Zuma’s song and dance cuts no ice with crowd

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - MICHELLE CAHILL

AS PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma moved through some of the poor­est ar­eas in Kim­ber­ley, many res­i­dents felt he was more talk than action.

Zuma vis­ited first Rood­e­pan and then Ler­ato Park yes­ter­day to meet with the com­mu­nity as well as in­vite them to the ANC’s 98th birth­day party to­mor­row.

About 100 peo­ple gath­ered in Rood­e­pan to hear the pres­i­dent speak to them from an ANC truck.

As he was singing and danc­ing, res­i­dents were com­plain­ing that “that is all he is good for – singing and danc­ing”.

“We are liv­ing in such poverty and if he (Zuma) can just turn around and see where we are liv­ing and just lis­ten to us,” a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity said.

Peo­ple were also up in arms that Zuma was just talk­ing and not lis­ten­ing.

“Why is he here if he won’t even lis­ten to us?

“I tried to raise my hand to ask him a ques­tion. and some­one – I pre­sume it must be one of his body­guards – just slapped my hand down,” one said.

How­ever, a few res­i­dents were more pos­i­tive. Some youths said they were “ex­tremely happy” to see the pres­i­dent. “He gives us hope for the fu­ture.”

in Ler­ato Park, Zuma met more peo­ple and found him­self a chair and sat un­der a tree in a res­i­dent’s yard.

Here, a com­mu­nity leader de­scribed the prob­lems res­i­dents were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, and the King of the !Khwe tribe, King Jack Ka­mutu, high­lighted the plight of res­i­dents in Plat­fontein, in­clud­ing un­em­ploy­ment, un­tarred roads and a poor ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

Zuma then told the crowd that their griev­ances would be ad­dressed.

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