Kosovo informal settlement residents queue outside a voting station to cast their ballots. Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - “I am voting for change. I am voting for a party that is going to focus on land reform and expropriation. My vote is to remove thieves from powerful positions.”

So said Nyanga resident Siza Wana, 63, on Wednesday.

Wana did not let the heavy rains discourage him from casting his vote at Hlengisa Primary School in Nyanga, near Cape Town.

The determined resident said his vote was motivated by his “suffering”, which he says has allowed politicians to “manipulate” him.

“When we were moved from Grassy Park to Nyanga East in 1958 due to the Group Areas Act, we were shattered and at a loss. When democracy came, it gave us hope. But 20 years down the line, the land or money we were promised for our land has still not made its way to our hands.

“We continue to suffer. They said they were going to give us compensation. We filled in forms after forms, but they never did that. Instead, we hear that they have eaten millions. I am sick and tired of the thieves,” he said.

Outside the voting station were stands belonging to the different political parties.

Xolile Sikobongile, at the ANC stand, said they set it up at 7am. He said the station opened about 20 minutes later because there were no voters’ roll and register. However, he said people had been coming to vote despite the wet weather.

The Amy Biehl Enrichment Centre, a few kilometres away, was a hive of activity with scores of people from the poverty-stricken township voting.

Officials in the centre managed queues efficiently.

Representatives from different political parties showcased their party regalia outside the voting station.

The DA’s table had a lot of young people.

The ANC’s table had a jovial crowd of older women who paraded the streets singing the party’s famous slogan “Asinavalo”, and waving its flag.

The EFF’s table had older women and youth. The youth danced to the songs played on a portable radio while the women cheered on.

Philippi residents said they voted to improve the standard of living.

Nokwezi Noyakaza said: “I am voting for change. We have been living in informal settlements for more than 25 years. The drains are constantly blocked. There are no street lights and criminals take advantage of that. I want a party that will change that.”

Mandisa Jama said: “I know the history of this world and the organisation that led us to liberation. We have freedom and houses now.”

Magwalandile Nkonje said: “I want free education for the youth, job creation and free housing.”


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Cape Argus