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Residents of the most populous areas of the Western Cape say they hope that the elections and whoever takes power afterwards will deal with the issues of crime and youth unemployment, and deliver quality social services. Elitsha spoke to voters from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. According to the Independent Electoral Commission, there are over 3.7-million voters registered at 1,572 voting stations in the Western Cape, most of them in the City of Cape Town. The majority of registered voters in the province are people between the age of 40-49, mostly women.

Anastacia Daniels who was queueing to vote at the Tafelsig Community Hall said that crime and gangsterism are a top priority for her. “We want more police visibility in this area as gang violence is bad in Tafelsig. I am scared to go to the shop across the road because that is where they shoot at each other and stone each other. My kids cannot play outside because they might be shot at. Also, most of us young people are unemployed. We want the politicians to fulfil their promises. Right now, there is no loadshedding because of the elections but after election it will be back,” she said.

Her sentiments on crime and gang violence were echoed by Clive Peters who is a self-employed tailor. “Drugs and crime are big in this community. Drugs flow around in this community like crazy and the police just drive past these people who are pushing drugs. Just now, you had an entourage of about 23 police vehicles protecting only one person but when you call the police to come to Tafelsig, they tell you that they do not have vans.” Peters was referring to a visit to the voting station by the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Phatekile and other top police brass. Phatekile told the media around midday that there had been no incidents reported in the province.

Members of the SANDF were seen outside a voting station in Nkanini informal settlement earlier today. Photo by Mzi Velapi

“We want more police visibility especially in the morning when we are walking to catch a bus and taxi. We get mugged at the bus stops on our way to work,” said Pamela Ngxanga from Nkanini informal settlement in Khayelitsha.

Nosisi Mgijima, who voted at Khulangolwazi Educare in Enkanini, said: “I want my political party to place us in serviced sites with water, toilets and electricity when it comes into power.” She said she wants her political party to build roads so emergency services can enter her area in Enkanini. “Some residents arrive from work at night, and their transport drops them far from their places because it cannot enter our area,” she said.

Long snaking voting queues were common in most informal settlements in Cape Town. Photo by Vincent Lali

Lulamile Msuthwana, who lives on an old-age pension and stays in Enkanini, said he wants his political party to increase the pension. “The old-age grant is less than a minimum wage, which is R3,400. I want it to increase so I can buy food and support my grandchildren,” he said.