Voters hope to make a change, some with a spoiled ballot

2019-05-09 15:02
Montrose residents Ntokozo and Sanele Ngubane cast their votes at the All Saints Church. The pair said the 2019 elections were ‘quite emotional for them’ and that they felt change in the air. PHOTO: Chelsea Pieterse

Montrose residents Ntokozo and Sanele Ngubane cast their votes at the All Saints Church. The pair said the 2019 elections were ‘quite emotional for them’ and that they felt change in the air. PHOTO: Chelsea Pieterse

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Voters in Clarendon, Prestbury, and Chase Valley were all “pleasantly surprised” at the short queues at the various voting stations on Wednesday.

Small pockets of people grouped at the entrance of the stations, smiling and chatting with each other while waiting for their turn at the ballot box.

The All Saints Church near Grey’s Hospital hosted a diverse crowd of voters, all excited about election day.

Montrose resident Collette Sass said she was excited to be voting in the 2019 elections.

“I am really hoping for change after the elections and I think a lot of people feel the same way.”

Third-time voter Jason Jones said he was also hoping for change and that there would be a “different political party leading the country going forward”.

“After voting, we will be going for lunch and just relax,” he said.

Montrose couple Ntokozo and Sanele Ngubane said the 2019 elections were quite “emotional” for them as they still feel privileged to vote.

“We know our vote counts.”

Sanele said those that didn’t vote lost out on a chance to make a change in the country. He felt there is change in the air and a lot of hope and belief that the country will be steered in the right direction.

Clarendon residents Lucy and Songe Chibambo said they also felt privileged to vote. “The 2019 elections will determine the future of the country. I feel something good is going to happen,” said Songe. “I respect the opinions of those who did not vote but if you want transformation you would have made your mark.”

Lucy and Songe Chibambo wait to make their mark at the voting station at Clarendon Primary School on Wednesday. ‘I respect the opinions of those who did not vote but if you want transformation you would have made your mark,’ said Songe.

However in some areas voting was not so straight forward. While most shack dwellers in Jika Joe and Sacca in Mkondeni went to the polls, some even confessed to spoiling their ballots in protest against lack of development in their areas.

“I wish my vote meant that I would see development in this area and have access to job opportunities but I know that’s not going to happen,” said Sacca’s Mbali Vilakazi.

Her neighbours shared the same sentiment but said they would continue voting in all elections because they feared losing their only source of income — social grants.

“The government doesn’t care about us. They don’t even collect refuse and we don’t have toilets. It stinks here because we are surrounded by shit and rubbish, but we still vote,” said Philani Shabalala.

Sacca residents in Mkondeni (from left) Sne Sindane, Menzi Phungula, Mhlengi Chiliza and Philani Shabalala after casting their votes.

Jika Joe’s Mavis Ndlovu said there was no dignity in raising a family in a shack but she had no choice because she did not have land where she could try to build her own house.

Thamsanqa Mkhize said he hoped the new administration would be more sympathetic to the millions of unemployed young people.

“The crime is high in this country because people are stealing to feed themselves and their families. Some would rather go to jail because they know that they would at least get food, shelter and medical care,” he said.

At least eight of those who spoke to The Witness confessed to spoiling their ballot papers. They said they previously voted for the ANC but were currently annoyed with the governing party due to the slow pace of development in their areas.

“We’ve been waiting for RDP houses since 2009 and now we can’t get houses elsewhere because our applications were already approved so our names are on the database,” said one of them.

Members of the Salt Rock Local Ministry (from left) Timothy Marais, Fabian Bachelor, Evan Arendse, Byron Rooi and Paz Manmohan selling food outside the Woodlands Hall during voting to raise funds for their church.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  elections
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