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First day of voter registration starts at a snail’s pace in KZN

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The first day of the voter registration weekend in northern KwaZulu-Natal started at a snail’s pace. While some eligible voters heeded the call by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) others said they do not see the need as voting does not change their lives.

In Manguzi area in the far north of the province some young people did not visit their voting stations. According to the latest IEC statistics, KwaZulu-Natal is the second largest province that brings 20% of the country’s votes after Gauteng.

However, political parties will have to work harder in encouraging voters to participate in the coming elections. This, as some people, especially in rural areas in the northern KwaZulu-Natal, raised their frustrations at what they called lack of service delivery.

‘Forgotten areas’ 

In Melmoth some voters’ stations were quiet. But, in Babanango others did use the opportunity to check their details.

Speaking after they registered Nkosikhona Ntombela and Bongani Mthanti say their town is forgotten. They say they do not have essential services including shops and banks.

“There is no service delivery here in Babanango. We don’t have anything and even transport to nearest towns where we access services is expensive. There are no job opportunities. We don’t have water. Babanango town is big we are not supposed to be a forgotten town, in some areas, schools are situated next to taverns. Some people have said they won’t vote anymore as you can see only a few of us are here to check our names on the voters roll,” says Ntombela.

Mthanti adds; “I decided to register to vote today but it’s like we do not have a town here, there is absolutely nothing, there are no shops, clinics and banks.”

Other locals at Babanango shared the same sentiments

Mphilisi Shoba and Zinhle Mbatha describe their registration experience at the Malandela voting station.

“The challenges we have in our area motivated me to come and check my details at the voting station. Some people have dilapidated houses, our town Babanango has nothing, we do not have clinics and shops,” says Shoba.

Mbatha adds; “I was worried because I had registered in another station. I’ve relocated, so I had to check my details in this new voting station, I appear on the voters’ roll, the IEC treated me well.”

 

Voter Registration Weekend | Update from Babanango in KZN:

A few show-up

In the Manguzi area, in the far north of KwaZulu-Natal, the number of people who visited the IEC stations was low. At Mshudu voting station, which is situated at Bambisanani Primary School in Manguzi in the far northern KwaZulu-Natal a handful showed up.

Sayi Tembe, one of the earlier voters who came to check his details believes South Africans must register to vote and use that power of voting to change the status quo politically and socially.

“This is great pleasure to me to register and it will bring changes in the area. That is what we need as local youth as there are the ones who are involved in substance abuse such as alcohol. If we don’t vote we destroy our future for ourselves. So, let’s come and register to vote.”

Young people 

Young people from Mwayi area at Ndumo, in the far northern KwaZulu-Natal say they don’t see any reason to register to vote as nothing has changed in their lives. Mshado Tembe and Thobile Khumalo say since they voted they have not seen any changes in their lives.

“Our children are educated but unfortunately, they are not working. It is not easy to live with children who drink alcohol because they are unemployed,” says Tembe.

Khumalo adds ; “ I am 35 years now, which means I will not get jobs from now. Who is going to help me and that’s why I don’t see any reason to go to vote and I am part of the community.”

Eligible voters still have an opportunity to verify their status on the voters roll on the second day of the voter registration weekend.

In Ulundi all voting stations opened without disruptions: 

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