Blessers town : The top six of the ANC went on several street canvassing missions, shaking hands, distributing ANC T-shirts and visiting homes in Port Elizabeth, but many locals weren’t interested in the manifesto launch.
The entourage went on a drive to encourage people to support the ANC for the August elections and to attend the national manifesto launch rally yesterday.
Minibus taxis, with Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and Free State registrations, and branded with ANC colours, were driving around the Bay.
Many of them were stationed at the regional offices of the ANC in Govan Mbeki Street.
The local folk took to social media and named them “The Blessers”, which is the trending term for loaded sugar daddies.
Warnings were communicated throughout social-media platforms for parents to keep their daughters safe because “The Blessers are in town”.
As more and more buses, taxis and minibuses filled the streets of the Bay, locals fumed and screamed profanities because of the unusual traffic jams.
The visitors were also boozing and throwing bottles of alcohol over the roads and pavements.
Metro residents interviewed by City Press were adamant that they would not support the launch.
Also, the residents of New Brighton stayed away from a memorial lecture on Thursday evening in honour of Ernest Malgas, one of the most popular faces of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and an MK soldier and ANC leader.
Even though Malgas was from New Brighton, which is also the hub for prominent ANC stalwarts, such as Raymond Mhlaba, Ben Fihla, Mlungisi Johnson and many others, residents stayed away.
(Govan Mbeki, father of former president Thabo Mbeki, also lived in New Brighton.)
Fewer than 100 people attended the event where the recently resigned chief whip of the ANC in Parliament, Stone Sizani, was supposed to have been the guest speaker. It was a dismal failure.
Sizani arrived only when the programme was about to be wrapped up. An ANC local member said there was another event hosted by the president, in Motherwell, at the same time.
She said the rent-a-crowds were bussed in to the other event to give the president a bigger audience.
“We are now relying on the volunteers to attend events, because many of the local residents refuse to attend.
“They just stay at home or observe from outside,” she said.
Nomawethu Dyan, from the Rholihlahla informal settlement in Missionvale, added: “I will rather not vote if it means my vote will keep the ANC in power.”
She said she has lived in a shack without a toilet, not even the bucket system, since 1999.
“My son, who was born in that shack, became a man last year. He has never seen a proper toilet in his home.”
Residents of the Northern areas have also vowed that they will not set foot in the area celebrating the manifesto launch.
Richard Draai, speaking on behalf of the parents affected by the school protests that have been going on for years, said the community had said that all they wanted were solutions for their school shortage crisis.
“This is why we protested again this week, in the presence of the top brass. We still have not heard anything regarding our problems here.” : Blessers town