Change of allegiances, apathy to characterize poll
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – IF sentiments that prevailed during the recent voter registration exercise are anything to go buy, apathy will characterise voting in most impoverished areas of Gauteng province during upcoming municipal elections.
Some supporters will dump their parties.
Despondent residents from poverty stricken areas such as Alexandra, Diepsloot and Orange Farm told CAJ News Africa they will not participate in the elections saying their lives have not changed despite voting in all previous polls.
The message was in defiance of calls by electoral authorities and political parties that encouraged residents to register in order to cast their votes.
Registration was held last Saturday and Sunday.
“There is no reason for me to vote. Why should I vote when we still remain in abject poverty?” asked Ramahlwe Segolela of Orange Farm.
“Voting will not change anything for me and my family hence abstaining. I cannot vote to give legitimacy to the corrupt government giving tenders to boyfriends and girlfriends, and a connected few whose families live at the expense of the majority,” he/she said.
Those that are willing to participate, like Peter Sebati of Diepsloot, are determined to switch allegiances.
He expressed disappointment at the ruling African National Congress (ANC), insisting he would cross the floor to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
He said ANC had indeed played an important role by freeing the country from apartheid but the current crop of leaders was only keen on enriching themselves through tenders and corruption.
“Too many people are suffering in Gauteng province yet this is the economic hub of the country,” said Sebati.
“The economy is being controlled by a few within ANC while majority of the people continue to battle rampant unemployment, inflation, soaring prices of basic commodities, shortage of accommodation while our children continuously drop out of school due to high fees,” he added.
He blamed this on “poor governing.”
“This is the reason why I will try (voting in) a new political party, precisely, EFF,” said Sebati.
He bemoaned the existence of racism 22 years after independence.
“At work places, drivers of black and white origins earn different salaries yet they both have code 10 , how is that possible? The ruling party has completely failed to deal with economic imbalance and the issue of inequalities at work, universities and social life.”
Venter Rampyapem of Diepsloot’s Number 2 area, said he rarely saw the councilor elected four years ago but now that elections are nearing, the official has emerged.
Surprisingly, he will retain the councillor.
“This (absence) is worrying but I will not vote the opposition. I will remain ANC. I will protest from within. I hate these new political parties because they have no respect for elders and the nation hence not voting for them,” said Rampyapem.
Njabulo Mngomezulu of Alexandra said he would vote for “change” but had not made up his mind around Democratic Alliance and EFF.
“Alexandra is a crime infested township. Unemployment is rampant. Development is grossly lacking in this part of Johannesburg, so it definitely requires some change, though I’m not so sure which party between DA and EFF,” said Mngomezulu.
Municipal elections will be held at a date yet to be announced but falling between May 18 and August 16.
– CAJ News
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