Bekkersdal backlash against ANC intensifies

Emeline Goba speaks to The Citizen on her stance towards the upcoming election, 23 April 2014, in Bekkersdal near Westonaria. Picture: Alaister Russell

Emeline Goba speaks to The Citizen on her stance towards the upcoming election, 23 April 2014, in Bekkersdal near Westonaria. Picture: Alaister Russell

While some residents of the troubled township of Bekkersdal on the West Rand say they will vote in the coming May 7 elections – just to vote the ruling ANC out of the area – others have chosen not to go to the polls at all.

The Citizen visited the area yesterday, to determine the mood ahead of the elections – just 14 days away.

Earlier this year residents threatened not to vote should the Westonaria local municipality under the leadership of mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi not be placed under administration.

They are also demanding that Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane apologise in person for her “dirty votes” remarks.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Xolani Gasa, 30, said he will not be taking part in the elections.

“I did not even register to vote when the registrations were opened last year due to the chaos that was experienced in Bekkersdal following last year’s protests.

“However, I want to make it clear that despite what happened here last year, I was never prepared to register nor to even vote in this year’s elections, because ever since I was born, growing up here, there has been no change under the ANC government that has benefitted me. In fact things have just gone from bad to worse,” the unemployed Gasa said.

Another resident, Idah Mngwambe, said she had not yet made up her mind on whether she will be voting.

“Honestly speaking, I really wonder as to why I should go and vote because our government has really failed us,” the 56-year-old mother of four said.

Emeline Goba, 53, said her main reason for voting, was to make sure that the ANC is voted out of the area.

“I hope that a new political party will help us overcome challenges relating to lack of service delivery, that we are faced with,” she said.

“The country is this year celebrating 20 years into democracy, but in recent years, our government that we voted into power

has done little to improve our lives, instead we always hear about stories linking our leaders to corruption.”

Electoral Commission (IEC) said yesterday said it was more than ready for the elections.

The IEC’s Gauteng provincial officer, Masego Sheburi, said the training of 21 staff members to be deployed there had been concluded. “We will have around 12 voting stations, but that will also depend on the number of registered voters.”

 

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