The ANC must reclaim the Western Cape, President Jacob Zuma told residents of Nyanga in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“We must take back this province,” Zuma told commuters at the Nyanga Junction train station.
Zuma went on a walkabout in Nyanga and Philippi on Tuesday to promote the African National Congress’ 103rd anniversary celebrations taking place in Cape Town this week.
The president’s first stop was in Philippi, where he was greeted by a small group of residents singing old struggle songs. Dressed in an ANC T-shirt, jeans, and a white fedora, Zuma emerged from his vehicle while locals pushed and pulled at each other to try and get a glimpse of him.
Zuma, escorted by his bodyguards and heavily armed police officers, was careful not to dirty his shiny black loafers in the puddles of mud as he made his way to a group of pensioners waiting in line to meet him.
Hilda Sekeleni, 75, told the president she lives in a two-roomed house with her nine grandchildren, and says her pension does not cover the essentials needed to raise the children.
The children share a bed and some have to sleep on the floor.
Sekeleni said Zuma told her everything would be okay.
Asked whether she believed him she said: “I want to believe him but I don’t.”
Speaking in isiXhosa, Zuma invited residents to Saturday’s rally at the Cape Town stadium to commemorate the ANC’s birth.
Zuma used a loudhailer to encourage people to vote for the ANC in the 2016 local government elections.
He claimed the Democratic Alliance-run provincial government cared only about delivering services to white communities in the Western Cape.
The DA took control of the Western Cape government in 2009 after being the first party to win a majority vote in the province. It retained control of the province in 2014.