While South Africans look forward to making the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa the next president, it seems the deputy is more interested in becoming just a mayor in a small town.
The deputy president has long been seen as a perfect candidate that would turn things around for good, after Zuma is gone.
Though he competes with the President’s ex- wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma whom the ruling party’s women league (ANCWL) insist on endorsing, the deputy seems to stand a greater chance of becoming the new president.
However, Ramaphosa told this to delegates on Tuesday at the South African Local Government Association (Salga) national conference in Sandton that if he had things his way, he would become the mayor of a small town in Limpopo.
In his speech, the deputy highlighted the need to change negative public perceptions about the leadership quality at local government level. One of these perceptions is the idea of rampant corruption at local government level.
“No councillor must ever again be a councillor who is regarded as chowing the people’s money. No councillor should be regarded as corrupt,” he said as he affirms his confidence in councillors elected to lead communities.
Dishing out in his speech, the learning skills he believes would help councillors execute their responsibilities effectively, Ramaphosa said the country needs credible councillors who can also understand public finances.
“We want councillors who are able to interpret the finance minister’s budget and analyse it at the local level,” he said as he pointed out that this will contribute to the economic development of municipalities.
Ramaphosa’s comments about the credibility of councillors bring to mind the recent audit report which stated that a number of municipalities in South Africa have a number of challenges, including cases of irregular expenditure as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The deputy president stressed to delegates the importance of effective financial management as a means of delivering quality services to citizens.
Before closing off his address, Ramaphosa acknowledged the important role of those working at local government level and even confessed to envying them.
“I think you guys have a great job. You have such a great job, my ambition is to become a local councillor and hopefully become a mayor in some small town somewhere in Limpopo,” he said as he expressed enthusiasm at the work done by local government structures.
He said and he looks forward to seeing a vibrant local government dispensation in the country.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers said it will back Cyril Ramaphosa to be president of the country’s ruling African National Congress after Jacob Zuma.
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The NUM General Secretary David Sipunzi told reporters in Johannesburg that Jacob Zuma must serve his term after which Ramaphosa will hopefully take over.