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JOHANNESBURG – Campaigning for South Africa's upcoming election have reached a climax Sunday with mass rallies by the ruling party and one of its most potent challengers.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, promised more jobs and economic growth at the rally for the African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela which has governed the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.
"Our young people want jobs and they want them now," said Ramaphosa, who promised to create new employment. "We know what needs to be done to increase jobs, to grow the economy."
Ramaphosa was at Johannesburg's Ellis Park rugby stadium before thousands of ANC supporters wearing bright yellow T-shirts.
On the other side of Johannesburg, in in Soweto, the city's largest black township, thousands gathered for a competing rally by the Economic Freedom Fighters, a populist, leftist party. Firebrand leader Julius Malema, who split from the ANC, is set to address the rally, despite the death of his grandmother Saturday. Malema has campaigned on vows to expropriate white-owned land without compensation and to nationalize the country's mines.