President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the death of Joburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo as a huge blow. Ramaphosa was speaking during the last day of the voters’ registration in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

The ANC president took the party’s campaign trail to Mbombela where he visited Tekwane South and KaMagugu.

Ramaphosa interacted with the residents and encourage them to register to vote.

A plea for improved basic services. Community members in Tekwane South told President Ramaphosa of social challenges that include poor service delivery, poor road infrastructure, crime and drug abuse.

The residents also raised concerns with regard to government’s communication with communities.

“Substance abuse is also a major problem because young people have turned to drugs. They no longer go to school. They have dropped out. We don’t have much access to higher education. The unemployment rate keeps on increasing every time. While in this ward we have a lot of projects, we need our municipality to work on it.”

ANC Head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, says only deserving and capable people will be elected to leadership positions in order to improve the delivery of service.

“It doesn’t mean if you are number one in the list you will automatically become a mayor. We are going to conduct interviews and get the best mayor, who is able to control the finances to give direction to run the municipality and its executive council.”

President Ramaphosa paid tribute to Joburg Mayor, Jolidee Matongo, who died on Saturday when his car collided with another after a voter registration campaign in Soweto.

“It was a very sad moment for me to receive the news that comrade Jolidee has passed away. I worked with him the whole day and I have been involved in the interview to have him appointed. It was a big blow for me. May his soul rest in peace.”

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Ramaphosa also called for political tolerance. This, after some ANC and EFF members, clashed in Pietermaritzburg. It is alleged that some ANC members tried to block EFF leader Julius Malema from monitoring voter registration at one of the stations in KwaDambuza.

“There should not be any political clashes. The ANC comrades know that we should allow all political parties to campaign anywhere. We must never stop any political party from campaigning.”

The president has assured the residents of Tekwane South that the construction of the bridge that was washed away by heavy rains in February will start this month.

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