Thousands of voters turned out to vote at Rietvlei Primary School in Inchanga, KwaZulu-Natal, May 8 2019. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
Thousands of voters turned out to vote at Rietvlei Primary School in Inchanga, KwaZulu-Natal, May 8 2019. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

With a push by the big parties to garner a percentage of the minority vote in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, some residents believed the time is right for a change in the province. 

Lynette Debbie and her daughter Claire arrived at the Ferndale Primary School voting station in the predominantly coloured area of Newlands East, near Durban.

Once there, both went their separate ways in terms of their voting preferences. Lynette, an unashamed DA voter, was urging others in her queue to “do the right thing”.

“I cannot vote for Bosasa [the ANC]. As far as I am concerned there is no New Dawn and state capture is alive and kicking and our money is being siphoned into corrupt officials’ pockets. Things are falling apart everywhere. I need to vote so that a new and honest government can change things around,” she said.

This was in reference to revelations by former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi at the state capture inquiry about how the controversial prison security company allegedly lined the pockets of ANC heavyweights.

Wearing a red beret and matching red lipstick, Claire said she had decided to give her vote to the EFF. 

“I was impressed with the EFF’s manifesto. They push for land, for houses, for young people to occupy important position. The ANC, on the other hand, have people in their late 70s in important positions. They don’t work for me. I am also not impressed with the DA. It is the party of grannies too,” she said.

Across town in the Indian-dominated suburb of Phoenix, north of Durban, voters lined up quietly at the Ferndale Combined School.

Tony Naidoo, 54, said: “I am excited to vote here this time. I want to vote for change. It is not a racial thing, but the ANC is focusing too much on the past, yet it has done very little in the last 25 years. They must forget about the past and focus on what they can achieve today. Look at the garbage on the streets.” 

Durban’s inner city was filled with rubbish on Wednesday. This was largely due to the wildcat strike by thousands of eThekwini municipality workers who were irked by the salary increases of former Umkhonto we Sizwe soldiers.

This is what former leaders and hopeful politicians had to say after casting their vote on election day, May 8 2019.

Some voters had to leap over faeces and rubbish bags as they headed to the voting station in Diakonia Avenue.

Ntokozo Ngidi, a second-year engineering student at the Durban University of Technology, said she was determined to vote for President Cyril Ramaphosa, despite the negative narrative about the governing party.

“I believe that Cyril needs our support to change things. So far he has done very well. I am confident about the future,” she said. Her friends cheered and waved their ANC flags.

Not everyone in Durban was ready to vote and others did not have the necessary ID requirements. 

The home affairs offices in Durban’s Commercial Street and in Umgeni Road were packed with people collecting their IDs or applying for and obtaining temporary IDs that would make them eligible to vote.

One of those queuing was 47-year-old forklift operator Thobezweni Mbambo. “I lost my ID recently but I couldn’t come here because I was busy at work. Today is a holiday and I felt I should come here to get a temporary ID so that I could vote,” he said.

TimesLIVE takes you through the country on election day, May 8 2019. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

Others at the home affairs offices included victims of recent floods that wreaked havoc in Durban, killing more than 70 people and destroying scores of homes.

Nomahlubi Mabaleka, a domestic worker, said her shack in Burlington, west of Durban was washed away on Easter Monday, taking with it her belongings, furniture, appliances and important documents.

“Since then I have been living in the community hall. We really need government assistance. I felt a great need to vote during these elections because I am hoping to get a house in a more stable and safe place,” she said.