The wait is over

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THE ANC stormed to victory in the amalgamated Lukhanji/ Inkwanca/ Tsolwana area – to be known as Enoch Mgijima municipality in the future – with 73.9% of the vote this week.

The DA obtained 13.5% of the vote with other parties making up 12.6%.

The electoral process seemed to have been smooth with no major problems reported. Chilly, rainy weather did serve to dampen the voting however, and, may have contributed to less voters making their way to the polls.

Phumzile Mlilo, who voted at the Walter Sisulu University campus in Robinson Road, said the process had been “smooth” with friendly electoral staff. “I’m happy,” she smiled.

Luthando Ntsizi, voting at the same station, said he was excited to be voting. “I want to elect a person who will lead me the way I want to be led.”

Koos and Annatjie Annandale said they were pleased to be able to vote in line with democracy. “I hope those who are elected clean up the streets of Komani,” Koos said.

Okkie Smith, 57, from Laurie Dashwood Park, who voted at Sunshine Village, cast his vote even though he is disabled.

“The people at the voting station were very nice to me, they were helpful. They even walked me back to my house. I was worried about the current strike affecting elections, but the police were patrolling as early as 5am. I felt safe and I wish people could be this nice all the time.”

Smith said he wanted an elected leader, who treated all local people equally.

Nelisiwe Khoza from Laurie Dashwood Park, said as a born-free her first vote had been an exciting experience.

Khoza said she felt she was now part of the bigger picture.

“My vote means having a voice on the dictates of what is happening in society.” Khoza said she hoped the ruling party would prioritise helping underprivileged pupils in gaining access to tertiary education. Jaco Van Schalkwyk from Sandringham was also a first-time voter.

He said it was necessary for him to vote in order for employment opportunities to be created. His other reason for exercising his vote was to generate the change he wanted to see in Komani. “I am hoping for a positive outcome from these elections.”

Peter Michael, 56, from Sandringham said he was voting to get rid of corruption as well as unethical councilors.

First-time voter, Iquo Resha, braced the cold morning weather to make his mark at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sport Centre.

The 22-year-old unemployed Mlungisi resident said he hoped his vote would bring change to his life

“It feels good to vote for the first time and to have my say in what happens in my municipality. I am proud of myself for what I have done, because some of my friends did not bother to vote. Maybe things will now start to work out for the better. I hope that whoever wins will create jobs for the youth.”

Sharon Genevive, 27, who voted at the Gummy Bears pre-school, said it was important for young people to vote, although it was discouraging to see no change after election time.

“We always vote but nothing is changing, but I had to vote today to make a difference.”

Tommy Vermaak, who was voting at the same venue, said a vote now would create a better future for his children.

“I am voting today because I want my children to have a better future and a better South Africa.”

David Hendrick said it was important to vote to maintain Nelson Mandela’s vision of creating a better life for all South Africans alive.

First-time voter Sivuyisiwe Mongo, who voted at the Moriva voting station in Ezibeleni, said he had been looking forward to voting,

“My vote will make a difference in how Lukhanji and Chris Hani District Municipality are governed. I will never miss an opportunity to vote again as this is the first time I am eligible to vote.”

Phumelela Special Care Centre pupil, Xolisa Mamani, who voted at Minah T Soga Primary School, said he hoped that by voting he would be able to get a house.

Anele Mtshayi felt as though he was involved in government by exercising his right to vote and that those who voted, could complain if there was poor governance.

Political party agents agreed the voter turnout was positive, proving that people were interested in the elections.

ANC party agent, Nelisa Pambo, said the weather had not dampened people’s interest in voting.

“As much as there was negative talk against the ANC during the campaigning phase, people have assured us of their votes today. It is a sure sign the ANC will win the elections and we will correct our past mistakes. The mood is very competitive,” Pambo said.

Economic Freedom Fighters party agent, Martin Nkomipela, said these elections were different as they were the new kids on the block and would be kingmakers.

THE VOTE: The Independent Electoral Commission conducted a successful 2016 local government election
THE VOTE: The Independent Electoral Commission conducted a successful 2016 local government election

DA party agent and ward councillor candidate in Ezibeleni, Sakhumzi Mkunqe, said the working relations among political parties was great, adding the IEC officials were working well to ensure a smooth election.

Minor problems, such as the ANC giving out T-shirts at the Ikhala College voting station had been resolved.

According to the latest figures at the time of going to press, the ANC obtained a vast majority in the Eastern Cape with 67.2% of the vote, followed by the DA at 20.2%, the EFF at 4.8% and the UDM at 3%.

In the Intsika Yethu area, the ANC took 80% of the vote with the remainder made up in varying degrees by other parties. In Amahlathi, the ANC garnered 76.4% of the vote and the DA 9.9%, in Inxuba Yethemba the ANC took 57.2% and the DA 40.3%, in Emalahleni the ANC had 83% and the DA 10.1%. The South African tally, was (top four shown): ANC 51.7%, DA 30.9%, EFF 6.8% and the IFP 4.1%.

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