ANC pledges to tackle water, sanitation issues; make communities safer

Party leader Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the many challenges the party faced at the municipal level, saying that the quality of services like water, electricity and sanitation in many municipalities did not meet the standard that residents needed and expected.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the ANC elections manifesto at Church Square in Pretoria on 27 September 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday launched its manifesto for the 1 November local government elections.

Party leader Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the many challenges the party faced at the municipal level, saying that the quality of services like water, electricity and sanitation in many municipalities did not meet the standard that residents needed and expected.

Ramaphosa said that South Africans wanted simple things such as water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal and for burst water pipes and overflowing sewerage pipes to be fixed on time.

He promised that ANC-run municipalities would maintain and develop sewerage infrastructure and drastically reduce water leaks, rehabilitate water pump stations and wastewater equipment and improve reticulation and ensure that all poor households received the free water allocations that they were entitled to.

In addition, he pledged that there would be an increase the number of skilled personnel like engineers, process controllers and shift workers to maintain water, sanitation, and road infrastructure while their would be an increase in the local production of components used in tackling the water and sanitation backlog to expand employment.

SAFER COMMUNITIES

In its manifesto, the ANC said that the levels of violence in the country remained too high and that citizens did not feel safe. It, therefore, vowed to get the police to patrol and work in partnership with community structures to make communities and public spaces safer.

It also said that it would put in more lighting to make townships and inner-city areas safer, while also urgently dealing with the unacceptable levels of drug and alcohol abuse in many communities, especially among the youth. To this end, the party promised to rebuild sports facilities that had fallen into disrepair and revitalise arts and culture facilities "and create opportunities in these sectors, especially for women and the youth".

The party also made promises to deal with gender-based violence, saying that violence against women was unacceptably high and was another pandemic that "needed to be rooted out, root and branch". It said that it would move with speed to implement the three pieces of GBV legislation as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s Convention 190 on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Ramaphosa said that the party would also continue to tackle crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community "with the same resolve that we tackle other hate crimes".

"No one must be discriminated against or attacked on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In all our programmes and in all our activities, we need to ensure that we empower women economically, socially and politically – so that we can steadily advance towards the achievement of gender equality and a non-sexist society," the ANC leader said.

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