crowded around the stage, while some chose to listen to the ANC president’s pitch from their rooftops.

Zuma has been going from township to township in Cape Town since Tuesday this week, as part of the party’s aggressive campaign to build up excitement about its birthday celebration this weekend.

The Nkanini informal residents, however, said they were not impressed with his visit, because he did not even take the time to ask them what they needed as a community, before extending the invitation to a party.

Some grumbled to themselves while he was singing and speaking on stage, asking if attending the party would lead to them getting electricity.

Rushed visit
Nobuntu Fata (55) said she did not understand why the president rushed through his visit in the township.

“They got here and told us they were short on time and just invited us to a party. He should have given himself enough time to listen to some of the issues we are faced with daily, instead of showing up to invite us to party. Going to the party is not going to make up for the fact that there is no electricity here.

“The fact that we have to live with candle lit dinners by force and have no decent schools. We gathered here because we thought he was going to talk about our problems, and I’m sure most of the people here are not going to go to that party. We will still come back to shacks and darkness.”

She said the residents could not party when they were unhappy.

Another resident, Nosive Kibido (29) said she was disappointed that the president had not even asked what challenges they were faced with.


“He cannot tell us he will change our lives, when he has no idea what kind of change is needed here. We have been living in shacks for so long that I don’t even trust the politicians anymore. They can enjoy their party, we are not going there.”

Toppling the DA
The president visited Nkanini informal settlement outside Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon – straight from the ANC’s NEC meeting, and enthusiastically stepped on stage, where he invited the residents to join the party’s festivities on Saturday.

He was accompanied by deputy minister of labour, Phathekile Holomisa, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, as well as a number of ANC ward councillors from Stellenbosch.

Zuma asked the residents to make sure they were part of the drive to topple “the party I can’t even remember that runs this province. The party that only takes care of residents in Rondebosch and does not know poverty”.

“We took a decision to come to Cape Town this year, to celebrate the birthday of the ANC, because there is something that hasn’t happened here yet. We have not taken this province from that party and we will,” he said, referring to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

He said they wanted to take the province from the DA because there was too much poverty in the area.

“When we look around, and drive around the different poor areas, we can see that those in power don’t care about your needs. We want to change that. So the future of this province is in your hands. So lets work together next year to take this municipality. Because this area is not theirs.

“So everyone has to vote and make sure they vote right. We will work for you. You should not be made to feel like refugees in your own country. We are not playing this time, sitshica igazi [we are spitting blood]. So come party with us, Koze Kuse, akulalwa [until the morning comes],” Zuma said.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations