ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. (News24)
Paarl - About 100 people sang and danced on the wet streets of Silvertown, Mbekweni, as ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa visited Paarl as part of the final election campaigning on Thursday.
Banging empty cold drink bottles and a blowing a brass vuvuzela for accompaniment, the mainly female supporters sang songs in praise of President Jacob Zuma.
A massive convoy of black SUVs marked Ramaphosa's arrival, with soldiers in camouflage and rifles standing outside houses as he dropped into in Ward 6, as supporters sang outside.
"Skippa!" shouted some of the women trying to get an African National Congress T-shirt, while Ramaphosa gave a round of hugs and waved at the crowd.
The ANC is pulling out the stops to win the ward from the Democratic Alliance.
The suburb falls under the Drakenstein Municipality and many of the residents of Mbekweni arrived here through apartheid-era forced removals from nearby Wellington.
The ANC came in at 31.3%, compared with the DA's 57.8%, in the 2011 elections for the Drakenstein Municipality.
Ward candidate Zukile Nomana held Silvertown Ward 6 and is confident she will bring it back for the party, based on its housing and electrification record there.
Meanwhile, a group of residents in shacks near a railway line in Mbekweni dug a trench in a road to release water that had swamped their makeshift homes.
The road was closed to traffic as they tried to push the water into a field.
Ramaphosa started the morning with a meeting at the local constituency office and was expected to have a door-to-door visit after that.
At least three police vans waited at a distance from his welcoming party.
Richard Mkosana, 54, wearing his ANC cap, said he was very satisfied with what the party had done for him.
The construction worker has lived in Mbekweni for more than 20 years.
Most of those years were spent in a shack, but now he and his family live in the new housing development of Dromedaris.
"We even have tiles on the floor," he said.
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