Discontented Makhanda residents turn up in numbers

Hundreds of residents started queuing at the Extension 9 Hall in Joza township, Makhanda
Hundreds of residents started queuing at the Extension 9 Hall in Joza township, Makhanda
Image: Loyiso Dyongman

Despite inclement weather, Makhanda (Grahamstown) voters, especially the elderly, came out in vast numbers from as early as 6am Wednesday to make their marks.

Makhanda residents have continuously expressed their discontent with government over poor service delivery in the town.

Elderly voters were lined up outside voting stations in Makhanda townships long before electoral officials opened the doors at 7am.

An official, who asked not to be named, said everything was going well at Noluthando Hall, DD Siwisa School and the Indoor Sports Centre, all in Joza township.

“There were already a number of old age people waiting outside at 6am. Everything is going smoothly without any hassles and party agents are co-operating well with IEC officials,” the official said.

By lunchtime, the numbers of voters in the various queues had declined compared to when the voting stations opened.

Hundreds of residents started queuing at the Extension 9 Hall in Joza township early in the morning.

First-time voter Aviwe Ndawuni, 20, said she was expecting government to provide services to the people after the elections. Ndawuni, who took a gap year due to "financial issues", called for free education.

An excited Nomaxabiso Zakade, 75, said she woke up at 6am feeling she could not stay away from the polls. “I want to participate in everything that is done by other people in the country.”

Nondumiso Lesoro, 67, voted in Samuel Ntlebi Primary School and said she was looking forward to seeing a change in government after the elections. 

“Our kids have tertiary qualifications but are not working. They are frustrated and eventually turn to drugs. Corruption and fraud is deeply rooted in this country.

“We are aware that the ANC has done a lot but we want more because there is lack of service delivery. RDP houses are sold by officials and councillors to people who have never even registered for houses,” said Lesoro.

Sicelo Elvis Dyantyi, 60, said he wants the ANC to remain in power and govern the country. “I’m not voting for Ramaphosa but for the ANC. I want development and that is what has been pushing me to vote since 1994.

“There is no development here in Makana. No refuse collection, water outages and many other burning issues. But still I want the ANC of Mandela to lead and govern,” said Dyantyi.

It was quiet in Tantyi and Vukani location voting stations as elections progressed normally without any challenges reported. By late afternoon Wednesday, nothing unusual was reported from the 41 voting stations within the Makana local municipality.

TimesLIVE takes you through the country on Election Day on May 8 2019.