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#Elections2024: Residents vote in hope of change

When a new government is installed, the residents hope to see change in their area.

The usually buzzing Emandleni informal settlement was eerily quiet when hordes of residents converged to cast their votes on the sports ground at the centre of the community yesterday (May 29).

The residents began queuing at 05:00, and various political party agents went in and out of the voting station to ensure everything was done by the book.

Emandleni residents started queuing from 05:00.

As the voting went smoothly, young *Simo Dladla and his friends played a football kickabout behind the IEC tent, seemingly oblivious to the day’s activities.

“They are wasting their time. Nothing is going to change here. We only see these politicians during the elections. They gave us their T-shirts, but we only wear them for our soccer practice,” he said.

As Sipho and his buddies continued their practice, a mini-bus taxi approached from the dusty street and left a cloud of red dust, covering the venue and community leader Petros Mbatha, who had watched the Benoni City Times’ interaction with the youngsters.

The police were deployed to Emandleni.

Mbatha explained he wants to see change in eMandleni when the dust settles and a new government takes over.
“I want to see an end to load-shedding. We need running water. We are happy with the development we see, but more needs to be done,” he said.

He was among the first people to vote in the area, which lacks basic services like housing, ablution facilities and tarred roads.

A Emandleni resident casts her vote.

“I would be happy if our people and their issues are prioritised. We are not sidelining foreign nationals. They are our brothers and sisters from our neighbouring countries but must be here legally,” said Mbatha.

Resident Steven Xaba expressed his delight after voting for the MKP, saying he’s confident the Jacob Zuma-led party would fulfil its promises.

“EMandleni needs lots of development. We need clean running water and, most importantly, a school. We need electrification of the whole area.”

A Emandleni resident casts her vote.

He added, “For years, we’ve held on to the hope that black people will see change and development in their areas. The parties I’ve voted for over the years have done nothing. We need new people with fresh ideas to rebuild our country”.

Nomsa Khumalo, also from Emandleni, arrived at the station at 07:30 and found a snaking queue. She was happy after voting.

“I know the party I voted for will bring the change needed here. I want to see load-shedding end and decent homes built for our people,” she said.

Emandleni resident Steven Xaba voted for the MKP.

First-time voter Sphiwesihle Madela voted at a packed Benoni Town Hall.

“I’m happy to vote for the first time. I didn’t see the importance of voting. But the way things are going in SA with the corruption, load-shedding and unemployment, we need new people who will bring change,” she said.

Sphiwesihle Madela (left) voted for the first time.
Shailesh Diar wants the new government to resolve community problems timeously.

She voted for the MKP nationally and the DA provincially because the party’s work in Benoni inspired her.

Shailesh Diar of Actonville voted at the Emaromeni Primary School voting station.

“Hopefully, the new government doesn’t come to cut our grass once in four years or wait long to patch the potholes,” he said.

*Not his real name.

Also Read: WATCH: #Elections2024: First-time voters share their views

Also Read: #Elections2024: ANC a no-show, DA and EFF share the floor at Wits dialogue

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