All eyes on Ramaphosa as ANC gears up to launch election manifesto

Party to outline promises under level 2 lockdown regulations, which only allow for 500 people to attend

ANC staff at Luthuli House have decided to suspend their strike in order to focus on the local government elections. File photo.
ANC staff at Luthuli House have decided to suspend their strike in order to focus on the local government elections. File photo.
Image: Phillip Nothnagel

People are expected to descend on Church Square in Pretoria on Monday afternoon ahead of the ruling party’s widely anticipated election manifesto launch to be addressed by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.     

The party will outline its promises under level 2 of the lockdown regulations, which only allow for 500 people to attend.

SA’s major opposition parties — including the DA, EFF and IFP — have already unveiled their manifestos with a slew of promises in a bid to win the sixth local government elections, scheduled for November 1.   

Ramaphosa was hard at work at the weekend, campaigning for his party and pleading with potential voters to give the ANC another chance as it promised to do things differently to ensure good governance this time around.

On the campaign trail in Ekurhuleni on Sunday, he admitted that one of the biggest  problems facing the country was unemployment and told potential voters the party has “big plans” to tackle it.

In Soweto last week, Ramaphosa got a cold reception as angry residents slammed the party, accusing it of only caring during elections, as they remained without electricity and jobs for prolonged periods.

“Wherever I have gone, people are complaining about jobs and we said that we have got big plans to make sure that we create an environment where jobs will be created in our economy,” he said on Sunday. 

An ANC document seen by the Sunday Times states that Ramaphosa will hinge his speech on a claim that the party has done a lot this time around to ensure it installs capable candidates as mayors and senior municipal officials. 

Earlier this year, the party implemented new rules for electing metro mayors, including that mayoral candidates be interviewed by the party’s top six in a bid to have a professional local government. 

The ANC revealed last week that at least a quarter of the more than 10,000 candidates it registered are young people, with the youngest candidate aged 20.

Speaking at an impromptu candidate preview event at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Sunday, Ramaphosa said the party leadership would make sure its councillors, especially the youth, embody ethical servant leadership and are fit and proper for public office.

“We are going to cook you. We will cook you so you become the fit and proper councillors our people want to see,” he reportedly said. 

At the same event, Ramaphosa urged ANC candidates to listen to the people and engage with them on their problems. He cautioned against making empty promises, urging them instead to work together with the people to find lasting solutions.

“You should be the embodiment of ethical servant leadership, fight against corruption and mismanagement, and continually improve the functioning of local government. You should be the best councillors our nation has seen,” he said. 

Ramaphosa's party hopes to regain control of metros it lost in the 2016 local government elections. The only metros the ANC governs with a majority are eThekwini, Buffalo City and Mangaung. It runs Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni through coalitions with smaller parties.  


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