'Fix my toilet and I'll vote for you,' Cape Town woman tells ANC

2016-02-10 14:24
Mary-Anne Stevens (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Mary-Anne Stevens (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A sea of yellow descended on Adriaanse Estate in Elsies River on Wednesday morning as ANC members, led by national executive committee member Jane Manganye, took part in a door-to-door campaign to spark interest in the State of the Nation Address.

But instead of "building broader community interest" in Thursday's proceedings as intended, long-suffering residents made use of the opportunity to appeal for help, for everything from broken toilets to jobs.

Mary-Anne Stevens, 55, made no secret of what it would take to secure her vote.

"Come fix my toilet and I will vote for you," she told the visitors.

Her toilet hasn't flushed in years, Stevens explained, forcing her to use a bucket to clear the water.

"My windows have also blown right out of their frames. The council has done nothing to fix it. Maybe the ANC can help me."

Desiree Petersen, a mother of five, welcomed ANC councillor Beverley Malong into her flat, begging for help to find a home for her and her family.

"I can't take it here anymore," the unemployed woman said, close to tears.

"There is so much friction in this house in which I am a tenant. There are 10 of us in this small space and my children have to sleep on the floor."

PR councillor Beverley Malong (Tammy Petersen, News24)

'So much drama with these politicians'

Petersen has been on the housing waiting list since 2004. She has two unemployed children, one who dreams of becoming a pilot.

He, however, dropped out of school in Grade 9.

Her eldest son is in jail for theft.

"I survive on the grant I receive for my two school-going children," she said.

"Can’t the president look at housing delivery and increasing the AllPay money we get? The R600 I receive is the only income we have and if I buy a bag of groceries, then that is gone too."

In a different block of flats, Stanley Fisher pointed out a leaking roof to Manganye, saying he had lodged repeated complaints with the local rent office for the ceiling of their council rental unit to be repaired.

Locals say some homes leak so badly that tenants cover their electricity boxes with plastic bags to keep from being electrocuted.

Manganye promised to take the matter to Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

While he was grateful that his issue may soon be resolved, Fisher made it clear he was undecided on who he would vote for.

"I was raised in a home of firm ANC supporters, but I don't know if I will follow them. There's so much drama with these politicians," he said.

But not everyone was open to talking politics.

Desiree Petersen (Tammy Petersen, News24)

'We live like pigs'

A young man, who his friends have nicknamed Julius Malema because of his dark complexion, said he wouldn't allow any politician through his front door.

"The ANC, the DA – both have given us absolutely nothing," he fumed.

"Helen Zille lives in a mansion, Jacob Zuma lives on his homestead and we live like pigs. How do they know what we are going through? They are too out of touch."

And his namesake?

"Nee, Malema maak net geraas [No, Malema just makes a noise]," he said.

Faroda Cloete, however, promised the ANC her vote for the rest of her life.

"The DA doesn’t do a thing for us," she said.

"Here where we live, the ANC is always there. They are active and on the ground, ready to assist. The ANC works for me."

ANC national executive committee members held walkabouts across the provinces, as well as at universities and with religious leaders.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was meant to attend the Elsies River walkabout, but failed to attend due to ill health.

Faroda Cloete (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  local government  |  local elections 2016  |  state of the nation 2016

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