'Our people are lost, not the ANC' – Kimberley resident

2016-07-08 11:31
Zembe Selepe, 33, (right) of Kimberley has decorated his car with ANC stickers. (Erin Bates)

Kimberley - While some residents in Kimberley in the Northern Cape have expressed excitement over the upcoming local elections, others say they have lost interest in government.

Zembe Selepe, 33, is one of the few people in the city, vowing to be the first in line at the voting stations come August 3.

"If I had to turn my membership to the [Economic Freedom Fighters] then my ancestors would turn in their grave,” Selepe told News24 on Monday.

- Elections Map: Previous Kimberley results

Dressed in dark overalls and sunglasses, Selepe has decked out his green Toyota Tazz with large African National Congress stickers along the doors.

The front seats of his car bear the face of ANC President Jacob Zuma’s face on two yellow seat covers. The rear view mirrors are also covered in ANC mirror socks.

All of this decorating has been done at his own expense, Selepe said.

He decorated his car because he believes in the party, which he has been a member of since the age of 17.

"I am passionate about the ANC. When I talk about it my heart bleeds," he said.

In the previous local government elections, the ANC won the Sol Plaatje municipality with 63.97%.

'Complaining for nothing'

The Democratic Alliance came second with 26.3 % of the vote, followed by Congress of the People with 7.7%.

"The ANC is strong, but our people are lost. They don’t know where to run to. The leadership is in the right direction; the people are in the wrong direction. They [residents] should work so that they can keep the party accountable,” said Selepe.

“They are just complaining for nothing. They [burn] schools because the ANC doesn’t work - but those very same schools were built by the ANC government for them," he added.

Kimberley businesswoman Monica Modupe, 48, smiles when she speaks about her intentions to vote.

Modupe, who is originally from Randfontein in Gauteng, told News24 that she will continue being an ANC veteran.

"I have pellet gun marks on my knees. When I was 17-years-old we would engage in a number of protests. I will never forget where we came from as a country and I will continue to vote for the party that freed us.

"At 22:00, you wouldn’t go to the streets because it was unsafe. My grandmother used to receive R200 for her pension and my mother only started owning a house when she was older - but I owned a house when I was 23 years old.   

"People have access to grants and we can even own houses and that is because of the ruling party, no one else. There is no fear anymore, back then we couldn’t go to multiracial schools. We can’t blame councillors for everything," she said, before rushing to catch a taxi home.

New leadership needed

Meanwhile, another businesswoman Vanessa Holtzhausen, 49, said Kimberley was in desperate need of new leadership.

Holtzhausen welcomed News24 to her Solar Energy store, situated in an industrial area, a few minutes away from the famous "Big Hole".

Dressed in a black polo neck and black jeans, she sits with her legs crossed as she explained how some residents in the area have lost hope in government.

"The people have lost interest in the current government because of the promises made. I think we need a government that has the wisdom on how to rule the country.

"Sometimes as business people we feel like we are talking to the wrong people. Whenever we have meetings to discuss improvements, the relevant people who should be listening to residents don’t make it to meetings. Business people don’t have confidence in the government anymore," she said.

- 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: anc  |  kimberley  |  local elections 2016