DA offers hope to some in Soweto, others see empty promises

2014-04-10 18:01

“I’m hungry, but I’m filled with hope,” says Nomthandazo Hlongwane as she sits on the corner of her couch and looks out at her gate with a big smile.

Hlongwane was just visited by DA leader Helen Zille in her home in Jabulani, Soweto, earlier today.

“No one works in this house,” she said.

Hlongwane shares her four-bedroom house with 14 other family members. “I live with some of my children, grand children and great-grandchildren, the space is so small – we have no privacy,” she said.

Hlongwane wants change and a better life for her family. “I hope the promises that all these parties are making will come true.” Her family was one of the families Zille and Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane visited during the Gauteng leg of the DA’s election campaign.

More than 50 people wearing blue DA T-shirts accompanied the pair as they went form house to house. Innocent Khuzwayo, who also opened his home to Zille and Maimane, said he had lost all hope.

“I’m tired of these promises of change. They [the DA] said the same thing four years ago and still nothing,” he said. His sister, Bongikile Khumalo, who lives with him, said all she wanted was a house. “I’ve been waiting for an RDP house since 1993, I’m tired.”

Both said they had lost trust in political parties and considered all parties to be part of a skeem (gang) that will make promises and never deliver. Maimane said in order to implement its promises, the DA needed to be in government.

“The greatest difficulty in an election is that people forget that this has been an ANC government. But people have become aware of the fact that ANC has failed them, and that in the province there hasn’t been any change,” he said.

Maimane continued to echo his message of creating jobs and stopping corruption – for which the crowd cheered.

“I’m going to open tender adjudications; I’m going to make sure that no premier drives expensive cars. And in fact, we are going to make sure that if you are found corrupt, your place should be in jail, not government,” he said.

Across the street from the gathering stood two elderly women shaking their heads and reading a DA pamphlet. The women, who wanted to be known only as the “gogos of Jabulani” said they did not believe in the DA and would only vote for the party that had provided them with a better life – the ANC.

“Ngeke ngikwazi ukuvotela umlungu. [I won’t ever be able to vote for a white person],” they said. “Maimane is Zille’s boy,” they said as they walked away.

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