ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe speaking to Khutsong residents during a door-to-door campaign in the area (Mpho Raborife, News24)
Merafong - The African National Congress has forgotten what poverty looks like because they are now living well, a Khutsong resident in Carletonville said on Thursday.
Moeketsi Msiya told News24 he would not be voting for the ruling party because it always forgot "the people at the bottom".
"The ANC only looks after themselves… If I vote for these people, they will forget about me," the 37-year-old said outside his home during a door-to-door campaign by the ANC.
Msiya was born and bred in Khutsong and described it as a place which had no progress.
"The youth here are addicted to nyaope and alcohol starting from 15 years."
He said they often dropped out of school and he didn't blame them because there was nothing motivating them to stay in school.
Abstaining from voting
"There is no progress here," he said, visibly angry and frustrated.
He said come August 3, he would abstain from voting as he did not trust any of the parties running for local government elections.
"I will only vote for someone who knows what it is to be poor, someone who knows what it is like to eat just plain pap and gravy for supper. I will only vote for someone who I know lives among the people and knows our struggles," he said.
Minutes earlier, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had visited Msiya in his home as part of the party's local government election campaign in Carletonville.
During his visits with residents, the majority complained to Mantashe about the lack of a decent piping system in the area which often led to water bursts and drainage issues and the lack of job opportunities.
Small pools of stagnant water could be seen in or outside each house, with a stream of more water along the street rising, it seemed, from an underground pipe running down the street.
'This is what we live with'
At times the drainage issues would get so bad that the water being drained to the outside of people's homes, often made its way back into their houses through blocked drains, 62-year-old Mangiwe Ngcangcela told Mantashe.
"We love the ANC and we will continue to vote for it, but this is what we live with. Look at it," she said.
She said although her children often chided her for being faithful to the ruling party despite it not delivering basic services to her, she would not leave her home.
"I am not going to leave the ANC, I was raised in it, no matter what. Whether these things get fixed or not, there is nothing I can do," Ngcangcela said.
Her neighbour, Rose Ncube, sat quietly on her veranda soaking up the sun as she watched Mantashe continue with his campaigning further down the street.
He had already visited her home earlier, and given her a free T-shirt with President Jacob Zuma's face on it. She put it on immediately.
The 59-year-old mother of three told News24 that she was happy to have met Mantashe. She hoped that things would change for the better now that he had been to see them and hear their cries.
"I am so happy to have met Mantashe and touched his hand. Maybe it will bring me good luck," she said.
Although there were many problems in the area, she hoped God would help them through the ruling party.
"God must give them the wisdom to help them decide on how to help us," she said.
Ncube had three unemployed children aged 38, 29 and 18, who still lived with her and depended on her every month. She wanted the ruling party to help create jobs for them.
"If they can just get work so they can move forward with their lives. They are not stupid, they have brains, and they don't smoke or drink alcohol.
"It breaks my heart that their lives are stuck here," she said.
Voting for the white man
Meanwhile, Ncube's neighbour Nikiwe Kutta vowed never to vote for the ANC again after it had made them "so many empty promises".
Wearing a blue Democratic Alliance student organisation T-shirt, Kutta told News24 she was no longer interested in what the ruling party had to say because their words did not translate into actions.
The 35-year-old had moved to Khutsong from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape in 2013 to live with her daughter's father and to look for work opportunities, however both her and her partner were still unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, she said.
"We depend on the social grant and on my mother helping us with some things during the month," she said.
"I'm tired of the ANC. They only give us empty promises… and ask us to vote but I will never. I would rather vote for the white man," she says pointing to her T-shirt.
"Maybe the DA will give me work opportunities. The ANC must fall, we are tired now."
She said prior to Mantashe's visit on Thursday, she had never seen or heard of the ANC's candidate councillor in the ward Kwaito Tsotetsi.
"I've never seen this man before, it is my first time seeing him today," she said.
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