Vote for better life

Rozario Brown, Eastridge

Let’s use our votes as bargaining tools in elections

Allow me to use this opportunity to express my frustration with the slow pace of major development taking place in areas such as Eastridge, Beacon Valley, Tafelsig and other poorer coloured communities on the Cape Flats, Atlantis and Mamre.

It is becoming crystal clear to me and most people living in my community that we are the forgotten ones, the voting fodder.

We have to wait patiently and pray for prosperity to trickle through to our areas.

A play park here and play park there and we have to be grateful and shut up. Our streets are being swept and cleaned whenever the responsible person feels like it and at intervals quite far and wide apart.

Over the last few years, cable thieves have stolen just about every Telkom cable in the above mentioned areas.

Very few people still have access to a landline, because of cable theft.

Telkom staff took a radical decision not to replace cables that have been stolen in these areas, which under normal circumstances would seem to be a rational decision to make and I do understand this.

However, why should law-abiding citizens and those who regularly and religiously supported Telkom over many years be punished by not having their cables replaced and offered an inferior wireless telephone service?

I have not seen Telkom aggressively chasing after these cable thieves and scrapyard owners who buy these stolen cables. I am also yet to see Telkom running a high impact campaign in areas where this problem has reached critical levels I did, however, see Telkom rolling out fibre technology in some of the most affluent areas in our country, including Constantia, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay, Bryanston, Sandton, and so on.

Gang violence has plagued many parts of the Cape Flats for many, many months now. I’m reliably informed that at some point violent crimes on the Cape Flats claimed more lives, even more than what the wars in some war-torn countries are claiming. This is unacceptable.

Why should our people get use to the idea of living in fear and accept that gang culture is part of our lives?

We cannot have two governments running our country. An elected government and an underground one, which freely executes our people after dark and turns our communities into viable black markets for their illicit activities. We deserve better than this.

Many of our so-called leaders have become pop idols who make irregular appearances in our communities and mostly during election times. Then they expect to be placed on pedestals and treated like royalty, because they are “the councillor”, “the minister”, “the this” and “the that”. Reality is that many of our people are suffering, struggling to make ends meet and living a life of despondency. The prices of the most basic food, including potatoes, onions, bread, rice and so on, continue to spiral out of control. Many of our people are faced with retrenchments and it feels as if no one is listening.

As a coloured person living on the Cape Flats and elsewhere in our province, I am calling upon every potential voter to use the upcoming municipal election as a bargaining tool in an effort to see real development taking place within our communities.

Use your cellphones and smartphones and make video recording of every public meeting being addressed by potential ward councillors lobbying for your votes.

Ensure that you have hard evidence of all promises being made, which you can hold them to in the event of them winning in your ward.

We can simply not afford to give away our votes anymore. I certainly have no issue with people being blindly loyal to their political parties, however, at which point do you become loyal to your own family and your own community?

We cannot allow public representatives to make decisions for us. They have to start making decisions together with us.

These elected officials work for us and not the other way around.

These councillors earn a monthly salary of between R30 000 and R80 000 – yes, monthly. We need to hold them accountable

and reverse this new tendency, which crept into government where elected officials want to hold us, the voters, accountable.

Your vote is as good as cash. You wouldn’t overpay for a product at one store when you can buy it at another store for way less.

Why would you continue voting for a councillor or a party that continues to make promises and constantly fails to deliver?

If your current councillor failed to keep your streets clean, failed to beautify your area, failed to hold regular meetings, failed to provide decent play parks for the children, failed to assist with your municipal related matters and so on, then do not vote for that same person or his or her party.

If your children cannot play outside due to gang violence and unsafe parks, vote out your councillor and vote in a new person.

Get rid of those arrogant, divisive and vindictive people. Our sub-council chairpersons should unite our people, not divide us and get involved with all sorts of behind the scenes schemes to destroy local businesses, they should be in the forefront of building small businesses and help create employment.

Vote for someone who lives in your area so that the community can harass him or her when he or she fails to deliver. Let your councillor work and work hard for that lucrative package they earn. This is the only way to ensure a better life for you and your family.