Zuma sways handful of Cape’s township voters

2013-06-23 06:00

President Jacob Zuma received a warm welcome from two DA-governed communities in and around Cape Town when he visited homes there on Friday.

Zuma went door to door in the Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg townships in Hout Bay, and in Manenberg on the Cape Flats.

His first stop was Imizamo Yethu, where residents assured him they will be voting for the ANC in next year’s elections as they accused the DA councillor of ignoring them.

Zuma visited seven houses in Imizamo Yethu, where each household complained about a lack of service delivery, while a group of young people with whom he met complained about unemployment.

Vuyokazi Mrenyuka told Zuma that the main issue they were facing in Imizamo Yethu was unemployment.

“The municipality keeps on saying we must put our names on the database, which we did, but they never hired us,” said Mrenyuka.

“They keep on giving us employment forms to fill in, then they throw them in the dustbin,” she said.

Following Zuma’s visit, Mrenyuka said she didn’t vote in the last elections, but seeing the president in her area gave her hope that things would change in Imizamo Yethu.

She said she would vote for the ANC next year.

Zuma said the Western Cape government has been saying all people in the province were receiving services and were happy with service delivery, a claim disputed by Imizamo Yethu resident Dideka Joe.

This was “a lie”, she said.

Joe said her daughter died in a shack fire on Tuesday and the DA councillor never visited her and she was told she would not receive the emergency building material which all fire victims receive to help them rebuild their homes.

Zuma told ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman to take care of Joe’s family and assist them in obtaining what they need.

At Hangberg, which is traditionally a fishing community above the Hout Bay harbour, he was greeted by a Khoisan group who asked him for land.

Leader of the group, King Autshumara, said: “As Khoisan we would be happy if the president can give us our land back.”

Following his visit, a number of young people in Hangberg said they didn’t vote in the last elections, but it seemed the ANC was better than the DA, and some said Zuma’s visit might make them decide to vote for the party.

Candice Smith (24) said even though she did not believe Zuma’s promises, the ANC was preferable to the DA.

“Even though I know that the president is only here because he wants us to vote for the ANC next year, his party was better than the DA,” said Smith.

Whether she would take the trouble to vote next year, however, was a “big maybe”.

After Hangberg, Zuma visited two houses in Manenberg before holding a public meeting there.

Resident Michel Stuurman told Zuma that drug abuse was the main concern in the area.

“Lots of people are using drugs, especially our young people. I have a daughter, she’s 18 years old and I suspect that she’s using drugs,” said Stuurman.

Stuurman said she voted DA in 2011 but seeing Zuma might sway her vote next year.

“It’s an honour to have the president in my house, even though I was shocked, surprised and confused. He’s a very humble man and he listened to all the things I was saying. If he comes back like he promised, I will vote for the ANC. We are happy that he visited our area,” said Stuurman.

Elderly people told Zuma they are tired of having to pay rent for their houses and accused the DA of effecting evictions.

As in other areas, Zuma promised to return, with solutions.

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