ANC, DA volunteers side-by-side in Dobsonville

2016-08-03 23:11
A young child rides a bike as voters line up at a polling station for local municipal elections. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Soweto - Boys played football in the streets of Dobsonville as the sun set at the end of election day 2016.

It is in this same neighbourhood that Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane grew up, and these are the same streets he said he played on when he was a child.

Maimane addressed the DA's final election rally in the nearby Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday, but he stopped short of saying that the DA could win in Soweto. It was the first time the party had campaigned in some of the areas there.

In front of at least two voting stations, DA and African National Congress activists minded their tables without minding each other too much.

“Everyone was peaceful," said volunteers at the DA table in front of Thathezako Primary School, right next to the stadium.

They said a lot of people came out to vote, but it was hard to say if there would be a DA victory in that ward.

READ FINAL ELECTION WRAP: An election day of the weird, wonderful and worrying

'We want change'

"I don't know what they voted for," Ntombi Mkwayi, 37, said, but added that the volunteers all voted DA.

"We want change for everything," Mkwayi said. "Especially for houses because we live in shacks," added Priscilla Ngcana, 31.

Across the road ANC volunteer Nunu Mkhwanazi, 41, said she was living in a RDP house because of the ANC.

"We are supporting the ANC because the ANC is delivering," she said. "I am so proud of the ANC."

Another volunteer, Polica Sokwela, 26, said he liked the party's policies, and although the ANC wasn't always perfect, "given the chance, they will deliver better".

About five minutes' drive from there, at DSJ Primary School, DA volunteers were packing up because it had become too cold to continue.

Educated but jobless

They said Maimane had made a turn at the table earlier in the day, after casting his vote in Randburg, to "show his support" before rushing off to monitor voting at more hotly-contested metros such as Tshwane.

Mmamotho Motsamai, 23, said she supported the DA because "the ANC has been in power for too long". She said “government failed us” and she hoped Maimane could bring change.

She said many voters were born after 1994 and they expected better than to go through what their parents went through. "Many have education but still no job," she said, adding that it seemed to her that you needed connections to get employment.

"Mmusi also came from a family here but he made sure he made it through to Parliament," she said. This was an example to many.

Abueng Seabelo, 29, said many people had come to their table during the day asking for DA T-shirts and caps.

"There was a positive response in Dobsonville," she said.

Voting after work

At the next table the ANC's Clement Mabitsela, 47, said he had no idea how people voted, but "we are confident as the ANC".

He said a lot of people had come to the ANC's table for information, and there were no glitches.

"I have been voting ANC for some time now."

He said the party had many good members, and a lot of people supported it because they experienced "hardships and segregation" before and did not want to live through that again.

Mabitsela said he was unemployed but taught maths and science as a volunteer. He said his local councillor was very co-operative and hoped to continue the relationship.

Mabitsela said he expected some people to still come to the polling station during the last hour of polling despite the cold because many people had left voting until after work.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: da  |  anc  |  johannesburg  |  local elections 2016