South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has explained to KwaZulu-Natal Province voters that elections are not “an appropriated tool” for punishing the ruling party for its poor service delivery.”Elections are very important but they are not a tool for punishing the ANC. They are not sticks to use when fighting for services such as water and sewerage, that you know will later be fixed.
“Instead, we are going for elections where you must elect a government to fix all your problems,” he told residents in the Ladysmith area of the province, the privately-owned eNCA-TV reported on Sunday.
The broadcaster reported Ramaphosa as saying that he understood people’s frustrations for telling him they would stay home – rather than vote for the party — because service delivery was not happening fast enough in their areas.
While South African residents have been protesting nationwide over the lack of water, faulty sewerage systems and housing delivery, Ramaphosa has urged them to be patient and give his government a chance to fix the current problems.
Ramaphosa, who is on a nation-wide campaign trail ahead of the 8 May national polls, and his party are facing a backlash over long standing issues of poor service delivery in various fields, including failure to provide housing to the masses as promised in 1994.
The pledge to deliver five million houses to the poor was first made by Nelson Mandela when he campaigned for the ANC to enter government 25 years ago.
In spite of this, just over three million houses have been delivered, leaving those on the waiting list to stage protests to demand the delivery of the remaining homes.