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President Zuma leads the charge in ANC’s campaign race in PE

Zuma will launch his party's election manifesto in Port Elizabeth today after days of intense campaigning.

FILE. Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC)'s top six officials have been drumming up support for this weekend's event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters. Picture: EWN

PORT ELIZABETH - President Jacob Zuma will launch his party's election manifesto in Port Elizabeth after days of intense campaigning in the Eastern Cape Metro.

Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC)'s top six officials have been drumming up support for this weekend's event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters.

But as Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini found out, desperate communities aren't always receptive.

The minister, who is also president of the ANC Women's League, was jeered at when she tried to open a drug-treatment facility in the city.

The jeering caused her to burst into tears.

WATCH: ANCWL President insulted in Port Elizabeth

ANC heavyweights fanned out across the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro this week.

The campaign trail has not been easy in a metro where service delivery problems, unemployment and gangsterism have seen some locals turn on the ANC-led administration.

"They won't vote for them. When they voted for them, they disappeared; no houses … there's nothing!"

One resident says crime is rife in his community.

"That's our main concern in the northern areas, gangsterism that plagues our area."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is attempting to wrestle control of the metro from the ANC.

The governing party got just below 52 percent of the vote in the 2011 municipal poll.

ANC GOES INTO FULL GEAR

The ruling party's battle to retain the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro kicks into full gear today.

The DA is trying to wrest control of the Eastern Cape Metro from its arch rival in what's building up to be a fiercely contested local government election campaign.

Zuma will launch his party's election manifesto at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium later this morning.

Security is tight around the venue, with cars being checked while bags are scanned.

ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Lindiwe Zulu says the manifesto is a reflection of the party's successes and how it intends to build on them.

"Learning from the previous experiences of our governance - particularly because we're going on local government elections. All the lessons that we've learnt in the past five years, that's what we're going to be dealing with."

Zulu, who has been campaigning in the metro, says people she's interacted with have raised local government issues and the Constitutional Court's Nkandla judgment hasn't been a prominent feature in discussions with communities.