Rampant crime and a lack of housing developments are among the top concerns for Cape voters
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Cape Town - Rampant crime, a lack of housing development and continued sewage spills were among the top concerns raised by the communities in the townships, as they cast their votes on Monday.
Residents pointed out the government's failure to provide adequate facilities and other basic services to their communities.
Noxolo Phiri, from Kosovo informal settlement in Samora Machel, said they were fed up with the political parties ignoring their demands. However, Phiri said she would vote for a party that she thought would help their community.
Phiri added that they have been voting but no change has been made in their community. Meanwhile, residents in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, said all they wanted was a crime-free community.
After she voted at the Portland High School voting station, Lizzie Brown, said their children can't even go to school because of gangsterism in the area. She said crime has tarnished townships in the Western Cape.
Voting stations in Khayelitsha operated smoothly, despite Friday's threats by area managers after raising their grievances regarding their salaries.
When the Cape Argus visited the Khayelitsha centre, one of the employees said they wanted to do things properly, and not hinder the voting process.
Anti-gender-based violence (AGV) group Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said as an organisation that has been advocating for the rights of women and children, they have insisted that political parties prioritise gender equality.
Monakali said gender equality was enshrined in the Constitution, the country has a number of laws in place to protect the women yet in the past 27 years of democracy, women in the country have faced an uphill battle for the full realisation of their rights and dignity.
"We call for municipalities to walk the talk, local government plays a fundamental role in the day-to-day reality of people, and we hope that those elected into policy-making positions play a greater role in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide," he said.
Parliament’s Presiding Officers, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, said the services and facilities people needed most in their daily lives were a responsibility of the local sphere of government.
"Other key services rendered by other spheres of government are also linked to the local government, which is considered the coalface of service delivery to the people. These services include the delivery of water, electricity, houses and healthcare."
The Presiding Officers said: “The local government elections present us with an opportunity to elect leaders that will represent the people in the local sphere of government for the next five years.
“By participating in these elections, we will be choosing people to lead in the provision of crucial basic services. We need to always claim our constitutional right to determine and influence how we are governed and to hold accountable those we elect."