Mitchells Plain residents tired of empty promises, considering not voting

With four days to go until local government elections, ratepayers from Emfuleni to Mitchells Plain are highlighting the lack of service delivery and unresponsiveness of their local representatives.

FILE: Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Residents from far-flung communities are lamenting empty promises, with some saying that they were unlikely to join the voting queue come Monday.

With four days to go until local government elections, ratepayers from Emfuleni to Mitchells Plain are highlighting the lack of service delivery and unresponsiveness of their local representatives.

In Mitchells Plain, in Cape Town, we caught up with two mothers who lived less than two kilometers apart and who told similar stories of dire living conditions and the feeling that those with the power to help them just did not care.

ALSO READ
22 years after being promised services, Ebumnandini community still waiting
After years of ANC failure, Mahikeng residents lack faith in political parties
Mahikeng: 'a poor and miserable town'
Tired of empty promises on housing, Masiphumele residents threaten not to vote

Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain is an impoverished community like so many others on the Cape Flats. Unemployment is the rule rather than the exception. People live cheek by jowl, plagued by substance abuse and the ever-present threat of violence.

Kalthumah Mentoor is one resident who was forced to move in with her parents in the area during the pandemic. She is one of 12 people living in a single Wendy house.

She's heard a lot of promises from a lot of politicians but she's lost hope that anyone will make good on their word.

Now her focus is on her daughter, who's desperately searching for a bursary to allow her to complete her studies.

"It's not about us, it's about the youth that are sitting at home. I don't want my child to become a drug addict if there's the possibility that they can further their studies," Mentoor said.

A dusty two-kilometer walk away, Freedom Park resident Sumaya Jacobs tells Eyewitness News that she'd heard a lot of promises too and she was not interested in voting.

"They're telling the people that they'll see to their water bills, not to worry as there will be work, they're telling the people 'don't worry, we're going to fix your house' but afterward, there's nothing," Jacobs said.

Mentoor and Jacobs both said that they would only vote again when they saw meaningful change implemented to uplift their communities and after years of the same promises and little real change in their lives, they were fast running out of hope.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.