President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday condemned what he called laziness by ANC supporters to go out and vote for the party, saying they were continually forcing the party into electoral decline.
Ramaphosa was on the campaign trail in Johannesburg, accompanied by other ANC officials including secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jessie Duarte.
Speaking at Park Station, Ramaphosa said the ANC was suffering declining support as its supporters were complacent about the size of the party.
“Our biggest problem is that people who support the ANC all think that the ANC will win and don’t go and vote. The number of people who go and vote for the ANC has become fewer and fewer,” he noted.
The morning blitz included a walk from Park Station to the party’s Luthuli House headquarters, where a group of disgruntled members holding placards were awaiting him and the other leaders. The placards warned they would not participate in the upcoming elections if the party’s leadership did not hear them out.
Ramaphosa has criticised those who deliberately stayed away from voting due to their unhappiness with the ANC.
“When you have problems, whatever they are, we don’t agree with you saying you will not vote. When you have problems at home, you do not say you will not go home. You go home and try to solve the problems. Let us address the problems,” he said.
Ramaphosa expressed confidence that the ANC would not be dislodged at the polls, despite the problems that have plagued the party in government, including allegations of impropriety and state capture.
The party had demonstrated its willingness to right its wrongs and once again focus on delivering on the needs of citizens.
“There is no other party that has the same policies we have and a clear vision of where South Africa must go. We have a clear vision about the direction that our country has to take,” he said.
Magashule, who took a train from Soweto to Park Station, admitted that the party leadership did not live among the poor and understand some of their struggles.
“We need to live among our people and know what affects them,” Magashule said. This included delayed trains and people being forced to leave their homes before 4 am to get to work, getting home after dark each day. –IOL