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Kapok residents have 'had enough of empty ANC promises'

Police fired rubber bullets & tear gas, but protesters regrouped & vandalised the IEC registration centre.

Disgruntled residents in Orange Farm have demolished the al-Taweed voter registration station in Orange farm. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Disgruntled Kapok residents in Orange Farm have accused the African National Congress (ANC) of neglecting them and insist they will boycott the upcoming local government elections because they don't want to vote for an alternative party.

Some Orange Farm residents started demonstrating on Friday night and continued throughout the weekend by disrupting voter registration in the area.

They chased Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials away on both days of the weekend registration drive and forced the station to close down.

Angry residents say they have had enough of empty promises made by government.

They say they vandalised the registration building yesterday to get the ruling party's attention.

One resident says they don't want any other party, but the ANC but they must fix their mess.

"We don't want anything, we only want ANC. If we don't love ANC we have to go there and vote for the Democratic Alliance and we don't want that."

Residents have complained about untarred roads and the fact that they have no electricity or street lights, and say they receive no services from the government.

"They have to fix this place first, then after that we'll vote."

Yesterday police tried to disperse the crowd of protesters using rubber bullets and tear gas, but they quickly regrouped and later vandalised the al-Tawheed Islamic Centre where registration was taking place.

IEC NOT WELCOME IN ORANGE FARM

The community also threatened to burn down any other registration centre in Orange Farm should the IEC decide to designate another weekend for voter registration ahead of this year's local government elections.

Some residents also chased away IEC officials shortly before shutting the centre down.

Residents of the informal settlement are demanding basic services such as proper toilets.

WATCH:Angry Kapok resident force IEC station to shut down

They say they also want to be moved to RDP houses and blame their councillor Penny Mphole, who they claim has been neglecting them for three years.

Community leader Hazel Scholtz says, "If I get sick now, my family has to take me down to the tar road with a wheelbarrow."

Mphole stood on the sidelines and watched as demonstrators called for her to step down.

She says she understands their frustration.

"There is a plan; they are going to be reallocated to Legae."

The councillor says 98 Kapok residents have been allocated houses in recent years and she will try to help speed up the process.

But residents say they will ensure that no one in this community registers to vote.

Meanwhile, many South Africans participated in the IEC voter registration weekend drive across the country.

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