The ANC has been tarnished by a trail of corruption, inept governance and internal bickering that has left much of the country in social and economic turmoil.

The motorcade of black luxury vehicles carrying President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa rumbled through the narrow township streets, swerved around potholes filled with stale water from backed-up drainage ditches and stopped near the concrete shell of an unfinished government-supplied house, the New York Times reports.

Mr. Ramaphosa had come to Tembisa, a township about 30 minutes northeast of Johannesburg, ahead of local elections to sell residents on all that his party, the African National Congress, had supposedly done to improve their lives.

“I see development everywhere,” Mr. Ramaphosa said from atop a mobile campaign stage, eliciting incredulous jeers from hundreds of otherwise supportive residents.

Mr. Ramaphosa, a 68-year-old wealthy former business investor, ascended to the nation’s highest political office three years ago on a reputation as an exceptional negotiator and consensus builder. He was anointed by Nelson Mandela to help broker the end of apartheid. Two decades later, Mr. Ramaphosa outmaneuvered his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, to win control of the governing African National Congress — and the country.

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