Deputy president urges people to register to vote

2016-04-13 06:00
ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa with Dr Albertinah Luthuli at the Luthuli Museum, in Groutville, on Saturday following a voter registration campaign in Mandeni and KwaDukuza. Photo: supplied

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa with Dr Albertinah Luthuli at the Luthuli Museum, in Groutville, on Saturday following a voter registration campaign in Mandeni and KwaDukuza. Photo: supplied

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THE ANC’s deputy president – who is also the state deputy president – Cyril Ramaphosa went on a voter registration campaign in areas in Mandeni and KwaDukuza on Saturday.

The deputy president was accompanied by Joe Phaahla, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, Greater KwaDukuza regional chairperson Ricardo Mthembu and other party leaders and members.

Greater KwaDukuza regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said the areas that were the prime target of the campaign were those that were recently rocked by protests stemming from disputes around the process of nominating candidates to contest the local elections – namely, Shaka’s Head and eMakhempini, Sithebe in Mandeni, among others.

He said the intention was for Ramaphosa to meet with and engage briefly with members from these communities.

He said many of the people the party’s leadership engaged with raised issues pertaining to unemployment.

He said many of the people promised that they would register to vote so as to make their voices heard.

Makhathini said people could still register to vote and urged more people to do so as the number of registered voters contributes to how much national government is going to budget for localities.

He said the campaign trail also met up with members from the Indian, coloured and white communities who voiced their complaints that though they played a role in the liberation of the oppressed people of South Africa they felt neglected by the organisation.

Makhathini said they – members from the Indian and coloured communities – were reassured the party does not neglect them, especially the families of those individuals who had played a significant role in the struggle movement.

Ramaphosa’s campaign in the area culminated with a visit to the Luthuli Museum in Groutville where the deputy president was met by Dr Albertina Luthuli – the daughter of struggle stalwart Chief Albert Luthuli – and her family.

Ramaphosa, speaking to journalists, said that he and his team had been overwhelmed by the spirit of happiness among communities, despite the challenges that they faced.

“People have raised a number of problems and [the availability of] water is one of them. They see the development happening around them in terms of housing and infrastructure. Many of these people are also in need of jobs,” he said.

“Employment is a major problem and I told them government is continuing to make a conducive environment for business to invest. Government is [also] developing infrastructure to create jobs.

“There is no anger and discouragement, just a spirit of happiness despite the challenges and problems.”

Ramaphosa said the aim of his visits had been to mobilise people to register to vote, irrespective of for whom they cast their ballot.

“Who they vote for is their own business but what we are doing is to encourage everyone across the party political spectrum to register,” he said.

On challenges facing the African National Congress, Ramaphosa said that the party had a long history of resolving internal turmoil.

“We have challenges that we are addressing [as a party] and the good thing about the ANC is that it addresses them openly, honestly and directly. This is not the first time we have faced challenges.

“We are 104 years old and we will continue to address the problems and issues,” he added.

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