While Kimberley residents came out to see ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in their numbers on Monday, many are still disillusioned when it comes to issues of service delivery and job creation.
WHILE Kimberley residents came out to see ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in their numbers on Monday, many are still disillusioned when it comes to issues of service delivery and job creation.
Ramaphosa was on the campaign trail in Greenpoint, Homelite, Kagisho, John Daka and Donkerhoek on Monday as he sought to woo voters ahead of the local government elections on November 1, and he stated confidently that the ANC would win Wards 3, 8 and 22.
ANC T-shirts emblazoned with Ramaphosa’s face were handed out as he conducted door-to-door visits.
Greenpoint residents were surprised to see that a gravel road had been cleared to allow Ramaphosa to walk with community members in Thompson Avenue.
“The rubbish that was piled on the side of the road was dumped behind the shanties,” said the residents. “The president almost slipped in the water on the gravel road. We have no running water inside our houses and no one wants to make use of the portable toilets as they are smelly, especially during the summer. People choose to relieve themselves in the veld. How are we expected to live in these primitive conditions?”
Many residents believed that the ANC would win Ward 22 in Greenpoint, however, they questioned whether service delivery would improve.
“The ward was divided the last time between ANC factions and the ward fell into the hands of the DA,” they said. “However, it appears that it doesn’t matter who is in power, it does not appear as if service delivery will improve. Whenever a councillor is appointed they forget about us and switch off their phones; everyone is only interested in lining their pockets while the community suffers.”
A number of residents complained that their shanties were flooded with sewage and rubbish during rainy weather.
They added that the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 was not enough to sustain a family.
“Most people depend on the R350 grant as the majority are unemployed. What can you do with R350? It is barely enough to buy groceries for a week. We want houses, jobs and basic services. We want to be employed in government posts – they must not hire us on EPWP projects.”
Community members, however, cheered and applauded when Ramaphosa boasted about the R350 grant, which he said was “improving the lives of people”.
Ramaphosa rallied the crowd and called on community members to ensure that Greenpoint was returned to the ANC.
“Greenpoint belongs to the ANC. You were lost but now Greenpoint must come back home to the ANC. The ANC has the best answers to all the problems and will improve the lives of Greenpoint residents. We will work hard with the local councillor, Jahn Pietersen,” said Ramaphosa.
“The people have spoken and we have listened. They want improved roads, houses and assistance regarding the high cost of living. Yes, we have made mistakes but we will improve, we have the best comrades.”
He said that councillors were expected to work hard and serve the community.
“If they are not committed, we will show them the door and they can sit at home. You get those that wear ties and suits and stay in the office all day. This is a thing of the past. Our people must not steal, they must not work for themselves, line their pockets or bring friends and relatives into positions.”
Moving on, the presidential delegation took note of exposed cables in 3rd and 8th streets in Homevale, which residents said posed a danger to the neighbourhood.
“We don’t believe anything will be done about it, even after the president’s visit,” a number of residents remarked.
Some Homevale residents said that they would be supporting the Patriotic Alliance (PA) when they cast their votes on November 1.
“The PA councillor, Fernando Visagie, has already handed out food parcels, established a neighbourhood watch and is working towards eradicating crime and drugs in the neighbourhood. The ANC has done nothing for us, they only come around during the run-up to the elections in their big, luxury cars.”
An independent councillor contesting in Homevale Extension was meanwhile aggrieved that 53 of her election posters had been removed in the neighbourhood.
Another resident pointed out that there were no job opportunities for the youth.
“The minerals from the Province are shipped overseas while the community remains poor and jobless. The ANC must arrange exchange programmes to train youths in manufacturing and mineral beneficiation, or they should purchase machines so that locals are employed sustainably.”