Mahikeng - For the past 30 years Lynn Gielink has lived in a town so small you'll miss it if you blink. Some of that time she has spent sitting outside of her local craft and coffee shop sharing her life's wisdom.
Her store is called Lime and Spice (and all things nice) and that is exactly what you will find when you enter through the green gate. Scattered all over the room are all sorts of crafts, lamps and paintings that enthusiasts will adore.
Gielink, 70, has spent a large part of her life in the small German town of Kroondal, situated between Marikana and Rustenburg in the North West. The town is better known for growing tobacco, sunflowers and wheat. Everyone knows everyone.
"This town, although small, is very old, with one building about 130 years old," she says.
Her box of cigarettes lays open on the table outside of the store with one cigarette pulled out a little further than the rest in case the urge pops up. Her view includes the Deutche Schule Kroondal, where children are running on the playground with cheerful yelling echoing down the street.
"Crime isn't really a problem here. We do, however, feel the effects when there is tension in Marikana," she says referring to the unrest following the deaths of 34 striking miners who were shot dead by police in Marikana in August 2012.
More can be done
Born in the then Transvaal, she grew up in KwaZulu-Natal where she met her husband of 46 years. The couple are thinking about selling a farm they own.
"It's just too big for us to run at our age. We are looking for a new place in a new area," Gielink says.
"In Kroondal I feel safe. Something you can't really do in Johannesburg."
Speaking about the upcoming local municipal election, Gielink said she felt a lot more could be done in terms of service delivery.
"There is room for 100% improvement. As a pensioner I want to know where all our money is going. If you call the municipality to come out they mostly don't come.
"We are getting used to bad service delivery and we shouldn't."
Worried about potholes
Potholes and unmarked street lanes are some of her other concerns.
"Trucks like to use this road to avoid toll gates and due to the traffic of these heavy vehicles potholes pop up."
When asked if she will vote, Gielink's smile fades as her face turns serious.
"I will definitely be voting. I am registered."
Gielink has two children, both of whom are living in Botswana. Her son has been living there for 20 years while her daughter moved to Scotland before packing her bags for Botswana as well. She has been there for 15 years.
"She decided it was too cold for her in Scotland," Gielink jokes.
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