Lenasia residents refuse to register until ward councillor steps down

Residents from the Thembelihle informal settlement say their refusal is largely due to the lack of service delivery over the years.

Hundreds of residents from the Thembelihle informal settlement in Lenasia took to the streets on 26 January in protest against service delivery threatening not to register to vote until their ward councillor steps down. Picture: Faizel Patel/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the final day of voter registration gets underway, hundreds of residents from the Thembelihle informal settlement in Lenasia have refused to register to vote.

Residents say their refusal is largely due to the lack of service delivery over the years.

They’ve accused local ward councillor Ezekiel Mosotho Tsotetsi of failing in his duties, calling on him to step down before they can register.

On Saturday, a group of residents blocked the K43 with burning tyres and barred the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) from entering the informal settlement.

This resident says they were promised services in the provincial elections three years ago, but nothing has happened: “No, we don’t want to register because Mosotho doesn’t want to upgrade our area.”

Meanwhile, the IEC has urged citizens to go register to vote as the registration process continues at all stations across the country.

Sunday, 27 January, is the last day of registration, and voters are urged to check their details at stations and on the website.

The IEC confirmed that 99% of stations opened on time on Saturday to a steady stream of eligible voters.

The IEC’s CEO, Sy Mamabolo, says, “We wish to remind those voters, already registered, to make use of click, check and confirm portal on our website to update addresses and add them if none is in the record.”