African National Congress (ANC) president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has promised that ANC-led municipalities will do better to deliver quality services to residents.
He was delivering the ANC’s local government elections manifesto at Church Square in Pretoria on Monday evening.
Ramaphosa said the ANC knows what South Africans need to improve their lives, which include water, electricity, improved infrastructure and not corrupt leaders.
“People want local government to deliver the services they need and support the local businesses that provide jobs and livelihoods. They want protection against crime and gangsters who extort money from infrastructure projects and companies. Local businesses want protection from unfair competition from unregistered businesses and they do not want to pay expensive license fees which eats into the little profit they make,” he said.
“The South African people want water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal. They want faulty substations, burst pipes and overflowing drains fixed on time. They want tarred roads and pavements and potholes filled to avoid accidents and burst tyres," said Ramaphosa.
The ANC president said people have been calling for strong leaders who put the people and their needs first, leaders who are not corrupt and who will not divert money meant for service delivery into their own pockets.
“People want councillors they know and trust, who will be responsive to community concerns and available when problems arise. And people want a united, renewed and revitalised African National Congress. They want the ANC to correct its mistakes and, once again, to selflessly serve all the people of South Africa,” he said.
He said the ANC is working on renewing itself.
“We are gathered here in Tshwane – and in many places across the country, to answer that call. This evening, we present to the people of South Africa our manifesto for the 2021 local government elections which is our plan and our solemn pledge for the next five years. This evening we pledge to you the people of South Africa that we will do better. We have not always done the best that we were meant to do. We have made mistakes," said Ramaphosa.
He said the ANC has not always put the best people in positions of responsibility, but that is about to change.
“Too often, we have been slow to act when our public representatives and leaders committed wrongdoing, when they abused their positions or failed in implementing the mandate that you gave them.
"In the two years since the ANC was given a clear mandate to renew and rebuild, we have been fighting to restore our movement and remove the obstacles to progress towards a better South Africa. We have made important advances, but there is much more we need to do," the ANC president said.
The manifesto launch was also attended by former ANC president. Thabo Mbeki and the party's former deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe.