Gauteng’s elderly hope for better life as they cast their special vote

The seventh democratic election has brought up elation in the community of Braamfischerville in Soweto, as voters are optimistic that positive change will immediately follow.

This is the township where Economic Freedom Fighter’s deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, will cast his vote alongside an expected mass of voters on Wednesday, the official election day.

Voters expressed excitement as they pushed their three ballot papers into the ballot box and walked out with wide smiles. They were hopeful for a brighter day once the votes have been counted and confirmed. The voters claimed that democracy had brought a new kind of suffering in the country.

Better life since 1994

Angelina Mogwasa said she has always voted throughout the democratic elections. She said she has no reason to stop casting her vote. Mogwasa added that she is happy with the changes that have been introduced since the apartheid era.

She said indeed the development of South Africa is slow-paced. However, she still believed that democracy brought the better days of her life. And could only wish better for her children and grandchildren.

She said the education was better but not best. This considering that black children, from townships and rural areas, are now allowed into all the country’s tertiary institutions. But she lamented the high tertiary education fees. She said these would make it difficult for them to attain their post-matric qualifications.

Mogwasa stated that the future of the country depended on quality education. She urged the government to give access to university to all students who academically qualify. She said universities should be funded or introduced to free education.

The excited Mogwasa said she almost did not cast her vote as she struggles to walk long distances. But she had previously raised this with the IEC officials in the area. She was surprised to see a car fetching her and other older people in the area to their rightful voting booth.

More still needs to be done

But the mood changed and she got teary as she detailed the challenges faced in the democratic era. The same era that she glamourises most of the time.

“I had a child who died immediately after giving birth and she had registered for a house. All her documents are in place and we have her reference number. I have been going up and down the department of human settlement. And I am always told that the house is not on the system,” said the teary Mogwasa.

“My worry is that when she died I had to take the children in as mine, and I am grown now. I am even losing the energy to go up and down trying to find a solution to this. Because where I am staying is my children’s house. And my grandchildren also deserve their home. I am voting so I can see some improvement on this matter,” she added.

Not much has changed, doing it for next generations

Grace Mbatha, who also cast her special vote on Tuesday, said she does not see much change since 1994. She was marking her X in hope of securing greener pastures for the next generation.

The time for change was now, according to Mbatha. She said it was time to fight different battles from the ones they did while growing up.

“I am happy that there is no need for us older people to wake up early when going to the clinic. We used to be at the clinic around 5am and 6am but service is even faster now. But there is more that needs to be done. The young and old must vote,” said Mbatha.


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