Deputy President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa says he is overwhelmed by the level of poverty ravaging most townships and rural areas in the country.
He said: “I’ve often asked myself as we were involved in this campaign‚ you go to townships and rural areas‚ and in the main‚ wherever one goes you just have a sense of poverty.
You feel the poverty‚ you smell it‚ you touch it and you are completely surrounded by it.”
Ramaphosa disclosed this when he engaged professionals and local business people at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, on Thursday evening.
Furthermore, he said municipalities should not be ignored because it is where service delivery takes place; more so, rapid development and positive governance largely depend on effective local government.
Rural Areas Must Not Be Ignored – Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa said: “Make sure we do not ignore rural areas – particularly in provinces like KZN where the majority of areas where people live are still very rural. It is important that we recognize some rural areas have a great potential for development.”
There has been a significant amount of migration of people into big cities; In fact, over 60% of South Africans now live in urban areas, Ramaphosa disclosed.
He told his audience it will be difficult sustaining the number of people migrating to the city because it will cause disastrous strain on the city.
Deputy President Ramaphosa opined that though the ANC government inherited “a fragmented and unaccountable system in 1994, its vision for municipalities is bigger than efficient delivery of basic services.
“….It extends beyond building of houses and just connecting lights. Our vision requires a fundamental transformation of the spaces where our people live. We need to rapidly grow sustainable and inclusive communities at an economic level,” he added.
He also praised the KwaZulu-Natal government for coming up with the Operation Sukuma Sakhe (stand up and build) programme — a call for people to overcome the issues destroying communities such as poverty‚ unemployment‚ crime‚ substance abuse‚ HIV and tuberculosis.