The affordable education loan option
Potchefstroom - Residents of Tlokwe's Ward 26 threw their weight behind independent candidate Butiki “Stone” Mahlabe on Wednesday and lambasted the lack of development in the area.
“I have been living here for 18 years and the ANC has only built me a toilet,” said resident Mary Setona.
She said she had voted in every election, but had nothing to show for it.
She did not have a house, but her neighbours did. The Tlokwe municipality had told her there was no money to build her a house.
“I went to the department of housing in Pretoria, where I was told that on the system it showed a house had been built in my yard,” she said.
Setona said that she had decided to vote for Mahlabe because of the “negligence and corruption” of the African National Congress.
She said Mahlabe understood the people's needs and would respond to their calls at any time, which ANC candidate Oupa Mogoshane would not.
“Stone would risk his life just to be able to help us, and this is why we vote for Stone,” said Setona.
Mahlabe was one of 14 councillors expelled by the ANC in July after its provincial disciplinary committee found them guilty of misconduct for participating in a motion of no confidence against Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle.
Maphetle was replaced by Democratic Alliance councillor Annette Combrink.
The ANC's national disciplinary committee later overturned the expulsions.
Despite this, eight of the councillors registered as independent candidates for the by-elections.
Philemon Alwin, another resident, echoed Setona's sentiments.
He said it appeared as if the government believed toilets were more important than shelter for the people.
“No one in the community is happy about that,” he said.
He said Mahlabe worked well with residents and had confidence in his abilities to lead and to bring change to the area.
Earlier, ANC spokesman, Jackson Mthembu said the party was not worried about Mahlabe and expected to win the by-elections.
He said the people of Tlokwe were aware of what the ANC had done for them and that the party had a track record of service delivery.