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With less than two months before South Africans go to the polls in municipal elections, the African National Congress (ANC) has now entered the Mayihlome phase of our election campaign.
In this phase, we will intensify physical contact with our people and communicate our achievements as a country as well as outline what the ANC plans to do in the next five years.
The country has witnessed first hand that the ANC remains ingrained in the hearts and minds of our people.
Thousands of members and supporters packed the stadiums in Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng in provincial manifesto launches, building on the national launch that took place in Port Elizabeth.
The massive attendance demonstrates our people’s expression of confidence in the ANC’s capacity as the only political party with the necessary experience, track record, ability and determination to change the quality of our people’s lives.
We will be in Maritzburg at Harry Gwala Stadium on 12 June for the KwaZulu-Natal launch. Again we expect our people to come out in their thousands to express their confidence in the ANC.
Our primary focus is now on working for a decisive and overwhelming victory for the ANC on August 3.
There should be no doubt that the ANC remains committed to ensuring a peaceful election campaign period.
During the campaign period and beyond, ANC members must remain tolerant and peaceful, in the true tradition upon which our great movement was founded.
All political parties have signed the independent Electoral Commission’s Code of Conduct and we are confident that our members will lead by example in this regard.
Our glorious movement has since its inception been characterized by Revolutionary Discipline.
Such revolutionary discipline entails the acceptance of the outcomes of our elaborate list processes by all members of the ANC – despite their initial preferences.
The ANC is a movement which adheres to principles of democratic centralism in terms of which the will of the majority prevails- and the authority of constitutional structures is respected.
Our members must conduct themselves with dignity. They must not allow themselves to be provoked by those who thrive on violence and mayhem.
The ANC deplores and condemns the recent shootings in KwaZulu-Natal which have caused the loss of life and injury, and extends its condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives.
We call on our communities to unite, and isolate and report those behind the violence to law-enforcement authorities.
We cannot, we must not, allow Kwa-Zulu/Natal to be taken back to the horrors of the 1980s where violence claimed the lives of many people in the province.
Right now, the focus is on ensuring a decisive victory at the polls. The ANC’s 2016 Local Government Elections Manifesto has been presented to our people; wherein we have pledged to make municipalities to perform better and improve the lives of our people.
It I the duty and responsibility of every cadre of the movement to communicate and popularize this manifesto across all the corners of the country.
It is also their duty to communicate the successes of the ANC government to the electorate. We often mistakenly assume that our people know the good work that the ANC is doing and that there is no need for us to communicate with them regularly.
If we do not communicate, we allow space for our detractors to mislead the public and give an impression that South Africa is not doing well.
We must flood every corner of the country with one message.
The ANC Lives! The ANC Leads!
This is not a time for negativity or distraction.
It is a time for inspiring hope and confidence.
Ours is a message of better communities under municipalities that function better, implementing the policies of the ANC.
Ours is a message that our councilors will be approachable, accessible, trustworthy and dependable.
Local government is the sphere of government that is closest to the people.
The ANC has committed itself to deploy councilors who will be transparent, exemplary and accountable to the people in the communities they lead.
Our councilors must be connected with the people. They must be dynamic, efficient and competent to fulfill the responsibilities of being ANC representatives in the local government sphere.
More importantly, they must be caring, patient and kind. The same applies to municipal officials.
They should also be patient and ready to serve our people efficiently and in a caring manner at all times. In this way, we will achieve our goals of making the experience of local government pleasant for our people.
Our people must have complete faith in an ANC councilor. They must be assured that when they have spoken to an ANC councilor about a problem, it will receive due regard and attention.
Our communities must know that there is no problem that is too small to warrant the attention of an ANC councilor, and no problem that is too big to be resolved by the ANC.
At the same time, the councilors will not work alone.
ANC branches must be ready to support the deployees in their work, and ensure that they succeed.
They need the support of comrades in other spheres. It is unfair that at times councilors are criticized for services that are beyond the mandate of municipalities to provide.
The community may raise a matter that requires the attention of the provincial government or the national government.
This means that all three spheres of government must work well together.
Comrades who are deployed as premiers, MECs, deputy ministers, or members of parliament and provincial legislatures must stand ready to assist those deployed at local government to respond to issues raised.
The ANC has a responsibility to provide sound leadership to the country, and to take South Africa forward in achieving the vision of a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
The ANC as the governing party of South Africa since democracy, is the
only organization that has the necessary experience, determination and capacity to change the quality of lives of our people.
In our cities, in our towns and in our villages, the lives of our people are changing for the better every single day.
Nine million learners are in no-fee schools because of the policies of the ANC.
Nine million children get free meals at school to improve performance. Government also subsides close to a million children to enable them to attend early childhood development centres.
Approximately 17 million indigent South Africans benefit from social grants introduced by the ANC to redress a legacy of disparity in the provision of social services to our people.
A total of 2,4 million indigent households now benefit from free water services in terms of the ANC government’s National Indigent Policies.
Approximately 2,2 million poor households also benefit from free basic electricity.
Our municipalities are performing well, with some receiving international recognition for sound management practices.
This week Statistics South Africa released the 2015 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities report.
The report shows that the delivery of services by municipalities has increased between 2014 to 2015. The provision of electricity increased by 4,3 percent, water by 2,5 percent, sewerage and sanitation by 4,2 percent and solid waste management by 5,3 percent. The report noted that Free Basic Services are now provided to 12,9 million consumer units or service delivery points.
These are just a few of many interventions of the ANC aimed at building a Better Life for All.
We know that at the top of the priorities for our people are jobs, jobs and more jobs.
We must work together more than ever to create the right climate for economic growth.
The recent decisions by a number of credit ratings agencies are an affirmation that the ANC has provided leadership in this regard. Government, business and labour have been working together to find ways of stimulating economic growth.
We are a country united by a common goal of promoting economic growth and development and we must all do our part.
We urge all our branches to creating enabling conditions that stimulate economic growth in every city and town.
Let us assist our municipalities to promote local development and to promote every town as a destination for some form of economic activity.
Working hand in hand with our communities, the ANC is ready, able and determined to change South Africa further, working with our people.
Local government is in your hands.
Mayihlome ihlasele! Vote ANC.
By President Jacob Zuma