The Chairperson of African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal Siboniso Duma addressed, for the first time since he was elected, the rally of the 111th January 8th celebration in Hammarsdale, in Durban, on Sunday.
According to Duma, it was fit to celebrate the movement’s journey in Harmmarsdale because many ANC leaders, such as John Ndlovu and Matthews Meyiwa, hail from there.
“There are many leaders who come from Hammarsdale, who fought for the liberation of this province. We remember the leaders who were made up of Hammarsdale Residence Association that worked in alignment with the UDF. We are here today to look back at and celebrate the progress of the entire province under the leadership of the ANC since 1994,” Duma said.
He said that to continue the pursuit of national progress, those elected to lead will be expected to do so with due diligence and he added that municipal councillors would need to take up their positions to deliver accurate services to residents.
“Our door to door will be different this year as we will not be going to the people asking them what they would like done for them, since we already know what they need from the data that we have collected. Ours is to respond as per the needs of each household and each branch to show them what we are doing and that we will continue to do so in order to restore their hope and trust in the ANC,” Duma said.
He blamed municipalities for not providing service delivery.
"Officials working in the municipality need to stop partying from Monday to Friday [as they] are unable to deliver service to the people, instead, they interrogate [residents] when they visit their facilities for service. That should come to an end," Duma said.
Places such as Hammarsdale, Ladysmith and Newcastle with old abandoned factories will be restored to tackle job creation and employment, Duma revealed.
He further said that hospitals would be resuscitated.
“The old factories may be the solution to eliminating a third of the country’s poverty and joblessness and also resuscitate the townships the factories are embedded. Together with MEC’s and Mayors, we are already scoping our way to resolving service delivery issues including the building of new infrastructure including schools and other government facilities,” he stated.
Duma said that the ANC’s recent December Conference came and passed, and that KZN ANC has accepted that President Cyril Ramaphosa is the leader of the party, along with the six elected NEC officials. He said the province had no regrets in their own candidate Dr Zweli Mkhize.
“We trust that the elected NEC leaders will lead the nation and the organisation in an emancipating way that will rid the scourge of poverty and inequality faced in the country. We need to be clear however, that we do not regret that we had our own preferred candidate for the president post,” Duma said.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged that the energy crisis needed to be resolved with urgency and touted declaring it a National State of Disaster. He said that this would save millions being lost in businesses.
“You can imagine the damage done to food at home and in stores every there is a power cut that sometimes last four hours, this is hitting so many people hard in the pocket. Our people have long been crying due to loadshedding and they deserve to be told the truth where electricity is concerned,” he said.