The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal put up a united front when party President Cyril Ramaphosa led a by-election campaign in Hammersdale township west of Durban. The area is one of six wards that will go into by-elections on the 21st of April. The ward became vacant following the death of the local councillor in January.

Ramaphosa urged ANC members to continue voting for the party. Hundreds of ANC members turned up, prompting Ramaphosa to acknowledge that lockdown regulations had been broken.

Ramaphosa’s visit to the township followed a lengthy oversight visit to the Port of Durban earlier in the day. He was accompanied by ANC leaders, including provincial chair Sihle Zikalala and former eThekwini region chair Zandile Gumede.

Addressing the community in isiZulu, Ramaphosa said the party was ready to head into the local government elections with full force, despite some parties calling for its postponement.

In an apparent indication of when these elections would be held, Ramaphosa alluded to October. The official date has not yet been announced. According to legislation, it has to take place between the start of August and the beginning of November.

“We are confident that we will win all these elections. The ANC keeps winning and would never be defeated by any political party. The ANC will win now, it will win next month and will win again in October when we go to local government elections,” said the ANC President.

ANC NEC member, Nocawe Mafu, also put her faith behind the party ahead of next week’s by-elections. With over 18 000 registered voters, the ward has the highest number of registered voters of the six wards being contested in the province.

“Remember on Wednesday there is by-elections and this ward is one of the wards that is having by-election we are coming to show our power and our strength that we are winning this ward, no it is not a litmus paper this ward is ANC ward the only thing is to remember we have not had a lot of door to doors because of the COVID-19 regulations, it is just to say we are now starting to ready ourselves for the local government campaign elections that are coming,” says Mafu.

Ramaphosa was also expected to attend a special provincial executive committee meeting in Durban. Thursday was the deadline for the party’s regional structures to submit the names of all its members who are facing criminal charges.

Last month, a resolution was taken at the party’s NEC meeting that provinces must submit the names of those members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes and those who are alleged, reported or implicated in corrupt practices.

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