Story of two gogos: one still prepared to wait, the other fed up after 25 years of promises

Yvonne Lekoma outside her home in Kliptown, Soweto, as special votes are cast on Monday in advance of Wednesday's poll.
Yvonne Lekoma outside her home in Kliptown, Soweto, as special votes are cast on Monday in advance of Wednesday's poll.
Image: Nonkululeko Njilo

Despite her dilapidated three-roomed house, constant load-shedding and a sewage spill across the yard, a 74-year-old Kliptown resident says she was proud to have cast her vote for the sixth time on Monday.

"I will never stop voting. Yes, we have issues [service delivery] but I love my party, I have been voting for it ever since my husband was still alive. I am proud of it," said Yvonne Lekoma.

Lekoma was one of nine people who applied to cast their special vote at Khayalethu Care Centre in the historic Soweto suburb. Of the 17 people expected to cast their special vote there on Monday, about 13 had already done so by 12.30pm, according to Electoral Commission official Wayne da Gama. "The voting process is going well for today, even though a lot of people did not apply for a special vote," he said.

Speaking about what the government has done for her, Lekoma said there had been little improvement but she was hopeful her party would eventually deliver.

"You must have patience, things don't happen overnight. You must remember there is a lot to fix since the apartheid regime," she told TimesLIVE.

She was hopeful her party would emerge victorious in the upcoming elections and that change would soon materialise.

"Our children are unemployed, our houses are old and falling apart, as you can see. Even though our children go to school, what happens to them afterwards, they're forced to linger. The government must assist us because we are also voting," she said.

Another Kliptown resident said she did not register to vote because the government had failed the community.

"Kliptown is one of the oldest Soweto townships and is rich in history but, as you can see, we're poor. We're in shackles," said 75-year-old Precious Thoba.

"What is voting going to do for me? As you can see I have nothing. I voted three times but I still don't have a house, I am still suffering like my parents did the during apartheid era, so it's a no," said Thoba.

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