A number of young people in Phola Park Village in Mpumalanga said they were happy after casting their votes. They relaxed outside the voting station at Siboniwe Primary School. Picture: Balise Mabona/ANA

Bushbuckridge - KwaMhlanga youth said they were happy and excited after voting on Wednesday, but they also used the occasion to condemn the disruptions earlier in the week of special votes in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.

The young voters spoke to the African News Agency (ANA) at Siboniwe Primary School in Phola Park Village. They then lingered outside the school’s premises for several hours. Cars belonging to different political party agents played loud music from their cars.

“I’m happy to be a voter and I hope my vote will make the government help me get a bursary so that I can further my studies at the university,” said Mongezi Ntuli.

“I encourage other young people to vote in every election. If we are not happy with what our political leaders are doing, we have a right to tell them in the right manner, not through violent protests.”

Provincial spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Sibusiso Nkosi, said the disruption of voting processes happened on Monday, the first day of special votes. He said a group of people blocked the road and prevented IEC officials from accessing two voting stations.

“It was an isolated incident, but we later managed to access the stations. Everything about voting went well today,” said Nkosi.

Provincial spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the police swiftly intervened in Bushbuckridge and "re-opened" the road.

“There was no violence and no-one has been arrested. It is still quiet and no incidents of crime have been reported to us from the whole province in relation to the elections,” Hlathi said on Wednesday evening. 

Another young voter, Sibongile Mahlangu, said she also enjoyed seeing members of different political parties talking and laughing with each other during the voting process outside Siboniwe Primary School.

“What happened in Bushbuckridge was bad. You cannot prevent people from voting simply because you want service delivery,” said Mahlangu.

Those who cast their votes at Siboniwe Primary School on Wednesday included young adults and the elderly.

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African News Agency (ANA)