She is ANC, he is DA - Bredasdorp's 'Romeo and Juliet' won't let loyalties get in the way of love

Tracey Arends and Robin Janse consider themselves Bredasdorp's own Romeo and Juliet. She was born and raised in a staunch ANC household, while he considers his blood to be blue.

"But I love him, even if he makes bad decisions," 28-year-old Arends said, rolling her eyes at Janse proudly zipped down his hoodie to show off his DA T-shirt.

The two have been dating for more than a year and rarely argue, the 32-year-old Janse told News24.

"But politics is another. She won't listen to me when I try to explain to her why I vote for Team Blue. She just goes on and on about the drought and says the DA made her buy water, ignoring that her party is full of corruption."

Arends argued that her support of the ANC was not that fickle.

"Because of them, I have a house. I have work and we have freedom. What has the DA done for me? Nothing. So I will support the party that has improved my life."

Bredasdorp is situated in the Overberg District of the Western Cape, about 160km outside Cape Town.

"This place is home, but it's also full of bad things, like drugs and gangsterism," Shaun Ruiters said.

Unemployed, but proud to have achieved his matric, he hopes to move to the city to live with his aunt on the Cape Flats, so as to have access to more opportunities.

"Here is almost nothing for young people like me," Ruiters, 22, maintained.

"Work is scarce. If I apply for a job, there's 50 others who also need it. I think about all the plans I had for myself when I was at school. My parents said, if I worked hard and got a good pass, my life would turn out well. But look where I am sitting, on a street corner with a good report."

'There is more to us than Anene Booysen'

Gerald Clarke, 54, said he would vote for a party that would bring opportunity to his hometown.

"I have sons who are jobless, just like me, and daughters who attend skills development courses, but can't find anything to do with what they have learnt. Our children are becoming criminals because they are frustrated," he insisted.

"We need development. Bredasdorp is a beautiful place, but all we know is poverty and violence stemming from substance abuse. Where are the options for us?"

Born and raised in the town, he said it broke his heart that it had become known for its violence against women and children.

"There is more to us than the horror story of Anene Booysen," he said, referring to the awful 2013 rape and murder of the 17-year-old that made national headlines.

"We have hardworking fathers, God-fearing mothers and children struggling to make their tomorrow better than their yesterday. Our people have potential. All we need here is a little investment."

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