Zuma urges KwaMashu residents to vote and not miss ‘democratic boat’

President Jacob Zuma has kicked off the final phase of the ANC’s election campaign with a day-long blitz in KwaZulu-Natal.

Earlier today Zuma and ANC provincial leaders held a door-to-door campaign in the KwaMashu area, visiting homes in B Section and in the men’s hostel area, discussing living conditions with residents in a bid to have them vote for the ruling party.

Zuma visited the Mkhwanazi home where two children with disabilities, Duduzile and Sphamandla Mkhwanazi, and their caregiver Halala Ngema, are facing eviction by family members because of a dispute over ownership.

Ngema asked Zuma for government intervention to prevent them being put out into the street.

At a rally shortly afterwards at the nearby Rotary Stadium at the Kwamashu men’s hostel, Zuma said it was unacceptable that people still lived in overcrowded apartheid-era two-roomed houses, arguing that voting for the ruling part would ensure that councillors with the ability to assist residents would take office.

Most residents of the area live in aged two-roomed houses while thousands of shacks dot the area around the hostel buildings.

The area is massively overcrowded with families of 10 people cramming into two-roomed houses.

Zuma said the don’t-vote campaign was not the way to respond when delivery was poor as this would mean that “you will have missed the democratic boat and your opportunity to have a say in your future”.

“You will be creating a situation where other people are taking decisions for you and you will have to live with it,” Zuma told a crowd of several thousand people who had packed into the hostel stadium.

Although KwaMashu is an ANC stronghold, the hostel area is contested territory, with many of its residents backing the IFP and, of late, the breakaway National Freedom Party.

Zuma’s visit was aimed at both consolidating the ANC vote and addressing concerns over the list process which have led to ANC nominees left off the final list standing as independents.

He will later today address mini rallies in Sweetwaters, a former IFP stronghold outside Pietermaritzburg, and in Richmond.

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