Ramaphosa dangles NHI carrot in ANC’s KZN campaign trail

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday told party supporters in KwaZulu-Natal that the signing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) into law this week was a demonstration of the organisation’s commitment to improve the lives of poor people and one more reason it should be voted back into power.

During a community meeting in Mandeni on the north coast, Ramaphosa told ANC members and volunteers that the NHI aimed to provide quality healthcare to ordinary people, as they often incur high costs for healthcare services.

“We want to end all of that, which is why I signed the law. When it is fully implemented, when you are sick, you will go to a doctor and surgery room without paying anything and get free services,” said Ramaphosa.

The ANC president was in the province as part of the party’s drive to garner support for the upcoming general elections on May 29. The ANC has in the run up to the election deployed its entire NEC and senior party leaders, including its former president Thabo Mbeki, to the province.

KwaZulu-Natal is set to be highly contested terrain with the emergence of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Party, led by former ANC president Jacob Zuma, and the IFP.

During his charm offensive yesterday Ramaphosa told the sizeable crowd that the government was only starting to lay the building blocks to kick off the NHI, and when it reached full steam, it would be the end of inequality in healthcare services, “where those who are rich get the best healthcare and those who are poor get no healthcare”.

He said the NHI further substantiated the ANC’s justification for retaining power, as the party’s pledges, in contrast to the opposition, were not mere aspirations but tangible strategies currently under execution.

“Others who say, ‘Please vote for us’, are just dreaming. We are talking about things that we have done. That is why we need to tell the voters that the ANC is prepared to improve people’s lives in every respect, and we will do that after the elections. You will see.”

He also warned that opposition parties had become arrogant and undermined the might of the ANC.

“They think the ANC will lose. They think the ANC will get below 50% voter support. But we will show them on May 29th why the ANC never lost an election before,” he said.

“We will show them who we are, and we will once again emerge as the champions of elections here in South Africa, whether they like it or not,” Ramaphosa declared.

He said that even newcomer political parties fancied their chances of upsetting the ANC, stopping short of mentioning the party’s latest rival uMkhonto we Sizwe Party by name.

“They do not know us. They only read about us in the papers and see us on TV. They will see who we really are on May 29,” ANC president said.

Ramaphosa said that while the ANC was confident that it had support across the country, the party focus in the upcoming elections would be in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, since these were the two most populous provinces.

“If we thrive in these two provinces, we will have already won the elections. So, our people must come out in numbers in these two provinces,” he said. He said it was up to ANC volunteers to ensure, on election day, “that as many of our people as possible come out to vote, and we will win these elections.”

He said that the ANC would secure an outright victory with a voter turnout of 70%.

“Let’s make sure that everybody goes out to vote. If we can encourage people to come out and vote, we have won already. And this is important because we know that when our people do not come out and vote, our numbers go down,” Ramaphosa said.


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