Deep divisions apparent among Cape Town’s voters
Loyalty towards traditional political parties seems to be strong, despite reservations about their performances
Interviews with several people at polling stations in rain-drenched Cape Town on Wednesday morning suggested that traditional political allegiances remained strong, with some youth in African informal settlements expressing support for the EFF.
The rain appeared to have slowed down voting in the early part of the morning but the weather cleared up later and queues began to form.
A few disillusioned voters said they would not be voting at all as it made no difference. There was no service delivery and nothing changed in terms of fighting crime and joblessness, despite the promises made by political parties, they said. There was also a measure of cynicism amongst voters about politicians and what they had delivered so far.
The few coloured voters interviewed in Eastridge and Mitchells Plain — a DA stronghold in past elections — indicated that they largely continued to support the party that has ruled the Western Cape for more than a decade, with some saying that they gave their support despite the lack of delivery in their areas.
The DA has ruled the Western Cape largely on the basis of its solid support in coloured and white areas.
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Patricia De Lille's Good party had a presence at some of the polling stations, with supporter Lydia Williams saying that the party's leader was a strong woman who could help the people. The DA repeatedly made promises which were never kept, she said.
But DA ward councillor Solomon Philander believed that while a few people had moved to "the good for nothing" Good party, they were not enough for the party to win his ward. The conflict between the DA and De Lille had not made a big dent in DA support, in his view. He did not believe the ANC — a party of “stealing and looting” — would make any inroads in Mitchells Plain.
DA supporter Anthea Bailey said all political parties only looked after themselves and did not have the interests of the people at heart. She hoped for changes though these had not been seen yet, as crime, gangsterism and drug-taking in the area remained high.
Her husband, Leon Bailey, said the DA was the best party. He wanted a party that could deliver free education and could empower communities in terms of crime prevention, housing and jobs.
Denver Bosman said “nothing” was happening in Mitchells Plain. He felt that coloured people were not recognised and that preference was given to black Africans. It was very difficult to find jobs.
DA supporter Nadeem Daniels believed that housing was the number one issue. She said that although the DA sometimes worked for the people but sometimes not, it was “better than the others”.
Jenny Hendricks emphasised the need for housing and better health services. "All political parties make promises but the question is whether they keep their promises," she said.
Presiding officer at the Eluxolweni voting station in Site B Khayelitsha Siphiwo Peterson reported a smooth flow of voters with about 400 of the 3,511 registered voters having passed through the station by about 11am.
Housing and empowerment for small businesses was the reason one unidentified person voted for the ANC but her support was ambivalent as she felt the ANC needed to do more.
Buyisile Mthi, interviewed at another Site B voting station situated in the midst of shacks, remained staunchly loyal to the ANC saying the party was always delivering. Questioned about the allegations of corruption against the party, he insisted that “not all people are perfect — people can make mistakes.”
“We are cleaning up the ANC now. We trust Ramaphosa. He is working very hard to clean up all the corrupt people in the ANC. We are saying to our people ‘don't give up’.”
ANC supporter Simphiwe Bemdu said he was voting for the governing party as it had set the people free and was the only party that could deliver. He had stayed in an informal settlement for a long time and had not been provided with toilets and electricity under DA rule. He also insisted that Ramaphosa was cleaning up corruption.
EFF supporters Nalo Sigaidu, Sivenathi Masimini, Sibongile Mondi and Pumeza Jevu believed the EFF could bring change and provide jobs and land. A shackdweller, the 37-year old Mondi has never had a job.