KZN villagers outside Ulundi ‘not optimistic’ their votes will bring change

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Some rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal say they have lost the passion to vote as voting has not brought any change to their socio-economic situation. Rural villagers from Nkakazi in Nhlazatshe outside Ulundi say they have been sharing river water with livestock for many years.

As South Africans will on Monday go out in their numbers to elect the councillor of their choice, some rural villagers are reluctant to go and vote. They say previous councillors have failed to deliver services in their rural village.

Rural villagers from Nkakhazi in Nhlazatshe, outside Ulundi, share muddy water from the dam with livestock. They say they have been neglected for many years despite voting in every election.

“We drink water from the dam, sharing water with livestock. People here get sick from waterborne diseases; people are always rushed to hospital as a result. We are no longer keen to vote,” says one of the residents.

Special voting continues in KwaZulu-Natal:

There is a similar outcry from some communities in the rural eNqulwane village also outside Ulundi.

As the electoral commission crisscrossed the country effecting special votes, some sick and elderly people who voted in their own homes say they have been voting since 1994, but are yet to get service delivery.

One of them is Zwakele Lamula. She stays alone in a dilapidated house and manages to put food on the table through handouts from her neighbours.

She says they decided with some people in the village to illegally connect electricity after many years of being neglected. She says she has been denied a chance to participate in the Public Works, Zibambele projects, to clean the road.

“I have been voting in all elections, but nothing has changed. There is no help I get out of voting. I live in abject poverty, I don’t get a grant as I don’t have a small child, even the house is dilapidated, when it rains I sleep at the neighbours. I live through handouts from my neighbours.”

As South Africans cast their votes on Monday, people like Lamula and others from Nkakhazi say they have lost hope that they will ever get services.

Water, electricity, access to roads and employment opportunities remain their top needs. -Reporting by Vusi Makhosini and Salma Patel