Africa-Press – South-Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa, while campaigning for the ANC, described a North West municipality as the worst run in the country, saying it was a “horror show,” and had been hijacked by criminals.
Despite these admissions having taken place in an ANC-run Ditsobotla Local Municipality, Ramaphosa rallied residents in the North West town to vote for the ANC.
Ramaphosa was in the North West on Saturday as part of the ANC’s Letsema campaign event.
The president’s visit to the area serves him on two fronts; for his re-election campaign as ANC leader, but another is to help the ANC win votes in a municipality it had failed to govern.
Ramaphosa, standing on a makeshift stage at a dilapidated taxi rank, admitted that residents faced a tough choice in December – when by-elections for all the municipality’s wards were up for grabs.
The municipality was dissolved earlier this year because its poorly run finances and administration had left the area nonfunctional.
The ANC’s internal troubles of infighting had compounded the municipality as two councillors once claimed to hold the mayorship and speakership positions in the Ditsobotla council.
When one drives into Ditsobotla, a town bordered by Lichtenberg, the streets are littered with potholes.
The area where the ANC held its mini rally had no water for several days, residents told News24.
But despite these issues, hundreds of residents gathered and cheered as Ramaphosa begged for the ANC to be returned to office in the municipality.
He said the ANC had resolved its internal issues. Ramaphosa said those at the helm in the area had been removed.
While Ramaphosa touted for votes, the EFF held its makeshift rally where residents were reminded of the president’s tainted involvement in the 2012 Marikana massacre.
The party played a song strongly worded against Ramaphosa a few kilometres from where he had gathered.
While engaging business people and residents at a luncheon, Ramaphosa said he was ashamed of seeing the potholes in the municipality that were so big they were hard to manoeuvre.
“We have to bring an end to people fixing potholes when they hear that we are coming,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said Ditsobotla was a clear example of a municipality captured by criminal elements. “A municipality that has had two mayors, two speakers, it’s a horror show”.
The ANC received 51% support in the Ditsobotla Local Municipality following the 2021 municipal elections. A fresh election will be held in the area on 14 December.