No more ‘tough times’

2019-01-11 15:40
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa waves to supporters at the Msunduzi  athletics stadium on Thursday.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa waves to supporters at the Msunduzi athletics stadium on Thursday. (Ian Carbutt)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured Pietermaritzburg residents that the ANC is on its way to becoming a “clean government” by ridding itself of corruption and lies.

This as Ramaphosa also said the party was now working together and was united after it had been “tough before” inside the ANC.

The president was addressing community members in Dambuza as part of a visit to the Moses Mabhida region on Thursday, ahead of the ANC’s manifesto launch in Durban on Saturday.

Ramaphosa was joined by a delegation of ministers, including KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and KZN MEC for Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi.

Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo was also part of the proceedings.

Ramaphosa used his visit to also officially launch the new Msunduzi Athletic Stadium, where he commended Msunduzi for being at the centre of physical activity in the country by hosting several sporting events.

“We want to fix the problems of the past. We want to do things truthfully so we can be trusted by the people,” Ramaphosa told some 200 people in Dambuza.

“We’ve got a mission to fulfil the dreams of the people. We don’t want to be the government that just keeps benefitting.”

The president would have been referencing allegations of widespread corruption that have plagued the country in the last few years.

This includes Msunduzi, which has been dogged with allegations of corruption.

In a wide-ranging speech in Dambuza, Ramaphosa said the ANC had launched a scheme to solve youth unemployment — called the Youth Employment Service — to help young people get jobs in the next three years. He said an office would be opened in Dambuza where youth can go to seek help on getting employed or opening a business. 

He also praised the national matric pass rate of 78,2%, but called for an investigation into why pupils dropped out before Grade 10.

The day began with an early morning walk attended by hundreds of people from Church Street to the Msunduzi Athletic Stadium in Scottsville, as part of Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina initiative to get the public to adopt active life­styles. Despite promising to be part of the walk, Ramaphosa did not show up.

He did, however, apologise for this at the launch of the athletics stadium.

“I must commend Msunduzi as the centre of physical activity in the country, where many activities take place like the Comrades Marathon, the Mandela Marathon… and the Dusi Marathon.”

Ramaphosa said: “This is a world class athletics track. I don’t want this facility to become a white elephant. It must be utilised… and it must be used to host international tournaments.”

The president also visited Siqongweni Secondary School where he pledged a new library, computer centre and science lab because the school was the only local township school to get above an 80% matric pass rate in the last five years.

He announced at the school that he would be forming a reading club nationally where pupils who wanted to join would need to read 12 books a year.

The delegation also visited the embattled Manor Flats in Willowton, where Zikalala promised the ANC would return to assist them with their issues.

Manor Flats residents have in the past protested over their living arrangements.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  president cyril ramaphosa
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