Politics

Ramaphosa wants SA to be patient as government tackles unemployment, Eskom crisis

Ramaphosa wants SA to be patient as government tackles unemployment, Eskom crisis

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has insisted that his government was not sleeping on the job when it came to addressing unemployment.

Ramaphosa was yesterday drumming up support in Mountain View in Kimberley, Northern Cape, for the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations on Saturday. “We are not the only ones in the whole world. Many other countries if you look at countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, just around us, even Botswana.

“Many of those countries have the same problems that we have of not having jobs. “Now we are focusing all our attention on coming up with strategies and plans and interventions to create jobs,” he said.

He added that the ANC’s leadership would make job creation their primary focus, with state-owned companies being used as drivers to create jobs.

Ramaphosa called on South Africans to give Eskom’s leadership under the power utility’s new chief executive, André de Ruyter, a chance to address its problems.

This comes after unplanned power cuts returned a few days into the new year.

“The load shedding that keeps coming is because of the maintenance challenges. “Those are known problems and we are addressing them. In the end, we will need to be maintaining those power stations so that we repair them and put them on a better footing.”

He said South Africans had to be patient. “I know that, as South Africans, we are impatient. We want everything to have been fixed yesterday, and on an on-going basis, but it will be. All I am saying is that we are addressing those problems,” he said.

Although Ramaphosa’s campaign trail for the ANC’s upcoming birthday bash was hampered by persistent rains, which muddied poor and sandy roads in the Mountain View yesterday, he insisted that the governing party had done its best to deliver quality services to the poor in the area.

He said while he was also affected by the bad roads, there were other services which had been delivered by the ANC-led government and for which people were thankful despite their complaints about roads and living conditions.

“I have seen the RDP houses we have built. I got inside them and spoke with the people who stay in those houses. “They told me clearly about the struggles you are facing here. They thanked me for the houses,” Ramaphosa said.

With muddy shoes and accompanied by Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul, he told the few residents who braved the drizzle that he had witnessed for himself how bad the road infrastructure in the area was, where there were also no streets lights. “I agreed with the premier that the roads here need fixing. We cannot take our country forward with roads like these,” he said.

He called on residents to attend the party’s biggest annual rally to hear what the party was planning to deliver to South Africans in the year ahead. He highlighted that, despite the ANC’s shortcomings, it remained the political party most capable of delivering services to the country’s citizens, as it was the oldest political party on the continent.

Leaders from the ANC’s alliance partners, the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco, are among the speakers who are billed to deliver messages of support at the event on Saturday.

Political Bureau