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'We don't need a councillor, we have our chief'

2016-08-01 15:02

East London – Residents of Vilisi village in the Eastern Cape feel they can only depend on their local chief, and not their councillor to get things done, one of them has told News24.

Lungelwa Ncayishe, 37, who lives in a two-bedroom home with her three children, said she would never trust any politician, unless her chief endorsed them.

"The chief is the only person who cares about us here. We live in poverty and he makes sure that we are comfortable," she said.

Ncayishe said residents had tried for years to get the municipality to give them running water, but it was only after her chief intervened that residents got a communal tap.

"It’s been hard. For years we used to walk for kilometres to the river. This river is filthy and you have to compete with cows for water. We used to skim the muck off the water so we could drink it. It’s the life we have lived and our children live," she said.

'Councillor doesn’t care'

That changed when her chief took a petition to the councillor, to demand that he get a tap installed.

"The councillor doesn’t care about us. We don't need to have a councillor, we have our chief," she said.

"It’s sad that the ANC can only give us grants, but we want to work for our money. I want to teach my kids the value of work, but it’s hard when we live in a place that has been forgotten."

There were no posters for any political parties visible on the dusty streets of Vilisi. She said politicians had not been campaigning in the area for the local government elections on Wednesday.

"Why would they care about us? They think, because we don't have education, we can't see what they are doing to the country. We know and we care about the future for our children," 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: east london  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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