PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has promised the community of Gqudesi, Eastern Cape, a college named after Charlotte Maxeke.

Speaking at the handover of the Charlotte

Maxeke Agriculture Legacy Project yesterday, he said he was humbled to be at the place where Maxeke was born.

“For me, it feels like I have come to the fountain of wisdom,” said Ramaphosa.

“She was a pioneer and a brave leader.”

This year is the 150th anniversary of her birth date.

Maxeke is the first woman to be honoured this way by the party.

She was an intellectual and an academic, a religious leader, social and political activist. She was also the first black female graduate in the country and the first to graduate with a BSc from Wilberforce University, Ohio, in 1901.

She died on 16 October 1939.

“Maxeke was everything that is positive that we want to see in our leaders,” he said.

The President responded to a number of issues raised by community members.

He acknowledged that water was the source of life and should be accessible for everyone.

“Our people have a right to water. Water is a national issue.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo by GCIS

On the issue of land, Ramaphosa said the ANC was working to ensure that it is returned to uplift black farmers.

“We are going to return the land to the people of our country,” said Ramaphosa.

He said he was proud of black citrus farmers in the area who, despite many challenges, were not giving up and asked them to invite him when it is harvest time.

Ramaphosa said the ANC should address corruption within its ranks to regain people’s confidence in the party.

“Our people don’t want corruption. Only a few people benefit from corruption,” he said.