Port Elizabeth – Clogged drains, illegal dumping, running water that results in sickness and houses falling apart. These are some of the issues residents of KwaLanga, Uitenhage, in Nelson Mandela Bay have reported to politicians campaigning in the area.
But so far, all they have received in return are promises, they said.
Resident Florinda Kabir, 36, has had five political parties knock on her door during this campaign season, she said, and all they bring are promises.
But right now, she was looking for action.
She lives next to a crèche and says there has been water running down their streets for months.
She has pointed the water out, and some other issues in the area, to campaigners.
“And each has promised to fix it once they are voted into the area. I don’t understand why they can’t fix it now, why do they have to wait until they win before they fix it?”
The mother of two has lived in the area for eight years, she said, and life was improving, though she still did not have a job.
But she has not given up hope, she said, which is why she would always vote, no matter how discouraged she was.
“If you keep voting, there is always hope. And I live in hope that something will change,” she said.
She was a firm believer in the power of the vote, she said.
Down the road from her lives Maureen Matiti, a mother of three who spends her days doing laundry and taking care of her children.
Washing her slippers in a zinc bath tub in a lounge with broken tiles and cracked walls, the 35-year-old said she was patiently waiting for the shoddily-built RDP house to be fixed.
“The windows rattle and sound like they will fall at any minute,” she said.
All parties who have knocked on her door in the past couple of weeks have promised to prioritise their area, but she is slightly sceptical.
“It sounds like the same promises over and over again,” she said.
The Tambo village she lives in with her boyfriend never sees politicians until elections, she said, and they have seen more than their fair share in the past two weeks.
“We just hope they are bringing change.”
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