Kimberley's San tribes despondent about 2024 election promise

King Antonio Sabao of the !Xun community in Platfontein said he doesn't even live like a king, and his people live under deplorable conditions.

A group of more than 50 Khoisan activists say they will not move from a Pinelands premises until government returns the piece of land they claim to own. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

KIMBERLEY - Minority tribes are likely to be the focus of some political parties as they attempt garner votes ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Two such tribes are the San tribes, the !Xun and the Khwe, who live in Platfontein, west of Kimberley.

They originate from the northern parts of Namibia and southern Angola.

They were part of the flitches of the specialised Portuguese forces in Angola who joined the then South African Defence Force as trackers and counter-insurgents in the border war.

After 1994, they were first relocated to Schmidt's Drift and then to Platfontein after the intervention of the late former president Nelson Mandela.

Often seen as the forgotten ones, they self admittedly live under challenging conditions, with a lack of efficient service delivery, joblessness, and challenges of drug addiction and teenage pregnancy.

"The San people of Platfontein hope that the next election will fulfill the promises they hear whenever elections are imminent," said resident Tummy Duiker.

Duiker told Eyewitness News that the two communities not getting along has added to many issues facing this area.


King Antonio Sabao of the !Xun community was despondent about his own and the community’s poor living conditions, like sanitation.

He told Eyewitness News they are forced to use sacks in outside toilets, which are collected by the municipality.

The three-room RDP houses have no doors and siblings must share rooms, while the kitchens are ill-equipped.

He said this is not how a king must live.

On Saturday afternoon, the San community members of Platfontein were relaxing in the shade of thorn trees, and carried about their daily tasks.

This as political parties wood potential voters at a local school which was a voter registration point.

King Antonio Saboa said that people like his son did not have work, and cannot not look after themselves and their families.

"Such a big boy, I have to look after him, and he must actually look after himself. There’s lots of problems here.”

According to the king, suggestions to create job opportunities in the community have fallen on deaf ears.

He said South Africans must be responsible and register to cast their votes in 2024.