'People can say a lot of bad things about the ANC but it gave me my freedom' - First time voter

2019-05-08 19:30
A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station
A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station. (Guillem Sartorio, AFP)

"I am voting for the ANC because, first of all, the school that we are in right now was built by the ANC."

First-time voter Dennis Mokoena, 20, could not contain his excitement as he waited to make his mark in his home town Olivenhoutbosch in Tshwane on Wednesday.  

Mokoena was voting at a packed Seshego Secondary School where scores of residents from Olivenhoutbosch waited to make their mark.

He told News24 that he did not expect to find such a long queue but would be patient until he puts his “X” on the ballot paper. 

He said he was so excited and could not wait to get the voting over and done with so he could go and share his experience with his mother.

"I came here today because my X means a lot for my future, my sibling’s future and for my parents. I am voting for ANC because first of all, the school that we are in right now was built by the ANC. Secondly, I am actually doing my second year in electrical engineering at the University of Pretoria and the ANC is paying for my studies through NSFAS, so that really means a lot for me, that’s a big thing,” Mokoena said. 

While "a lot of bad things were being said about the ANC", Mokoena says the party "gave me my freedom" and contributed toward the person he is today. 

Slow improvements

He said service delivery to Olivenhoutbosch was slow, but progress was being made.

“We have a lot of electricity in the area right now. But I am glad that a lot of things are being changed, schools being built, roads being built and people have been given houses. There’s not much to complain about,” Mokoena said. 

Third time voter, Victoria Skhosana, said she decided to vote in the afternoon as the queue was not as bad as it was in the morning. 

“I am not voting for the same party I have been voting for in the past two elections because it did not actually deliver on what I had hoped it would deliver on and that’s why I am changing to another party,” Skhosana said, without revealing her choice. 

Encouraged

Earlier President Cyril Ramaphosa visited an ANC elections call centre in Centurion and asked people if they had voted. 

He also interacted with DJ Tira, AKA, and DJ Zinhle via Instagram live videos. 

“Many of them said they had already voted and I kept saying, whisper to me what did you vote for, and they said they voted for the ANC. So that, to me, was very encouraging,” Ramaphosa said. 

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial 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. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

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