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Lichtenburg voters sing ANC praises in disastrous Ditsobotla

RDP houses, the R350 social relief of distress grant and food parcels are the reasons some residents in Boikhutso township outside Lichtenburg, North West, gave for why they would vote to return the ANC to power in the troubled municipality.

01 November 2021 - 13:45
Residents queuing at a voting station in Boikhutso Ext 3 in Lichtenburg, North West. The township falls under the Ditsobotla municipality.
Residents queuing at a voting station in Boikhutso Ext 3 in Lichtenburg, North West. The township falls under the Ditsobotla municipality.
Image: Belinda Pheto

RDP houses, the R350 social relief of distress grant and food parcels.

These are the reasons some residents in Boikhutso township outside Lichtenburg, North West, gave for why they would vote to return the ANC to power in the troubled municipality. 

The area falls under the Ditsobotla local municipality, which was rocked by factional battles within the ANC and saw two ANC mayors overseeing the council.

The municipality also hit the headlines for being the area that dairy giant Clover left, taking more than 400 jobs with it. Clover shut down its factory in the town and relocated to Durban because of Ditsobotla’s inability to provide it with reliable water and electricity supplies.

Many Boikutso residents still use bucket toilets and its streets are lined with piles of uncollected rubbish mixed with sewage.

While standing in the queue, residents were in high spirits and said they were looking forward to casting their votes and seeing the ANC retain power in the municipality.

ANC supporter Khido Tlhabe says she wants to return the party to power because she receives a grant and so do her children.
ANC supporter Khido Tlhabe says she wants to return the party to power because she receives a grant and so do her children.
Image: Belinda Pheto

Khido Tlhabe, 55, sang the ANC’s praises and said she was happy with the party and would vote for it again today.

“I’ll never vote for any other party. It’s ANC all the way. The ANC has built a house for me. I receive the R350 grant, my children are receiving  social grants. Why would I not vote for the ANC? I’m voting for the biggest party in the country,” Tlhabe told TimesLIVE.

While Tlhabe spoke, those standing next to her cheered in agreement with everything she said. She was among the first people to arrive at the polling station just after 6am. Walking in with three of her friends, she said they wanted to be first in line.

Tlhabe said she believed the ANC deserved another chance to fix whatever they were unhappy with as residents.

“The ANC is the people’s party. I heard the president say they will fix their mistakes,” she said, adding she was personally satisfied with service delivery in her area.

Resident Mantidi Bobe said she would also vote for the ANC because it understood the needs of the poor.

“We’ll go for the tried and tested. I’ll vote ANC again today. We come from far with the ANC,” Bobe told TimesLIVE while she stood in the queue at her voting station.

Bobe said the ANC candidate for her ward, Khotso Montshojang, was a hard-working individual who she believed would serve the community well.

“I’m glad he is finally getting an opportunity to lead us. What I love most about this new ANC process is that it allowed us to choose who we want and not the party list they have been using,” she said.

By 7am the snaking queue at the polling station was full of community members clad in ANC regalia. Some wore doeks while others wore T-shirts. Many asked ANC party agents for T-shirts.

Despite the visible lack of maintenance on roads in the township, residents said they were happy the ANC had built a road for them and said they believed fixing potholes would be a priority for the municipality.

Resident Margaret Thabane said she was not happy with service delivery in the area but would vote for the ANC again because she felt the party deserved another chance.

“Refuse is not collected, we don’t have water and our children are unemployed. Our roads are in such a bad state,” she said.

Thabane said she was also concerned  there were no recreational activities for young people in the community.

“They end up using drugs and young girls are falling pregnant because they don’t have correct things they can use for entertainment,” she said.

TimesLIVE


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