South Africa News

Some disgruntled EC voters not sure about showing up on election day

Lack of service delivery in rural areas in the Eastern Cape could potentially see some residents not turning out to vote on election day next week. Two families, who live under deplorable conditions at Lusikisiki, are still mulling over whether to vote or not.

The two families say they have been waiting for houses for years, without any assistance from the government. 63-year-old Nomzekelo Nkabayi lost her house four years ago, during heavy rains. She currently stays in a dilapidated rondavel with seven children.

The partially blind Nkabayi depends on her grant to feed her family, and is still waiting for assistance after applying for a house, or renovation of the current structure.

“We run to this room when there are strong winds, even though it has a roof problem. This one fell during heavy rains as you can see. I thought of supporting it like that with wooden poles, but it is going to fall. We sleep here when it’s not raining. All of these houses are falling,” says Nkabayi.

Nkabayi says sometimes children go to school on an empty stomach.

“The children that I stay with are studying. It becomes very difficult. Sometimes they go to school hungry. For example, today I do not know what they’ll eat after school. I try to peel maize so that when they come back they have something to eat.”

Another family that had its house destroyed by the heavy rains is the Mvikelwa family.

Bhalisile Mvikelwa says the roof of the dilapidated family home is leaking when it rains. He says the family has been waiting for a response after applying for assistance.

“I reported this house after it fell on a person that works for disaster. He told me that he submitted my documents. I reported to the ward committee. He also told me that he submitted my documents. I am still waiting. There are days that I go to bed without getting any food and I’m supposed to take my treatment. I am asking the government to please build me a house,” says Mvikelwa.

Nkabayi and Mvikelwa say they are doubtful about participating in the upcoming general elections due to their living conditions.

“I do not know if I am going to vote, especially now that I have an eye problem, I am struggling to walk. I doubt I will vote,” says Nkabayi.

“I have been voting for so many years. There are very few chances for me to vote now. I am not benefiting anything. I am not getting help with my situation here at home,” says Mvikelwa.

The province currently has a housing backlog of more than 600 000. The provincial human settlement department had not responded to questions sent to it at the time of broadcast.

Source: eNCA

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