ANC Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa during the #Letsema campaign in northwest Litchtenburg.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa was horrified by the potholes he witnessed in a north-western city on Saturday while campaigning for the ANC.
- Ramaphosa described the recently dissolved local municipality of Ditsobotla in the northwest as a rotten, horror show.
- The president was in the area to campaign for votes in favor of the ANC after the party failed to win over the municipality in earlier municipal elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, while campaigning for the ANC, described a township in the northwest as the worst in the country, saying it was a “horror show” and had been hijacked by criminals.
Despite the fact that these admissions took place in a local ANC-administered municipality of Ditsobotla, Ramaphosa rallied residents of the north-western town to vote for the ANC.
Ramaphosa was in the northwest on Saturday as part of the ANC’s Letsema campaign event.
The president’s visit to the area serves him on two fronts; for his re-election campaign as ANC leader, but another is to help the ANC win votes in a municipality that it had failed to govern.
Ramaphosa, standing on a makeshift stage at a dilapidated taxi rank, admitted that residents faced a difficult decision in December, when by-elections for all districts in the municipality were on the line.
READ | Local municipality of Ditsobotla stable, for now, as mayor, spokesperson and interim municipal manager are appointed
The municipality dissolved earlier this year as its mismanaged finances and administration had left the area non-functional.
Internal ANC strife problems had aggravated the municipality, as two councilors once claimed to hold the positions of mayor and council president of Ditsobotla.
When one drives to Ditsobotla, a town bordered by Lichtenberg, the roads are full of potholes.
The area where the ANC held its mini-rally had no water for several days, residents told News24.
But despite these problems, hundreds of residents gathered and cheered as Ramaphosa pleaded for the ANC to be returned to office in the township.
He said that the ANC had solved its internal problems. Ramaphosa said those in command in the area had been removed.
Your municipality is rotten. It is rotten. That is why we as the national government decided to dissolve this municipality in order to elect new councilors. Those who were there did not show that they cared about this municipality. They wasted our time and wasted money and stole it.
While Ramaphosa was casting for votes, the EFF held their impromptu rally reminding residents of the president’s tainted involvement in the 2012 Marikana massacre.
The group played a strongly worded anti-Ramaphosa song a few miles from where they had gathered.
READ | Parly recommends dissolution of the ‘corrupt’ municipality of Ditsobotla
mingling with businessmen and residents over lunch, Ramaphosa said he was embarrassed to see potholes in the township that were so big they were hard to navigate.
“We have to stop people fixing potholes when they find out we’re coming,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said that Ditsobotla was a clear example of a municipality captured by criminal elements. “A municipality that has had two mayors, two spokespersons, is a horror show.”
The ANC received 51% support in the Ditsobotla Local Municipality after the 2021 municipal elections. New elections will be held in the area on December 14.