Born-frees positive about making a difference

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iol news pic vote thumbs INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File picture: Timothy Bernard

Pretoria -

Elections were serious business for voters in the east of Pretoria on Wednesday as they queued patiently to cast a vote they believed would make a difference.

Some hitches earlier in the day did not dampen people's enthusiasm to vote.

A number of polling stations in the area opened late, others had no scanners and some ran out of ballot papers. A polling station in Skuilkrans had a combination of all three problems.

Many of the country's so-called born-free generation, who voted for the first time in the South Africa's fifth democratic national and provincial elections, were excited about making their mark.

They were positive about making a difference.

“Every young person should vote. Each vote counts. You cannot complain if you don't vote,” said 19-year-old Juvan Maritz, who was voting at Skuilkrans Primary School.

“I've been in Ireland for eight years and my family is still there but this is my country and I want the right party to be in charge.”

Another first-time voter at Skuilkrans was Annemie de Lange who said she believed every single vote made a difference.

She and two of her friends, who were waiting in line to cast their votes for the first time, said they were confident that they had gained enough information from television and newspapers to be able to cast an informed vote.

At a voting station at Menlo Park, Vusi Mbuyazi waited in line in his second election.

“I vote so that I can raise my voice,” he said.

“I'm very excited. It's important to vote because we should be entitled to know what is going on in the country and have a say in it.”

At La Montagne Primary School, 21-year-old Kyla Goodwin complimented the smooth running of the voting process.

“They were amazingly efficient where I voted in La Montagne and made it easy for me to vote within a few minutes.”

Mluleki Ryneyi, who was also in the queue at La Montagne, was firm in his belief on the impact of voting.

“It's important to have a say in who is governing the country. New parties have been coming up and politics in the country are very interesting at the moment,” he said.

Older voters were less confident that they could make a difference, but also felt it was important to have their voices heard.

Rhassy Mahlangu, aged 40, who travelled from the Pretoria city centre where she lives to sell snacks to voters in Menlo Park, said she would be casting her vote later on Wednesday night because, like most people of her generation, she felt it was important to vote.

“I talk to a lot of young people and find that many of them are not certain if they should vote or not,” she said.

“People are talking about politics a lot. The political hierarchy has changed totally and it's difficult to decide.

There was unhappiness about service delivery, but this would not necessarily cause people to change their minds.

“Where I come from in Kalkfontein, between Bela-Bela and Hammanskraal, there are still no roads or water. I feel it is a bit neglected and we're getting nothing,” Mahlangu said.

“Where I've been staying in town for more than ten years people are also complaining about service delivery. They're not cleaning the streets, the weeds are waist-high and the roads are upside down.” - Sapa



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