Evans Mathikge. (Wim Pretorius, News24)
Potchefstroom - Sitting outside of a small business complex in Potchefstroom where he works as a cleaner, Evans Mathikge smokes his cigarette while staring at the steam from his coffee mug evaporating.
He wears a red beanie to keep his head warm on the cool Tuesday, and a stained blue overall.
With local municipal elections around the corner, the Ikageng resident takes a moment out of his day during lunch time. He looks relaxed, but some disappointment shines through.
He has lost faith in voting and hoping.
“These political people are all the same. For me, I don’t see the use in voting, because when you vote for politicians, they just do the favours for their families. They don’t care for us, but they say ‘better life for all’.
"We didn’t get a better life. We still are here.”
He feels municipal jobs that should be going to locals get handed to people from other areas.
“For a long time I’ve applied at the municipality, but they do not approve my CV. Other people come from outside and get anything they want.”
Mathikge longs for an honest party which can help create jobs for locals.
“Many of the political parties do hire you as a volunteer, but after they get what they want, they don’t hire you or give you a better offer. They just take it for themselves and for their family,” he says.
Mathikge is single and has no children. He says he is too poor to care for anyone else.
“With the job I have now, at least I am getting something to fill the small holes that I’ve got.”
The ANC's current leaders were selfish, and not of the same calibre as those who fought for the country's liberation during apartheid.
In contrast to Mathikge, Cornelue Haarhoff, who owns a business in Potchefstroom, feels every citizen should cast their vote.
Every morning she catches a lift from Viljoenskroon in the Free State to Potchefstroom, to run her small business, Perfect Water Potchefstroom.
Haarhoff will definitely join the voting queue in the Moqhaka Local Municipality to cast her vote.
“I am a hopeful person and I believe there is certainly still a future in South Africa. Everything depends on us as citizens, therefore, it is very important to vote. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
Her business has done well in the past 10 years. She feels there is a market for clean water as many locals prefer not to drink the tap water they think is unsafe.
Power cuts are a common problem businesses have to deal with in Tlokwe.
“There were times where we had load shedding and customers couldn’t get clean water and were not very happy with the fact that we couldn’t deliver our product. But, you know, we always manage to make a plan.”
In November 2013, ANC infighting led to the removal of the party's mayor in the town, Maphetle Maphetle. He was replaced by the DA's Anette Combrink. She was ousted in a motion of no confidence. The ANC subsequently got the position back. Kgotso Khumalo is currently the mayor.
Tlokwe was then involved in a dispute over its voters' roll stemming from a by-election in 2013, which was declared not to have been free and fair. The matter found its way to the Constitutional Court, which ruled on June 14 that the IEC’s failure to compile a voters’ roll with addresses was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
The court suspended the declaration of invalidity until June 30, 2018, meaning that the August 3 elections could go ahead with an incomplete voters’ roll.
For Tlokwe however, the IEC had to ensure it got addresses in time for the August 3 election.
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