/ 25 May 2024

Ramaphosa ‘outraged’ by other parties wanting do do away with national minimum wage

South African President Ramaphosa Briefs The Media On Voters Registration Weekend
President Cyril Ramaphosa Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Getty Images

It was also outrageous that “during these times of hardship” some political parties wanted to scrap the national minimum wage, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa told supporters at the party’s Siyanqoba rally on Saturday.

Without naming the Democratic Alliance, Ramaphosa said this was an attack on workers and efforts to build a fairer society.

Speaking during the party’s final campaign rally before the elections at the FNB stadium in Nasrec, Johannesburg, he added that the ANC would also not do away with the black economic empowerment policy. 

With many people unemployed, Ramaphosa said the ANC would continue to provide income support to those who needed it the most. “We will maintain the existing social grants, which have been so important in reducing poverty and providing poor children with opportunity.”

Ramaphosa said that while he was on the campaign trail, South Africans had told him that they wanted the R350 social relief of distress grant increased to R700, but the government would in the immediate future increase it to R370.

“At the same time, we will also implement a basic income support grant for employed people based on the SRD [social relief of distress grant] grant.”  

The 94 000-seater FNB Stadium drew a crowd of about 60 000 to 70 000 ANC supporters, according to a BBC report. 

As early as 10am buses from Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga began to arrive at the stadium, and supporters made their way inside. Entertainment from some of the country’s biggest musicians was on show.

In response to former ANC president Jacob Zuma’s newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe party supporters carried a coffin with “RIP Zuma” and “RIP MK party” in the stadium. Other people held placards that read: “Zuma is a small boy” and “MK rest in peace.” 

But by 2pm, when Ramaphosa started delivering his main address and final rallying call ahead of the elections, people started leaving the venue to gather outside, with some consuming alcohol and listening to loud music. 

One ANC supporter, Pleasure Nghojie said: “We have been here since the morning, we are tired, we just want to drink and enjoy the vibe here in Joburg.”  

Some people used the rally to sell the party’s merchandise. One vendor, Puseletso Mathibe, said: “It feels good to be here, and I am happy that I will be able to make some money.”  

Mathibe was confident that the party would retain its majority. “Yes the ANC has mistakes but at least it has proven itself, and we will vote for it. The other parties have no experience or idea of how to run a big country like South Africa.”