President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday continued with his Letsema campaign in the Northern Cape despite serious backlash and criticism from the public.
The campaign, launched in April this year in Free State, sees ANC officials hitting the road to ensure certain service delivery duties were carried out such as the fixing of potholes and cleaning up the environment.
According Ramaphosa and the ANC, the campaign seeks to strengthen the ruling party’s connection with the people and renew its social contract with resident across communities in the country.
On Saturday, the president arrived at the home of Ouma Martha Louw in Donkerhoek, as part of his campaign activities, where he celebrated her 82nd birthday with her as well as the officially handing over of her new RDP home.
Ramaphosa then proceeded to a walkabout in Dingaan Street, Galeshewe, where he engaged a former mine worker who spoke to the president about concerns around working conditions and unemployment.
The president also arrived at the Tommy Morebudi Sports Complex where he symbolically planted a tree with Tommy’s mother and the ANC provincial chairperson, Zamani Saul.
However, the Letsema has come under heavy criticism from opposition parties and South Africans alike, who are seeing right through ANC’s intent, with many such as EFF’s deputy leader, Floyd Shimvabu calling it a “desperate attempt”.
Twitter users asked why these tasks were suddenly being carried out by high profiled ANC officials when there were municipalities in place for this, and if the campaign was being run with state funds or ANC funds.
Private sector steps in
In the absence of service delivery, South Africans also pointed out that the private sector has been assisting where government had for so long fallen short.
In 2020, Discovery Insure partnered with the City of Joburg and Dialdirect Insurance to manage the repair of potholes across Johannesburg.
For Discovery Insure, in particular, this data-driven initiative was angled at aligning with a broader purpose – which was to create safe roadways, thereby reducing the number of insurance claims as a result of damaged roads.
Furthermore, social media users argued that the ANC needed to do more than just place a band-aid over the gushing wounds of the country.
With inflation at an all time high and load shedding losing the nation thousands of Rands, citizens complained that the Letsema campaign was missing the bigger picture, with the ANC burying its head in the ground to the real problems.