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Mabuza bemoans challenges worsened by Covid-19 as campaigning continues

'Poverty has deepened, unemployment has grown'

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Deputy President David Mabuza
Deputy President David Mabuza
Image: Alon Skuy

Deputy president David Mabuza says campaigning this year has become so hard, with unemployment and poverty having risen in the country. 

Mabuza, who was speaking during his campaign trail at KaNyamazane outside Mbombela in Mpumalanga on Thursday, also bemoaned factions in the ANC saying through renewal of the organisation factionalism will be ended. 

“This campaign is difficult because the Covid-19 situation has created a serious challenge. A lot of people have lost their livelihood, a lot of companies have closed down, poverty has deepened, unemployment has grown. This is a situation that we understand and [we're] working on it and I’m sure that once we get our people vaccinated to get our economy working... people will go back to work and SMMEs  will be back on their feet. I’m sure things will be right over time,” said Mabuza. 

He also said the ANC Mpumalanga will have to hold a elective conference to replace him after the elections if the country is not hit by a fourth wave of Covid-19. 

“The situation is the same countrywide because of the lockdown situation, there has not been elective  conferences. I’m sure beyond these elections, if we are not hit by the fourth wave, the province will have to hold a conference so that they can elect a chairperson.

"The ANC is in the process to renew itself, we are trying to deepen unity and I said when we were in Mamelodi that unity is a continuous process... We are mindful of the divisions that are there and we are going to attend to them and they have created a serious problem in the candidate selection process and we are going to attend to that post the elections,” said Mabuza. 

He said the issues raised by communities in KaNyamazane, including houses that were damaged by a storm, would be referred to the relevant authorities. 

Resident Thembi Mashego complained to Mabuza about her house which was damaged by a heavy storm, leaving it with a leaky roof. She said the government had promised to help them repair their homes but that this process was slow.

“My house is leaking when it rains since it was hit by the storm. We want your government to work for us because it seems like we are being lied to,” Mashego said.

Mabuza went to houses listening to people’s concerns and gifting them with ANC regalia including kangas and T-shirts. Using an ANC bakkie with a loudhailer, Mabuza called for the community to vote for the ANC in the municipal elections on November 1.

“People are complaining about houses that were damaged during the heavy storm and I’m going to report this to the provincial government. Also, the issue of crime to the provincial commissioner and also the issue of projects that are being stopped here because of money," Mabuza said. 

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