/ 18 May 2024

Ramaphosa says the ANC’s victory rests on KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

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All knock and no drop: President Cyril Ramaphosa poses for a photo with supporters during an election campaign event at Hammarsdale Junction in KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Leon Sadiki/Getty Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC had its eyes on winning KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the 29 May general elections, being the provinces with the most voters in the country.

Speaking on the party’s campaign trail at the Sibusisiwe community hall at Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, Ramaphosa admitted that over the last 30 years in power, the  ANC had made mistakes, but said it had also done a lot of good.

“(This) morning I saw with my own eyes that the people of Mandeni love the ANC, we wish that the energy I experienced to can be spread throughout the whole of KZN, furthermore, we as the volunteers must make sure that on 29 May, our people go out and vote,” he said, defending his party’s governing record since winning the first democratic elections in 1994.

“When the ANC came into power, there were only eight million people working and today there are over 16 million people working. We know that the biggest problem is unemployment and we know that and we have a plan,” he said.

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa, Gauteng has the largest registered voter block, accounting for 23.45% of the national tally, while KwaZulu-Natal comes a close second with 20.79%. The Eastern Cape has the third-largest voter registration numbers at 12.42%.

In an apparent reference to the uMkhonto weSizwe party of former president Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa said the electorate should not be distracted by newly created parties that he accused of going around making empty promises.

“Even on our manifesto, we have mentioned that our priority is job creation and skills development. Our youth must be skilled, therefore we will inject R15 billion into skills development programmes,” he said, adding that the new jobs would not only cater for those aged 18 to 35 years — and are the hardest hit by unemployment — but for the whole population.

He vowed that if the ANC won the elections, its seventh administration would have skilled, educated and serious people serving the country.

“Those that want to come in to steal and continue with corruption, have no place in the ANC. We will work, laziness will end as we will be more serious, like never before,” Ramaphosa said.

He also defended the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill which he signed into law earlier this week, saying it aimed to eliminate inequality in the health system.

“A lot of sick people pay a lot of money for health care, so with the new bill in place, you will be able to work in doctors rooms, get help and not pay a cent. We are working on it and we promise it will be perfect,” Ramaphosa said.