Ramaphosa, Maimane and Shivambu cast their votes in Soweto

BOSA party leader Mmusi Maimane voted in Dobsonville, Soweto, yesterday. Picture: Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

BOSA party leader Mmusi Maimane voted in Dobsonville, Soweto, yesterday. Picture: Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

Published May 29, 2024


Leaders of various political parties took time out of their busy schedule to cast their votes for their respective political parties.

Among those who cast their votes in Soweto was ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, who cast his vote at the Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo.

BuildOneSA leader Mmusi Maimane cast his vote at his home township of Dobsonville, while EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu cast his vote at the Moses Kotane Primary School in Braamfischerville, also in Soweto.

Chiawelo residents came out in their numbers to witness Ramaphosa cast his mark on the ballot, however, issues of service delivery and other complaints did not escape some of the voters who said they want the government to do more to ensure their lives are improved drastically in the new administration.

A mother of seven, Amamelang Raphuting, said she and four of her children are still without IDs, more than 30 years into democracy after losing her ID immediately after 1994 elections.

“I voted for the ANC in 1994, but after losing my ID, I have been struggling to get an ID for myself and four my children. When I go to apply for my ID everyone ignores me. I want the world to know that I am suffering without my ID and my other child who is doing matric still does not have an ID and now she is despondent knowing that if she passes her matric this year without an ID, she will not be able to study further. I have come here to beg the president to feel my pain,” a hysterical Raphuthing told reporters gathered at Ramaphosa’s voting station.

South Africa Johannesburg 29 May 2024- Vote 2024. As millions of South Africans go out and vote in the 2024 general elections around Soweto president Cyril Ramaphosa casted his vote in Chiawelo. He spends a bit of time addressing the media. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Ramaphosa, who arrived to a strong media presence alongside his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, revealed that he was pleased with a big voter turnout at his alma mater.

Ramaphosa also said he was concerned about apparent attacks against the work of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), saying: “We are concerned about the incidents that have been reported where the IEC has raised its concerns but also one incident where the police had to intervene by arresting those who were interfering with the work of the IEC.”

Another resident of the area, who did not want to be named, said she wanted leaders to prioritise South Africans who remain unemployed in the country of their birth.

“We have voted, and we are voting for change and want our leaders to prioritise us. This issue of foreigners is not right when most of us young people are unemployed and are forced to rely on the R350 grant which in fact is not enough to take care of our needs,” she said.

In Dobsonville, at the Presbyterian Church where the walls of the church are caving in, Maimane, who has voted at the same voting station for years, said the status of the church was an indication of the state of the country.

“The caving walls which have fallen apart are an indication of real state of this country and what has happened in the country over the last 30 years... You know I have been voting at the same voting station for so long and I have been using the same ID all this time. I have the new ID but, this ID is a reminder to me and the next generation that it is possible to fix this country. So, I am voting with the same ID I have been using,” Maimane said.

Tebogo Mbulawa from Dobsonville said whoever wins the elections, must help the community of Dobsonville rebuild the church which the community has been using as a voting station since the dawn of democracy.

“We want the leaders to help us improve services in Dobsonville. Whoever wins the elections must help us rebuild this church as it means a lot to us,” she said.

Shivambu, who refused to skip the line and preferred standing in the long queue until his turn, said as a member and branch leader of Braamfischerville, he wanted to see the community being empowered with jobs and community-based businesses to ensure they too benefit from the economy the country.

Shivambu said the EFF is targeting no less than 51% in the elections.

“Our target is simple. We want 51% and we are the only party that has been growing in the past 10 years. I know that if we do not achieve the stars, we can reach for the sky, but in 2029, that is where we will have the biggest impact,” he said.