Jacob Zuma: Opposition parties will give you MPs, nothing else

2014-04-22 16:20

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President Jacob Zuma has called on residents of the Gert Sibande district in Mpumalanga not to “waste’’ their votes by casting them for opposition parties that will give them MPs and nothing else.

Zuma made the comments during a rally today at Embalenhle, a dormitory township near Secunda, during a two-day blitz through the province – one of the ruling party’s strongest bases.

Zuma is in the province, along with State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Premier David Mabuza and other leaders, drumming up support for the ANC ahead of the May 7 polls.

Zuma said that while the ANC remained “the movement of the people”, opposition parties would only “talk a lot’’ in Parliament without delivering any concrete benefit to residents.

Other parties, he said, could only “talk about the ANC’’ when they opened their mouths, failing to present their own manifestos to the voting public and instead focusing on criticising that of the ANC’s.

The ANC, he said, continued to grow, from 600 000 at Polokwane to 1.2 million members at its Mangaung conference in December 2012.

“Today they call you Mister or Madam, not my girl or my boy,’’ said Zuma to rousing applause. “Today it’s Mister so and so. We changed the law so that if somebody calls you a boy or girl, they are going to jail.’’

Zuma called on residents to vote “overwhelmingly’’ for the ANC to give the party the majority it needed to speed up transformation and service delivery.

Before the rally, Zuma met several residents of the township’s Extension 1, which makes up most of the Govan Mbeki local municipality’s Ward 19, during door-to-door visits.

He was scheduled to meet with minority community pensioners tonight in Secunda before moving on for a similar programme to Nkomazi on Wednesday.

During the door-to-door campaign, Zuma paid a visit to retired court interpreter Reuben Shabangu (76), who was waiting for Zuma wearing one of the several thousand ANC berets and T-shirts distributed by Mabuza and an ANC team earlier this morning.

Shabangu’s daughter, Nomsa, said she was “more than excited’’ about meeting Zuma, with whom she wanted to discuss the family’s situation as five of them live on her father’s state pension.

Neighbour Maria Mahlangu (68) was equally excited about the visit, discussing issues of housing and the lack of government offices in Embalenhle with the head of state.

“It was great talking to him,’’ she said. “He listened to everything I had to say.’’

Mabuza told Mahlangu that a series of government departments would move into a Tussong one-stop centre in the township.

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