Arts and Culture Minister and African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Nathi Mthethwa received a hostile reception during the ANC’s door-to-door election campaign in the WB Rubusana region in East London in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.
Mthethwa visited the East London informal settlement of Scenery Park in ward 10 of the Buffalo City metro.
The door-to-door campaign was part of the ANC’s community interaction dubbed “Thuma Mina”, and followed a similar programme in other provinces.
The ANC national officials were accompanied by members of the provincial and regional leadership structures. The aim was to encourage people to register to vote and ensure their particulars were in order for next year’s provincial and national elections.
However, Mthethwa’s visit was dominated by service delivery issues, such as housing and sanitation.
He was met by angry residents who told him they were tired of being neglected by the ANC government and be remembered only at election time.
They accused the party of using them to garner votes but forgetting about them after elections when they were in a position of power.
Among others, community member Yoliswa Dywili told Mthethwa she was one of those who had been waiting for a house and had been registered on the database for a number of years to no avail.
“They keep telling us about database every time we ask about our houses. What are you coming here for if we can’t even make into database but you need our votes,” Dywili said.
Mthethwa told the residents that the ANC was aware of their problems and the community outreach programme was intended to see the extent of the problem.
He pledged to report to the ANC national working committee (NWC).
“It is not a mistake that the ANC NEC is here. I’m here at Dr Rubusana region, but other comrades are elsewhere. These are kinds of issues we find in this region. I’m going to report to the ANC NWC where we can plot a way forward,” said Mthethwa.