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Johannesburg slum dwellers say election campaign message is a repeated script

Johannesburg slum dwellers say election campaign message is a repeated script

South Africa

Several parts of South Africa are deprived of basic public services like water or electricity, accentuating the discontent of the poor who feel that little progress has been made since the end of apartheid.

Wednesday for those many people will be like any other day, they say. This is when tens of thousands of citizens will be heading to polling stations to cast their votes for mayors and municipal councils.

“We have got a lot of problems here. First of all the youth are unemployed. And we are living in squatter camps. The government has been promising us houses for years and years, but to no avail. They always come when there is time to be voting, but then after votes nobody comes to us,” said Ben Thobela, a Johannesburg resident

Tebogo Rontotsi, complained about the squalid conditions under which they live in, “we have a lot of rubbish laying around the area. It’s dangerous for our kids. It’s not healthy. And I wish for them to come and maybe spend some days with us. Look how we live.”

Even though the ruling African National Congress has not fulfilled its promises, there’s is still a cynicism to vote for other parties reigning in most households out fear for the unknown. The ANC gave birth to a democratic South Africa and so it will remain in power according to some.

“I will keep on voting ANC. I don’t see the changes, but I keep on voting. Even this time what I want to see now is a better life. But Zuma is not making different,” said Lucky Mahlaba

The latest ritualistic pre-election campaigns by parties came with promises that were made on days leading to the first ever elections.

Many do wonder whether voting makes a difference, or they have concluded that it does not.


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