ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has told communities in KwaZulu-Natal that elections are not the appropriate tool to punish the ruling party for service delivery issues.
"Elections are very important and it's not punishment, it's not the stick you use when fighting for things such as water and sewerage, that you know will be fixed. We are going for an election where you must elect a government to fix all your problems," he told residents in the Ladysmith area on Saturday, according to eNCA.
The broadcaster reported Ramaphosa as saying that he understood people were frustrated because service delivery was not happening fast enough.
Residents had protested over the the lack of water, faulty sewerage systems and housing delivery but Ramaphosa asked them to give the government a chance to fix those problems, BusinessLive reported. They have battled water shortages since 2017 but were recently told they would soon have uninterrupted water supply from reservoirs filled with underground water, the Daily News reported.
For weeks, Ramaphosa has attended rallies to persuade an electorate of 27 million to back the ANC once more in the May 8 general elections.
News24 previously reported that the country of 57 million people has seen widespread service delivery protests in recent years, with some voters getting impatient at the slow progress made by government.