By Lulutho Skeyi
South Africans are divided over whether they will be taking part in the municipal elections at all. The IEC is complying with the orders of the constitutional court to hold the poll by the latest, the 1st of November 2021. Is there a real appetite for citizens to participate or is the appetite to vote stronger in the stomachs of political leaders who are at the top of the food chain, the predators of voters, hungry for votes?
When it comes to local government issues they are many and vary, from appalling service delivery to non-delivery, to issues of crime and education… these top the list for many.
Take East London as just one example, it’s one of the country’s oldest towns. This small town has township settlements plagued by overcrowding and poor living conditions in some. So as we head to the polls; will residents make their vote count?
It is no surprise to many South Africans that “service provision” in local municipalities becomes so common when elections are near.
Residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality say that the BCM seems to have a lot of priorities related to service delivery and recreational projects such as resurfacing roads, handing over hydroponic tunnels, a water world fun park, infrastructure fleet that included plant machinery now that the elections are near.
Maputo ‘Pura’ Makeleni from Mncotsho who is a citizen said that local leaders such as councillors are trying by all means to convince voters to vote for their parties in order to protect their own plates.
Complaints and questions from concerned and exhausted residents of the BCM came in pouring regarding the recent service delivery projects in the BCM.
Why the sudden care, is it because the elections are approaching? Why build a water world fun park when the BCM has severe water shortages and there is a drought? Why build a water park when there are already water parks that exist that are not being maintained? Why not fix the roads which are now more of potholes than they are tar roads or try to resolve the failing electrical infrastructure?
BCM resident Shantai Matroos added in response to the progress on track in Mdantsane swimming pools which is expected to be a state of the art Olympic size pool, “Swimming pools are being built but we need hospitals, roads and clinics to be renovated, they know how to waste money!”
As most know; poor service delivery and general poor government services lead to the decline of resources, zero job opportunities, job losses and overall poor living conditions.
So, as we inch closer to the ballet box, political parties will be playing the blame game as they fish for your vote… the question is; will you make your vote count?
It’s very easy to make promises, any party can do that. On Election Day, voters have a choice to make and it’s a simple one: a choice to decide on the quality of life they want for themselves and their community, and even future generations. Voting is a chance to stand up for the issues you care about. Rather than just venting on social media or protesting; voting is the best way to make your voice heard for a positive i