The wait is over

73.9% gives ANC land­slide vic­tory in the Lukhanji re­gion

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - BY ZOLILE MENZELWA, BHONGO JA­COB, SONJA RAASCH AND ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

THE ANC stormed to vic­tory in the amal­ga­mated Lukhanji/ Inkwanca/ Tsol­wana area – to be known as Enoch Mgi­jima mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the fu­ture – with 73.9% of the vote this week.

The DA ob­tained 13.5% of the vote with other par­ties mak­ing up 12.6%.

The electoral process seemed to have been smooth with no ma­jor prob­lems re­ported. Chilly, rainy weather did serve to dampen the vot­ing how­ever, and, may have con­trib­uted to less vot­ers mak­ing their way to the polls.

Phumzile Mlilo, who voted at the Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity cam­pus in Robin­son Road, said the process had been “smooth” with friendly electoral staff. “I’m happy,” she smiled.

Luthando Nt­sizi, vot­ing at the same sta­tion, said he was ex­cited to be vot­ing. “I want to elect a per­son who will lead me the way I want to be led.”

Koos and An­natjie An­nan­dale said they were pleased to be able to vote in line with democ­racy. “I hope those who are elected clean up the streets of Ko­mani,” Koos said.

Okkie Smith, 57, from Lau­rie Dash­wood Park, who voted at Sun­shine Vil­lage, cast his vote even though he is dis­abled.

“The peo­ple at the vot­ing sta­tion were very nice to me, they were help­ful. They even walked me back to my house. I was wor­ried about the cur­rent strike af­fect­ing elec­tions, but the po­lice were pa­trolling as early as 5am. I felt safe and I wish peo­ple could be this nice all the time.”

Smith said he wanted an elected leader, who treated all lo­cal peo­ple equally.

Nelisiwe Khoza from Lau­rie Dash­wood Park, said as a born-free her first vote had been an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Khoza said she felt she was now part of the big­ger pic­ture.

“My vote means hav­ing a voice on the dic­tates of what is hap­pen­ing in so­ci­ety.” Khoza said she hoped the ruling party would pri­ori­tise help­ing un­der­priv­i­leged pupils in gain­ing ac­cess to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. Jaco Van Schalk­wyk from San­dring­ham was also a first-time voter.

He said it was nec­es­sary for him to vote in or­der for em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to be cre­ated. His other rea­son for ex­er­cis­ing his vote was to gen­er­ate the change he wanted to see in Ko­mani. “I am hop­ing for a pos­i­tive out­come from th­ese elec­tions.”

Peter Michael, 56, from San­dring­ham said he was vot­ing to get rid of cor­rup­tion as well as un­eth­i­cal coun­cilors.

First-time voter, Iquo Re­sha, braced the cold morn­ing weather to make his mark at the Thobi Kula In­door Sport Cen­tre.

The 22-year-old un­em­ployed Mlungisi res­i­dent said he hoped his vote would bring change to his life

“It feels good to vote for the first time and to have my say in what hap­pens in my mu­nic­i­pal­ity. I am proud of my­self for what I have done, be­cause some of my friends did not bother to vote. Maybe things will now start to work out for the bet­ter. I hope that who­ever wins will cre­ate jobs for the youth.”

Sharon Genevive, 27, who voted at the Gummy Bears pre-school, said it was im­por­tant for young peo­ple to vote, although it was dis­cour­ag­ing to see no change after elec­tion time.

“We al­ways vote but noth­ing is changing, but I had to vote to­day to make a difference.”

Tommy Ver­maak, who was vot­ing at the same venue, said a vote now would cre­ate a bet­ter fu­ture for his chil­dren.

“I am vot­ing to­day be­cause I want my chil­dren to have a bet­ter fu­ture and a bet­ter South Africa.”

David Hen­drick said it was im­por­tant to vote to main­tain Nel­son Man­dela’s vi­sion of cre­at­ing a bet­ter life for all South Africans alive.

First-time voter Sivuy­isiwe Mongo, who voted at the Moriva vot­ing sta­tion in Ez­i­be­leni, said he had been look­ing for­ward to vot­ing,

“My vote will make a difference in how Lukhanji and Chris Hani District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity are gov­erned. I will never miss an op­por­tu­nity to vote again as this

is the first time I am el­i­gi­ble to vote.”

Phumelela Spe­cial Care Cen­tre pupil, Xolisa Ma­mani, who voted at Mi­nah T Soga Pri­mary School, said he hoped that by vot­ing he would be able to get a house.

Anele Mt­shayi felt as though he was in­volved in gov­ern­ment by ex­er­cis­ing his right to vote and that those who voted, could com­plain if there was poor gov­er­nance.

Po­lit­i­cal party agents agreed the voter turnout was pos­i­tive, prov­ing that peo­ple were in­ter­ested in the elec­tions.

ANC party agent, Nelisa Pambo, said the weather had not damp­ened peo­ple's in­ter­est in vot­ing.

“As much as there was neg­a­tive talk against the ANC dur­ing the cam­paign­ing phase, peo­ple have as­sured us of their votes to­day. It is a sure sign the ANC will win the elec­tions and we will cor­rect our past mis­takes. The mood is very com­pet­i­tive,” Pambo said.

Eco­nomic Freedom Fight­ers party agent, Martin Nkomipela, said th­ese elec­tions were dif­fer­ent as they were the new kids on the block and would be king­mak­ers.

DA party agent and ward coun­cil­lor can­di­date in Ez­i­be­leni, Sakhumzi Mkunqe, said the work­ing re­la­tions among po­lit­i­cal par­ties was great, adding the IEC of­fi­cials were work­ing well to en­sure a smooth elec­tion.

Mi­nor prob­lems, such as the ANC giv­ing out T-shirts at the Ikhala Col­lege vot­ing sta­tion had been re­solved.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures at the time of go­ing to press, the ANC ob­tained a vast ma­jor­ity in the Eastern Cape with 67.2% of the vote, fol­lowed by the DA at 20.2%, the EFF at 4.8% and the UDM at 3%.

In the Intsika Yethu area, the ANC took 80% of the vote with the re­main­der made up in vary­ing de­grees by other par­ties. In Amahlathi, the ANC gar­nered 76.4% of the vote and the DA 9.9%, in Inx­uba Yethemba the ANC took 57.2% and the DA 40.3%, in Emalahleni the ANC had 83% and the DA 10.1%. The South African tally, was (top four shown): ANC 51.7%, DA 30.9%, EFF 6.8% and the IFP 4.1%.

Pic­ture: CHUX FOURIE

READY TO VOTE: At the Queen’s Col­lege Ju­nior polling sta­tion were, from left, Car­men and De Wet Hat­tingh and deputy pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer Nom­bulelo Ngem­ntu

Pic­ture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

DONE: Lukhanji mayor Nozi Makanda cast her vote at the polling sta­tion at Sun­shine Vil­lage

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