19 August 2010

South Africa: Zuma Goes Fishing for Members

President Jacob Zuma started a three-day visit to the Western Cape on Thursday that will take in several towns and suburbs.

The Western Cape is the only province in the country where Zuma's ANC is not in power, and has been the scene of much contention for the ruling party in recent years.

He started his visit today in Struisbaai, where he met Richard Mitchell, the executive mayor of the Cape Agulhas Local Municipality.

The president then moved on to the Ou Kamp informal settlement, where he walked around, chatting to people and visiting some homes.

The atmosphere was festive - residents followed Zuma, singing and ululating as he walked.

Zuma was accompanied by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. There was a heavy police presence.

Zuma's visit is part of the ANC's Imvuselelo Campaign, which is designed to increase the party's membership to 1 million by 2012, a year that marks the party's centenary.

Zuma has already visited towns and suburbs in the Eastern Cape, and the ANC said he would go on a door-to-door campaign to listen to communities' concerns and address ANC cadre forums.

He was due to address a community meeting and visit Swartberg High School in Caledon for an ANC meeting.

Struisbaai is a fishing village and in June the ANC's fishing desk called Joemat-Pettersson to help secure temporary permits for trek fishermen at Glencairn, Struisbaai and Langebaan Lagoon to help tide them over financially until her department finalised its policy on artisanal fishing.

Zuma's programme will be replicated in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch on Friday.

The community meeting will take place at the Franschhoek community hall and the ANC forum will be at the Mbekweni community hall in Paarl.

There is no Saturday programme, but Zuma will end his Western Cape visit on the Cape Flats on Sunday.

Support for the ANC among the Western Cape's coloured community has declined dramatically.

Zuma will worship at Beacon Valley's Shekinah Tabernacle Church on Sunday.

Later that day, he will visit the Collins Place of Hope for abused and HIV-positive children, and residents of the Beaconvale Frail Care Centre.

ANC members will meet with him in Bonteheuwel on Sunday afternoon.

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