Use your vote as a bargaining tool

2016-02-09 06:00

Allow me this opportunity to express my frustration with the slow pace of major development in areas such as Eastridge, Beacon Valley, Tafelsig and other poorer coloured communities on the Cape Flats and in Atlantis and Mamre.

It is becoming clear to me and many other people that we are the forgotten ones, the voting fodder.

We have to wait patiently and pray for prosperity to trickle through to our areas. A play park here and there and we have to be grateful and shut up. Our streets are being swept and cleaned whenever the responsible person feels like it and at intervals quite far and wide apart.

Over the last few years, cable thieves have stolen just about every Telkom cable in these areas. Telkom staff took a radical decision not to replace cables, which under normal circumstances would seem to be a rational decision to make and I do understand this.

Why should law-abiding citizens and those who supported Telkom over many years be punished? I have not seen Telkom aggressively chasing after these cable thieves. I am also yet to see Telkom running a high-impact campaign in areas where this problem has reached critical levels. I did, however, see Telkom rolling out fibre technology in some of the most affluent areas in our country, including Constantia, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Sandton.

Gang violence has plagued many parts of the Cape Flats for many months now. Why should our people get used to the idea of living in fear and accept that gang culture is part of our lives? We deserve better than this.

Reality is that many of our people are suffering, struggling to make ends meet and living a life of despondency.

As a coloured person living on the Cape Flats, I am calling on every potential voter to use the upcoming municipal election as a bargaining tool in an effort to see real development. Use your cellphones and make video recordings of every public meeting being addressed by potential ward councillors lobbying for your votes.

Ensure that you have hard evidence of all promises, which you can hold against them in the event of them winning in your ward. We can simply not afford to give away our votes anymore. I certainly have no issue with people being blindly loyal to their political parties, however, at which point do you become loyal to your own family and your own community?

These elected officials work for us and not the other way around. We need to hold them thoroughly accountable.

Your vote is as good as cash! You wouldn’t overpay for a product at one store when you can buy it at another store for way less money. Why would you continue voting for a councillor or a party that continues to make promises and constantly fails to deliver?

If your current councillor failed to keep your streets clean, failed to beautify your area, failed to hold regular meetings, failed to provide decent play parks for the children, failed to assist with your municipal matters, then do not vote for that same person or his party. If your children cannot play outside due to gang violence and unsafe parks, vote out your councillor and vote in a new person.

Let your councillor work and work hard for that lucrative package they earn.

Rozario Brown, Mitchell’s Plain

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