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Many Eastern Cape voters were frustrated with the manner in which the general elections kicked off on 27 May 2024. They bemoaned failures by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to organise the voting process efficiently.

Topping their grievances was the late arrival of ballot papers, the malfunctioning of voting verification devices and having the ballot papers not in an alphabetical order. Voters were frustrated by the long queues, and the late opening of voting stations that forced them to wait under a scorching sun.

The voter turnout in the province was 58.4% with the majority of the voters in the province residing in Nelson Mandela Bay, most of whom are women between the ages of 30-39.

New Brighton resident, Peggy Tsewu wants politicians to provide houses and jobs to young people in order to curb crime. She told Elitsha, “I am glad that the government of the ANC has provided housing to us the elderly but more should be done especially for the youth. Our children have no houses while job opportunities are scarce. They end up turning to crime because there are no job opportunities. I wish jobs could be created to stem the tide of crime.”

Motherwell resident, Ntomboxolo Mtwana stays in a backyard room with her four-year-old son and her boyfriend. She wants a new leadership that will abolish labour brokers: “Imagine working for a fruit packaging factory for six years and still being a contract worker. What baffles me most is that we are only hired for three weeks then they terminate our contracts. They then call us again after two weeks. This has been like this for the past six years. This is done to deprive us of occupational benefits.

“We have protested on countless occasions in a bid to raise our concerns with the Department of Labour officials but all has been in vain. This is the reason I have had to brace the scorching sun in order to cast my vote and elect a new leader of my choice who will change this country’s labour laws to favour and respect employees.”

Monica Data of Missionvale voted to change the leadership in the area whom she accused of practicing nepotism. “Missionvale stinks of corruption. Here if you’re not connected with councillors and their office workers you will struggle. Corruption is so deep that we need the Special Investigative Unit to visit us. Most of the projects, including public works, are given to friends. Some people have been benefiting for many years in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) despite the fact that the programme is rotational. If you raise a red flag they silence you. So I hope to have a better and caring government this time.”